Business Books for Technical Leaders

I get a lot of questions like, "You seem to know a lot about business for a technical CTO. How?" and "I'd like to be a CTO someday. Do you have any tips?" First and foremost, a CTO is a business-focused role. You must be able to do whatever the business requires most at any given moment, whether that's coding, technical architecture, hiring, raising money, selling, conducting a layoff, leading Product, being a stand-in COO, or otherwise. 

One of my common responses to these questions is, "Read and be curious!" But read what, exactly? Since I'm a fan of scalable communication, I'm documenting my recommended reading list here for public consumption. 

This list is current as of March 2024, and I plan on updating it ~yearly.

Top Ten Business Books (Must Read)

Ten might seem like a lot of books, but an executive should be reading 10-20 books a year, and when you multiply that by a 10-20 year career to become an executive, you'll have read hundreds of books before you land your first CTO job. 

Good Profiles of Successful Businesses and Leaders

Other Recommended Reads

  • High Output Management - A little dated and process-driven, but it has some good tactical tips on how to run a large team
  • Thinking in Systems - Most engineers are naturally good at this, but the book helps you apply this outside of engineering 
  • Amp It Up - How to operate with urgency 
Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!


Popular posts from this blog

14 Day Challenge - Information Diet

Trust, but verify

Cognitive Biases in Software Engineering