Business books are good for you
I think all of us have read a book at some point in time that provided us with the inspiration we need to do our jobs or achieve something greater. There’s a whole “keeping up with the Jones” aspect to business books, at least in my world. If a book comes out and gets talked about favorably, there’s a big pressure to be in the in-crowd and read it.
You would think CEOs would have recommended reading lists like this and would spend time reading books to improve their skills, but sometimes outsiders have a view that CEOs should by osmosis know everything and not need a book.
FT.com has an article on this, where they polled top executives and found most had at least one book that had a profound impact on them. The article also lists books recommended by several CEOs and shows the nominees for FT’s book of the year award.
I’d have to say “In Search of Excellence” had a huge impact on me and how I view my job. I read it in college, but the ideas that it put forth, though dated in context, still hold up in today’s world.