Being an entrepreneur means that you are constantly learning. Reading has always been important to me and is something that I like to do to relax. Over the past year, I have read a few books that have had a particularly significant impact on the way I think about Chicory and the way I manage employees. Here are 5 books that I highly recommend that every entrepreneur read.
by Daniel Kahneman
This is one of my all time favorite books and I will say outright that this book has made me smarter.
Dan Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winning economist and his book talks about how people think. It's an incredibly engaging book that opens your eyes to the inner workings of your mind. Every day that passes while you are reading the book, you notice more and more how the theories in the book absolutely hold true in the real world.
In short, it teaches you about the two types of mental processing (fast and slow) and how each plays its role in snap judgements, heuristics and problem solving. Being conscious of these pathways will help you develop stronger critical thinking and analytical skills while making you aware of any false or confounding instincts that might cloud your judgement.
by Ron Chernow
Titan is a biography by Ron Chernow (the same author that wrote the Hamilton biography that was later turned into the hit Broadway musical) about the life and legacy of John D. Rockefeller.
For most people, I think that it would come across as just another biography about a really successful businessman. But for entrepreneurs, the book is filled with lessons on how to build an incredibly valuable company and capitalize on market trends.
The book is elegantly written and, though dense at times, will help you to think more holistically about the industry you are disrupting and how to think about the cogs that will make you successful.
by Ben Horowitz
This is a book that's been on everyone's "must-read" list lately so I won't go into too much detail. If you've never been a CEO before, the string of interesting stories help to enlighten you about what your role really is and how, as leader, you can guide your company through thick and thin.
by Andrew Grove
One of the most important roles for a startup founder, or of any CEO for that matter, is to build a strong team. But after you build that team, you need to execute.
High Output Management is all about managing your business for maximum efficiency. Andrew Grove, former Chairman and CEO (and 3rd employee) at Intel runs through his best techniques and insights into how to run a solid business.
At the very early stages of managing a startup, not all of his points will seem relevant. But having a solid foundation of knowledge will be important as you make decisions in the future.
by Susan Cain
So this one might seem a bit out of place because it's not your typical "business" book. Quiet is primarily a book about how we as a society have moved towards an "extrovert ideal." The book also dives into the misconception of that idea, and then explains how introverts view the world.
While I don't think that being an extrovert vs. being an introvert is necessarily a binary characteristic in a person, I definitely think that I am on the extroverted side of the spectrum. Quiet was recommended to me by one of my best friends who also happens to be an introvert and has helped me to understand people better.
I like this book from the perspective of managing employees because it sheds light on the fact that there are all different types of people with different personalities. As the active hiring manager, it's easy to fall into the trap of hiring people that are similar to you. Reading Quiet will give you perspective on how different people think and how you can maximize output by utilizing everyone's unique skill sets.
by Dale Carnegie
Interestingly enough, this book is mentioned in Quiet (the number 5 book on this list) as the inflection point (and to an extent the cause) of the extrovert society that we live in today.
In short, Dale Carnegie talks about how to get people to like you. This book really isn't as bad or manipulative as it sounds. It just lays the fundamentals on how to get along with others. Whether or not you accept it, the principals in this book will help in your day to day as a founder, manager, employee or generally any position in life.