close Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn
5 mins

8 Simon Sinek Book Recommendations That Will Make You a Better Leader

Leadership expert Simon Sinek recommends these 8 books to drastically change the way you think about management, business, and life.
by Vanessa Gibbs | Sep 21 2023
Simon Sinek Illustration


Simon Sinek is a leadership expert, motivational speaker, and self-proclaimed optimist. He’s helped everyone from Fortune 100 companies to the US military empower their teams, and his TED talk on how great leaders inspire action is one of the most popular talks of all time, with 59 million views—and counting!

He’s written bestselling books himself—including Start With Why and Leaders Eat Lastbut he’s also recommended plenty of books over the years. He says these reads have inspired his own career in leadership and completely changed his mindset towards life’s challenges.

Want to learn the ideas from Simon Sinek’s book recommendations fast? They’re all available on the Blinkist app. The Blinkist team gathers the most powerful ideas from nonfiction books and shares them in 15-minute reads and listens

As well as the books Sinek has recommended, there are 5,500 titles to choose from across 27 categories including personal development, psychology, and entrepreneurship.  

8 Books From Simon Sinek’s Reading List


1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Let’s kick off the list of Simon Sinek book recommendations with the book he says every human being should read: Man’s Search for Meaning. 

The lessons in this book are as important now as they were when it was published back in 1946. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl shares his experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. He outlines how normal people coped with these traumatizing events, and how anyone can find meaning in life and manage their fears by tackling them head-on. 

Sinek said this book helped him change his victim mindset into one of endless optimism. 


2. Quiet by Susan Cain

When it comes to leadership, you may think you need to be a loud and outspoken extrovert, but Quiet busts this myth—and that’s exactly why Sinek recommends the book. 

In one of Sinek’s TED talks, the book is listed as an essential resource. “In Quiet, Cain affirms to a good many of us who are introverts by nature that we needn’t try to be extroverts if we want to lead,” says Sinek. “Simply being ourselves is more important—and more effective.” 

Cain dives into how valuable introverts are and how they can thrive in a world that’s seemingly made for extroverts. Plus, the book covers how leaders can manage people at both ends of the spectrum, bringing the quiet and the outspoken together to achieve great things. 


3. Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet

Many books on leadership are simply theories, without any practical advice for real-life situations. Turn the Ship Around! is different. Marquet is a former US Navy officer who took a low-on-morale submarine crew with one of the worst performances in its fleet and transformed it into a top-performing team. 

Sinek said Marquet is “the kind of leader who comes around only once in a generation.” But you won’t just learn the inspiring story — Maquet packs actionable leadership advice into the book, too. So, even if you’re not an officer in the Navy, you can learn how to manage any kind of team more effectively. 

Advice includes how to boost team productivity by giving each team member more responsibility and how to build a leader-leader system in business, where each individual is empowered to make leadership decisions in some fashion. 

Sinek himself said the book’s ideas and lessons are “invaluable.” 


4. Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia

No CEO is going to say their people don’t matter in their organization, but actions often speak louder than words. In Everybody Matters, Chapman and Sisodia don’t only dive into why companies should treat employees like family, they cover how it can be done, and they give examples of what it actually achieves. It’s an essential read for anyone wanting to approach leadership in a more people-first way.

Sinek wrote the foreword for this book, so he obviously has a lot of good things to say about it. He writes: “Though a lot of leaders talk about this stuff, in Everybody Matters you’ll see what happens when you actually do it.” 


5. Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

It’s no surprise that endless optimist Sinek is a fan of Everything is Figureoutable and the author, Marie Forleo, herself—Sinek called her a “force of nature.” 

Part self-help book, part inspirational manifesto, Everything is Figureoutable dives into how optimism and pragmatism can help you achieve your wildest dreams. It explains how we’re often held back by nothing but our own self-limiting beliefs, and how simple mindset shifts—like viewing fear as a compass pointing you towards what feels important to you—can help you overcome them. 


6. Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

Productivity expert Scott Belsky argues that no one is born with the ability to turn big ideas into reality, it’s a skill you can build and hone over time. Making Ideas Happen tells you how. 

This book shares real-life stories from big-thinking individuals and creative brands, and details how they turned abstract ideas into completed projects. Plus, it covers how teams overcame obstacles with the right hires and thoughtful leadership. 


7. Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse

James P. Carse states that everything in life is a game—business, war, love—and there are two types of games: finite or infinite. 

Finite games include clear players, rules, and goals—like general elections. Infinite games, on the other hand, are always changing and never-ending. Take music composition or marriage, for example. Making music is never “done” and the aim isn’t to “win” at marriage.

These ideas inspired Sinek so much he wrote his own book—The Infinite Game—where he applies this thinking to business and leadership. Leaders always talk about winning, but business is an infinite game with no set rules. 

Carse’s book, and Sinek’s take on it, are must-reads for anyone looking to learn how to play the right games at work and in life. 

8. Give and Take by Adam Grant

To be successful in life, you need to be cut-throat, right? Wrong. Give and Take argues you’ll get a lot further by helping others, instead of competing against them. 

Adam Grant describes three types of people—the givers, the takers, and those in between—and how givers can ultimately boost their success while bettering the lives of those around them. The book even gives you practical advice for being a giver, without burning out and being taken advantage of by takers. 

The book’s been recommended by everyone from Arianna Huffington to Seth Godin, and Sinek puts it plainly: “Good guy, good book.” 

Also, you can check the Blinkist book collection Simon Sinek Leadership Challenge to understand Sinek’s ideas on leadership, purpose, and business, and check out this list by Most Recommended Books.


Want to see what all the fuss is about with these books, but don’t have the time to read them all? Blinkist can help. Here’s how the app works. 


A Book Explained in 15 Minutes

There’s so much knowledge to be gained from reading nonfiction books, but most of us don’t have much free time to sit down and read. Blinkist was made to solve this problem. 

The Blinkist team gathers the most powerful ideas from nonfiction books and shares them in bite-sized explainers. Each explainer can be read or listened to in just 15 minutes.

“Blinkist caters to readers with more curiosity than time.”
– TechCrunch

You’ll get actionable advice, interesting insights, and powerful quotes from a book, all in a fraction of the time it takes to read it in full.  


Blinkist Helps Users Make Real Change

Blinkist was made for busy people who don’t have time to read. And while 95% of users read significantly more now than before they started using the app, that’s not all they’re doing. 

They’re applying the knowledge they learn to their careers and personal lives — 87% have made positive changes in their lives and 91% have created better habits thanks to things they’ve learned on the app.


Millions are Learning by Listening

Blinkist has 23 million users around the world who turn to the app to discover what the world’s best nonfiction books have to say. But they don’t need to carve out time to sit down and read to do it. 

“As a wife, a mom of three, and a full-time entrepreneur, I yearn for some time to read for both personal and professional reasons. Blinkist is my car companion and pre-sleep friend! I love it.”
– Oula Farawati, Co-founder & CEO Printati

In fact, most of Blinkist’s users listen to the bite-sized explainers. You can learn everything you need to know about a book while running errands, working out, or traveling to work, turning random pockets of time throughout the day into some of your most productive moments. 

And Blinkist’s explainers were made with listeners in mind. There are sound effects, multiple narrators, and strategic repetition throughout to make sure you take in the most important points. 

Want to see what books have influenced other top thinkers? We’ve rounded up book recommendations from the likes of Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Tim Ferriss. Ready to learn from these books yourself? Download the Blinkist app to get started. 

Facebook Twitter Tumblr Instagram LinkedIn Flickr Email Print