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The 6 Best Books Every CEO Should Read

Hopefully now that life and business are getting back to normal, you’re settling back into a routine that balances some well-deserved self care with a focus on your top responsibilities.

In particular, Learning probably took on a very different meaning during the pandemic as you and your leadership team worked to make a safe and effective pivot. Now, the 2.0 version of your business needs its CEO to start taking in new information and synthesizing a wide variety of ideas into a bold new vision for long-term success. These books will help make your Learning time more productive.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink

Former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink believes that the greatest obstacle a leader faces is his own ego. Willink combat experience taught him that when leaders stop passing around blame and start taking responsibility for everything in their world, their teams do the same and problems get solved.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

When most CEOs think about how to motivate their teams, they weigh the carrot versus the stick. Pink suggests a different approach: empower your team members so that they feel like they’re in control of their daily responsibilities, their careers, and their lives.

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

Venture capitalist John Doerr was an early investor in Google. His Objectives and Key Results system (OKRs) helped young entrepreneurs Sergey Brin and Larry Page identify the specific, measurable actions that would help their company hit key targets and achieve BIG growth.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling

“The 4DX” are Focus on the Wildly Important, Act on Lead Measures, Keep a Compelling Scoreboard, and Create a Cadence of Accountability. Committing to these disciplines will inspire both CEOs and their key team members to adapt their behaviors to get results that matter.

Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick M. Lencioni

Lencioni’s Leadership Fables use fictional storytelling to dramatize how businesses can overcome significant obstacles. In “Getting Naked,” a boutique consulting firm is acquired by a larger company and teaches its new owners important lessons on generating customer loyalty.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

The book we’ve recommended the most at CEO Coaching International, and the one that’s popped up the most in our blogs and podcasts. Collins and his research team spent years studying good companies that became great and identified some commonalities, including a laser focus on core competencies and a commitment to hiring the best talent. But ultimately, the leap Collins describes has to be taken by the CEO. It’s only when the CEO learns to let go of ego, embrace humility, and build resilience that a company of any size can learn to Make BIG Happen.

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About CEO Coaching International

CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average revenue CAGR of 31% (2.6X the U.S. average) and an average EBITDA CAGR of 52.3% (more than 5X the U.S. average).

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