Four Books that Helped Me Grow

As an entrepreneur, I’ve leaned on so many books for advice on how to grow my business and take it to the next level. I’m a big advocate of continual learning and growth not only in business but in my personal life. Below are some of the books that have helped me the most.

  1. Abundance by Peter Diamandis – Agree or Disagree? The human condition is always improving. This concept is exemplified in Peter Diamandis’ book, Abundance. Human history is the story of ever-improving technology that elevates the human condition. Warfighting and negative news get all the attention. But, across the board, the human condition is far better today than it has ever been. Plummeting violence, infant mortality, extreme poverty, illiteracy. Don’t listen to the naysayers, life is getting better and we are all responsible to continue the progress for the next generations.
  1. The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil – Kurzweil models human progress into the Law of Accelerating Returns, explaining the continued acceleration of human progress, and giving a framework to model future possibilities. This book, more than any other, frames how I think about the future. No problem is unsolvable, progress is moving much faster than everyone else believes, and the greatest risk is to stand still and get disrupted. Super optimistic and motivational.
  2. Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker – Steven documents the amazing progress of human history to leave violence in our past. Pinker does a masterful job of documenting human progress through the lens of rational thinking and empathy. Specifically, this book highlights the following: 6 trends of declining violence (such as The Rights Revolutions — think Civil, LGBT, etc.), 5 inner demons (such as Revenge) and 4 better angels (such as Self-Control). Pinker’s work sets the stage and acts as a springboard for my book, The End of Killing, to be the next in line about reducing violence through the help of technology.
  3. Team of Teams by General Stan McChrystal – If you are building a company or attempting to grow beyond a certain level of productivity, I would strongly recommend General Stan McChrystal’s book, Team of Teams. This book does an incredible job giving advice on how to increase the decision velocity of larger organizations, breaking down organizational silos, and putting small teams of cross-functional nature in close quarters with one another. Drawing from his time serving as a 4-Star General in the United States Army, General McChrystal also shares lessons from the counterinsurgency in Iraq that apply directly to corporate settings. If your business is stuck in neutral or if you are leveling up organizational efficiency, I’d highly recommend this book.