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7 Top Leadership Books for Entrepreneurs at Growing Companies

A few good reads to inspire better leadership and improve business acumen

August 13, 2019 | by Viveka Krishnaswamy
Reviewed by real estate expert Jonathan Tootell

The best leaders at a business are always on the look-out for ways to increase productivity and employee motivation. Here at SquareFoot, we know that work goals are always at the forefront of our clients’ minds — so we’ve rounded up some good reads in the form of leadership books for entrepreneurs at growing companies. These top leadership books will help inspire entrepreneurs to provide a workplace that builds a community for colleagues to thrive. 


1. If you are looking for “best entrepreneur books” meets “time to destress”: Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson

Think: a rags-to-riches success story, except it’s set in the City of Lights and involves syrup. Carlson, owner of the famed diner, Breakfast in America, details how he went from humble, dysfunctional beginnings in New York to baking fame in Paris. His tale highlights the ups and downs of business that will inspire any entrepreneur, from dealings with bureaucracy to dogged determination.


2. If your leadership skills are lacking in knowledge of marketing: The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib

Become better at work productivity. As a business leader don’t get stuck in the weeds, peruse Dib’s savvy guide, in which he discusses both the literal and figurative costs of spreading—or marketing—yourself too thin. You’ll walk away from the book, with a refined approach to marketing and business growth.


3. If your goal is to be a better boss or even a better colleague: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

The author, a former executive at Google and Apple, uses the concept of “Caring Personally while Challenging Directly” to analyze what makes someone a good boss or colleague and why (and how!) you can be both. (Hint: transparency and approachability are key to motivating people to work hard and be happy.)


4. If you plan to “work on yourself”: Reboot by Jeremy Colonna

Many of the biggest names in tech pay Colonna, a venture capitalist turned “CEO Whisperer,” for advice on creating a workplace where people can do their best work. You can just read his new book. Reboot employs a “blend of Buddhism, Jungian therapy, and entrepreneurial straight talk” to help successful leaders break through the barriers in both their professional and personal lives. 


5. If you find change to be especially hard: Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

The brothers—a Stanford prof and Duke fellow—wanted to understand the big obstacles to behavioral shifts and found it comes down to a conflict between our logical and emotional minds. Fortunately, they show how people have overcome these challenges and find the motivation to make lasting change via a series of real-life examples and actionable takeaways. 


6. If you want to win workplace negotiations (or family arguments): Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

As a top kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, Voss had the ultimate job motivation—saving lives. He relied on emotional intelligence to win in those pressured situations and then brought his field-tested techniques—like why you want to trigger a ”no” instead of obsessing about the “yes”—to institutions like Georgetown and USC. Now they are available to any leader in search of sharp strategies to use at the office or home.


7. If you want to lighten up: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Here’s a different approach to motivate you and your team. This fast-paced, blunt self-help book delivers practical advice that—no surprise—doesn’t read like your typical guide to business. This book will get you to let go of your worries, stop trying to control everything and initiate a change in perspective.

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