Over the past year, I heard recommendations from multiple unrelated people to read The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building by Matt Mochary, Alex MacCaw, and Misha Talavera. Wow, am I happy I listened to their advice.
This book is easily the best business book I've read in the past 5 years at least and top 3 in the past 10 years. The title doesn't do it justice. The title made me think it's a book just for CEOs (it's not) and that it's a book just about CEO skills and inner game (it's not). It goes way beyond both of those.
For me, this book is basically a distillation of best practices from the most effective entrepreneurs and companies and most useful books of all time. It's strategic, practical, tactical, and opinionated. I loved all the examples as well as the exact scripts to use in various situations. The subtitle of the book is probably the more apt description: "The Tactical Guide to Company Building." I am so appreciative of the author's hard work to distill all these lessons and best practices into one text and to even share it freely for other entrepreneurs to learn from. This is the kind of book I know I will want to re-read multiple times and reference over the years. I've now already recommended it personally to several other founders I know.
As an indication of how much I liked it, my notes on the book (below) span 33 pages (I took all the notes before I realized the author shared an early version of the entire book for free, but it's not all time wasted since my own note taking and filtering probably helped me internalize the material better).
If you're working on a company, you have to read this book.
I've been a big fan of Ryan Holiday's work for almost a decade now. I purchased his book Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts a while ago and finally got around to reading it recently.
I was pleasantly surprised by how widely applicable its content is; I thought initially it would be focused more on books/written work, but it covered so many other fields beyond that including entrepreneurship/business in general as well as other fields like music and design. I liked how it built off the idea of the Lindy Effect (which I first learned about in Antifragile, another book I love and learned so much from), which explains how classics grow stronger with passing time.
My biggest takeaway was, "Great things are timeless and take time" and to be patient and focus on the long term. My second biggest takeaway was that if you invest some amount of time and effort in building and creating, you should invest at least as much time and effort into marketing and promoting and giving your work the best chance possible.
Overall, it was another very enjoyable, educational, and inspiring book by Ryan Holiday, and I highly recommend it. Below are some more of my notes and takeaways.