Recommended Resources – Business Books for the Ages

In her terrific book, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, Alice Schroeder wrote, “Benjamin Graham’s book, The Intelligent Investor had mesmerized Warren. For years, he had been going down to the library and checking out every book available on stocks and investing. Warren wanted a system, something that would work reliably. Warren more or less memorized the course textbook, Security Analysis, by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. Buffett says, ‘The truth was I knew the book even better than Dodd. At that time, literally, almost in those seven or eight hundred pages, I could quote from any part of it. I had just sopped it up.'”

Through intense reading and experimentation, Warren Buffett became the world’s greatest investor and one of the richest individuals in the world. Imagine what such in-depth reading can do for your career.

Here are a variety of books I’ve read that I encourage you to consider. My hope is you will scan this list of more than 200 recommended titles, purchase two books for yourself, and read them. I really believe that business leaders are readers, and that one way you can improve your performance is by reading. But don’t just read your two books. Read them, capture a few key ideas that you want to implement, and move those ideas into action.

* = Dan’s Top 20 Recommendation

Here are my recommendations, which have been organized by topics:


  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • Jack Kennedy by Chris Matthews
  • Mark Twain: A Life by Ron Powers
  • To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite
  • On Leadership by John Gardner
  • Personal History by Katherine Graham *
  • My American Journey by Colin Powell
  • The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson *
  • My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Gandhi
  • Walt Disney by Neal Gabler *
  • Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton
  • They Call Me Coach by John Wooden
  • Wooden by John Wooden
  • Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski
  • Leadership & Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
  • The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam
  • Gifted Hands by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey *
  • Think Big by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey
  • Leadership is an Art by Max Depree
  • The Gettysburg Gospel by Gabor Boritt
  • Abraham Lincoln Great Speeches unabridged by Abraham Lincoln, John Grafton, and Roy Basler
  • Leading, Living, and the American Dream by John Gardner
  • The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh and Steve Jamison
  • Chief Joseph by Candy Moulton
  • The Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall
  • The Carving of Mount Rushmore by Rex Smith
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
  • Churchill: The Power of Words by Martin Gilbert *
  • One Minute to Midnight by Michael Dobbs
  • Century of Struggle by Eleanor Flexner and Ellen Fitzpatrick
  • The Passage of Power by Robert Caro


  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Miracle of St. Anthony by Adrian Wojnarowski
  • Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis and Patricia Biedermann
  • Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson
  • Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard
  • Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin *
  • Russell Rules by Bill Russell
  • The Winner Within by Pat Riley
  • A World Waiting to be Born by Scott Peck
  • Shooting Stars by Lebron James and Buzz Bissinger
  • Dutch Total Football by Terry Michler.


  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson *
  • Michaelangelo and the Pope’s Chapel by Ross King
  • The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo
  • Jamming by Jonathan Kao
  • Practically Radical by William Taylor
  • The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley
  • The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley
  • The Elegant Solution by Matthew May
  • Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
  • The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton Christensen *
  • The Innovator’s DNA by Clayton Christensen
  • Einstein by Walter Isaacson


  • Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  • Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin
  • Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout *
  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
  • Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
  • Becoming a Category of One by Joe Calloway

Individual Effectiveness

  • Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
  • Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
  • What You Can Change and What You Can’t by Martin Seligman
  • Flourish by Martin Seligman
  • Cognitive Therapy by Aaron Beck
  • Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  • Warburton’s Winning System by Greg Warburton
  • Big Mind, Big Heart by Dennis Genpo Merzel
  • Sports, Energy, and Consciousness by Eric Leskowitz
  • The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk
  • The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck
  • Further Along the Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck
  • The Road Less Traveled and Beyond by Scott Peck
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell *
  • Uncommon by Tony Dungy
  • Take the Risk by Ben Carson
  • Mockingbird by Charles Shields
  • Harrison Ford by Robert Sellers
  • Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
  • Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
  • Living a Life that Matters by Harold Kushner
  • Raising the Bar by Tim Rosaforte
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl *
  • Harrison Ford by Robert Sellers
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
  • It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong
  • The Dip by Seth Godin
  • Big Russ and Me by Tim Russert
  • Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
  • From Promise to Power by David Mendell
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • The Other Side of Me by Sidney Sheldon
  • Secrets for Success and Happiness by Og Mandino
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  • I Dare You by William Danforth
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • First Things First by Stephen Covey
  • The Essence of Success by Earl Nightingale
  • The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
  • Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
  • Success through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • A Treasury of Albert Schweitzer edited by Thomas Kiernan
  • My Personal Best by John Wooden with Steve Jamison
  • Development of Professional Expertise Edited by K. Anders Ericsson
  • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell *
  • On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers *
  • The Further Reaches of Human Nature by Abraham Maslow
  • Sandy Koufax by Jane Leavy
  • The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey
  • How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen *
  • Tap Dancing to Work by Carol Loomis
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
  • MOJO by Marshall Goldsmith
  • How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • Bounce by Matthew Syed


  • How to See Yourself as You Really Are by Dalai Lama
  • The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino *
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  • Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
  • Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
  • The Shack by William Young
  • Greater Than Yourself by Steve Farber
  • Falling Upward by Richard Rohr *
  • The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
  • Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson

Organizational Performance

  • Great by Choice by Jim Collins
  • It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For by Roy Spence with Haley Rushing *
  • Built to Last by Jim Collins
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
  • The Google Story by David Vise and Mark Malseed
  • Leading By Design by Ingvar Kamprad and Bertil Torekull
  • The Pixar Touch by David Price
  • The HP Way by David Packard
  • The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
  • The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
  • Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic by Leonard Berry and Kent Seltman
  • The Cleveland Clinic Way by Toby Cosgrove
  • Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein
  • Process Consultation, Volume 1 by Edgar Schein


  • Inside Steve’s Brain by Leander Kahney
  • The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker *
  • The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker
  • The Unofficial Guide to Power Managing by Alan Weiss
  • Winning by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch
  • Setting the Table by Danny Meyer
  • The Spirit to Serve by Bill Marriott
  • Obstacles Welcome by Ralph de la Vega
  • The Definitive Drucker by Elizabeth Haas Edersheim
  • Golden Opportunity by Cody Teets
  • The Capitalist Philosophers by Andrea Gabor
  • Process Consultation, Volume 2 by Edgar Schein


  • Understanding Michael Porter by Joan Magretta
  • Beyond Entrepreneurship by Jim Collins
  • Elevate by Rich Horwath
  • Only the Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove
  • Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
  • The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema *
  • Profit from the Core by Chris Zook
  • Beyond the Core by Chris Zook
  • Top Management Strategy by Ben Tregoe and John Zimmerman
  • Deep Dive by Rich Horwath


  • Hit the Ground Running by Jason Jennings
  • Less is More by Jason Jennings
  • Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings
  • It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small, It’s the Fast that Eat the Slow by Jason Jennings


  • It’s Your Biz by Susan Solovic


  • The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino


  • Enough. by John Bogle
  • Moneyball by Michael Lewis
  • The Snowball by Alice Schroeder *
  • Warren Buffett Speaks by Janet Lowe


  • Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss
  • Getting Started in Consulting by Alan Weiss

Physical Fitness

  • The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene

Problem Solving

  • The New Rational Manager by Ben Tregoe and Charles Kepner


  • Pop! Stand Out in Any Crowd by Sam Horn
  • Presenting with Pizzazz by Sharon Bowman
  • Ask Not by Thurston Clarke
  • The Dream by Drew Hansen
  • The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie

Global Trends

  • The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
  • The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan

Management Lessons from the American Revolution

  • A Leap in the Dark by John Ferling
  • 1776 by David McCullough
  • The Summer of 1787 by David Stewart
  • American Creation by Joseph Ellis
  • Thomas Paine by Craig Nelson
  • Thomas Jefferson by R.B. Bernstein
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Management Lessons from Auto Racing

  • One Helluva Ride by Liz Clarke
  • At the Altar of Speed by Leigh Montville
  • The Enzo Ferrari Story by Enzo Ferrari
  • Winners are Driven by Bobby Unser
  • Racing to Win by Joe Gibbs
  • McLaren Formula 1 Racing Team by Alan Henry
  • Racing Back to the Front by Jeff Gordon
  • Michael Schumacher by Christopher Hilton