What CEOs Have On Their Summer Reading List

What do many of the busiest and most productive CEOs have in common? They make time to read and rely on books for inspiration, leadership development, and mastering new skillsets. I asked a group of CEOs from some of the most high-profile and fastest-growing companies in the nation about what they have on their reading list this summer.

The responses are fascinating and diverse. Their choices run the gamut in terms of genre and include topics such as leadership and innovation as well as history, current affairs, and personal enrichment. Further, their choices are unique. Only one title was mentioned twice.

It is with great pleasure that I present the summer reading lists for a group of CEOs from some of the most high-profile, fastest-growing, and most innovative companies in the U.S.

Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare

  • Fluke: The Math and Myth of Coincidence by Joseph Mazur
  • The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World by Wade Davis
  • And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East by Richard Engel

Tim Hwang, CEO of FiscalNote

  • Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
  • Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Geoffrey Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary.

Oisin Hanrahan, CEO of Handy

  • Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
  • The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton M. Christensen
  • Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
  • Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Rob Biederman, CEO of HourlyNerd

  • The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results by Brent Adamson
  • Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent by Sydney Finkelstein
  • Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek

Josh Hix, CEO of Plated

  • The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World by Randall E. Stross
  • The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser
  • The Plated Cookbook (Plated: Weeknight Dinners, Weekend Feasts, and Everything in Between by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine)

Melanie Whelan, CEO of SoulCycle

  • The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor
  • Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Melissa Schipke, CEO of Tassl

  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  • The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business by David S. Rose and Bill Gross
  • Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck - Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins

Carrie Rich, CEO of The Global Good Fund

  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
  • Intentional Living: Choose a Life That Matters by John C. Maxwell
  • Rising Strong by Brené Brown

Timothy Chi, CEO of WeddingWire

  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  • Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership by Janice Marturano

David Rusenko, CEO of Weebly

  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  • The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made A Difference by Theodore Rockwell
  • Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most by Hendrie Weisinger

There you have it. The list of books that an exceptional group of visionaries, industry leaders, and game-changers are relying on for their next great idea or to hone an important skill.

What books do you have on your summer reading list?

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