5 Summer Reads for Entrepreneurs

Summer Reads for Entrepreneurs

Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day. Marc Cuban reads more than three hours daily. Oprah Winfrey calls reading her “personal path to freedom.” Many of the world’s most successful leaders have something unexpected in common: They’re voracious readers.

Beyond these high-profile success stories, studies have proven that reading does more than build knowledge. It makes readers more confident, empathetic, and better decision makers—important skills for entrepreneurs of all kinds to build and maintain.

If reading isn’t yet a part of your daily lifestyle, summer provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on that stack of books you’ve been meaning to tackle. But, what if your nightstand is bare, and you’re not sure where to start? Here’s an entrepreneurship-focused list of summer reads to get you going.

Beyond the Champion: Institutionalizing Innovation Through People

Why do large, mature companies struggle to innovate? Beyond the Champion co-authors Gina Colarelli O’Connor, Andrew Corbett, and Lois Peters argue that innovation is a discipline in its own right. They lay out a better path to fulfilling its potential, starting with organizational design and talent management.

Whether leading a mature organization or starting one of your own, Beyond the Champion provides leaders with a blueprint for sustainable innovation.

Bonus: Corbett is a world-renowned researcher and a member of the entrepreneurship faculty at Babson College. Those interested in this type of read can peruse a list of Babson faculty book recommendations for additional insight.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Success is about more than talent, says author Angela Duckworth. It all comes down to grit.

Duckworth draws on her experiences in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience to make the case for grit—a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance—as a driver for success.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

Particularly relevant for startup founders, Adam Grant’s Originals explores how we can originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all.

With stories from a variety of perspectives—including an entrepreneur who pitches his startups by highlighting reasons not to invest—Grant explores how to recognize good ideas, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt. The end result: groundbreaking, original insights.

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One

No matter where you are in your career, you’ve likely asked yourself, “What’s next?”

In Pivot, author Jenny Blake explores the answer to the age-old question by introducing the Pivot Method, a way to take small, smart steps to move in new directions throughout your career. Her suggestions are relevant for managers and aspiring career climbers alike.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Starting a business isn’t easy. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ben Horowitz gets real about the difficulties that come with building and running a startup.

Billed as practical wisdom that business school doesn’t cover, the book is packed with insights and experiences from throughout Horowitz’s career: poaching competitors, firing friends, cultivating a CEO mentality, and knowing when to cash it in.

What books would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.

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