Top 15 Books for Successful CEOs in Nigeria 2023

What are the top books successful CEOs in Nigeria are reading in 2023? One thing that is common to business leaders all over the world is reading. We know you are curious to know the best books that can help Nigerian CEOs expand their imagination, depth and value to others.

As a CEO, you are constantly seeking knowledge about strategy, power, leadership and competition. We’ve got your back on this as we will be sharing highly recommended books to add to your library in 2023. Before we dive into the best books for CEOs in Nigeria, let’s query that habit of voracious reading culture among leaders. Is it a flex? Do they read just so they can drop names and the number of books they have read to impress others? Well, reading is too intentional and time-consuming for people as busy as CEOs to indulge in it for nothing sake. 

Why do CEOs in Nigeria read so much?

If you are still trying to convince yourself to read at least 4 books in a month, here are cogent reasons for you to double your reading hustle.

Develop and expand your thought process

Business leaders must stay ahead of their game in order to keep up with the most up-to-date  information they need to make good decisions. Knowing the latest trends and developments in your industry will help you make informed decisions that will give your company an edge.

Deeply explore your creativity

Reading stretches your imagination, thereby helping you to become more creative. Authors keep us on our toes by introducing new ideas, challenging our opinions, and presenting alternative views. Reading forces your creativity to expand so much that you get uncomfortable staying in the box.

Exercise your analytical skills

According to a University of California, Berkeley study, readers are excellent at analysing information. And as such, CEOs who keep reading improve their ability to interpret language, decipher complex and abstract information which help them to more accurately analyse situations.

Broaden your knowledge base

Reading constantly introduces you to new ideologies, cultures, people and places. When you frequently put yourself outside of your comfort zone by reading, you develop new perspectives and learn new things. The more you know, the more self-aware you become, the more capable you are to understand others, and the more of an interesting personality you become when having conversations with people.

Relax your mind

Reading is a mental escape. Nigeria is a stressful environment to do business with casual things like hitting the gym, catching flights, attending meetings, even commuting to office daily becoming inevitable stressors. When you can just curl up with a cup of coffee or your favourite drink and read a good book, it can do wonders for your mental health by clearing your head and easing your nerves. With these few points, we strongly believe that we have been able to convince and not confuse you to read at least 4 books in a month. So, what are the best books that CEOs in Nigeria should be reading in 2023?

Top 5 Books on Strategy for CEOs in Nigeria:

1. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters, by Richard Rumelt.

This book clarifies the muddled thinking underlying too many strategies and provides a clear way to create and implement a powerful action-oriented strategy for the real world. You will learn that:

  • Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader. 
  • A good strategy is a specific and coherent response to—and approach for—overcoming the obstacles to progress. 
  • A good strategy works by harnessing and applying power where it will have the greatest effect.

Get Good Strategy Bad Strategy here. 

2. Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach, by Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes, and Janmejaya Sinha.

Business leaders are bombarded with bestselling ideas and best practices for achieving competitive advantage, but many of these ideas and practices contradict each other. In this book,  the Boston Consulting Group’s Martin Reeves, Knut Haanæs, and Janmejaya Sinha offer a proven method to determine the strategy approach that is best for your company. Get Your Strategy Needs a Strategy here. 

3. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin.

Strategy is not complex, but it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future – something that doesn’t happen in most companies. In this book, Lafley and Martin created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors, which are:

  • What is our winning aspiration?
  • Where will we play?
  • How will we win?
  • What capabilities must we have in place to win?
  • What management systems are required to support our choices?

Get Playing to Win here. 

4. The Strategy Book: How to think and act strategically to deliver outstanding results, by Max Mckeown.

This book will help you tackle the really important challenges you face both in developing strategies and executing them, in order to deliver the best results possible. You will learn the fundamentals of how to create a winning strategy and lead your team to deliver it. From understanding what strategy can do for you, through to creating a strategy and engaging others with strategy, this book offers practical guidance and expert tips. It is peppered with punchy, memorable examples from real leaders winning (and losing) with real world strategies. Get The Strategy Book here.

5. Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy, by Patrick Bet-David.

From the creator of Valuetainment, the #1 YouTube channel for entrepreneurs, comes a practical and effective guide for thinking more clearly and achieving your most audacious professional goals. Both successful entrepreneurs and chess grandmasters have the vision to look at the pieces in front of them and anticipate their next five moves. In this book, Patrick Bet-David will help you understand exactly what you need to do next when you seem to be running out of ideas in critical situations and how you can turn this approach into a valuable methodology for future application. Whether you feel like you’ve hit a wall, lost your fire, or are looking for innovative strategies to take your business to the next level, get Your Next Five Moves here. 

Top 5 Books on Power & Influence for CEOs in Nigeria

1. The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise written by an Italian diplomat and political theorist, Niccolò Machiavelli, as an instruction guide for new princes and royals. In this 80-page treatise, the writer sets out the basic rules that need to be followed in order to acquire and maintain political power. 

Machiavelli emphasizes the need for realism, as opposed to idealism. He does not explain what he thinks the best ethical or political goals are, except the control of one’s own fortune, as opposed to waiting to see what chance brings. Get The Prince here. 

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie is considered one of the godfathers of self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, and interpersonal skills. The core idea communicated through this book is that it is possible to change other people’s behaviour by changing one’s behaviour toward them. He explains the main principles of interpersonal communication, which can make one extremely likable in the eyes of others. These principles include:

  • Appealing to the other person’s highest ideals
  • Remembering the other person’s name
  • Letting the other person do most of the talking
  • Speaking in terms of the other person’s interests
  • Allowing the other to save face, by “throwing down a challenge”

Integrating these principles of interpersonal communication in your personality can eventually help you make a friend out of just about anyone. Get How to Win Friends and Influence People here. 

3. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs was one of the most influential business people. He became this person through his products, his innovative approach, his addiction to perfection, his extremely charismatic mindset, and also through his attitude towards influence and power. This book (Steve Jobs biography) is based on more than forty interviews with Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It describes the life of a man whose searingly intense personality revolutionized the way the world works and evolves.  It will help you discover important lessons on innovation, character, leadership, and values. Get Steve Jobs here. 

4. Secrets of Power Negotiating, by R. Dawson

Thinking “win-win”, as many thought leaders advise, can be a naive and ultimately unsuccessful approach in today’s tough business environment. Power Negotiating teaches that the way you negotiate can get you everything you want and still convince the other side that they won also. This book covers every aspect of the negotiating process with practical, proven advice, from beginning steps to critical final moves which include: 

  • how to recognize unethical tactics
  • key principles of the Power Negotiating strategy
  • why money is not as important as everyone thinks 
  • negotiating pressure points
  • understanding the other party and gaining the upper hand
  • analyses of different negotiation styles

Get Secrets of Power Negotiating here. 

5. The Psychology of Leadership, by A. Haslam

This book won the University of San Diego Outstanding Leadership Book Award 2012, was shortlisted for the British Psychological Society Book Award 2011 and the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) Management Book of the Year Award 2011–2012! Calling it a massive hit is an understatement. Written in an accessible and engaging style, the book examines a range of  central theoretical and practical issues, including the nature of group identity, the basis of authority and legitimacy, the dynamics of justice and fairness, the determinants of followership and charisma, and the practice and politics of leadership. The book is great for anyone seeking uncommon knowledge on leadership, influence and power. Get The Psychology of Leadership here. 

Top 5 Books on Business Competition for CEOs in Nigeria

1. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, by Michael E. Porter

Now nearing its 60th printing in English and translated into nineteen languages, Michael E. Porter’s Competitive Strategy has transformed the theory, practice, and teaching of business strategy throughout the world. Porter introduces one of the most powerful competitive tools yet developed: his three generic strategies such as lowest cost, differentiation, and focus, which combine to bring structure to the task of strategic positioning. He shows how competitive advantage can be defined in terms of relative cost and relative prices, thus linking it directly to profitability, and presents a whole new perspective on how profit is created and divided. In the almost two decades since publication, Porter’s framework for predicting competitor behaviour has transformed the way in which companies look at their rivals and has given rise to the new discipline of competitor assessment. Get Competitive Strategy here. 

2. The Art of Business Wars: Battle-Tested Lessons for Leaders and Entrepreneurs from History’s Greatest Rivalries, by David Brown.

Based on the Business Wars podcast, stories and lessons from history’s greatest business rivalries, Brown used the Chinese military genius Sun Tzu’s strategies as a guide to examine why some companies triumph while others crumble.

Each rivalry he examines tells a story of combined wits, strategies, and resources. Brown chronicles the rise of companies as they vanquish rivals, formulate innovative plans, and adapt to keep up with shifting societal needs. The stories in The Art of Business Wars are fascinating, but the lessons from them, such as determination, ingenuity, patience, grit, subtlety, and other traits that contribute to a victorious enterprise are invaluable. To learn how to stay ahead of the competition and emerge victorious as an industry titan, get The Art of Business Wars here. 

3. The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars, by Joël Glenn Brenner.

Corporate candy giants Milton Hershey and Forrest Mars built business empires out of one of the world’s most magical, sought-after substances – chocolate. In The Emperors of Chocolate , Joël Glenn Brenner (the first person to ever gain access to the highly secretive companies of Hershey and Mars) spins a unique story that takes readers inside a world as mysterious as Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Packed with flavorful stories and outrageous characters that give the true scoop on this real-life Candyland, The Emperors of Chocolate is a delectable read for CEOs, whether you are a chocolate buff or not. Get The Emperors of Chocolate here. 

4. Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, by Fred Vogelstein.

This book is based on the bitter rivalry between Apple and Google as well as how it’s reshaping the way we think about technology today. The rise of smartphones and tablets has altered the business of making computers. At the center of this change are Apple and Google, two companies whose philosophies, leaders, and commercial acumen have steamrolled the competition. Fred Vogelstein has reported on this rivalry for more than a decade and has rare access to its major players. In Dogfight, he delves into the rivals’ offices and boardrooms where company dogma translates into ruthless business. This book is more than a story about what devices will replace our phones and laptops. It’s about who will control the content on those devices and where that content will come from. There are truck loads of lessons to learn from one of the biggest rivalries in modern-day business – get Dogfight here. 

5. Business and Competitive Analysis: Effective Application of New and Classic Methods, by Craig S. Fleisher and Babette E. Bensoussan.

Craig S. Fleisher and Babette E. Bensoussan begin with a practical primer on the process and context of business and competitive analysis: how it works, how to avoid pitfalls, and how to communicate results. Next, they introduce their unique FAROUT method for choosing the right tools for each assignment. They then present dozens of today’s most valuable analysis methods. The book teaches “classic” techniques, such as McKinsey 7S and industry analysis, as well as emerging techniques from multiple disciplines: economics, corporate finance, sociology, anthropology, and the intelligence and futurist communities. For every method, Fleisher and Bensoussan present clear descriptions, background context, strategic rationales, strengths, weaknesses, step-by-step instructions, and references. This is a great read for every CEO, analyst, strategist, and manager in any industry. Get Business and Competitive Analysis here. Hope you find actionable insights to grow your business in these great resources we have recommended. One of the best ways to stay competitive and lead your market is allowing your customers to pay seamlessly wherever they interact with your business. 


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