josh linkner, small business books, small business, inspirational business books A young woman between two library bookshelves reaches for a book at the top of a shelf. A young woman between two library bookshelves reaches for a book at the top of a shelf. A young woman between two library bookshelves reaches for a book at the top of a shelf. A young woman between two library bookshelves reaches for a book at the top of a shelf.
Small Business

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5 books to inspire small business leaders

Josh Linkner shares his personal go-to list for creative thinking

Josh Linkner, entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, has partnered with Chase for Business to provide practical advice on how to accelerate the growth of your business.

The right words of advice can push you closer to a goal. They can also inspire you to be your best self.

Chase talked to innovation expert Josh Linkner. He's the author of the best-selling "The Road to Reinvention," which urges businesses to look beyond the status quo for success, as well as a relatively new book, "Hacking Innovation," which explores how insights from computer hackers can help businesses.

Linkner shared this list of five books he would recommend to business leaders.

1. "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World" by Adam Grant

"To build something of real value, you have to forge your own path," says Linkner. Grant's work illustrates how original thought, rather than seeking to emulate others' successes, is vital. There are also lessons for leaders building a company culture that embraces employee's dissenting ideas.

2. "The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals" by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney and Jim Huling

The authors provide a simple, repeatable formula for following through, from the launch of an initiative to completion. "It's not only about dreaming up ideas—it's also about having a thoughtful way to get them done," says Linkner.

3. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink

"The more you understand how people think and make decisions, the more you'll be able to effect change in your organization," says Linkner. As you work to build an innovative culture, this book's insights on what makes people tick are useful.

4. "The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers" by Ben Horowitz

"The main lesson here is the importance of having grit and perseverance," says Linkner. The author's experience in the Silicon Valley startup world demonstrates how innovation is typically followed by setbacks, mistakes and pivots along the way. "Persistence can be the great equalizer. That's why a small business can upend an industry giant," Linkner adds.

5. "What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation" by Gary Hamel

The author of this book is the source of one of Linkner's favorite quotes: "Out there in some garage, an entrepreneur is forging a bullet with your company's name on it. Once that bullet leaves the barrel, you won't be able to dodge it. You've got one option: You have to shoot first." Hamel's book sums up why business owners must make innovation a priority, says Linkner.

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