“All Great Leaders are Great Readers”

By Donnavan Finlay, Co-Founder of Guyding Principals.


When starting off in any new venture as a small business owner or a supervising manager, the one thing you can never get enough of is information. Information is all around us but there is quality information and then just information.

The internet is full of short bursts of inspiration but that will only carry you so far. There is a saying I hear often “All Great Leaders are Great Readers”.

We are not all in a position to have mentors that we can call when we need some direction. That is where books come into play. The world is full of books written by successful leaders, in business and leadership.  All the information you will ever need is written in a book somewhere.

My Kindle is full of these books and I like to revert back and forth for ideas and inspiration.

Lately I have started listening to audio books as I can listen anywhere.  Have to drive somewhere? Have to stand in line at the bank again? Why not listen to an audio book while waiting and learn something new. Using this feature you will never have the excuse you did not have time.

The following list is my Top 10.  

There are many books out there I have found inspiring and of great value but not on the list. This doesn’t mean they are not good, I just feel the following are good to start off with.

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy

    If you have ever wondered how to separate yourself from the other businesses in your industry, this will give you start you need. This opened my mind.

  2. The Entrepreneur Mind

    By Kevin D. Johnson. Filled with personal stories and great advice. The book is a must have to any person wanting to be better as and entrepreneur. Filled with great information it will supply you with most of the answers you may have about starting your own business venture.

  3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

    By Dale Carnegie. Basically any book written by Dale Carnegie should be on your must read list. This book will provide the tools for any person looking to improve their overall social skills. Although the book may be old it is still very relevant in our world today. This could be the life changer you are looking for.

  4. Meetings Suck

    By Cameron Herald. We all have to sit through meetings at some point. Most would agree with the title of this book. Well, it doesn’t have to be. In this book you will read that there are some great ways to improve the experience and actually improve productivity and team performance. You will read how to ensure there is more engagement from the team. Last but not least you will read how to cut on time spent on meetings with increased overall results.

  5. The Personal MBA

    By Josh Kaufman. Not everyone has the finances or time to get a MBA at a top business school. Some may be a bit older when starting a new business venture. This book is exactly what you may be looking for. This book changed my thinking in many ways and I achieved increased results with my shift in thought and the changes I made in my own business ventures. I made changes to the way I looked at me staff and my clients. This book is worth your time.

  6. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking

    By Dale Carnegie.  This book is practical and inspirational.  Very reader friendly with great examples. Great public speaking is a trait of good leaders and the money spent on this book will provide you with the tools to be exactly that.

  7. Secrets of Closing the Sale

    By Zig Ziglar. From the super salesman himself. This book covers all areas of the sale. Not every person is a born salesperson. After reading this book and implementing the principles you will see a positive change in the numbers. When leading a team you can break the book up in sections and do great training sessions that will provide your team with the guidance to increase the numbers.  A true must have book.

  8. Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits

    By Greg Crabtree. This is a must read for anyone starting a small business. Written by an accountant. The book simplifies what you are looking at so you have a better understanding of what is going on. At the end of the day we need the revenue to survive so we should learn how to read the numbers and how to leverage it.

  9. The Lean Startup

    By Eric Ries. This is truly a must for anyone starting a business. After reading the book the odds are in your favor to have a successful startup business.

  10. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

    By Stephen R. Covey. And last but not least. This book is very inspiring and I feel very well written. Great examples and easy to follow. This is a book you don’t just read once. It is a good idea to read it as often as you need to reinforce the habits. The habits are there to build character and not just attain better results.


What book is on your MUST read list?


Feel free to leave a comment or contact us at info@guydingprincipals.com.


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