These best business biographies and autobiographies provide the insight you need on your path to success.

Best business biographies and memoirs: Look to the stars

The saying, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” is a popular aphorism with many underlying truths. In fact, pundits agree that one of the most effective means of learning is through studying pre-existing, and successful models.

Whether you aim to build upon existing practices, or start from scratch, let these five expert accounts inspire you.

1. The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century. Steven Watts

Steven Watts spins a gripping yarn of Henry Ford’s achievements and faults, highlighting the human aspect to the legend. In fact, Watts contrasts Ford’s humble beginnings and ultimate success with infidelity, an anti-Semitic streak, and resistance to union labour.

As such, the result is a truthful appraisal of the mind behind the first movable assembly line, one that revitalised an entire industry, and still achieves celebrity status in mass culture.

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2. My Fight to the Top. Michelle Mone

This revealing autobiography tracks the soaring success of Michelle Mone, a titan of entrepreneurship. From Glasgow, Mone tackled poverty, left school at 15, and fell pregnant at 18. However, she then went on to create one of the world’s most successful and profitable lingerie brands.

3. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. Ashlee Vance

Ashlee Vance tracks the meteoric business success of innovator and visionary, Elon Musk.

Throughout Elon Musk, Vance highlights the gambles and victories of a name synonymous with pushing advancements in tech and industry. From creating and selling Paypal, to steering the future of driverless cars, Musk’s journey is a thrilling and informative read.

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Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media

4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sheryl Sandberg

A call to action and business resource, Sheryl Sandberg’s autobiography explores and questions ongoing limitations surrounding women in the workplace.

While acknowledging definite strides in gender equality within professional environments, she also unapologetically highlights fundamental inconsistencies that hold women back. Sandberg explores gender inequality on a global scale, and at the same emboldens women to help themselves and their career.

An insightful read for any gender identity, it reassesses faulty practices of outdated cultural norms.

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Wikimedia Commons/Michael Wuertenberg

5. The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. T.J. Stiles

T.J. Stiles confidently documents the amazing life and times of 19th century industrialist “Commodore Vanderbilt”.

Heralded as the inventor of modern capitalism, Cornelius Vanderbilt was a self-made millionaire.

Like most captivating tales of successful business figures, Vanderbilt climbed his way to the top of the professional food chain.

From captaining ships for wealthy business owners, to becoming a shipping and railroad mogul, Vanderbilt died the richest man in America in 1877. Furthermore, his net worth exceeded £80 million.

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Wikipedia/Michel Vuijlsteke

Intrigued by our best business biographies and memoirs? Then explore our list of best business audiobooks for your entertainment and knowledge.