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10 Best Leadership Books for Small Business Leaders

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Every great business leader has one thing in common – they never stop learning! Regardless of whether you ask Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, they all credit their success to their constant thirst for knowledge. But what’s the best way to feed that thirst? The answer is simple: pick up a book and read it.

If you want to expose yourself to new ideas or methodologies that can take your business to the next level, there are thousands of books to choose from. With such an extensive library, selecting a book can actually be a difficult task! That is why we sat down with 10 business leaders and asked them what the #1 book they would recommend to every business person would be. Keep reading to find the next book to add to your library!


The Ride of a Lifetime

Ironically enough, I recommend The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger, former CEO and Chairman of The Walt Disney Company. Disney is one of the largest companies in the world, but the lessons and advice Iger gives are helpful to small business leaders as well. Iger discusses how to be a strong leader in good times and bad, how to make tough decisions and how to cherish wins without losing sight of a bigger picture. 

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Delivering Happiness

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos. I recommend this book because of its knowledgeable advice for the rapidly changing nature of company culture. As we continue to experience some of the biggest transformations of office life in years, understanding how and why Zappos was so successful may be of great asset to small business leaders.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie 

Dare to Lead

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown is one of the best leadership books I have read to date. She takes a non-conventional approach to leadership by talking about courage, vulnerability, whole-heartedness and having tough conversations. Rather than most leadership books that talk about determination and pushing through hard times, Dare to Lead unpacks how shame, empathy and vulnerability can positively, or negatively, affect the leader you want to become. 

Kayla Centeno, Markitors 

Built to Sell

The book I would recommend to every small business leader is Built To Sell. The author does a fantastic job of creating a fictional storyline that every business owner can relate to, and he also manages to educate the reader of what it takes to build a truly sellable company. The best part is that the book is genuinely fun to read too!

Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority

The E Myth

The E Myth by Michael Gerber is my most recommended business book. Being good at a job, craft, or profession does not mean you will be good at business. The book walks through the issues that arise in a typical business startup in a very reader friendly way. An easy read that is very thought-provoking

Tony Baumer, Old Grey Tiger Consulting

Zero to One

Zero to One by Peter Thiel. An amazing book that takes you from the point of the idea to the moment when you run a successful business. Most importantly, it’s not your typical business book that lures you in with joyful promises. It lays out simple questions that will help you determine how you’re doing business-wise and whether you’re on track to point one or not.

Jakub Kliszczak, Channels

Agile Project Management with Kanban

One of my favorite business books is Agile Project Management with Kanban by Eric Brechner. This book was an invaluable tool for me and my business. In the beginning, we were struggling to coordinate projects between different teams, and implementing the Kanban system completely revolutionized the way we collaborate and communicate.

Monica Eaton-Cardone, Chargebacks 911

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure 

I would recommend reading The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone. He explains in the book how to be productive in sales, time management and business overall. Grant explains in simple language that motivates the reader to take action.

Sara Yusupov, iHeartRadio

Getting real

Getting Real from the guys at Basecamp has been on my bookshelf for years. We recently produced our service and systemized our operations, so even though the book is about launching the software, it has a lot of relevance for me today as it did many years ago.

Doug Dennison, MailNinja

Think & Grow Rich

I recommend the book Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. When running a business, having a money mindset, taking risks and taking bets on yourself comes with the territory. If there are holes in your mindset or what you perceive as your ability to be successful, it can hold your business back, so do the deep work.

Stephanie Thoma, Networking Career Coach