7 inspiring books CEOs think everyone should read this winter

Besides gathering with friends and family, the holiday break is a good time to take a breather and relax with a good book or two.

Many of the world’s most successful CEOs and business leaders swear by their reading habit. In fact, when a group of Columbia Business School students asked Warren Buffett the key to success in 2000, he said, “Read 500 pages like this every day,” as he reached for a stack of textbooks and papers. “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. You can all do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.”

CNBC Make It asked 7 CEOs to share their favorite reads for the holiday season. From inspirational non-fiction to deep dives on the latest trends in business, consider these titles to expand your reading list:

‘Principles for Coping with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail’

By Ray Dalio

Recommended by Cathy Tie, CEO and Founder of Locke Bio:

“It is a timely book to read in a changing time in the world economy and changing political landscapes. Ray Dalio examines the patterns of empires and nations over the last 500 years, describing economic, political and social indicators that correlate with their rise and fall They say that the best way to predict the future is to study the past, and this book provides a sharp perspective on history that is especially relevant today in the United States.

‘Think again: the power of knowing what you don’t know’

By Adam Grant

Recommended by Dr. Rosina Racioppi, President and CEO of WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.:

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“I’m a big fan of Adam Grant. In ‘Think Again,’ Grant uses research and storytelling to help us understand how to build the intellectual and emotional muscle needed to stay curious about the world around us around to help us actually change it! It is so timely and necessary given the pace of work and the amount of distractions. It is also important for leaders to understand how to think again because they are leading in these challenging times.”

‘Embrace the work, love your career’

By Fran Hauser

Recommended by Tiffany Dufu, founder and CEO of The Cru:

“Last year, when I received the advanced manuscript for ‘Embrace The Work, Love Your Career,’ I found the book immediately refreshing. She encourages the reader to use ‘evidence-based confidence’ to cultivate their own self-assurance.

Unlike reading a typical book, which can feel passive, ‘Embrace The Work, Love Your Career’ is an experiential magazine. There are meditations, reflections and even blank pages for doodling. I recommend lighting a candle, pouring yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea, and preparing to be fully immersed and active as Hauser takes you on a journey of self-discovery.

‘Leadership and self-deception: getting out of the box’

At The Arbinger Institute

Recommended by Timothy Chi, CEO of The Knot Worldwide:

“We’ve all heard that being a better listener is the hallmark of a good leader and business owner. This book is a quick read that really helped me connect with the ways we tend to tell ourselves stories to get our thoughts and to self-justify actions Understanding how to be more self-aware of our own innate motivators, such as those you interact with, whether in a manager-employee relationship or an owner-prospect relationship, can really help lead to better results .

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‘The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon’

By Kevin Federko

Recommended by Jim Szafranski, CEO of Prezi:

“This is a really fun read for anyone who likes adventure stories. And, while it’s primarily a way to take a break over the holidays, it also has some relevance to the world we live in today. It’s set in the American West, which is faced with historic climate challenges and the scale of the challenge really comes to life with the story that takes place during an abundance of water in the West.

But, it’s not a climate book – I think it’s a story of achievement and craftsmanship, told through the eyes of opponents, and it weaves the building of America’s great dams and the adventurers who become conservationists through their connection to the natural world. .”

‘A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy’

By William B. Irvine

Recommended by Daragh Murphy, Co-Founder and CEO of Imprint:

“This book helps me put the everyday into perspective, but through a philosophical versus a cosmological lens. It’s full of reminders that the frustration, impatience and hurt we feel every day is mostly self-made rather than inflicted by those around us. … which can be very useful around the Thanksgiving dinner table! But I have to admit that I always tell friends to skip the first three chapters on the history of Stoic philosophy, which can be quite dry and are far less useful than the last chapters on Stoic lessons for everyday life.”

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‘Animal, vegetable, junk: a history of food, from sustainable to suicidal’

By Mark Bittman

Recommended by Geneva Long, Founder and CEO of Bowlus:

“On the face of it, this book is about man’s relationship with food. But from a business and economic perspective, it is a fascinating case study in externalities and unintended consequences. As business leaders, we are constantly thinking about second- and third-order effects of our immediate decisions and this book is a great reminder to carefully consider what activities you are trying to encourage in your organization and among your customers.”

Check out:

Here are Bill Gates’ 5 new book recommendations for your holiday reading list

3 books that will change the way you think about work and success, according to a career coach

The 5 Best Books to Help You Live a Happier, Balanced Life in 2022, According to a Burnout Coach

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