Our checklist of top business books will stimulate and motivate you to build a better business
If you’re looking to catch up on some inspirational reading over the holidays, check out this handy list.
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life by Arianna Huffington
After collapsing from exhaustion in 2007, journalist-turned entrepreneur Arianna Huffington began questioning the balance in her life. Then she wrote this book to encourage new thinking on what it means to be happy and successful. Huffington discusses the importance of ‘unplugging’ from the modern world, as well as the impact meditation and mindfulness can have on both your personal well-being and the bottom line. In the process she provides practical tips backed by science.
The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
Don’t be fooled by the title – this isn’t just another ‘get rich’ guide. The Millionaire Fastlane explains the entrepreneurial mindset in a clear and concise way, reminding readers that real wealth comes from severing the link between their labour and their income. DeMarco loves a metaphor, especially one based on his beloved Lamborghinis, which means this book should particularly appeal to car-lovers.
The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson
This very readable bestseller from the Virgin founder is billed as ‘a book on leadership from someone who has never read a book on leadership in his life’. Branson uses anecdotes – both personal and borrowed – to illustrate the leadership philosophy that has helped him take Virgin to where it is today. Branson also gives his take – with some memorable quotes – on business successes such as Steve Jobs and Apple and high profile failures like Kodak.
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
Welcome to the Google story, told from the businessperson’s perspective. The ex-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt and former Senior Vice President of Products, Jonathan Rosenberg, share their insights on what makes Google special and what other businesses can do to replicate its success. This includes lessons on how to attract and manage "smart creatives", insights into why businesses should be looking for the "10X idea not the 10%” and the importance of building superior products.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
This research-based book aims to show how long-term sustained performance can be built into a company’s DNA right from the moment it opens its doors. After reviewing data from no less than 1,435 companies Collins concludes that it is workplace culture and not a high profile CEO, a killer strategy or the latest technology that makes the real difference. To replicate this, Collins cautions against trying to impose a culture of motivation for employees. Instead he stresses the value of selfless leadership (or ‘Level 5’ leadership), hiring the right people and putting the best talent on the best opportunities, not the worst problems.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams
Adams is best known as the creator of Dilbert: the US comic strip that gained cult status for its original and perceptive take on corporate life. In this book Adams offers his own observations on his career and, in doing so, turns a lot of conventional business thinking on its head. Memorable advice includes telling people that goals are for losers (systems work better) and that the right combination of mediocre skills makes anyone surprisingly valuable. He also reveals his own painful shyness and how he overcame it by acting a role instead of being his normal self.