Nine of The Best Business Books Every Strong Leader Needs to Read

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Behind every successful business are strong leaders and their teams working together. Reading these nine business books will help you find new ways to drive synergy within your team for ultimate success.

You may feel, as an entrepreneur or leader, that you know it all when it comes to business. And whilst that could be true, chances are there is still so much more to learn. Of course, you can go out and learn these things first-hand, but what if something were to go catastrophically wrong? What if your business were to lose a large amount of money? Why would you make your own detrimental mistakes when somebody else has already made them?  This is where the power of business books comes into it. Fortunately, there is a wide array of literature available to encourage growth and avoid costly mistakes.

Best Business Books at a Glance:

  • Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Allende 
  • Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed 
  • Happy Sexy Millionaire by Steven Bartlett 
  • Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
  • Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek 
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek 
  • Five Steps to a Winning Mindset by Damien Huges 
  • The Business General by Deborah Tom & Richard Barrons 
  • Scrum by Jeff Sutherland

Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Allende

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Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Allende explores the innovative thinking of 18th-century pirates (bear with us). 

In the book, Sam identifies five key takeaways (Rebel, Rewrite, Reorganise, Redistribute and Retell) that will help to spark change and achieve success today. This book unveils strategies and finds commonalities between the innovation used by Golden Age pirates and modern-day rebels such as Elon Musk, Banksy and Malala.

Why Do We Approve?

This is an inspiring read that encourages you to go and create some “good trouble” by standing up for what you believe in. Who knew that the pirates of the golden age had such an advanced business model? And, that they weren’t really the bad guys after all. A recommended read for anyone who has strong personal values and isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. A bible for all the good rebels out there. Look after your crew and be more pirate.

Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed

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Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed examines the power of ‘cognitive diversity’ – the ability to think differently. Syed explains how to use our unique perspectives and combine our intelligence to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.

This radical guide to success applies to business as easily as it does to everyday life. Challenging hierarchies, encouraging constructive dissent and forcing us to think about the true origin of good ideas. Rebel Ideas will strengthen teams and organisations whilst contributing to individual growth. Additionally, Rebel ideas highlights how to collaborate, become more creative and how to break free of echo chambers. 

Why Do We Approve?

This book focuses on the power of diversity within teams and shows that diverse teams perform better. The author uses some really powerful examples from 9/11 to disasters on Everest to highlight the danger of the “clone effect” when everyone thinks the same. This is a must-read for anyone who leads teams and for those who want diversity to be something more than a corporate buzzword.

Happy Sexy Millionaire by Steven Bartlett

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If you caught our post on our top business podcasts, or spend any time on social media you will have heard of Steven Bartlett. Happy Sexy Millionaire takes you through Bartlett’s journey from his bedroom in Manchester to where he is now, founder of a multi-million-pound business. 

At 18-years-old, Bartlett wrote in his diary that by 25 he wanted to be a “happy sexy millionaire” – which he achieved. But, he realised along the way that, contrary to what we are made to believe, this is not necessarily the way to achieve fulfilment, love and success. In his book, Bartlett dismantles the most popular lies about happiness and fulfilment. Replacing them with a practical set of scientifically proven and unconventional ideas will help you to feel fulfilled, happy and successful.

Why Do We Approve?

A brilliantly written book by somebody who has achieved it all. This book dispels the myths about happiness and success and makes you realise that you are “already enough”. Additionally, the exposé on Social Media and the damage it does is really eye-opening. Our feel-good book of 2021. 

Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed

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Black Box Thinking identifies a means of finding your edge in a complex and fast-changing world. Using a selection of real-world examples and multiple case studies Syed tells an inside story of how success really happens. Consequently, highlighting the need for a growth mindset and advocating changing attitudes towards failure. Syed helps us to understand that the only way we learn and grow is through the mistakes we make. 

Whilst this book focuses on personal growth and development the ideologies have powerful implications on businesses.

Why Do We Approve?

A superb read for anyone who wants to focus on personal growth. The author uses some powerful examples of organisations who chose to learn from mistakes, versus those organisations that attempt to cover them up: one learns, the other does not. High performance is a culmination of marginal gains. 

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

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In his book, Leaders eat last, Simon Sinek discusses how great leaders sacrifice their own comfort to benefit those in their care. Illustrating his ideas with true stories from the military to manufacturing, from investment banking to government. Sinek dives deep into the psychological and biological aspects of human behaviour and how this forms the base for strong leadership.

Why Do We Approve?

An enlightening read about the power of taking care of your team and the importance of creating an environment of trust and cooperation. The author gives some great examples of leaders who have got this style of servant leadership right and the results they have achieved. Always look after those who take care of your business.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

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Clearly, we are big fans of Simon Sinek here at Avertec, and for good reason. Start With Why identifies the naturally occurring patterns, and the ways of thinking, acting and communicating that give some leaders the ability to inspire those around them. 

Sinek encourages leaders to do the opposite of the mainstream through an ideology he calls “the Golden Circle”. Providing a framework upon which organisations can be built and people can be inspired.

Why Do We Approve?

An enlightening read about the power of taking care of your team and the importance of creating an environment of The power of “Why” is brilliantly illustrated. The author shows the importance of a clear and compelling vision “The why” and the impact this has on businesses who have got it right. This is the foundation for creating a movement! If you are thinking of starting a new business, then this should be the next book you read.

Five Steps to a Winning Mindset by Damien Hughes

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Damian Hughes is an international speaker and bestselling author. He uses his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology to create a high performing culture within teams and organisations. 

In his book, The Five Steps to a Winning Mindset, Hughes focuses on organisational psychology to get people to deliver their full potential. Using first-hand experience, he distils the ingredients to make a successful team. 

Although the book focuses on ideologies formed within sports, the framework can be applied to any professional or personal environment. Frequently deemed as the ultimate handbook to get the best out of yourself and your team to deliver expectations and achieve success. 

Why Do We Approve?

The author draws on examples from the world of sport to illustrate the best ways to create a winning mindset. This is a great personal development read that can be applied in your personal and work life. It also provides a brilliant guide for leaders who want to create a winning environment, even going as far as showing you how to handle the pressure of those “oh shit” moments.

The Business General by Deborah Tom & Richard Barrons

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The Business General identifies a new business leadership concept for all levels of management from CEOs to supervisors. Leading management consultant Deborah Tom and military chief Brigadier Richard Barrons use their experiences and knowledge to reveal the secrets of modern military success. This book will empower every leader, encouraging them to take command of their situation and lead their business to success. 

Why Do We Approve?

The author draws on examples from the world of sport to illustrate the best ways to create a winning mindset. This A surprising read that certainly shines a new light on leadership within the military and the lessons that business leaders can learn. This book shows that the traditional view of everyone following direct orders in the military is false. Learn about the framework that is created to allow informed people to make informed decisions, even in the heat of battle.

Scrum by Jeff Sutherland

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Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum is a team performance framework. Offering new ways of thinking and working that will deliver more results at higher quality and lower costs – ideal right? 

Scrum seeks the alignment and teamwork of all involved to deliver value quickly and is based on the way people actually work, not the way they are expected to. Throughout the book readers are spoilt with practical value that could transform a company, making it a must-read for any leader. 

Why Do We Approve?

For anyone who is involved in projects, but fed up with missed deadlines and long confusing Gantt charts. This introduction to agile project management offers a more efficient and engaging way of working. The Scrum methodology can be applied by any leader who needs to get stuff done, on time and within budget.


Happy Reading!

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