A number of business leaders were polled this year asking them to name the best book on business, leadership or technology that they read in 2020. Here are a few of the answers they gave.
1. Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty
This is a sequel to his bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which focused on the tremendous growth of wealth inequality in the world. This volume takes a close look at the beliefs that undergird our economic system, one that is becoming hypercapitalist.
The book takes a look at the ideology of entrepreneurship, which Piketty points to as one of the primary drivers of these hypercapitalist outcomes. Piketty also examines what possible alternatives there are.
2. Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say – And What You Don’t by L. David Marquet
The author is a Navy submarine captain. He argues that in the information age, traditional leadership skills have become less relevant. Based on his own experience commanding a sub, Marquet says collaboration instead of intimidation or issuing commands offers greater success.
3. The Future is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries and Our Lives byPeter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
The authors examine developing technologies such as AI, virtual reality, robotics, digital biology and blockchain and argue that they will converge as innovation continues. This convergence, they write, will change everyone’s life.
4. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Bob Iger
The title pretty much says it all. Interesting, inspiring and entertaining, some of the wisdom gained from running one of the world’s most notable companies.
5. Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Shellye Archambeau
The author says everyone has the right to be ambitious. This book is the story of her life and her ambitions and how she achieved them.
6. The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond by George Friedman
The author takes a look into the future using geopolitics as his touchstone and makes predictions about what to expect. He is optimistic about the future of the country because he still sees a dynamism and flexibility in America.
7. Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World by Marco Iansiti and Karim L. Lakhani
AI is going to be a major disruptor in many industries. This books looks at the strategic and ethical consequences.