1. The Toyota Way – Jeffery Liker
This is an incredible book about how Toyota conducts operational excellence. It dives into the origins, process and values of how the production of Toyota works. This book is recommended to anybody in management. Its not only about the 14 principles but about how to manage people the right way by encouraging them to think, care, teach and take pride in what they do. Its also an excellent insight into how to streamline efficiency in a company.
2. First Man In: Leading From The Front – Ant Middleton
First Man In is a great book for anybody that is struggling to overcome a challenge. Throughout the book Ant Middleton makes it clear that no one is born a leader and he gives precise examples of when and how he had to take a leadership approach and conquer challenges. He goes through his thought process, what he did, why he did it and what was the outcome. This is the perfect book to read if you want to learn about self-discipline, patience and overcoming your enemy, even when your biggest enemy is yourself.
3. Sprint – Jake Knapp
If you’re overwhelmed with problems, and struggling to find solutions, this might be the book for you. Jake Knapp explains his tried and tested method (as developed at Google) to help you solve any problem in 5 days. It guides you from mapping out the problem, all the way up to testing a prototype solution in one week. This New York Times Best Seller will help you to pick apart the conceptualising process, and build it back up in much more efficient and effective way. Jake also features on The Jake and Jonathon Podcast where they tackle design sprint questions.
4. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
From $50 to $30 billion - how did he do it? A gripping read for those who are interested in the early, integral stages of a business, and how Phil Knight built Nike up to what it is today. Nike experienced a massive evolution from start-up to household name, and for the first time, we get to understand how from the founder himself. With a fully immersive and in-depth look at the reality of startups, struggles and setbacks included, we can see why Bill Gates recommends this read!
5. Let My People Go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard
Success, sustainability and sports all come to mind when we think of Patagonia, and these all apply just as easily to it's founder, Yvon Chouinard. Let My People Go Surfing has made a huge impact on it's readers due to it's unconventional approach to business, endless advice and inspiration and environmentally conscious themes throughout. As we read through the story of how Chouinard built Patagonia from his love for climbing and the outdoors, and fortified it with his strong values, we come to understand how it's become so successful and long lasting.