12 Must-Read Books for Aspiring CFOs

It’s no secret that successful people read, a lot.

Top finance executives are no different, so we asked Fortune 1000 CFOs which books had influenced their path in business and why they found those books so influential.

Here are 12 books top CFOs said shaped their thinking, changed their perspective, and gave them tools to succeed. 

"Much more than a survival book, this book is full of lessons relating to risk management, creating mental models, the emotional versus the rational mind, and stoicism."​

Ted Stalick, CFO of Mercury Insurance

"Extremely helpful on management situations (up and down), negotiations, and increasing self-awareness."

Jeff Barker, CFO of Taylormade Golf

"Provides a detailed, step-by-step approach to redirecting an organization’s resources and investments toward its few 'differentiating capabilities.'"

Mike Buckley, CFO of Nike Direct

"This book helped me put into context some of the challenges an organization faces as it undertakes a major initiative. It helps you navigate what motivates you and what may be a flawed sense of what is right, driven by not understanding where another person’s perspective comes into play and the reason why that individual has that perspective."

Anthony Scaglione, CFO of ABM

"This book underscores the need to reinvent yourself."

Sandeep Batra, CFO of Crompton

"'Management is the science of human achievement.' I’ve repeated this quote of Hamel's for 15 years now. As a CFO (or anyone in a leadership position), what could be more important than the science of human achievement? This book is a tool kit for managing people and teams to higher performance."

Carl Lukach, CFO of Univar

"Written by a Shell planning executive, this book is an excellent take on scenario planning, sensitivity analysis, and untethered thinking."

Mark Mey, CFO of Transocean

"This book helped define my management style and open my eyes to managing as I progressed through my career. The idea of hiring for talent and not experience is one that is very hard to wrap your head around on a fundamental basis, but has guided me in many of my hires over the years."

Anthony Scaglione, CFO of ABM

"Read the book and enjoy the history through the lens of analyzing the global governance your company has in place for growing and getting things done. The failures of one of the world’s most successful 400-year empires might provide insights for better governance over the operations and investments of your global company. (The empire collapsed because the Caesar at the time failed to pay promised pensions!)"

Carl Lukach, CFO of Univar

"Cause and effect explained beautifully."

Sandeep Batra, CFO of Crompton

"A book on leadership based on learnings from the world of sports."

Eeva Sipilä, CFO of Metso

"In this simple book, Ohmae outlines how to take any massively difficult, seemingly unsolvable problem, break it down into components, and then one by one solve the components with a Japanese way of thinking."

Carl Lukach, CFO of Univar