Most Powerful Women

The Angela Ahrendts reading list

June 19, 2012: 11:06 AM ET

At the inaugural Fortune Most Powerful Women event in London, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts shared her favorite business authors.

By Nina Easton, Fortune senior editor

Angela Ahrendts. Photo: Anthony Upton

Burberry (BBRYF) CEO Angela Ahrendts draws her greatest inspiration from reading—which sometimes leads to ground-breaking new relationships.  After finishing Howard Schultz's account of building Starbucks, Pour Your Heart Into It, she emailed him. She was in an airport, on her way to Seattle, and suggested a get-together over… coffee.

Ahrendts had never met Schultz but, operating under the life philosophy of "I don't ever want to walk away from this job thinking 'I wish I would have,'" she decided to go for it. A delighted Schultz emailed right back: He happened to be in a Burberry store in Aspen, shopping with his wife. A relationship was born.

Ahrendts is an avid reader of the Harvard Business Review. And here's a look at some of her favorite authors:

Clayton Christensen The Harvard Business School professor and disruptive innovation guru has just co-authored a new book, How Will You Measure Your Life?

Gary Hamel Most recently author of What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation. Ahrendts recently picked his brain over coffee.

Jim Collins Bestselling author behind Good to Great and Built to Last, his most recent book, co-authored with Morten Hansen, is Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.

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About This Author
Colleen Leahey
Colleen Leahey

Colleen Leahey joined Fortune in May 2011 to cover leadership, technology, and small business. She also focuses on building the Fortune Most Powerful Women franchise in the digital and live media space and manages programming for the MPW Summit. Previously, Colleen worked at The New Yorker and Bicycling magazine. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and lives in Manhattan.

Email Colleen Leahey | @cmleahey
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