11 Books for Every CEO's Summer Reading List

By Jessica Wishart

ceo summer reading list
With life returning to normal for many people, lots of us will be traveling or taking much needed vacation time this summer. Whether you're heading to the beach or relaxing poolside at home, you won't want to pass up the opportunity to read a good book. 
ceo summer reading list
If you think you're too busy to pick up a book, think again; according to an article in Harvard Business Review, "deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders." In addition to sparking new ideas that could help your business, reading also increases your empathy by exposing you to different viewpoints and lowers your stress, making you a better leader.
If you haven't picked up those reading glasses in a while, I've put together a list of recommendations for your summer reading pleasure. Some are recommendations from our community of Rhythm CEOs, and some are from my own reading list:
  1. Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg - The stories Duhigg uses to illustrate his points about teamwork, innovation, and goal setting will stay with you and cause you to think about your own habits differently.
  2. You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy - Murphy breaks down this essential leadership skill that we can all stand to improve.
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey - This is a classic that stands the test of time. I recently re-read this one, and I picked up on new insights I missed the first time a decade ago.
  4. When Coffee and Kale Compete: Become Great at Making Products People Will Buy by Alan Klement - Learn how to get inside your customer's head and rethink your product or service with these case studies.
  5. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman - Take your leadership skills to the next level with another classic.
  6. The Product Led Organization by Todd Olson - If you lead a software company, this insightful read will help you put your product at the center of your customer experience to drive growth.
  7. Leading Self-Directed Work Teams by Kimball Fisher - With many leaders rethinking their organizational structure and shaking up how teams work together (hybrid, remote, etc.), it's a great time to revisit this guide.
  8. Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company by Kevin Oakes - Many leaders are concerned about maintaining and building positive company culture as so many things change in our culture at large. This book has practical and proven steps to help you navigate culture change.
  9. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker - If you are struggling with how to decide what the future of your company looks like (will everyone return to the office, will there be more flexibility going forward, how will your company come back together), the insights in this book will guide you.
  10. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant - Learning to bring nuance into charged conversations and increase our mental flexibility rather than doubling down on our blindspots is a critical skill for leaders these days.
  11. Rhythm: How to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth by Patrick Thean - Of course, no summer reading list is complete without this one :) Master the framework to effectively prioritize and execute on all the strategic gems you've gleaned from the rest of your summer reading books. Turn ideas into results with a simple, proven system.
What's on your summer reading list? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
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Here are more CEO resources you might be interested in:

Why CEOs Find it Hard to Align Teams When Scaling their Companies

Company Alignment: The CEO's Roadmap to Organizational Bliss

Jessica Wishart


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