EO London members recently shared a compelling list of book recommendations. And in our locked down status, it could be a good time to dig into any number of these great suggestions - Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is one that I'm particularly intrigued by.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high- quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.
Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt
The Leadership Handbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell - Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep relationships with Silicon Valley visionaries, including Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt. In addition, this business genius mentored dozens of other important leaders on both coasts, from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists to educators to football players, leaving behind a legacy of growing companies, successful people, respect, friendship, and love after his death in 2016.
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
by Alice Schroeder
Recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, The Snowball is the most fascinating financial success story of our time. Warren Buffett, the legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but finally has given Alice Schroeder unprecedented access to him and all those closest to his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies and wisdom. The result is this personally revealing and complete biography of ‘The Oracle of Omaha’, indispensable reading for those who wish to know the man behind the outstanding achievements.
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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - this is the acclaimed, internationally bestselling biography of the ultimate icon of inventiveness. Walter Isaacson tells the story of the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionised six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance
South African born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey Junior.
How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan
Could psychedelic drugs change our worldview? Join Michael Pollan on a journey to the frontiers of the human mind. Diving deep into an extraordinary world - from shamans and magic mushroom hunts to the pioneering labs mapping our brains - and putting himself forward as a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of consciousness.
Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail
In business, performance is key. In performance, how you organize can be the key to growth. In the past five years, the business world has seen the birth of a new breed of company—the Exponential Organization— that has revolutionized how a company can accelerate its growth by using technology. An ExO can eliminate the incremental, linear way traditional companies get bigger, leveraging assets like community, big data, algorithms, and new technology into achieving performance benchmarks ten times better than its peers.
Alibaba’s World by Porter Erisman
In September 2014, a Chinese company that most Westerners had never heard of held the largest IPO in history – bigger than Google, Facebook and Twitter combined. Alibaba, now the world’s largest e-commerce company, mostly escaped Western notice for over ten years, while building a customer base larger than Amazon’s, and handling the bulk of e-commerce transactions in China. How did it happen? And what was it like to be along for such a revolutionary ride?
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
Though Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail,
its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, was never content with being just a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become ‘the everything store’, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To achieve that end, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that’s never been cracked. Until now.
48 Laws of Power by Robert Green
Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded - or been victimised by - power.
The Ride of a lifetime by Bob Iger
Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Morale had deteriorated, competition was intense, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company’s history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger―think global―and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.
The Future Is Faster Than You Think by Peter Diamandis
In their book Abundance, bestselling authors and futurists Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler tackled grand global challenges, such as poverty, hunger, and energy. Then, in Bold, they chronicled the use of exponential technologies that allowed the emergence of powerful new entrepreneurs. Now the bestselling authors are back with The Future Is Faster Than You Think, a blueprint for how our world will change in response to the next ten years of rapid technological disruption.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to- earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
The Choice by Edith Eger
In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive. The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.
Albert Einstein by Walter Isaacson
How did Einstein’s mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how Einstein’s scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk – a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate – became the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marvelling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits and free individuals.
The Man Who Solved the Markets by Gregory Zuckerman
Jim Simons is the greatest money-maker in modern financial history.
His record bests those of legendary investors, including Warren Buffett, George Soros and Ray Dalio. Yet Simons and his strategies are shrouded in mystery. The financial industry has long craved a look inside Simons’s secretive hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies and veteran Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman delivers the goods.
The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
What have the invention of the wheel, Pompeii, the Wall Street Crash, Harry Potter and the internet got in common? Why are all forecasters con- artists? What can Catherine the Great’s lovers tell us about probability? Why should you never run for a train or read a newspaper? This book is all about Black Swans: the random events that underlie our lives, from bestsellers to world disasters. Their impact is huge; they’re impossible to predict; yet after they happen we always try to rationalise them. A rallying cry to ignore the experts, The Black Swan shows us how to stop trying to predict everything and take advantage of uncertainty.
Tools and Weapons by Brad Smith
This might seem uncontroversial, but it flies in the face of a tech sector long obsessed with rapid growth and sometimes on disruption as an end in itself. While sweeping digital transformation holds great promise, we have reached an inflection point. The world has turned information technology into both a powerful tool and a formidable weapon, and new approaches are needed to manage an era defined by even more powerful inventions like artificial intelligence. Companies that create technology must accept greater responsibility for the future, and governments will need to regulate technology by moving faster and catching up with the pace of innovation.
The Body by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and
its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again.
Small Giants by Bo Berlingham
How maverick companies have passed up the growth treadmill - and focused on greatness instead. It’s an axiom of business that great companies grow their revenues and profits year after year. Yet quietly, under the radar, a small number of companies have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals. Goals like being great at what they do, creating a great place to work, providing great customer service, making great contributions to their communities, and finding great ways to lead their lives.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin’s search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.
High Output Management by Andrew Grove
In this legendary business book and Silicon Valley staple, the former chairman and CEO (and employee number three) of Intel shares his perspective on how to build and run a company. The essential skill of creating and maintaining new businesses--the art of the entrepreneur--can be summed up in a single word: managing. Born of Grove’s experiences at one of America’s leading technology companies, High Output Management is equally appropriate for sales managers, accountants, consultants, and teachers, as well as CEOs and startup founders.
Maverick by Ricardo Semler
How would you like to work in a company that has no receptionists, secretaries, standard hierarchies, dress codes, or executive perks ... a company that lets you set your work hours and even your salary, and asks you to review your boss...a company whose ways of doing business are totally opposite those of most corporations? How would you like to work in a company that not only breaks all the rules, but succeeds?
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard P. Rumelt
Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader.
A good strategy is a specific and coherent response to--and approach for--overcoming the obstacles to progress. A good strategy works by harnessing and applying power where it will have the greatest effect. Yet, Rumelt shows that there has been a growing and unfortunate tendency to equate Mom-and-apple-pie values, fluffy packages of buzzwords, motivational slogans, and financial goals with “strategy.”
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness by Tim Ferriss
Getting rich is not just about luck; happiness is not just a trait we are born with. These aspirations may seem out of reach, but building wealth and being happy are skills we can learn. So what are these skills, and how do we learn them? What are the principles that should guide our efforts? What does progress really look like? Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur, philosopher, and investor who has captivated the world with his principles for building wealth and creating long-term happiness.
Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0 by Jim Collins
Beyond Entrepreneurship became a leadership staple, particularly among small and early-stage companies. And while Collins would go on to write a series of famous bestsellers that have sold more than ten million copies worldwide, this lesser-known early work remains the favourite of many of his loyal readers.
Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Dr Spencer Johnson
It is the amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want, perhaps the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in. The problem is that the cheese keeps moving.
The One Thing by Gary Keller
You want less: You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller pay cheques, fewer promotions - and lots of stress. And you want more: You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.
Entangled life by Merlin Sheldrake
Neither plant nor animal, they are found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. They can be microscopic, yet also account for the largest organisms ever recorded. They enabled the first life on land, can survive unprotected in space and thrive amidst nuclear radiation. In fact, nearly all life relies in some way on fungi.
The Buddha and the Badass by Vishen Lakhiani
The Code of the Extraordinary Team is a call to action for business leaders or anyone who aspires to be one. Corporate pioneer Vishen Lakhiani reveals the revolutionary culture-hacking formula he used to grow Mindvalley, his burgeoning personal development business that went from $700 into a $50 Million business with zero funding. It’s a clearly defined, five-step process that can transform your company into a magnet for the world’s top talent, create a growth-centric culture, and engineer an environment of symbiotic co-creation, where the balance of autonomy, collaboration, and connection breeds happy, productive teams.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
This is the world of ‘pre-suasion’, where subtle turns of phrase, seemingly insignificant visual cues, and apparently unimportant details of location can prime people to say ‘yes’ even before they are asked. And as Cialdini reveals, it’s a world you can master. If you understand the tools of pre-suasion, you will better placed to win a debate, get support for an idea or cause, promote a campaign – even persuade yourself to do something you find difficult.
Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-free Play by Neil A. Fiore
Featuring a new introduction and a new section providing strategies to understand and deal with the role technology plays in procrastination today, THE NOW HABIT offers a comprehensive plan to help readers lower their stress and increase their time to enjoy guilt-free play. Dr. Fiore’s techniques will help any busy person start tasks sooner and accomplish them more quickly, without the anxiety brought on by the negative habits of procrastination and perfectionism.
Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow
A business parable about how to create a start-up that won’t trap you when you want to sell it. According to John Warrillow, the number one mistake entrepreneurs make is to build a business that relies too heavily on them. Thus, when the time comes to sell, buyers aren’t confident that the company-even if it’s profitable-can stand on its own. To illustrate this, Warrillow introduces us to a fictional small business owner named Alex who is struggling to sell his advertising agency. Alex turns to Ted, an entrepreneur and old family friend, who encourages Alex to pursue three criteria to make his business sellable