Self-made billionaire Richard Branson has a new favorite business book

Richard Branson
Lisa Maree Williams | Getty Images

Self-made billionaire Richard Branson has another book to add to his long list of "must-reads": "New Power," by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms.

In it, the authors discuss a shift from "old power," which they define as being "held by few" and "closed, inaccessible and leader-driven," to "new power," which is "made by many" and "open, participatory and peer-driven."

"New power," which emerged out of our increased connectivity, new tools and technology, is more like a current, while "old power" is more like a currency, Heimans and Timms explain: "The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it."

The power shift is one that Branson, who started his first business half a century ago, has witnessed and one he thinks has the potential to do good.

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"The world has changed a lot in the 50 years I've been in business, and power has definitely shifted," the entrepreneur writes on his blog. "Technology has advanced and our behavior is changing too. It affects us all in many different ways, but I'm very optimistic that the power shift can help create a stronger society for us all. It can amplify movements and help drive positive change."

The book is particularly helpful, says Branson, because the authors explain how to build and successfully channel new power: "It's a useful lens to use when thinking about how business has changed, how to spread ideas or start a movement, or create change."

After all, "most organizations recognize that the nature of power is changing," Heimans and Timms write. "But relatively few understand the keys to influence and impact in this new era."

Once you've read Branson's newest favorite, check out his top 70 must-read books, including the one that changed his life, J. M. Barrie's "Peter Pan."

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