The 20 Best Business Books of All Time

Every year various business editors offer their thoughts on the best business books of the year, or decade… or even “of all time.”

What is often more meaningful is when a successful CEO ranks books, since their success can serve as an example of the books’ value. Rob Kelly, founder of Ongig and former CEO of Hot Topic Media, studied leadership for years, mostly to grasp the insights that would make his businesses successful. Several years ago he published his list of The 20 Best Business Books of All Time, and he did something that other list generators don’t do – he shares his sources. Kelly’s article archives go back to 2009, so you can judge whether his sources are credible.

When I saw Kelly’s list I was initially a little disappointed that Topgrading, 2nd Edition placed only 18th. But then I read his list and was humbled – the other 19 are classics and on just about every “best business book” list I can recall reading. And to be frank, although Topgrading, 3rd edition made all the best seller lists (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc.) it was more an update on innovations since the 2nd Edition, which is 600+ pages long, the ultimate treatise, which Rob liked.

Thanks to Rob for including Topgrading, but most thanks go to the readers who “gave it a shot” and are happy they did.


Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. Our proven hiring process will transform your selection methodology so that you get better hiring results.  Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow outstanding team members. Contact us to learn more!

Scroll to Top