Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

~ Charles W. Eliot

As an executive startup coach, investor and advisor specializing in scaling companies, founders and clients often ask me for resources and book recommendations.


In the past few weeks, Nate Robert & Andrew Berberick, cofounders of Baton, asked me if I had any book recommendations for them.


I’m a voracious reader and usually have 4-5 books that I’m reading at a time in my Kindle (I have 1,200 books in my Kindle and two very large bookshelves full of books at home that I’m always adding to).


While there are thousands of new business books released every year, most of them, in my opinion, aren’t worth recommending – especially to busy clients running startup companies who need to stay focused and cut out all distractions and noise.


I’ve compiled a list of books below that I’ve found valuable enough to recommend to busy startup founders. Enjoy!


(Links are to Amazon, but I highly recommend finding them at your local bookstore, if possible.)


  • Under the Hood: How to Fire Up and Fine Tune Your Employee Culture by Stan Slap (I worked with Stan at Standard Bank in South Africa a few years ago. He has some of the best research on culture out there – he definitely knows his stuff. This book really helps leaders understand that they aren’t part of the employee culture – they are outside of that culture trying to sell it something, including goals, ideas, strategies, etc.)
  • The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren (This book changed my life – it may not seem like a business book at first glance, but knowing what each emotion means and is a signal for is really critical for leaders to know when you sense them in yourself and your team. Her background and introduction may deter people from reading beyond that, because she has a very odd approach, but the chapters on the emotions are really good.)
If you have any resources that you really like and recommend, I’d really appreciate you sharing them in the comments below – I’m always on the lookout for great, new, helpful books!
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