Leading up to the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, announced last night in London, we put this question to senior business executives around the globe.

From biographies to historical and political non-fiction, we found that business leaders look beyond books on finance for professional inspiration. The diverse themes in the books revealed in the View from the Top interviews mirror the breadth of the shortlisted books chosen for the Business Book of the Year Award. To learn more about the award, visit http://on.ft.com/vmY4nQ.

Find out which books have been the most influential to the following executives:

Dan Akerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors

Samir Brikho, Chief Executive of AMEC

Cynthia Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American

Thomas Fanning, President of Southern Company

Roger Ferguson, President of TIAA-CREF

Michael Gooch, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of GFI

Omar Ishrak, Chief Executive Officer of Medtronic

Martin Lamb, Chief Executive of IMI

Pete Redfern, Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey

Paul Walsh, Chief Executive of Diageo

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