11 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Business Leaders

Let's read more in 2017!

It's almost the new year, so it's almost time to start thinking about new years resolutions. 2016 sure has been an interesting year! I've been challenged, put to the test, weighed and measured, and had all odds stacked against me. 

In 2017, I'm making myself a priority.

What do I mean by that? 

Sometimes, it's hard to remember to take "me time" in this fast-paced, technology-driven, crazy world. If you want to keep your sanity, it's important to pause for a moment, disconnect, and do something for yourself.


To "treat myself" in 2017, I'm going to expand my business knowledge and learn new skills for my career. I'm an avid reader, which has gotten me pretty far. 

Here is a list of highly-recommended books on career development, innovation, leadership and motivation - some in which I've read, and others I plan to read. 

11 Books for Bettering Your Career

1. Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

In this book, Shane analyzes the lives of people and companies that do amazing things in an incredibly short amount of time, and shares tips for working smarter and reveling in the same levels of success.


2. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. 


3. Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story by Jerry Weissman

This book shows how to connect with the toughest, most high-level audiences, dump boring PowerPoint templates and start telling compelling stories that get people to act.


4. New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development by Mike Weinberg and S. Anthony Iannarino 

Filled with examples and anecdotes, this book looks at what most salespeople and executives do wrong, then provides an easy-to-implement plan for bringing in new business and developing and closing deals.


5. The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman

A blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley's most innovative entrepreneurs.

6. Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level by Ryan Levesque 

If you’re looking to scale your business, this book will both inspire you and show you how to optimize your online income while creating a mass of raving fans in the process, simply by asking the right questions in a surprisingly different way.


7. Not Taught: What it Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century that Nobody's Teaching You by Jim Keenan

Not Taught is your personal guide to the changing success landscape created by the information age, social media, access to information, the high cost of college, the internet and more. 


8. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock 

Want to love what you do? In this book, Laszlo teaches you how to balance creativity and structure to build a better company, leading to success in quality of life as well as market share.


9. How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery by Kevin Ashton

This book is packed with stories about unremarkable individuals and the gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary, uncredited acts that lead to their most astounding breakthroughs.


10. The Reputation Economy: How to Optimize Your Digital Footprint in a World Where Your Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset by Michael Fertik and David Thompson

In this book, Michael and David show you how to control, curate, and optimize new technology to become “rich” in a world where digital reputation is becoming our most valuable asset.

11. The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain by John Kounios 

Learn about the brain’s sudden creative insights—how they happen, when we need them, and how we can have more of them to enrich our personal and professional lives.