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5 Books that Shaped’s Jeff Bezos’ Leadership Style

BoomTown Leadership Books Real Estate

Becoming a leader is hard. It’s certainly easy to argue all you need is real-life practice. But here’s a counter-argument — you need to know what road to travel down first. Otherwise, you’re just walking (and often getting lost) in the woods. Books can be an inspirational and educational tool to set you in the right direction for becoming a great leader. You get to learn from others’ mistakes rather than your own.

Does this mean you need to check out every book on “leadership.” No. Sometimes, the books that don’t directly address the topic are the ones to reveal new insights. And who better to show us the possibilities than’s Jeff Bezos, whose company skyrocketed because of the way they sell books.

If you haven’t already taken a look at Jeff’s new biography, The Everything Store, it could be your starting point. For Jeff though, here’s his list of books that shaped his leadership style …


1The Remains of the Day

Winner of the Booker Prize, Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel dives into the fictional world of Stevens, the perfect butler who yields three decades of service to Lord Darlington. His tale highlights the impact “duty and responsibility” have on one’s profession, and even one’s soul. It’s a tale to make you think about regrets — and to make sure you don’t have any in your journey.

Though fictional, Ishiguro’s novel stands as one of Jeff’s favorite books and he accredits much of the story to his own development. View the Book.


2The Mythical Man-Month

What would your reaction be if an influential computer scientist made the argument that small groups of engineers are more effective than larger ones at handling complex software projects? This exact counterintuitiveness makes the Mythical Man-Month (by Frederick Brooks) the perfect book to read on becoming an influential leader. It offers deep insight into managing complex projects, which are especially handy for leading a real estate business in today’s technological age. View the Book.


3Data-Driven Marketing

If you want to deliver significant performance gains via marketing efforts, Mark Jeffery’s book will give you the right download of information. With any business decision, you want data to back it up. Learn how to leverage all those bits of data and put them to good use for your real estate business. All the research stems from the Kellogg School of Management, making it a convincing guide to marketing. View the Book.


4Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

One of the best ways to gain a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t is to draw a comparison and contrast. In Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porra from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business did just exactly that. They took 18 exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied them in direct comparison to their top competitor. The research took over 6 years, but the information provided will help you build a leading company forever. View the Book.


5Sam Walton: Made in America

Wal-Mart is synonymous with discount retailing. It gained a reputation for having everything you need in one location. With Sam Walton: Made in America, you get to meet the man behind the vision. Learn how discount retailing didn’t just stem from a mission, but a founding of core values — and then became a bias of action. It’s a lesson on experimentation and a willingness to make mistakes. View the Book.


Let Us Know

Whether you read all the books or just one, let us know your thoughts! Share any feedback and recommend other books we should read via our Facebook page or Twitter handle. We’d love to hear from you, and make sure we’re sharing the right ideas that lead to your success.


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