The Art of War
To my knowledge, this book was first published in 1772, but the lessons in this writing were cultivated between 2000 and 2500 years ago in China. To me, this is a “must read” for any aspiring leader.
The language may be difficult at times and the situations may seem dated, however, the psychology of competing and winning in an honorable way is remarkably captured. And, while some people may find the war analogy a bit strong for business, this book offers “battle-hardened” and time-tested insights into the behavior of people under pressure that can be useful to any and all leaders. In my case, I encountered this book when I was at Nabisco in the early 1990s and it was recommended to me by my CEO, H. John Greeniaus. I have referred to it ever since.