13 Books Every Chief of Staff Should Read

If moving into a Chief of Staff role or leveling up your Chief of Staff game is one of your goals for 2024, check out this recommended reading list! Here are the 13 books we recommend to Chiefs of Staff to help you grow as a leader, an intrapreneur, and a strategic partner.

13 Books All Chiefs of Staff Should Read

The Founder & The Force Multiplier Book Cover

1. The Founder & The Force Multiplier by Adam Hergenrother & Hallie Warner (Second Edition)

WHY: This is the essential read (yes, yes, we are biased) for Executive Assistants or Chiefs of Staff who want to strengthen their strategic partnership with their leader. You’ll learn how to grow as an individual in your role and achieve more together with your Principal.

2. Chief of Staff by Tyler Parris

WHY: This is a great book for understanding the fundamentals of the Chief of Staff role, as well as the thought process CEOs go through when considering if a Chief of Staff is the right for them. Parris also discusses how to develop and grow the role over time.

3. Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle

WHY: Bill Campbell was an executive leadership coach and business executive who mentored some of the most successful and visionary entrepreneurs and business leaders of our time. Trillion Dollar Coach outlines the key principles that helped these leaders grow and thrive. Whether you are helping to coach your Executive or other leadership team members, or simply want to improve your own leadership, this book is for you.

4. Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

WHY: The average individual makes 35,000 decisions a day. And for leaders, decisions are their product. Over time, businesses succeed or fail based on the strength of their decisions. How can you make smarter decisions? How can you help your Principal make even better ones? Thinking in Bets offers the mental models and frameworks to help you do just that.

5. Impact Players by Liz Wiseman

WHY: For the Force Multiplier who wants to take their career to the next level by growing their influential leadership, optimizing their mindset, and contributing at their best.

6. The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

WHY: Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.

7. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

WHY: In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. 

8. Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C Winters

WHY: Without an Integrator, a Visionary is far less likely to succeed long-term and realize the company’s ultimate goals. Likewise, with no Visionary, an Integrator can’t rise to his or her full potential. When these two people come together to share their natural talents and innate skill sets, it’s like rocket fuel—they have the power to reach new heights for virtually any company or organization.

9. Measure What Matters by John Doerr

WHY: Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.

10. Fierce Leadership by Susan Scott

WHY: From the best-selling author of Fierce Conversations, Fierce Leadership teaches us how to spot the worst “best” practices in our organizations using a technique Scott calls “squid eye”—the ability to see the “tells” or signs that we have fallen prey to disastrous behaviors by knowing what to look for.

11. Powerful by Patty McCord

WHY: Patty McCord is the former Chief Talent Officer of Netflix and helped create the high-performance culture there. In this book, she shares her advice for creating a dynamic culture that will help propel your company into the future. Now more than ever, leaders need to consider why, where, and how their employees want to work, and some of the old tactics simply need to be thrown out. Companies today need to be adaptable, flexible, transparent, and able to create opportunities for growth. Chiefs of Staff have a direct effect on the creation of a company’s culture. This book will give you a fresh perspective on what is possible.

12. Give and Take by Adam Grant

WHY: A large part of a Chief of Staff’s role is building consensus and working through others to achieve a desired result. Grant offers insights on how we can interact more effectively with others to increase productivity, work smarter, build stronger relationships, and ultimately achieve long-term success.

13. The 200% Life by Adam Hergenrother and Hallie Warner

WHY: (Another shameless plug!) For anyone who needs a new perspective on what it means to be happy, fulfilled, and successful. As Force Multipliers, we often identify with our work, tying our self-worth to our performance and our Principal’s success. This book shows that there is another way—a path to massive professional success and self-realization that is much simpler than you think.

Which of these books has been the most impactful for you? Are there any books you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for some more tips on how to lead better and achieve more, especially with your strategic partner? Check out our free resources!

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