Summer officially began one month ago so by now you’ve probably already left town for an awesome, once in a lifetime vacation full of rest and relaxation. Right?! Oh, that wasn’t you?

With a strong tendency to put in 18-hour days, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and business owners routinely set ambitious pace with little thought given to rest and relaxation. But business leaders must remember that their best work absolutely cannot happen if they’re too tired to be inspiring leaders.

Change the rhetoric and make vacation work for you! Think of it as an inspirational time to peek around corners, explore new ideas, and discover new concepts. A truly great vacation doesn’t need to be about “checking out” – Perhaps it’s about “checking in” and discovering the new that can help you continue building your business.

Go on vacation. You deserve it! Pack one of our Ark Financial 9 Best Business Books for the summer and discover inspiration for that something new …

image08‘Sprint’ by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz

There is no denying that Google created nonstop buzz about the magic of their office space. It’s no wonder why many business leaders think on how they can bring some of Google into their office. Look no further because “Sprint” can help you out.

Knapp, Zeratsky, and Kowitz will show you how they’ve used this method to launch game-changing products with companies like Blue Bottle Coffee, Slack, and Nest.

Find it here »

image07‘Originals’ by Adam Grant

Adam Grant is a star in his field. He’s the highest-rated professor at Wharton and the youngest to ever reach “full professor.” His success is built on some of the most exciting and practical work in behavioral science.

In his latest book, Grant takes a look at some of the most innovative and daring thinkers of the past 100 years, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the founders of Google, breaking down what goes on inside the mind of an “original.”

Find it here »

image10‘O Great One!’ by David Novak and Christina Bourg

When David Novak retired as the chairman of Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) in May, he left behind a legacy of 41,000 restaurants across 125 countries and a market capitalization of about $34 billion.

His book “O Great One!” is a parable based on his own career that communicates the No. 1 leadership lesson he learned: The greatest thing a leader can do is show appreciation for great work.

Find it here »

image09‘Grit’ by Angela Duckworth

What’s the one thing that West Point cadets, spelling-bee champs, Jeff Bezos, and Julia Child have in common?

Ask Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a winner of the MacArthur “genius” award, and she’ll tell you: grit. That is, a combination of passion and perseverance that plays a huge role in determining your success in life — more so even than intelligence or innate talent. The book is a compelling read that will encourage you to start questioning your own potential for achievement.

Find it here »

image01‘Ego is the Enemy’ by Ryan Holiday

For someone at the start of their careers, acting on ego can prevent them from constructive learning opportunities; for someone who has already experienced success, acting on ego can prevent them from adapting to change.

Bestselling author Ryan Holiday draws from history and philosophy to show how one can master one’s own ego, using examples that range from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.  

Find it here »

image00‘The Inevitable’ by Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired magazine, has established himself as a guru of Silicon Valley. “The 4-Hour Workweek” author Tim Ferriss un-ironically calls Kelly “the most interesting man in the world” and legendary tech investor Marc Andreessen dubbed “The Inevitable” an “automatic must-read.”

In it, Kelly gives you a sneak peek at the future, and how it will be shaped by maturing forces like artificial intelligence and the on-demand economy.

Find it here »

image03‘Never Split the Difference’ by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

The subtitle of this book is “negotiating as if your life depended on it” — and Voss knows better than pretty much anyone what that’s like, having spent decades as an FBI hostage negotiator. Voss presents a series of surprising negotiation tactics, like encouraging the other person to say “no” when you want them to ultimately say “yes.”

Best of all, it’s an easy read filled with anecdotes from Voss’ time in the FBI, and by the end you’ll be surprised how much you’ve learned that you can apply right away.

Find it here »

image02‘If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?” by Raj Raghunathan

Presumably, smart people should make good choices about their health and well-being. But as you may know from personal experience, they don’t always.

In fact, Raghunathan, who is a professor at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, argues that the very traits and behaviors that lead to professional success often sabotage our chances at happiness.

Raghunathan outlines how to overcome this tendency, as well as seven other “deadly happiness sins,” simply by shifting your mindset.

Find it here »

image04‘Superbosses’ by Sydney Finkelstein

Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, says that if you look at the key players within any industry, you’ll notice that most of them at some point worked for the same individual. Finkelstein calls these individuals “superbosses,” or managers who spawn the next generation of talent by turning their employees into stars.

Any manager can become a superboss by developing the key traits and behaviors that Finkelstein outlines, like fearlessness, authenticity, and not being afraid to let a great employee go.
Find it here »