You are what you read, and in 2020 it’s never been more important to take advantage of the downtime to improve yourself and learn a few things from the pros. Hundreds of great books come out every year exploring business, leadership and entrepreneurship. From the realities of leadership to the art of negotiation, here are 10 iBooks that are a must-read for any operator, marketer or budding entrepreneur who is looking for an edge and a sage piece of wisdom.
Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss
Chris Voss is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of business negotiation. The former FBI negotiator faced down kidnappers, bank robbers, violent gang leaders and notorious terrorists. When it comes to negotiation, Voss perfected negotiation into a fine art. Voss shares the nine key negotiation principals that he learnt with the FBI; perfect for affiliates and operators looking to develop their negotiation skills. Now retired from the FBI, Voss teaches the fine art of negotiation to some of the leading business leaders in the U.S. through his Black Swan institute.
The 4-hour workweek – Tim Ferris
No book list is complete without the work of Tim Ferris. The New York Times best-seller, the 4-hour workweek is the ultimate productivity hack bible. The updated edition of the classic offers tips and case studies on productivity hacks and insight on the tools of the trade to help you live like a millionaire.
The Essays of Warren Buffet – Warren Buffet
Warren Buffett is the investment philosopher of our time. The book is a collection of letters from Buffet to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. The letters share the principles of Buffet’s business practice. Buffet’s letters offer valuable insight and wisdom into sound business practice.
The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon – Steven Anderson
Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world and one of the fastest to reach $100 billion in sales. Over the last two decades, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has proven himself to be a strategic risk-taker who isn’t afraid of getting outside the comfort zone.
Technology and Risk expert Steve Anderson uses 14 annual shareholder letters from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to distil growth principles that can shape and grow your business. Anderson gives the reader a roadmap that any business owner can use to turn their business into a massive success.
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt
Trillion Dollar Coach is the story of Silicon Valley executive Bill Campbell. Campbell was instrumental in the development of household names such as Google, Apple and worked with Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page. Campbell passed away in 2016, but his legacy and the wisdom he imparted on Silicon Valley is shared through the interviews with more than 80 business leaders, football players and educators. Known as ‘Coach Bill’, the book captures Campbell’s principles that helped create the culture and teams of some of the world’s most successful companies.
Start with Why – Simon Sinek
You would have seen the TED Talk, Start with Why, the third most popular TED video of all time. Sinek has focused on exploring leadership and innovation in business for more than a decade. He asks the basic question: Why are some organisations and people more innovative and influential than others. Sinek looks to explore the idea of the ‘why’ behind people and products. This is one book that is a must-read for any start-up, affiliate marketer, or a seasoned business operator. Start with the TED talk and then dive into the book
Leading – Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson is considered to be one of the all-time greats of English and European soccer. Ferguson led Manchester United to the summit of European football over a career that spanned 27-years. The former Manchester United gaffer shaped the careers of some of the greatest players in the game from Cristiano Ronaldo to David Beckham. Ferguson dives into the decisions he made on the football field and translates them into situations for the boardroom. He does a deep-dive into the management of the personalities in his changeroom and how his hiring practices were pivotal into the on-field success of his side. This is a practical field manual on leadership, responding to failure and managing teams.
The Dichotomy of Leadership – Jocko Wilnik & Lee Babin
Jocko Wilnik is a former Navy Seal officer, who has taken his leadership lessons from the battlefield and applied them to the boardroom. Using examples from his time in Iraq, Wilnik and Babin apply the same leadership principles that can be used in real-life business situations. Wilnik and Babin use opposite principles to demonstrate that great leadership is also about being a good follower. Wilnik and Babin have made a name for themselves in the business world, with the authors running leadership development through their firm Echelon Front.
Blue Fishing: The Art of Making Things Happen – Steve Sims
The ask can be the most difficult part of any business negotiation. From Hong Kong to Los Angeles, author Steve Sims has perfected the art of turning the impossible into anything’s possible. Sims is an international concierge who knows how to make things happen and he shares his philosophy and skills that can be applied to the boardroom and life. He reveals how he was able to organise the Pope perform a wedding in the Vatican, to working on projects with Elon Musk. He shares strategies for breaking down any obstacle and make things happen. This is a field guide packed with reference material that you will circle back to for anyone starting in business to any seasoned entrepreneur.
No Rules Rules – Reed Hastings & Erin Meyer
This is a fascinating insight into the unique culture of Netflix from boss Reed Hastings. Netflix changed the way that we consume content and led to the death of the DVD and Blockbuster. From humble beginnings in 1988, Netflix is available in more than 190 countries across the globe today. At Netflix, employees don’t need leave approval and Hasting’s unique approach to company culture has achieved stunning results. Hastings and Meyer use interviews with current and former Netflix employees to explain the team building principles and management philosophy that have helped shape one of the most successful companies in the world.