Recommended Books

Many of our entrepreneurs and guest speakers have cited business books as a source of their inspiration during our events. Some have even authored books of their own. Given the influence they've had on their success, we've taken the time to curate a list of those that have been recommended the most:

Thinking, Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman
(Recommended by Charlotte Nichols, Harvey & Hugo)

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.

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Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

by Bob Chapman
(Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Kinnery Limited)

In Everybody Matters, Chapman and co-author Raj Sisodia show how any organization can stop viewing its employees are simply func­tions, to be moved around, 'managed' with carrots and sticks, or discarded at will. By doing so, disengaged workers begin to share their gifts and talents toward a shared future. Uninspired workers stop feeling that their jobs have no meaning. And everyone stops counting the minutes until it's time to go home.

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Happy Sexy Millionaire: Unexpected Truths about Fulfilment, Love and Success

by Steven Bartlett
(Recommended by Charlotte Nichols, Harvey & Hugo)

In this book, founder of the social media marketing agency Social Chain, Steven Bartlett, dismantles the most popular, unaddressed lies about happiness that we've been led to believe. He exposes the source of these lies, examines the incentives that fuel them and replaces them with a practical set of scientifically proven and unconventional ideas that will help you to live a truly fulfilled life, a life full of the love you seek and the success you deserve.

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Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take

by Simon Sinek
(Recommended by Charlotte Nichols, Harvey & Hugo)

Why are some people and organizations more inventive, pioneering and successful than others? And why are they able to repeat their success again and again? Because in business it doesn't matter what you do, it matters why you do it. Steve Jobs, the Wright brothers and Martin Luther King have one thing in common: they STARTED WITH WHY. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others, or to be inspired.

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The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

by Alice Schroeder
(Recommended by Graham Sleep, IA Growth)

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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Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong about the World

by Hans Rosling
(Recommended by David Park, Park Commercial Insurance)

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.
When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how many young women go to school; how many of us live in poverty - we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.
In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and a man who can make data sing, Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens, and reveals the ten instincts that distort our perspective.

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The Brand Gap

by Marty Neumeier
(Recommended by Graham Sleep, IA Growth)

Not since McLuhan’s THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE has a book compressed so many ideas into so few pages. Using the visual language of the boardroom, Neumeier presents the first unified theory of branding―a set of five disciplines to help companies bridge the gap between brand strategy and customer experience. Those with a grasp of branding will be inspired by the new perspectives they find here, and those who would like to understand it better will suddenly “get it.” This deceptively simple book offers everyone in the company access to “the most powerful business tool since the spreadsheet.”

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Plain Talk

by Ken Iverson
(Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Kinnery Limited)

A visionary, maverick, and genuine American business hero, Ken Iverson is one of the most closely-watched business leaders in the world. Credited with single-handedly rejuvenating the rapidly declining American steel industry to the status of world-class producer, Iverson is one of the most successful and, as he likes to point out, one of the lowest-paid CEOs in the U.S. In his long-awaited book, Ken Iverson shares his ideas, observations, and the lessons he's learned about what it takes to grow a super-competitive, world-class organization.

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Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why The Rest Don't

by Verne Harnish

The guidebook for the Gazelle coaching in our Scale-up Leader's Academy, Verne Harnish's book is packed full of wisdom, examples, practical tools and exercises you can do with your team to build a clear vision and put the right disciplines in place to make it a reality.

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The Fifth Discipline

by Peter M. Senge
(Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Kinnery Limited)

Ostensibly this book is about creating a learning organisation, but its wisdom goes much further than that, particularly regarding simple and complex systems. The author defines five business "disciplines" which help to build "learning organisations". These companies will be the successful ones in the coming decade because of their ability to learn and to absorb new ideas, theories and practices at all employee levels, using them to competitive advantage.

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Keys To Success

by Sir John Timpson

Sir John Timpson returned to speak to Entrepreneurs' Forum members at our 2018 conference. His previous books include Ask John (Icon, 2014) and High Street Heroes (Icon, 2015), with Keys to Success his most recently published book, which shares 50 secrets from a business maverick who has revolutionised how his firm works with his philosophy of upside-down management.

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Conscious Capitalism

by John Mackey & Raj Sisodia
(Recommended by Andy Rubin, Pentland Brands)

This book combines the thinking of the founder of Whole Foods and a leading business academic. It helps us all think about the trade-offs that occur in business every day by trying to optimise returns to all stakeholders. It helps us understand that a new balanced scorecard should take into account all stakeholders if we are to build a sustainable world for future generations.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen R. Covey
(Recommended by Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors)

Stephen Covey's book took the self-help market by storm in 1990 and has enjoyed phenomenal sales ever since. With over 15m copies in print, the book has become a classic. Now a touchstone for millions of individuals, as well as for families and businesses, the integrated, principle-centred 7 Habits philosophy has helped people to find solutions to their personal and professional problems, and achieve a life characterised by fairness, integrity, honesty, and dignity.

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Let My People Go Surfing

by Yvon Chouinard
(Recommended by Andy Rubin, Pentland Brands)

In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard-legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia Inc. shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth.

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The Future Reinvented: Reimagining Life, Society, and Business: Volume 2

by Steve Wells

A guest speaker at our "Future of the Workplace" event, the second book in the Fast Future series explores how our notions of the future are being reinvented. The authors challenge us to reimagine how life, society, key industries, and the conduct of business could be transformed by a combination of radical technological, scientific, social, and economic developments shaping the decade ahead.

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Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High

by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler
(Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Kinnery Limited)

The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionised the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to prepare for high-stakes situations, transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue, make it safe to talk about almost anything, be persuasive, not abrasive.

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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

by Jim Collins
(Recommended by Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors)

A blueprint for building organisations, by drawing upon a six-year research project at Stanford University, Collins and Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each company in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day - as start-ups, as midsize companies and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: 'What makes the truly exceptional companies different from other companies?'

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Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: How I Turned Around IBM

by Louis V. Gerstner Jr

In his frank, direct voice, Gerstner recalls the obstacles he faced when he became CEO of IBM. In what has become one of the great American business stories of our time, within months of joining IBM, Gerstner presented his bold and controversial business strategy which revolutionised the company from within, altering an entire corporate culture, divesting billions of dollars in unneeded assets and transforming IBM from a fractured, process-driven business into a nimble, customer-driven enterprise able to respond quickly to the volatile technology market.

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Work Rules: Insights from Inside Google

by Lazlo Bock
(Recommended by Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors)

A compelling manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live, Work Rules! offers both a philosophy of the new world of work and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent and ensuring the brightest and best prosper. The way we work is changing - are you?

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Team Spirit

by Brendan Hall
(Recommended by Simon Hartley, Be World-class)

At first glance, you may not see how a book with an ocean racing yacht on the cover might help business people. Yes, it is a story of how team spirit won the Clipper Round the World race. However, it is fundamentally about teamwork and leadership, with Brendan Hall sharing his internal wrestles and personal challenges as a leader; his worries, doubts, failures and sleepless nights.

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The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

by Stephen R. Covey
(Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Kinnery Limited)

In the follow up to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, FDr Covey introduces the four roles of the new leader - modelling, pathfinding, aligning and empowering - and how those qualities can change you and your organisation. He discusses how trust can be lost throughout organisations and how it is imperative that any organisation bring trust back to the company if it is to survive. Covey also shows how to go from what he calls a 'want to' person to a 'can do' person and how doing so can completely transform people and organisations.

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Small Giants

by Bo Burlingham
(Recommended by Simon Hartley, Be World-class)

There are some truly world-class businesses that are not corporations, not listed in the FTSE 250 or global multi-nationals. This book inspires small businesses to be true greats.

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Legacy

by James Kerr

Members of the Forum had the privilege of hearing from James in 2014 when he talked about a unique opportunity to go deep inside the New Zealand rugby All Blacks camp to study the way the best in the world stay on top of their game. His subsequent book, Legacy, has become a must-read business book, sharing the 15 pillars of the team's sporting culture of success that can be transferred to business and leadership.

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The Speed of Trust

by Stephen M.R. Covey
(Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Kinnery Limited)

Definitely a life-changing book for Ian personally, the subtitle 'The One Thing That Changes Everything' tells you all you need to know.

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Elite!: The Secret to Exceptional Leadership and Performance

by Floyd Woodrow
(Recommended by Simon Hartley, Be World-class)

In Elite!, friend of the Forum Floyd gets right to the heart of leadership and identifies the little things that make a huge difference. He tells a story of two SAS units, operating behind enemy lines in Iraq. Both have very similar missions, with similar resources available. One succeeds, despite encountering some extreme and unexpected challenges. The other fails. What was the one defining difference? Leadership!

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How to Develop Character

by Simon Hartley

The greatest sports teams often recruit people first and players second. They also develop character in people before skills in players. The world's best organisations go beyond teaching skills and knowledge. They know that the challenges of today require personal characteristics such as resilience, tenacity and composure, honesty integrity and courage. In short, they know the importance of having people with the right character.

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The New One Minute Manager

by Ken Blanchard
(Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Kinnery Limited)

Great for people who don't like reading. It will take 90 minutes cover to cover, but it is a lifetime thick in wisdom. Every manager should read this.

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Do Team: How to Get the Best from Everyone

by Charlie Gladstone
(Recommended by David Park, Park Commercial Insurance)

In Do Team, entrepreneur Charlie Gladstone draws on three decades of experience as an employer of over 100 people and father of six, to share practical, honest and insightful advice on such matters as: Choosing the right people; Getting through tough times; Team building for introverts; The power of (very) small teams; Why good manners and kindness matter most.

With easy-to-follow entries on hiring, gentle leadership, emotional intelligence and retaining a sense of humour, Do Team will help you get the best from everyone so that you, your team and your business can thrive.

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