Here’s what entrepreneurs are reading this Christmas

books for entrepreneurs

Didier Elzinga is the founder and chief executive officer at Culture Amp.

Whether you’re addicted to your Kindle, an audiobook devotee, or in the market for a bookshelf to accommodate your love of paperbacks, Christmas is the time for giving reading.

But while getting absorbed in a book isn’t difficult, knowing which one to pick up (or download) in the first place can be.

But don’t fret; we’ve got you covered.

We asked nine entrepreneurs what they’ll be reading over the next two weeks and complied a diverse and sure-to-delight listicle of recommendations.

Didier Elzinga recommends:

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy by Michael Lewis

“It’s about what happens when we elect someone to government who has no experience in government. I’ve always liked Michael Lewis because he gives you an insight into interesting times and we certainly live in interesting times right now.”

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

“I have had it sitting there for a while and been meaning to read it. This summer is the time.”

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

“I have a well-worn paper copy which I haven’t read for a few years. It’s time to top up.”

Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs by Joshua Wolf Shenk

“Esther Perel told me to read it when I saw her in New York a couple of weeks ago. It’s about how creativity comes from two people, not one.”

how to advertise hemp

Georgia Branch is the co-founder of Hemple and the co-founder of Soul Seeds.

Georgia Branch recommends:

Lifespan: Why We Age — and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair

“I’m obsessed with learning how to live a long and healthy life and an avid listener of Dr Rhonda Patrick’s podcast. After listening to an interview with leading Aussie biologist and professor of genetics at Harvard, Dr Sinclair, I immediately downloaded this book (which has since quickly become a New York Times bestseller). I’m about halfway through and it does not disappoint when it comes to actionable, evidence-backed information about how to extend healthspan. Readers beware: prepare to start googling obscure supplements and changing your shopping list!”

The Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally

“The subtitle of this book really says it all. It reads: ‘The Buddha on managing your business and your life’. Penned by an American Buddhist monk trained by the Dalai Lama, who graduated from Princeton and entered the world of business, it details his firsthand experience testing the teachings of Buddhism in ‘real life’. This one is firmly on my Christmas reading list.”

Leica Ison is the founder and chief executive officer at regtech Skyjed.

Leica Ison recommends:

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

“Michael Lewis is able to distil super complex problems into relatable ideas, and this book gives us insight into intuition and problem-solving (behavioural economics). It is an ideal read as we enter the fourth industrial revolution and re-think what it is to be human.”

2062: The World that AI Made by Toby Walsh

“In 2062, Toby considers the impact AI will have on work, politics and everyday life, as well as what we might expect in future decades and how we can reimagine the future we want.”

Mike Rosenbaum is the chief executive officer of Spacer and the co-founder of The Sharing Hub.

Mike Rosenbaum recommends:

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

“I’ve picked this book up because my brother lives in Japan and I’m fascinated with the Japanese way of life!”

Parenting by Heart by Pinky McKay

“I need all the help I can get because I have two little rugrats at home!”

Mums & Co

Carrie Kwan is the founder of support network Mums & Co.

Carrie Kwan recommends:

Reboot: Probably More Than You Ever Wanted to Know about Starting a Global Business by Jodie Fox

“This book tells the story of innovative Australian startup Shoes of Prey, by its co-founder Jodie Fox. I’m excited to hear firsthand from someone I’ve admired for the past decade. I am eager to learn what it’s really like to be at the helm of a global business, the trials and tribulations faced and how Jodie unpacks what she has learnt with raising capital, building a brand, finding suppliers and doing business in China. Plus, most importantly, how to learn and grow from successes and mistakes and be ready every day to reboot for the next challenge.”

Nick Crocker

Nick Crocker is a general partner at Blackbird Ventures.

Nick Crocker recommends:

The Power Broker by Robert Caro

“It’s as big as a brick, and I started it last Christmas, and am still only about 10% of the way through. But already it’s one of the most incredible biographies I’ve read.”

Brick By Brick: How Lego Rewrote The Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson and Bill Breen

“My four year old and I play LEGO together a lot and I’ve become obsessed with it. The execution on the product, the instructions, and the way it just opens up my son’s brain to the possibilities of creation, and imagination, and patience, and dexterity. I think LEGO is one of the great companies today, and I want to know more.”

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

“I have read three of the essays in Trick Mirror so far. ‘The I in the Internet’ is just exceptional.”

Normal People by Sally Rooney

“I saw my wife devour this book in 48 hours, and based on how many people mention Sally Rooney in conversation, I’m looking forward to seeing what all the excitement is about.”

relaunch personal brand

Carlii Lyon is the founder of Carlii Lyon Public Relations.

Carlii Lyon recommends:

Atomic Habits by James Clear

“I literally finished this book in three days! It is very clear from the get-go that James is an expert authority on the topic of habits. The book is so easy to read and filled with relatable stories, practical exercises and easy-to-digest research. Every page will have you questioning your habits and reassessing the lifestyle behaviours that are working while empowering you to eliminate those that are not.”

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph

“I honestly did not expect to love this book as much as I did, and I believe it has everything to do with Marc Randolph’s witty humour and brazen honesty. It tells the story of Marc’s journey as co-founder and chief at Netflix, and you will quickly establish this is not a glorified business card or token memoir. It really feels like Marc is baring all in the interest of inspiring the reader to chase their dreams and never give up, especially when they are told their idea will never work.”

The Most Powerful Women in the Room is You by Lydia Fenet

“Aside from this book having an incredibly Instagram-able cover for any woman in business, its contents are just as impressive as its exterior. Written by Lydia Fenet, managing director and global head of partnerships at Christie’s, who happens to be responsible for raising half-a-billion dollars for non-profits globally, this book is a success manual for women wanting to be seen, stand out and allow their voices to be heard.”

Ed McManus

Ed McManus is the chief executive officer at Deliveroo Australia and the former Powershop chief executive officer.

Ed McManus recommends:

Nelson: Britannia’s God of War by Andrew Lambert and The Pursuit Of Victory by Roger Knight

“I read a book recently that had a chapter about Horatio Nelson, the Napoleonic era vice-admiral of the British Navy. Known for his inspirational leadership, he was the chief architect of the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. I’ve decided to go all in, and I’ll be reading two of the best biographies of Nelson.”

Australia’s Original Languages: An Introduction by Robert Dixon

“My younger, four-year-old daughter came home from kinder recently with four words spoken by the Wurundjeri peoples. That inspired me to add this book to my list.”

Say Nothing: A True Story Of Murder and Memory In Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

“Peace came to Northern Ireland over 20 years ago, but memories of the conflict live on. One of the more harrowing episodes occurred in the early 1970s when Jean McConville, a mother of 10, was abducted from her home and never seen alive again.”

failure and success

Sabri Suby is the founder of digital marketing agency King Kong.

Sabri Suby recommends:

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

“I believe success is 80% mindset and 20% mechanics, and this book really puts you in the right mindset in terms of creating a mental picture in your mind and going out and making your dreams reality.”

The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

“This book does a really good job of showing the dark side and all the trials and problems that come with building a business. It goes through all the mess that is created when you are trying to scale a business, such as managing employees, and a lot of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t really talk about. It’s a really honest account.”

Principles by Ray Dalio

“It’s an absolutely fascinating book. His principles of all his life lessons, distilled down by a billionaire. It’s absolutely priceless.”

NOW READ: The five books on Bill Gates’ reading list

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