Advertising
Advertising

Top 10 Books To Read Recommended By Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, And Elon Musk

Top 10 Books To Read Recommended By Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, And Elon Musk

Want to know what goes on inside the minds of billionaires, global leaders, and game-changers?

Read what they read.

No matter how successful people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Barack Obama are today, they all acquired their knowledge and experience over time. And they admit that books were a big part of the journey.

I know what you’re thinking: what were these books?

Luckily for us, they’ve publicly shared their most recommended and impactful books that have helped them get to where they are today.

We’ve compiled the top 10 books to read, and brought it here for you to enjoy.

Enjoy these 10 books, and share the knowledge with others!

Advertising

Top 10 Books To Read

1. Atlas Shrugged By Ayn Rand

Recommended by: Steve Jobs and Mark Cuban
Topic: Politics & Business
One-sentence summary: “Solve the world’s problem through entrepreneurial solutions.”

When Steve Wozniak was interviewed about what influenced Steve Jobs in the early days of building Apple, he mentioned that Atlas Shrugged was one of the books that Jobs used as his guide to life & business.

9780452011878_custom-2ac05a69e02890a999fd998101a1266b3563be2c-s6-c30-678x1024

    2. Competing Against Time By George Stalk

    Recommended by: Tim Cook
    Topic: Business, Economy, Productivity
    One-sentence summary: “Time is now added to the other three critical factors in order to remain competitiveness in the market – money, productivity, and quality.”

    Competing Against Time is a book that Tim Cook passes out everywhere and makes it a recommendation for all new hires at Apple to read.

    apple-ceo-tim-cook-is-a-huge-fan-of-competing-against-time-by-george-stalk-jr-its-about-managing-supply-chains-to-get-a-competitive-boost-something-apple-has-to-worry-about-a-lot

      3. Business Adventures By John Brooks

      Recommended by: Warren Buffet and Bill Gates
      Topic: Business & Finance
      One-sentence summary: “A classic story about the American corporate and financial life.”

      What do two of the richest men in the world have in common? They love the writings of John Brooks. Gates writes in his essay about Business Adventures: “Brooks eschews ‘listicles’ and doesn’t ‘boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success.’ Instead, he tells entertaining stories replete with richly drawn characters, setting them during heightened moments within the world of commerce.”

      Advertising

      Buffett’s classic sayings, such as “you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out,” fits right into the style of Brooks writing as well.

      business-adventures-103105328

        4. Influence By Robert Cialdini

        Recommended by: Charlie Munger and Guy Kawasaki
        Topic: Psychology, Persuasion, Marketing
        One-sentence summary: “Science-backed methods to persuade just about anyone you want.”

        Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s partner in crime at Berkshire Hathaway, attributes Cialdini’s work as having a big influence on his thinking process. His published work of the 25 Cognitive Biases of humans was very much influenced by Cialdini’s work.

        cialdini-influence

          5. Life Is What You Make It By Peter Buffett

          Recommended by: Bill Clinton
          Topic: Life, Purpose, Autobiography
          One-sentence summary: “Instead of taking the way of least resistance, choose the path to greatest satisfaction.”

          This autobiography book by Peter Buffett, Warren Buffett’s son, shares the wisdom learned from his family and his experiences. Here’s how Ted Turner, Media Icon and the Founder of CNN, describes it: “With home-spun, heart-felt wisdom Peter Buffett ponders how to make a meaningful life, while making a living.”

          life-is-what-you-make-it-pb

            6. The Happiness Hypothesis By Jonathan Haidt

            Recommended by: Tony Hsieh
            Topic: Happiness, Culture, Philosophy,
            One-sentence summary: “Giving and serving are the way to happiness.”

            “This is probably the book that’s made the biggest impact on my life over the past five years. The author examines the beliefs about happiness of different cultures, religions and philosophers from different periods, and then compares those beliefs with research that’s been done on the science of happiness. The book is thought-provoking and the concepts can be applied to business and to life.” – Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos)

            Advertising

            happinesshypothesis

              7. The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

              Recommended by: Oprah Winfrey and Jack Dorsey
              Topic: Spirituality, Life, Happiness
              One-sentence summary: The book can be summarized in the following four precepts:

              1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
              2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
              3. Don’t Make Assumptions
              4. Always Do Your Best

              dorsey1

                As Jack Dorsey is in the process of running two publicly traded companies, Twitter and Square, he’s forced to mature as a leader. Throughout his journey, he acknowledges The Four Agreement as guiding him in the right path.

                fouragreementsfcvr-723x1024

                  8. Self-Reliance By Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  Recommended by: Barack Obama
                  Topic: Individualism, non-conformity and independence
                  One-sentence summary: “Hold on to your own convictions, despite what society and other people want you to believe.”

                  Self-Reliance is what put Ralph Waldo Emerson on the map as one of the most influential poets and philosophers of the 19th century. President Obama referenced this essay as one of the most significant books to him in an email to Jon Meacham from the New York Times, and even referenced the importance of self-reliance in his 2008 election victory speech.

                  1001004011539629

                    9. Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin By Walter Isaacson

                    Recommended by: Elon Musk
                    Topic: Autobiography, Entrepreneurship, Benjamin Franklin
                    One-sentence summary: “The rise of Benjamin Franklin from the bottom to the top.”

                    Advertising

                    Elon Musk, the Co-Founder of Paypal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, has said that Ben Franklin is one of his heroes, and likely sees Franklin as the type of American he himself would like to be and become: a combination of statesman, inventor, and businessman.

                    “You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.” -Elon Musk

                    ben-franklin

                      10. The Remains Of The Day By Kazuo Ishiguro

                      Recommended by: Jeff Bezos
                      Topic: History, World War II, Life & Regret
                      One-sentence summary: “A compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world postwar England.”

                      “Before reading it, I didn’t think a perfect novel was possible. I’m always interested in things that seem to be impossible, but are then achieved.” -Jeff Bezos

                      51Iv9eolKFL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

                        Over To You

                        Which of these top 10 books to read caught your interest?
                        Is there a book that’s on your list, that didn’t make it to our top 10 books to read? Please share with us!

                        More by this author

                        8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months 10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day 17 Free Websites That Will Improve the Quality of Your Life Today You Don’t Need Extremely High IQ to Be Successful, You Need Self-Control 5 Essential Activities That Will Make Your Brain Healthier

                        Trending in Leadership

                        110 Qualities of a Leader (Advanced Version for Leaders Who Aim High) 2Charismatic Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Influence People 3How to Avoid Micromanagement with Swarm Intelligence (Step-By-Step Guide ) 4How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders) 514 Powerful Leadership Traits (That All Great Leaders Have)

                        Read Next

                        Advertising
                        Advertising

                        The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                        The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                        It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                        Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                        “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                        In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                        New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                        There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

                        Advertising

                        So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                        What is the productivity paradox?

                        There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                        In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                        He wrote in his conclusion:

                        “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                        Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                        How do we measure productivity anyway?

                        And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                        In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                        But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                        In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                        But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                        Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                        Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

                        Advertising

                        • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                        • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                        • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                        • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                        There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                        According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                        Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                        The paradox and the recession

                        The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                        “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                        This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

                        Advertising

                        According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                        Looking forward

                        A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                        “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                        Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                        “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                        On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                        Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next