As a Christian leader, you are pressed for time for reading. But if you read no other books, these would be the top 5 business books that you must read.
I’ve read a lot of books over the past 25 years. And I particularly love reading business books. Given that we have more than 3,000 books in our house, I had to think hard about that list.
After going through all of my business books, here is the list of the top 5 business books every Christian leader needs to read.
Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
John Mackey and Raj Sisodia wrote a seminal work on how your business can be transformed through your perspective of your leadership. Business has gotten a bad rap—and unfortunately deservedly so—by focusing solely on the maximization of profits. By focusing instead on how creating the purpose-driven cultural infrastructure necessary to have maximized profits, Mackey and Sisodia explain how your company can make much more money than if you focused only on maximizing profits. They talk about how you can lead your team better and how you can enjoy working more—by focusing on your company’s higher purpose, making sure that you treat everyone the way that you would want to be treated, and deliberately using your leadership in a way that will create a purpose-driven culture. The authors believe that through your self-awareness of your leadership, you have the ability to not only transform your business, but you can also contribute to changing the prevailing negative narrative against business as a whole.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
No top business book list would be complete without Jim Collins’ classic work. With Good to Great, Collins brought terms like “Level 5 Leader,” “Hedgehog Concept,” and “Stockdale paradox” into the business lexicon. Written as a prequel to his Built to Last, the author breaks down into simple terms why some companies become great and others just fizzle. Using research as a foundation for the book, he takes you into the culture of each of these companies to understand why they took off. If you have not already read this book, it needs to be on your reading list. Collins helps you understand who you need to be and how you need to think in order to lead a company that will do what you want it to do.
The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey
Written by the son of the late great Stephen R. Covey (see below), The Speed of Trust explains the overall importance of something often taken for granted—trust. What Stephen M. R. Covey has written is no light-weight book piggybacking on his father’s superstardom; instead it is a treatise explaining how the trust that others in your home or workplace have in you is the most important tool in your toolbox for leading them. Starting with self-trust, he shows the ripples that trust makes in individuals’ lives build into waves within relationships, organizations, markets, and society as a whole. Not only does he explain the importance of trust, he also breaks down how you can build it back up if you have blown it. No personal business library is complete without this book.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
In this book, Sinek says that great movements have begun because people believed in the same purpose—or why—as the leader. Therefore, you don’t have to manipulate people to do things if they resonate with your why. If you have not already read this book or seen Sinek’s Start With Why TED talk (LINK), both are worthy of your time. Using examples like the Wright brothers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Apple, Sinek shows how these culture shapers used their why to build a devoted following. The author explains how communicating on this deeper level of why—and only later talking about how and what—will help you create a greater connection with your employees and customers and even breathe a deeper meaning into everything you and your company do.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This book was one of the first business books I ever read back in the early 90s, and I still recommend it today. This book changed how I looked at myself and thus how I looked at everything else. Covey explains that you cannot gain victory in any area of your life until you gain victory over your own thoughts. The author helps you see that the way you see your problems can be the very thing that prevents you from solving your problems. Your thinking affects everything that you say and do, so the author explains how to change your thinking so that you see everything from the proper vantage point. If you think that a book has to be new in order to be worth reading, then perhaps you need to get this book to help you change your thinking.
I hope this list of the top 5 business books will be helpful to you. To be a leader, you must think like a leader. To lead in your workplace or at home, you must lead your thinking—because how you think will determine how you lead.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. These top 5 business books are the ones I believe are the most important ones to read if you were only going to read five. But I hope you will go well beyond reading these five. There are a lot of great business books out there. And I hope you will enjoy many more than this short list of the top 5 business books.
Do you think I forgot any?What are your favorite business books? You can share this article on Facebook by clicking here