11 must-read books to inspire business leaders

7 mins

There are thousands of interesting books available that can inspire not only your business mind-set but also your perspective on life too.

Some can help you with actionable tips, while others more at changing your attitudes. We asked the people here at Price Bailey to recommend their favourites. And here’s what they said:




Alex Ferguson with Michael Moritz

For many devoted football fans of clubs other than Manchester United I can imagine that purchasing a book about Alex Ferguson might be a bit of a tall order! Simon Dewhurst from the Business team explains however that the book is universal:

“This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to push themselves to become the best leader they can possibly be. Whether leading on the sports field, in the classroom or in the office this book contains some thought provoking advice. As well as tapping into the extensive knowledge and experience of British football’s most successful manager, it also includes snippets from world renowned entrepreneur Sir Michael Moritz. It covers a range of topics such as engaging others, recognising hunger and the importance of networking which are key aspects of any professional career. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone already in a position of authority or someone with the aspiration to become a leader in their field.”

Available at Amazon.



‘Chocolates on the Pillows Aren’t Enough’

Jonathan Tisch with Karl Weber

The customer experience is an essential aspect for most businesses, but for some this is really what can make them stand out from the rest. Partner at Price Bailey Stephen Ufland recommends you take a look at ‘Chocolates on the Pillows Aren’t Enough’:

This is a great book on how to differentiate a business from the competition in terms of the experience the customer or client receives. The author presents some excellent ideas and the book makes an excellent read for anyone involved in providing a service whether in a professional services firm or business generally.”

Available at Amazon.



‘Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness’

Cass R Sunstein and Richard H Thaler

For some, coming to a decision can take a while and what we might not even consider are the biases influencing us into finally making that decision. Eleanor Lothian from the Corporate team suggested this book and said:

“I found it interesting to read about the way in which small “nudges” that can be found in various aspects of our lives are designed to influence our decision-making process (often without us realising it) with the intention to work in our best interests. For instance, a simple example mentioned in the book illustrates how the physical order in which lunchtime meal options are presented to school children can encourage them to pick the healthier options, but also more complex topics such as pension schemes are also discussed.”

Available at Amazon.



‘The Chimp Paradox’

Professor Steve Peters

This is an actionable read that gets you thinking about how to control your negative emotions and reactions. This is really applicable for both work and life in general. Professor Steve Peters give a great insight into how to manage your inner chimp and ultimately lead a happier, more successful and fulfilling life.

Available at Amazon.



‘The Trusted Advisor’

David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford

Nurturing client relationships is a hard but rewarding task. But it’s that extra value that can gain further benefits in the long run. We had more than one recommendation for this from Stephen Ufland and Richard Grimster. Here’s what Stephen said:  

“This is really an invaluable book based on the recommendation that a business cannot become successful until client confidence has been established. The 5 step plan suggested by the author is both practical and proven and over the years I have read it and re-read it as it has many concise stand-alone sections.”

Available at Amazon.



‘Who Moved My Cheese’

Spencer Johnson

Dealing with change at your workplace can be tough and we had a couple of recommendations for this renowned book to help deal with it. Here’s what Price Bailey Partner, Daren Moore had to say:

“I was told to read Who Moved My Cheese when I started on a partner development course with my previous firm. Anything that simplifies challenges in business by reference to cheese is genius!”

Available at Amazon.



‘Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard’

Chip and Dan Heath

This is another book that looks at change, which Partner, Chris Godsave recommends:

“This is an excellent book on change management and all set around a really simplistic analogy. It starts by explaining that we need to understand how our minds work and why we can become resistant to change. But it soon delves into how to deal with and exceed in changes.”

Available at Amazon.



‘The Hidden Persuaders’

Vance Packard

First published in 1957 this book was a bible in its time, and provides a look back into the psychology and behavioural aspects of commercial advertising, before the introduction of digital marketing and social media.

Available at Amazon.



‘Margin of Safety’

Seth Klarman

There are many books on how and where to invest your money, but none quite as prolific as this one  – it’s for sale at Amazon for over £1000 (although partly as it’s now out of print). Dov Owen from the Business team recommended this one saying:

“An excellent must-read for anyone who invests their money (particularly on the stock markets).”




‘The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life’

Alice Schroeder

As people in business go Warren Buffet might be one of the top names on people lists. Craig Symonds from the Corporate team has read this one and says:

“This is a great book on Warren Buffet, how he started out and how he has always been driven to be worth the $60bn he is worth today. Entertaining chapters and some great insights into how to be successful.”

Available at Amazon.



‘Offensive Marketing’

Warren J Keegan & Hugh Davidson

Offensive in terms of aggressive market growth rather than abusive language, this book takes a look at strategies to gain, and protect, market share, based around five key principles – Profitable, Offensive, Integrated, Strategic and Effectively Executed, otherwise known as POISE.

Available at Amazon.


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