Top 5 Books Every C-Suite Leader Should Read

Leaders that are confident in their communication and people skills, have strong management strategy, exhibit innovation and demonstrate empathy are better able to guide their organizations and meet their goals.

A focus on self-improvement can help c-suite leaders strengthen these abilities. Afterall, personal growth can be considered professional growth, especially at this level of career success.

However, the workforce is always changing, making the challenging job of a c-suite leader that much harder. To be successful, you must constantly adapt and evolve as your people and business evolve.

To do this, many c-suite leaders turn to reading. You can gain valuable knowledge from others perspectives and experiences — creating empathy, developing confidence and reducing stress. All are valuable abilities that can help you better relate to your team and achieve success.

Books to excel your leadership skills

To help you on this c-suite journey, I have generated a list of the top five books every company leader should read. They are:


  1. The Way of the Shepherd: Seven Secrets to Managing Productive People by Dr. Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak

About the book: Meet your people's needs to be able to draw out their best potential. Leman and Pentak show us the importance of leading our people as individuals, not a crowd.

Why you should read it: The Way of the Shepherd will teach you how to lead the people around you so they will view their work as a calling rather than merely a job, a place to belong, rather than a place to work. It shows you how to infuse work with meaning and how to engage and energize your workforce.


  1. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

About the book: Take an infinite view of your work. Players may get traded and the stadium may change, but the game is always on. Have a long term perspective on strategy and decision making versus short term wins and loses, which are mile markers, in an infinite game.

Why you should read it: Simon Sinek shows us a different perspective on the thrills of promotion — there are no winners and there is no time limit. The goal is to stay in the game. An insightful book that encourages a mindshift change. Don’t just live by quarters and annual budgets.


  1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

About the book: Learn how to lead your people with habits instead of outcomes. Coach and develop strategies that create good habits and eliminate the bad ones. 

Why you should read it: You know what you have to do, but do you know how to do it? Clear shows us how to consistently and successfully develop habits that we can implement into our lives and business. We can use this knowledge and strategy when leading our people.


  1. A CEO Only Does Three Things: Finding Your Focus in the C-Suite by Trey Taylor

About the book: Keep your focus as a CEO and stick to high value activities. Stay attached to the things that matter most.

Why you should read it: Taylor shares inspiring insights and practical applications that help leaders avoid burnout. Learn how to manage your attention and cut the clutter from a challenging c-suite position.


  1. Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff

About the book: Lighthearted and inspiring, Goff shares thought-provoking stories that show us ways to care for people in a radical way. Care by being available. Care with your actions. 

Why you should read it: A lot of times we care for people within our own convenience, but we should look at what it looks like to do that differently and apply that practice to our business and in our lives.


*bonus* book recommendation for c-suite leaders:

  1. Ben’s Bonus Book by Ben

About the book: Life & Death Decisions in the C-Suite reveals the truth behind the private healthcare and health insurance industry that has plagued businesses and organizations across the US.

Why you should read it:

Reading has a number of personal and professional benefits that can help you to create value and achieve success. Reading can help us generate new ideas, gain insight, perspective and develop empathy. We can also be reassured by learning from others' experiences, which can reduce stress, a common side effect of a c-suite position.

While a c-suite position can be challenging, it can also be extremely rewarding. By learning and focusing on our self-development we can begin to influence and inspire our team, helping them and our company succeed.

2017 Healthiest Employers