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CIO Bookshelf: Top Recommended Books by Technology Leaders

Those who lead, read.
Kelsey Brandt
Contributing Writer

Whether you’re a seasoned technology leader or new to the role, prioritizing time for continuous learning and reading is essential to tackle challenges, inspire your teams, adapt to change, and foster innovation.

As you navigate your leadership journey, it’s crucial to tap into the collective wisdom and experiences of your peers. One way to do so is by asking for book recommendations. So, here’s the inside scoop—our community of CIOs and Technology Executives has spoken, and we’ve compiled a list of the top ten books that have caught their attention in the past year. These books cover everything from strategic IT governance to digital innovation and leadership savvy.

And if these top recommendations don’t quite catch your fancy, check out the over 100+ book recommendations in your CIO Bookshelf.

Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy

Patrick Bet-David, a successful entrepreneur and author, offers valuable insights that go beyond traditional business strategies, providing executives with a fresh perspective on strategic thinking and decision-making. With a focus on anticipating competitive moves and making calculated choices, this book serves as a roadmap for technology leaders to align their IT strategies with broader business goals.

Future Ready: The Four Pathways to Capturing Digital Value

Stephanie L. Werner, Pete Weill, and Ina M. Sebastian tackle digital transformation challenges in “Future Ready.” Backed by extensive research across 1000 companies, they present a field-tested framework, and playbook to guide businesses, offering insights, assessments, and real-world examples for profound business transformation and achieving competitive excellence in the digital economy.

Fractional Leadership: Landing Executive Talent You Thought Was Out of Reach

Author Ben Wolf offers a step-by-step guide to securing once-unattainable executive talent. Exploring how fractional leaders can bridge the gap without the need for full-time hires. Through personal anecdotes and real-world examples, you will gain insights into what fractional leaders are, how they help businesses overcome growth limitations, the ideal problems they can solve, and how to find the right fractional leader for max impact and performance.

Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value

Melissa Perri’s book emphasizes the importance of customer-centric practices and avoiding the “build trap.” Learn how to establish a strong product management foundation, foster collaboration, and create a culture focused on delivering value and successful outcomes. Applicable to organizations of any size.

The Next CIO: How Enterprise Technology Management Powers Autonomous IT

In “The Next CIO,” author Vincent Vasquez addresses the challenges faced by modern CIOs. From managing technology portfolios to optimizing processes and funding digital transformation, this book proposes adopting an Enterprise Technology Management (ETM) application. ETM empowers CIOs to enhance efficiency, security, compliance, and observability, enabling autonomous IT.

Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon

“Working Backwards” unveils Amazon’s inner workings and offers practical insights on culture, leadership, and best practices. Learn from experienced executives, apply Amazon’s principles, and discover the secrets behind their success. Implement these strategies in your own organization for remarkable results.

The Human Cloud: How Today’s Changemakers Use Artificial Intelligence and the Freelance Economy to Transform Work

If you listen to the news, robots are coming for your job. Full-time employment is becoming obsolete as organizations embrace contract-based hiring. In “The Human Cloud,” Matthew Mottola and Matthew Coatney guide you through the transition, empowering you to seize opportunities and navigate the evolving job marketplace with confidence.

Strategic IT Governance 2.0: How CIOs Succeed at Digital Innovation

In today’s complex business landscape, strategic enterprise projects face numerous challenges that can hinder success. To overcome these obstacles and drive digital transformation, IT executives need to take the lead. “Strategic IT Governance 2.0” offers a proven model that focuses on project alignment, process reinvention, and leadership excellence, backed by real-world case studies of successful digital transformation implementations.

The New Leadership Playbook: Being Human While Successfully Delivering Accelerated Results

Andrew Bryant explores the evolving role of leadership in the digital age. This book equips CIOs with essential leadership skills, strategies for leading through change, and practical techniques for delivering accelerated results while maintaining a human-centered approach.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

In the crucible of combat, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin experienced the vital role of leadership. In “Extreme Ownership,” they share gripping accounts of their time in Iraq, emphasizing that leadership is the decisive factor in a team’s success. Their lessons, refined through SEAL training and shared with organizations worldwide, inspire leaders to adopt a resilient mindset and achieve victory in any environment.

Join us in fostering a culture of knowledge-sharing and collaboration. If you have read one of these picks, share your thoughts with the community; and if you have a book recommendation that has made an impact on your technology or leadership journey, please drop us a line, and we will add it.

By sharing your recommendations, you help expand the breadth and depth of the CIO Bookshelf, ensuring that it remains a rich resource for all community members.

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