Richard Branson, the Virgin Group Founder and self-described tie-loathing billionaire, still finds time in his busy schedule to read.
Over the years he has offered up dozens of titles that have kept his attention and helped him grow as a businessman.
We can’t guarantee you’ll follow in the entrepreneur’s footsteps, but the books could certainly set you in the right direction.
‘1984’ by George Orwell
Though it may be a work of fiction first published in 1950, “1984” has been echoing ever since the actual year came and went. The book envisions a dystopic future society in which the government monitors, and in some cases punishes, people’s every move.
Sales of the book spiked in late January of 2017 when Kellyanne Conway introduced the term “alternative facts.”
Branson included it on his list of the top 65 books to read in a lifetime, in part because of its timeliness in reminding people to stay vigilant and skeptical.
“Black Box Thinking” by Matthew Syed
Failure is a key component of any successful system, but only if the people at the controls understand what went wrong.
In “Black Box Thinking,” journalist Matthew Syed explores why some people try to ignore their mistakes and others confront them deliberately. Syed pushes people to adopt a growth mindset, as the psychologist Carol Dweck calls it, rather than a fixed mindset.
“It advocates for changing attitudes towards failure, and understanding that the only way we learn is by trying things and altering our behaviour based on the results,” Branson writes on his blog.
“Ending the War on Drugs” by Richard Branson
Edited by Branson himself (“I couldnt resist sneaking in a book I contributed to,” he writes) “Ending the War on Drugs” is a compilation of essays about the global drug war and the many failed attempts to end it.
“It brings together such a smart group of experts to explain why global drug policy reform is so important,” Branson writes. The list includes philanthropist George Soros, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, and former Swiss president Ruth Dreifuss, among others.
“Attitudes towards treating drugs as a health issue, not a criminal problem, are changing fast,” Branson explains. “Anyone who reads this book will understand why.”