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C-Suite Advisory

Business Books CEOs Should Reread in 2019

Every year, on January 1st, people all over the world make new year’s resolutions – to lose weight, to spend more time with their family, to exercise more, to read more. Essentially stuff we’d like to do more or less of. It’s the perfect time to make lists.

Each year one of the things I like to do is make a list of all the books I’d like to read. However, the older I get the more I realize it’s not about quantity, but quality. The legendary copywriter Gary Bencivenga has a library of books on copywriting but he said that if he were to do it all over, he’d just buy ten books and read them over and over again. In other words, going deep, rather than long.

I was reminded of the importance of rereading the other day when I read a quote by motivational speaker Bob Proctor who said, “If you read a book the 2nd time, you don’t see something in it you didn’t see before, you see something in yourself that wasn’t there before.” So this year I added a second list – the books I must reread.

CEOs understand the power of feeding their mind new information better than anyone, as such I thought this list would be an excellent one for any CEO looking to up their game in 2019.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

There’s a reason this book has sold more than 25 million copies. It’s insightful, enjoyable and powerful. Anyone who has ever read this book will remember concepts such as “sharpen the saw,” “begin with the end in mind” as well as the four quadrants.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Quotes:

  • “Start with the end in mind. ”
  • “To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”
  • “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
  • “Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.”
  • “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

While this was published in 1936, its concepts are timeless. Relationships are the key to the success of any business, and this book gives you the fundamental concepts that should be practiced over and over again.

  • “To be interesting, be interested.”
  • “Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”
  • “Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
  • “All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory.”
  • “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker.

No business book list would be complete without a book from the legendary management expert Peter Drucker. What I love about this book in particular is it shows Drucker’s insight into the changes the digital world would bring as well as time management.

The Essential Drucker Quotes:

  • “I soon learned that there is no “effective personality”
  • “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
  • “Each member of the enterprise contributes something different, but they must all contribute toward a common goal.”
  • “Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only these two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
  • “Every enterprise is a learning and teaching institution. Training and development must be built into it on all levels—training and development that never stop.”


#AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Essentially a Q&A book where Gary Vee addresses the most common questions he gets asked. Social media, millennials, marketing, mindset are just a few of the topics he goes over and gives great insight into the digital world we live in today.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.

Ferriss has come out with some great books it’s hard to say which is best, but as this shares “the tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world-class performers” I think it’s one we should all read again and again.

Bluefishing by Steve Sims.

In many ways Bluefishing is a modern day version of the second book on this list. In it, Sims shares some clever and fresh ways to set yourself apart from others in any relationship.

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.

Canfield breaks down all the concepts of personal development into short easy to read chapters. I can’t tell you how many notes I took from this book.


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

In studying marketing, this is one book that was mentioned more than any other. Cialdini discusses six different areas of psychology with regards to marketing.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Quotes:

  • “Persons who go through a great deal of trouble or pain to attain something tend to value it more highly than persons who attain the same thing with a minimum of effort.”
  • “A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”
  • “There is a natural human tendency to dislike a person who brings us unpleasant information, even when that person did not cause the bad news. The simple association with it is enough to stimulate our dislike.”

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.

In the Purple Cow, Godin explains why in today’s environment companies need to take a proactive approach to marketing and success. If you’re looking to make some changes to your business, this is a great place to start.

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable Quotes

  • “If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise–ever. Criticism comes to those who stand out.”
  • “In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.”
  • “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”

Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins.

I believe that in studying any subject matter, it’s always important to learn from the source. Written in 1923, this book has been the foundation for many marketing books written today. If you’re looking to create effective ads for your company, this is one of the best.

Scientific Advertising Quotes

  • “The man who wins out and survives does so only because of superior science and strategy.”
  • “We learn, for instance, that curiosity is one of the strongest human incentives.”
  • “The best ads ask no one to buy. That is useless. Often they do not quote a price. The ads are based entirely on service. They offer wanted information.”
  • “Remember the people you address are selfish, as we all are. They care nothing about your interests or profit. They seek service for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a common mistake and a costly mistake in advertising”

Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman.

Possibly my favorite book on this list because the stories are so memorable. It’s also one few people have heard of but Sugarman does a great job of breaking down the psychological aspects of marketing.


The New Art of the Leader by William A Cohan.

Military leaders know what it takes to lead a team. You’ll learn things such as motivation, dealing with crisis situations, building a winning team and different tactics that work in the boardroom as well as on the battlefield.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell.

Maxwell breaks down leadership into 21 laws that every successful leader understands and adheres to. It’s a very light read with some profound concepts.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Quotes

  • “People dont care what you know until they know what you care”
  • “To lead yourself, use your head; to lead others, use your heart.”
  • “You can’t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion…. The heart comes before the head.”
  • “Leaders Who Attract Followers . . . Need to Be Needed —- Leaders Who Develop Leaders . . . Want to Be Succeeded”
  • “When people respect you as a person, they admire you. When they respect you as a friend, they love you. When they respect you as a leader, they follow you.”

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - C-Suite Advisory - Business Books CEOs Should Reread in 2019
Adrian Shepherd
Adrian Shepherd started his career as an ESL teacher in Japan, but today focuses on consulting with individuals and companies on productivity. His background in education helped him develop The One-Bite Time Management System (TMS), a revolutionary new system based entirely around simplicity: small bites that people can digest easily. Adrian Shepherd is based in Osaka, Japan. Adrian is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.