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What CEOs Are Reading This Summer

A pile of books with library on the back

While every CEO and business owner has his or her own taste, one book that keeps rising above all the rest as one of interest to chiefs is The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz, cofounder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. CEOs listed this book the most because of its honesty and helpful lessons on how to survive as a business leader. In addition, one reviewer on Amazon called it “solid advice about running a company from a wartime CEO.” Here’s a handy list of other inspirational books on CEOs’ summer reading list. Print out and stick in your suitcase or on your fridge.

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Lessons in Excellent Customer Service for Mid-Market CEOs

Group of confident young customer service agents with headset. The focus is on the brunette female looking at camera.

 
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Think about a time when you received amazing customer service. Now think about how rare it was that you experienced that level of customer service. In this day of social media and the omnipresent “review” of businesses and services, one would think companies would do their best to provide top-notch customer service at every turn. Yet it’s surprising how few companies really take the time and effort to provide service outstanding enough to increase customer loyalty.

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2015 Best & Worst States for Business

Best and Worst USA map

Texas and Florida hold their ground in the top two positions, while North Carolina moves up one spot to edge out Tennessee. Georgia rounds out the top 5.

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2014 Wealth Creators Index:
MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga Tops the List

Benjamin Franklin face on dollar bill

For Chief Executive's seventh annual index, we ranked the top 100 public companies of the S&P 500 where the CEO has been in place for at least three years. Similarly, we also ranked the top 40 mid-market companies (see p. 43) from the Russell 3000 in two tiers: upper mid-market companies with revenues between $500 million and $1 billion, and a lower mid-market tier of companies with revenues between $100 million and $500 million.

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How Bob Iger Remade the House That Walt Built

Even iconic brands need fixing from time to time. But instead of the easy fixes, Bob Iger played the long game by addressing Disney’s cultural issues head-on with a three-pronged strategy, making it a stronger, more profitable company with greater depth in its overall brand. The takeaway for CEOs is that, yes, culture—and persistence—matter.

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GE CEO Jeff Immelt on the Future of GE-and of American Manufacturing

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Not long ago, materials were cheap and labor was expensive. Today, the reverse is true, which is why it makes sense to re-shore production in many sectors. But more importantly, the product is increasingly part of the process, driving more companies to embed their know-how and innovativeness with the product itself, says GE CEO Jeff Immelt. That and the prospect of cheaper energy due to the fracking revolution will boost manufacturing in America.

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