7 Best Strategic Planning Books Written by CEOs

Do you want to learn how to formulate strategy effectively? In this article, we will show you strategic planning books written by leading strategists and CEOs.

What is Strategy?
Strategy comes in many shapes and forms. It can be the Art of War by Sun Tzu, the Value Chain Model by Michael Porter or the Balanced Scorecard by Norton and Kaplan. However, there are 3 basic components that are the basis of any strategy as below,

- Diagnosis or the nature of challenges.
- Guiding Policy or a broad statement about how to deal with challenges.
- Action Plans or a list of things to do to meet Guiding Policy.

To formulate a solid strategy, many people rely on certain techniques such as SWOT Analysis, 4 by 4 Matrix, Value Chain Model, Balanced Scorecard or even a core competency concept. Anyway, how can we make sure that our strategy can cope with the competitions?

Finding the Best Strategic Planning Books
We believe a good strategy should be tested by business leaders who use them every day. To help our readers find the books about strategic planning they can use, we come up with the data collection plan as below,

- First, we find a list of books about strategic planning written by notable business leaders on Wikipedia.

- After that, we check out the news website to find news releases about the launch of books about strategic planning.

- We also search for books about strategic planning written by CEOs on Goodreads and Amazon.com

- Then, we remove books irrelevant to strategic planning from the list.

- Finally, we evaluate each strategic planning book by popularity, recency and reader feedback.

7 Best Strategic Planning Books are as below:
  1. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by Alan Lafley (Former CEO of Procter & Gamble)

  2. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy (Former CEO of General Electric)

  3. The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career by Jack Welch (Former CEO of General Electric)

  4. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos)

  5. TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments by Douglas Conant (Former CEO of Campbell Soup Company)

  6. Taking People with You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen by David Novak (Former CEO of Yum! Brands)

  7. Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down by Vineet Nayar (Former CEO of HCL Technologies)

We notice that books about contemporary strategic planning are the combinations of actual company case study, the leadership style of each business leader and how strategy is formulated and implemented. These are 3 key ingredients that make any strategic planning works.

Do you know other strategic planning books written by business leaders deserve the attention?

- Porter, M. E. (1985). Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. 1985. New York: FreePress, 43, 214.

- Kaplan, R. S., Kaplan, R. S., Norton, D. P., & Norton, D. P. (1996). The balanced scorecard: translating strategy into action. Harvard Business Press.

Last review and update: September 15, 2018

About the Editor

Ben Benjabutr is the editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in various functions in supply chain magement. In his free time, he enjoys reading business and management books. You can learn more about him here or connect with him via Twitter, and Quora or drop him a line via e-mail.