Recommended Books

Over the course of my personal development as a leader and the development of this blog, I have read so many books on leadership, creativity, success, and business that have inspired and taught me. This is my list of recommended books. I wanted to share these books with you, and will update this page when I come across more that I think are share-worthy. If you have any books you think I should read, add them in the comment section below.

On this page I share my personal favourites of my list of recommended books. For more extensive lists (including books that I recommend simply because I disagree with them and love sharing books with which I disagree), check out each page dedicated to recommended books on specific topics:

If you're interested in purchasing the book or just knowing more about it, you can click the image above each entry to find it on my Amazon affiliate.

I will add to these lists as I read more, but if you have one that you think I should read, let me know! If you read one of these or have a suggestion for me, tag me on Instagram or Twitter with @kylewierks or on Facebook at Great North Dynamics.

Here are a few of my favourite of my recommended books. Below, I've written a few thoughts on each of them.

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Ever heard of Pixar Animation Studios? Yeah, so has just about everyone else. Creativity, Inc. is a one-of-a-kind book co-authored by Ed Catmull, the head of Pixar. This book is half history of Pixar and half leadership development. The history part is a fascinating story of hard work, creativity, and success (it could probably fit in the success and creativity sections as well). The leadership section can get quite dry, but there are leadership principles heavily salted throughout that make reading the story of Pixar a leadership learning experience. If you've ever wanted to learn about how to build a creative company or lead a creative team, look no further. I can't say I agree with all the principles in this book, but I loved most of them and was challenged by all of them. This is worth a read. And a second read. And even more reads for a refresher.

The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone by Fredrik Eklund and Bruce Littlefield

Don't judge a book by its cover. If you did, you'd think that this was a book about how to be a salesman. And, to be honest, you wouldn't be far off. But the truth is much greater; this is a book about how to succeed as a human being. Fredrik Eklund was the number one real estate agent in New York City (and possibly the entire world) when he wrote this book (and I believe he is still either number one or very close to it). I love this book because Eklund provides a holistic approach to both sales and success. You don't have to be a salesperson to find something useful in this book. For example, one of my favourite lessons is the ten minute rule: everyone will judge you base on the first ten minutes they spend with you. I would recommend it a hundred times over to anyone who wants to know what it takes to succeed.

The Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

This book is dedicated to successful people and studies what sets apart the mega success stories from the rest. While it looks a lot at its subjects' upbringing and demographics, it also adds a ton of interesting information about how you can shape your own success by taking advantage of opportunity and mastering your own habits. If you want to challenge your notions of success and learn a little bit about your own environmental development, I'd encourage you to read The Outliers.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs epitomized the cross-section between creativity, leadership, and business. Isaacson is a powerful storyteller, and the tale he weaves about Steve Jobs is objective and fair. If you're interested in the life of Steve Jobs, this book will be exactly what you're looking for, but it is just as interesting and important for anyone who wants to understand how creativity drives innovation. This book changed the way I view business and industry, and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Walt Disney is without a doubt one of the most iconic storytellers and creatives of the 20th century, and possibly even of the 21st century. Not only is his personal story fascinating, but so are the lessons on creativity and success inside the pages. I've placed this book in the creativity section, but it would fit equally well in the success and leadership sections. Neal Gabler is a good author, though some parts of the biography can get dry. All in all, it is a fascinating read with good lessons throughout.