The Five Best Business/Leadership Books I Read in 2022

Ryan Gottfredson

by Ryan Gottfredson

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The Five Best Business Leadership Books I Read in 2022

I have always loved reading because I have felt it make me a better person.

I find that reading broadens my horizon, deepens my insights, and exposes me to unique perspectives that differ from my own experience.

In fact, as I have come to study vertical development and vertical developed people/leaders, I have come to learn that it is essentially impossible to vertically develop without reading books.

By the end of 2022, I will have read/listened to 90 books during 2022.

To close the year, I want to share the top five books I have read across three genres and the value I have gained from reading them:

  1. Fiction (12/20)
  2. Non-Fiction (12/27)
  3. Business/Leadership (1/3)

The Five Best Business/Leadership Books I Read in 2022

5. Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company by Whitney Johnson

5. Smart Growth How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company by Whitney Johnson

Vertical development does not occur linearly. Whitney Johnson is among the best of describing the process of vertical development. It involves jumping off of and onto new learning curves. This is not easy, because it means that we go from operating in a place of expertise and comfort to a place of unfamiliarity and discomfort. In this book, Johnson walks the reader how to best approach and take this journey for oneself and how to best help others in their journey.

4. Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella

4. Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, is one of the most vertically developed leaders I have studied, and this book is an entire treatise on how a vertically developed leader thinks and operates. I like the first half of the book because he details how he helped Microsoft regain its soul, largely through an emphasis on developing more of a growth mindset. The second half of the book is written more for people who live in the tech industry. For me, a this is a “must read” for any business leader. You will see me say this about the next three books as well.

3. The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham

3. The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham

The title alone! The basic premise of this book is: If you don’t build thinking time into your life, you will end up paying the “dumb tax.” This brilliant book inspires business leaders to take more time to think and empowers them to do so by suggesting thought-provoking questions to think about. Throughout the book he shares his own experiences of paying the “dumb tax,” and the thinks that he learned as a result. To me, this book was like sitting at the feet of a wise, experienced man. Again, a “must read” for any business leader.

2. American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce Hoffman

2. American Icon Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce Hoffman

Alan Mulally, in my opinion, is also in the upper-echelon of the most vertically developed leaders in the modern business world, and in this book, you get to see a full display of his amazing leadership. This book starts with a brief history of Ford, and how, in the early 2000’s, they were trending the way of the Dodo bird. Then, the majority of the book focuses on how Alan Mulally saved Ford Motor Company and helped it to become one of the most respected brands in the world. I am not sure I have read another book that details so precisely how a leader transformed and organization. And, in seeing that detail, we get a very clear sense of why and how vertically developed leaders transform organizations. This is at or near the top of the list for “must reads” for business leaders.

1. No Rules Rules by Reed Hoffman & Erin Meyer

1. No Rules Rules by Reed Hoffman & Erin Meyer

This book is another look into how a vertically developed leader builds a successful company. This time it is Reed Hoffman and his leadership at Netflix, co-authored by culture expert, Erin Meyer. The only reason why I put this ahead of American Icon is because the executives I work with seem to enjoy it more than American Icon. I think the reason for this is because you are getting vertically developed leadership thought and philosophy straight from the mouth of a vertically developed leader. One of the most profound ideas in this book is the idea and importance of leading with context rather than leading with control. This is another book that is at or near the top of the list for “must reads” for business leaders.

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