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24 books for anyone who wants to get ahead in life

Have you ever read anything that clicked? Meaning, it was an aha moment where you thought I'm going to remember this because it will help me . Here is a list of titles that contain such fodder, according to two dozen high-achieving executives.

1. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller

"This book is a must read for modern real estate agents, but also a fantastic founder on how to build and lead an effective sales team that is useful to any executive who In an industry filled to the brim with motivational sales hype, Keller's book has stood the test of time as the foundation for how to structure a sales organization, which should be no surprise given the remarkable success Keller himself has had at the top of an incredibly competitive industry. "


1; Daniel Ramsey, Founder and CEO of MyOutDesk, a $ 25 million company providing virtual assistant services to properties for over 5,000 clients

2. The Rule: How I Beat Odds in the Markets and in Life and How You Can Too by Larry Hite

"As humans, it is easy to let emotions get in the way of making decisions, but as entrepreneurs , we shouldn't do this. I wish I had this book earlier in my career, it is filled with critical insights and lessons, including what happens when you do business with emotions instead of numbers. This story is a personal story of Larry Hites is likely to rise to the top of business, proving that anyone can overcome difficulties in achieving greatness. [This book] offers valuable life wisdom to all, I think even compulsory reading for high school students . "[19659004] – Sandy Sandler, digital marketing consultant and creator of Bowdabra, a bow-making tool used for crafts, accessories and home furnishings, which has been featured on QVC, HSN, and has exceeded 10 mi $ 1l in retail sales [19659002] 3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F * CK by Mark Manson

"In addition to being an incredibly fun and fast read, this book left me with a number of insightful takeaways that I have been able to use both on my personal The author weaves seamless anecdotes with well-documented research to provide insight into how to approach challenges and adversity with a whole new perspective.His stories of owning mistakes, confronting problems in the front and focusing on process rather than outcomes – all presented in a faint but crystal clear tale – has helped me improve my patience, expand my perspective and not take the little things too seriously. "

– David Gutstadt, Founder and CEO of Fitler Club in Philadelphia, a private lifestyle club which has reached its membership target of less than six months and currently has a waiting list of applicants and future plans for expansion to major cities across the United States and C anada

4. A History of Credit and Power by Scott B. MacDonald and Albert L. Gastmann

"[It’s] a fascinating discussion of how credit functions as an offspring of economic life, enabling Business to function and thrive Looking at the history of credit shows a direct link to power Credit leads to wealth and it can increase power. For trade, entrepreneurship and trade to happen, credit is needed. The credit history is full of volatility and innovation, with banking houses coming and going and credit cycles flourishing and busting, however, the general trend highlighted by MacDonald and Gastmann has been toward credit enabling innovation, continuing today, technology driving the democratization of credit and supporting the global economy. every day. When businesses have access to credit, they invest, hire and grow. "

– William Phelan, SVP and GM of PayNet, an Equifax company with the first proprietary database for small business ns, leases and existing lines of credit, providing credit and analysis of small and medium-sized enterprises to enable lenders to make more informed decisions

5. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Everlasting Golden Merge by Douglas R. Hofstadter

"Hofstadter's masterpiece blends art and message in each chapter, requiring multiple readings to truly appreciate its depth. It is a sprawling work of philosophy disguised as a math book disguised as an instruction book, covering topics such as chess, AI, ant colonies, fugues, and art, while trying to draw out the essence of what makes each of them remarkable. Through this book I learned that interwoven relationships are at the core of everything we do that helps me unpack better what contributes to a problem and fix it. "

– Peter Pezaris, three-time serial entrepreneur with success and CEO of CodeStream, software used by Motorola and Deloitte to streamline the way development teams communicate

6. Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue

"This is the book that got me into card magic 20 years ago and is still my first reference when I have time to practice. Magic has helped The discipline needed to perfect a move, the bravery to try out a new joy and learn to develop the self-confidence to perform for an audience that all translates into the work environment. "

– Ian Chambers, CEO of British entertainment company Mind Candy and creator of Moshi Twilight, the sleep app for kids in both Apple and Google app stores

7. The 4 Disciplines for Execution: Achieving Your Very Important Goals by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney and Jim Huling

"I sent a copy of this book to all the employees of my company when I became CEO because it has so deeply shaped my views on leadership and goals. From leading thinkers at Franklin Covey, the & # 39; 4DX & # 39; of Focus, Exploitation, Engagement and Accountability has provided a roadmap that motivates individuals at any level to accomplish when they have first decided what they are going to the philosophy that "if you do not keep score, you just practice" has led to our company having achieved full transparency about the progress of individual, team and company-wide goals. much like a long-time athlete, knowing that teamwork and a clear shared vision are the keys to winning, so as the & # 39; head coach & # 39; at work, the 4DX tools have become invaluable in building the strongest team – or company – as possible. "[19659004] – Greg Brown, CEO of Reflective, a performance ance management company built for top performers and growing companies and the 13th fastest growing company in North America at Deloitte's 2018 Technology Fast 500, with more than 500 customers including Allbirds , PagerDuty, Pinterest, Privia Health and Protective Life Insurance

8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

"I have lived enough to know that I am an eternal work in labor. My hope in this crazy beautiful thing called life is to do the work needed to live up to the very best version of myself. This book, as much as anything I've read, helped me figure out how to do it. To paraphrase a clever old saying: & # 39; Look at your actions, they become your habits; look at your habits, they become your character; Look at your character, it will be your destiny. & # 39; This book takes that gap of wisdom and translates it into actual, practical steps that we can take to improve our habits so that we can ultimately improve our destiny. "

– Ilana Zivkovich, Founder and CEO of Werq, an executive and team performance coaching firm that advises hundreds of executives

9. Nonviolent communication by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg

" This is the first book that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella asked management to read when he was named CEO, as part of his effort to change Microsoft's culture from collar to creative and compassionate. It is the only book I found that really provides specific language tips for speaking with more emotional intelligence and in an empathetic way, and that has influenced my work as a communications expert working with business leaders. "

– Krister Ungerböck, a global communications expert, executive coach and former CEO of one of the largest family owned software companies in the world, growing the company from $ 1 million to $ 100 million in share value

10. The Maxwell Daily Reader by John C. Maxwell

"This book, originally published in 2007, has & # 39; 365 Days of Insight to Develop the Leader Within You and Influence They Around You. & # 39; I start very rarely at work without first reading the short lead time given for that day, and I give a copy of the book to each member of the team. Although I absolutely love what I do, some days simply begin as gray, cold, rainy Mondays. And although most days I look forward to reading this book, it's on the gray, cold, rainy Mondays when I remember & # 39; Character is everything & # 39 ;, & # 39; The Law of Priorities & # 39 ;, & # 39; Enlarge others & # 39; and & # 39; Growing to your potential (and these are just five of the daily themes for the month of January only) provides clarity and focus as you start your day. If you want to start or end each day with a great dose of leadership instructions, please take the time to obtain and review [this book]. "

– Johnny K. Merritt, a lawyer with over three decades of experience in business and real estate, having spent most of his time as a foreign attorney for a $ 1.5 billion company involved in interstate commerce [19659002] 11. Attention Management: How to Create Success and Gain Productivity Every Day by Maura Thomas

"In a world of growing distractions, there are many tips and tricks for time management that just aren't Feasible for Managers This book turned my perspective on productivity and called what the real problem was for me – directing my attention. Maura offers digestible action steps with Four Quadrants of Attention Management that keep you in a proactive state versus reactive. This book has also changed the way I lead and coach my team. "

– Paige Velasquez, CEO of Zilker Media, an award-winning digital marketing agency with clients including Chicken Soup for the Soul

12. The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies and Us Even in the Age of Cyber ​​Threats by Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake

"Clarke and Knake take their readers on a" deduction "from the headlines adventure in cybersecurity using their personal experiences, including in quantum computational laboratories , The White House Situation Room, Fortune 500 boardrooms and their work in the US intelligence community, to paint a very realistic picture of our current cyber world. is in many ways the signature edition today, which touches us all; from individuals with concerns about privacy, finances, national security and fundamental issues for our democracy. This book illuminates these questions and serves as a preparation call. The reader does not have to be an expert to understand the material in this book and be motivated to take steps to minimize exposure to cyber threats and support cyber-resilient systems built to withstand and withstand most attacks. "

– Peter Altabef, chairman and CEO of cybersecurity company Unisys, who was named to the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee in 2016 and is the recipient of the Federal 100 Eagle Award in 2019 for his role in leading a NSTAC transformation initiative initiative

13. Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins

"This is the life story of one of the toughest people on earth. He has overcome insane obstacles in his life to reach the highest levels in the US military (Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and others.) His story is inspiring and shows how much more we can physically push our bodies and why so much more is possible through our mindset. It helped me train for my first marathon and run it in under four hours while starting a startup at the same time, which required work increases of 60 plus hours. "

– Rhett Doolittle, founder and CEO of marketing software company Bluume, which has established two companies recognized at Inc. 500's fastest growing companies in the United States

14. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

"This book gives readers an understanding of how the human mind works and how to free yourself from its unproductive instincts, many of which are left over from the early days of the human kind. By providing insight into how the brain works, this book helped me identify negative patterns in my thinking and decision so that I could avoid them later. When I feel overwhelmed – either personally and professionally – – or scattered in my decision, I pick up this book to settle down, silence, and help me ignore the irrelevant inputs competing for my attention. "

– Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr, a skills-based marketplace active in 23 markets with more than 50,000 job seekers on its platform

15. The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni

"The book creates a simple framework for organizational health. In theory it is simple but difficult in practice. Lencioni offers a great story that illustrates how this framework could seem strange from the outside, but when implemented properly can be very powerful. "

– Jason Gardner, CEO of Marqeta, a $ 2 billion card issuer and fintech company working with companies including Affirm, DoorDash and Instacart

16. The Marketing Playbook: Five Battle-Tested Plays for Capturing and Keeping Leading in Any Market by John Zagula

"It's a great book that captures the essence of how you choose to compete as a business and helps you think about which strategy you really player, and can help you identify if you are unintentionally playing multiple strategies. Once you know how to compete, you can make sure the entire team is aligned around the given strategy that gives you the maniacal focus you need to win. "

– Sanjay Castelino, CPO for Snow Software, who works with more than 4,000 organizations around the world to provide visibility into software programs

17. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There is No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

"There are so many handbooks out there about running your own business: here's how to sell, here's how to manage a team, etc. Although this are great resources for learning to run a business, [this book] helped me cope with reality as my best-laid plans and thorough strategies inspired by these books fell apart. It helped me understand that your most important job as CEO is not to make strategies; It is deciding how to proceed when strategies fail. This book will not tell you what to do when a major problem falls into your lap, but it will guide you on how to approach the problem and what you need to make an informed decision. The personal anecdotes also validated my feelings about starting a startup: "You only experience two feelings: euphoria and terror. And I feel that lack of sleep improves both of them."

– Carley Childress, Founder and CEO CEO of Macorva, an HR technical startup that offers an employee engagement platform used by thousands of people in technology, industry, government, retail and hospitality companies

18. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drive Our Success by Adam Grant

"We all need to strive to go beyond matters that are transactional in nature, to create real bonds that last. [This book] shares the power of a giving mentality and how it can be used to become a better person and better leader. I recommend it to anyone who wants to lead in a way that attracts real win-win, real meaning and lasting impact. " 19659004] – -Amy Zupon, CEO of Vertafore, provider of insurance technology for independent agents, managing agents, transporters, states and regulators who collaborate with 65 of the 100 Best Agency Management Brokers

19. Play bigger: How rebels and innovators create new categories and dominate markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney

"Many business and marketing books are written to teach you a concept, but rarely do they tell you how to practically use that concept. This book does. The authors intend to take the idea of ​​"Category Design" as a normalized notion. The fact that Category Design is not actually a new concept makes [this book] a great example of the book's thesis The essential nature of a business that stands out is not a new concept in marketing, I remember those lessons well, however, [this book] has become the life of this thesis has become "Category King" for category design. The biggest success is that it not only sells the concept, but also provides a practical guide to building something else instead of worrying about getting better. "[19659004] – Melody Gambino, CMO at Cutover, a cloud-enabled workflow tracking and observability platform, used in over 14 global financial services companies, including two of the top three US banks by size

20. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Force by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

"I have managed to become a successful CEO through focus and hard work, and while I have the willpower to do difficult things I did often lack the willpower to eat well, exercise and do the things I feel I should rather than the ones I end up doing. This is the first book that brings together extensive research to explain why I am a mixed bag of success and failure when it comes to doing the things I want. It also explains why willpower in itself is a term we should be much more comfortable with but not. After extensive explanations of why we run out of willpower, the book ends with a summary of how we should consider living the life we ​​want: by maximizing our willpower. "

– Sumir Karayi, Founder, CEO and Board Member of 1E, a self-service endpoint management and security platform used by 1,750 organizations and 31 million licenses

21. My Antonia by Willa Cather

"I often find the best insights on running a successful business, managing change or managing adversity can be found in a bookstore's literature section. Quality fiction allows a reader to experience the journey of conflict through resolution on several levels and to understand the complexity involved in most situations. [This book] describes the interplay between optimism, entrepreneurship, confidence, trust, and collaboration that is necessary for 19 pioneers to survive and thrive in an unforgiving environment. As a legally educated business leader, I may tend to over-analyze, but for me, a wealth of business hours jump off the pages. "

– Christopher P. Chapman, president and CEO of the AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit organization supporting nearly 200 initiatives American Bar Association approved law schools

22. The Whole Earth's Mind and Planetary Coexistence: Ecological Wisdom at the Intersection of Religion, Ecology and Philosophy by Sam Mickey

"Technology has long brought people together, driven global cohesion, increased cultural awareness and linked humans to resources hundreds or even thousands of miles away, essentially technology has made our world smaller, this eye-opening and mind-expanding book explores the idea of ​​holistic thinking and how increasing planetary interconnection brings significant benefits, but also offers major benefits to the environment, society and the world. It inspires me to be a better global citizen and business leader, as it is really up to those of us who develop these technologies that make our world less to do it responsibly, with discipline and a true sense of responsibility We have only one Mother Earth, and it is important for all of us to ask ourselves myself: How can I do it? "

– Asheesh Mehra, Co-Founder and CEO of AntWorks, a Global Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation Company with more than 500 employees worldwide

23. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We Are Wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think by Hons Rosling

"I recommend this book because it gives a hopeful message about the potential of human Rosling, a world-renowned professor of international health and former adviser to WHO and UNICEF , encourages people to see the world differently. In this book, he challenges the "downfall and gloom" view that many of us have about society with data and hard facts. You would think that a book on global trends in health and economics would be dry and hard to read, but that's not the case at all. Rosling's passion and experience as an educator makes this book an accessible and fun read. It will leave you feeling optimistic and ready to change the world. "

– Kim Lorenz, business consultant and author of" Incredible: Key Principles That Drive Success Across Business School, "Lead Mentor and Founder of Two Companies Acquired by Still 500 Companies

24. THE ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Greg Keller

"As a leader and business owner in a world of endless possibilities and distractions, I have long been aware of what I call" Infinite need, finally my conundrum. [This book] helped me find what matters most, grabbing where it will make the biggest difference and focusing my efforts and attention. His concise and engaging way to help you focus is invaluable. " [19659004] – David Dye, author of "The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say" and co-founder of Let & # 39; s Grow Leaders, a training and consulting firm with clients in 11 countries

is their own, not those from Inc.com.

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