Whether you run your own business, or help some one else run their’s, as an employee, at times there’s a certain communication, management, or other professional skill on which you need to improve. Here are 50 of the best business books that could teach you almost all you need to lead a successful career.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
By Dale Carnegie
Touted as “the only book you need to lead you to success” on its cover, this 1936 title gives you simple, play-by-play tactics that any one can employ to make the relationships you need to succeed. Using well-narrated stories, Carnegie teaches you how to put yourself in other people’s shoes and create win/win arrangements out of the toughest situations. A must read for any aspiring entrepreneur. However, practically anything you do in life will involve engaging with people that can help you succeed.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
By Michael Gerber
The E-Myth draws a thick line between what it means to be an entrepreneur and freelance technician. After coaching countless business owners, Gerber finds that most businesses fail because entrepreneurs don’t develop a system where they could hire people with little skill to collectively perform simple tasks that a more talented freelancer performs independently. For a nose dive into how you could build a system that has made leading brands out of franchise companies, like McDonalds, put this on your must-read list.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
By Al Ries and Laura Ries
Citing a barrage of case studies, Al and Laura Ries show you how their laws have been followed by global corporate brands to become leaders in their respective categories. They also include an addendum that shows how companies have successfully established their leadership positions on the web.
The Sales Bible
By Jeffrey Gitomer
If you only have one sales book to read, this should probably be the one. It teaches a wide variety of tactics to ensure that your sales pitch meets your prospects needs. Gitomer’s closing techniques will also ensure that you’re not wasting time, and get to the commitment efficiently, while not getting pushy.
Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale
By Zig Ziglar
Practically, anyone who has found success in life has been a good sales person. Zig Ziglar gives you some of the post powerful closing techniques that have been employed by expert sales people, like himself. You can easily put his philosophy, on how everything in life is a sale, to use after you read this.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
By Malcolm Gladwell
In an age where the internet allows companies of all sizes a marketing channel through word of mouth, The Tipping Point’s message is key for anybody seeking an entrepreneurial venture. Gladwell draws on cases from Paul Revere’s ride that alerted Americans that the British were attacking to the “Quality of Life” initiatives in New York City that dramatically plummeted the crime rate in the 1990’s. Your marketing wont be complete without employing what you’ll learn in this new age classic.
The 4-Hour Work Week
By Tim Ferris
Relatively speaking, this is a newie but goodie. If you’re in a deadend job, Tim Ferris gives a step-by-step road map on how to escape it. Ferris, literally, guides you from how to start working from home while you’re on your company’s payroll to starting your own business venture with the extra time you open in the process. A team member here at Mamiverse, literally, used it a few years back to start his own consulting practice.
The New Positioning : The Latest on the World’s #1 Business Strategy
By Jack Trout
As times change, so do people’s needs and desires. In this marketing classic, Jack Trout equips companies to meet the changing needs of consumers. Trout cites ways that many companies have shifted their product line, business, and marketing models to adapt to evolving marketplaces.
Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People
By G. Richard Shell
This the most detailed rule book on negotiation that we’ve read yet. You can create a spreadsheet using the worksheet G. Richard Shell provides in the Appendix. Then just fill in the fields as you research in preparation for your next go at the bargaining table.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!
By Al Ries & Jack Trout
I didn’t want to repeat any authors, but it’s critical that your understanding of how leading companies market themselves is supplemented by this title. In this quick read, Jack Trout and Al Ries walk you through countless ways that companies have marketed themselves with unique products to lead their respective categories. Don’t be the next Facebook, be the first you.
The Wisdom of Crowds
By James Surowiecki
The Wisdom of Crowds recounts how much more efficient decisions are made, conclusions are realized, and ideas are generated when the task is assigned to a large group as opposed to an individual or small group. Surowiecki astounds the reader citing how when the Wisdom of Crowds is employed correctly the results can be undeniably accurate and efficient.
Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step
By Edward De Bono
Ideas are always in demand. Edward De Bono gives the reader an array of step-by-step methods to look at problems and situations in different ways. Each method is designed to stimulate the generation of ideas that can be put to use practically. De Bono’s methods can be employed to produce new ways of resolving issues encountered in a business setting.
The Google Story
By David A. Vise and Mark Malseed
This biographical account on how Google was started by two Ph.D. students at Stanford University tells a web marketing tale from which any professional can benefit. You’ll read exactly how the students built this tool for the Stanford community, and how it evolved as it was passed on to be used by other people; outside their original sphere of influence. The growing pains Google’s founders endured (exploring business models, and hiring talent) are priceless lessons that no aspiring or existing company founder should ignore.
By Walter Isaacson
The story of how Steve Jobs built a tool for himself and people in his network includes business and social teachings every one should read. The 627 pages allow for a detailed account of how Steve Jobs started building the Apple computer, and what he did to market and sell it to become one of the biggest companies on the planet.
Power Interviewing: Killer Cover Letters
By Barry Cohen
Part of starting a new business sometimes includes keeping a job or landing freelance gigs that require skills in your comfort zone, while the bigger goal unfolds. Further, it may include landing a job, so you could learn a skill that you’ll need in your business, like working a help desk job to build a technology company (I did it). Barry Cohen’s advice will help you land practically any job with cover letter and resume templates, and the best way to dress and speak at an interview. It’s the best book on job search you can find.
Think and Grow Rich
By Napoleon Hill
Before anything is built it is conceived in your mind. Napoleon Hill’s classic cites concentration tactics that successful people have employed to accomplish their goals. Short of details and cases that you’ll want to know to Hill’s process, his method is simple: clearly picture what you want, and your mind will give you plan on how to procure it.
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
By Chip and Dan Heath
Unbeknownst to principles that fuel an idea to spread by word of mouth limits many marketing and other business professionals. Anybody formulating promotional campaigns should read this book to ensure that their products and communication materials include some of Chip and Dan Heath’s principles, like emotion, credence, and storytelling. The Heaths dissect ideas that have been able to organically spread globally, so you have a thorough understand on how to replicate such success.
The Closer’s Survival Guide
By Grant Cardone
With over 120 closes, related to commitments on money, time, decisions, and other ways to persuade people to buy your product or idea, Grant Cardone has written one of the most focused and effective manuals on closing you could find. Additionally, Cardone adds some methods you could employ to overcome objections that you will certainly face. He advocates that you put them to use and practice these techniques in order to keep them ready to help you move your business forward.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On
By Jonah Berger
This book plays on the thesis that advertising doesn’t work. For some markets that may be true; you probably have on ad blocker activated on your browser right now. Jonah Berger’s analysis of why things get virally distributed, can help any business owner use the tools the web affords to market their business through word of mouth. Berger reveals the science of why people listen to reviews, testimonials, and their peers over your brand, to why a YouTube video goes viral.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
By Eric Ries
Eric Ries advocates the launch of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) when a company goes to market. That means companies should present its product offering to the public (perhaps to early adopters for feedback) with the minimum amount of features required to be deployed. Ries even teaches that companies should have an entrepreneurial position (job) that is supported to generate ideas launched in this fashion. If you want to know how to eliminate wasteful processes and systems that are slowing your business down, pick this up.
How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times and Bad
By William O’Neil
As many people are already involved with the stock market through 401K’s, Mutual Funds, and other financial products, it’s a great idea to have a technical understanding of how the market works. William O’Neill, who started his career as a stockbroker in 1958, shows you how to pick winning stocks, following chart data that proves how rising stocks have behaved for decades and will continue to behave under similar conditions. O’Neill also includes a guide on how to invest in less volatile products like mutual funds.
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
By Edwin Lefèvre
This is the 1923 fictionalized biography of Jesse Livemore, a widely renowned American stock trader who earned and lost millons of dollars in the stock market. Livemore, who was reportedly worth $3 million after shorting stocks during the 1907 stock market crash, shows you how he learned when to buy and sell a stock, when to hold a stock, and when to be out of the market all together. Any one who invests in the stock market or plans to, needs to read this narrative and see how a winning stock trader operates during all eras.
The Wealth of Nations
By Adam Smith
In 1776, when the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations to advocate free trade and a new way to look at economics. Although his writing has been touted as “simple” and easy to read, the Bantam edition offers margins, packed with brief summaries of Smith’s ideas. Smith believed a worker’s productivity increased with the availability of public funded education. It is essential for every business owner to know how the market economy works, so his business can prosper in it.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
By Robert T. Kiyosaki
I read this book in one night, and my philosophy on how money is handled and made has never been the same. In simple terminology and diagrams, Kiyosaki, breaks down the real meanings of assets and liabilities. He explores ways that you can build assets, such as investing in real estate, that can allow you to earn passive income streams that generate money for you after you’ve done the work to establish them. He also recounts stories on how his friend’s father (Rich Dad) taught him how to be wealthy by building assets.
Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
By Anthony Robbins
Anthony Robbins teaches readers to write down a goal and the time when it will be reached, in Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! Robbins instructs readers to write down the negative effects of not acting on your goal, and the positive effects of working towards reaching your goal. Take each failure as a lesson and not as a drawback. Visualize your goal and ignore the fear of failure.
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers
By Geoffrey A. Moore
When creating a new product that’s never been taken to market, Geoffrey A. Moore writes that you should choose a narrowly focused target customer for deployment. As the product has established itself among the early adopter crowd, then a marketing and product development system should be modified as it is used by other groups from the early majority to the laggards. Follow Moore as he counsels you on choosing distribution channels, marketing, and other business processes in facilitating the adoption of your product by each group.
The Power of Positive Thinking
By Reverend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Reverend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale fills this contribution to positive thinking with inspirational quotes that once applied, can make the able individual unstoppable. A recurring theme in the self development discipline that never gets old is the practice of visualizing yourself as the person you interpret as successful. Together with freeing yourself of worry, hate, and other negative emotions, your goal is attainable regardless of the obstacles.
The Greatest Salesman in the World
By Og Mandino
In this 1968 classic, Og Mandino narrates a story of a camel boy who lived in poverty and became wealthy while teaching readers how a salesman should base his/her decisions. A recurring theme in the scrolls to which he refers is the call to take action immediately. Mandino tells readers to embrace their work. Read it to learn how you could embrace yours.
The Warren Buffett Way
By Robert G. Hagstrom
Readers will be allowed on the inside track of how the most famous investor on the planet and one of the richest men in the world, invests in the stock market. Readers will learn how Warren Buffet avoids making emotional mistakes, like being afraid to lose money, when investing in stocks. In revealing Buffet’s principles, the book also shows you how they are applied to Berkshire Hathaway acquisitions.
Trump: The Art of the Deal
By Donald J. Trump
Want to know how Donald J. Trump makes friends and closes some of the biggest deals this side of the states? Although the book alludes to the 80’s, Trumps work ethic and tactical networking can be applied by entrepreneurs of any generation. He goes into intricate detail on how he secured real estate zoning approval, tax abatement, bank financing, and all the elements required to get a deal done.
Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy
By Paul Zane Pilzer
Paul Zane Pilzer believes that the Earth is abundant with unlimited resources. The understanding of the Six laws of “Economic Alchemy,” which are based on this abundance, allows any individual to procure unlimited wealth. At its core, constant human innovation, such as advances in technology and science, are always enhanced and allow for these evolving resources to be available to every one.
First, Break All the Rules
By Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
All successful managers break widely accepted rules that do not work for them. After interviewing 80,000 managers in Fortune 500 and smaller companies, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman’s analysis on how extraordinary managers enhance their employees’ performance can help any entrepreneur become a proficient leader. Spoiler alert: effective managers focus on improving their employees’ strengths. Pick a copy up and you can too.
Toyota Production System
By Taiichi Ohno
Taiichi Ohno is the inventor of the Toyota Production System and Lean manufacturing. In this book, Ohno performs a comprehensive analysis on how he eliminated waste and made the Toyota manufacturing operation more efficient. Readers will learn how Ohno’s principles can be adapted to improve any company’s operation.
The Six Sigma Way: How GE, Motorola and other Top Companies are Honing Their Performance
By Peter S. Pande, Robert P. Neuman & Roland R. Cavanagh
Six Sigma is a methodology employed to improve business processes. It’s goal is to reduce cycle time, costs, and other wasteful components of a business operation. In this book, the authors list a five-step road map that can be followed to use Six Sigma to make business operations more effective for any organization.
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
By Chris Anderson
In the digital age you find content on practically anything getting monetized. A teenage boy makes thousands of dollars in advertising money by filming videos of him shooting a machine gun out of Lego building blocks. The internet has opened a marketplace for almost any interest, and this book gives you a clear picture as to how you could leverage this digital environment.
The One Minute Manager
By Kenneth H. Blanchard
The One Minute Manager is a concise guide on how managers can become better at setting and reaching goals quickly, and training, motivating, and reprimanding employees. Opening up lines of communication is crucial in becoming an productive manager. Setting goals will foster increased performance by workers focused on getting a job completed.
By Jay Conrad Levinson
Marketing your business through word of mouth channels is imperative to building a community that will support your business’s success in the long-term. Many of the tactics documented in Guerilla Marketing can be better applied with the social tools available on the web. Although it was originally published in 1983, the fourth edition has been updated and revised to better apply to the existing marketing environment the internet affords today.
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
By Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
Eighteen extraordinary companies are compared with their top competitors in this business classic. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras delve into how the most renowned companies were started and grew into iconic enterprises. After studying global brands like, Disney, 3M, and Walmart, Collins and Porras find that great companies find their position in the marketplace after testing various products and ways to market them.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
By Eliyahu M. Goldratt
The Goal walks you through the life of Alex Rogo, Plant Manager for a company called Uniware, who is ordered by his boss to make the plant more efficient or it will be shut down. Rogo, together with a former co-worker, identify problems with the production line and correct them by eliminating wasteful activities that do not generate revenue. As this novel narrates what Rogo does to make his plant efficient, readers get a clear view on how to drive increased productivity, income, and positive morale in the workplace.
The Functions of the Executive
By Chester I. Barnard
In the Functions of the Executive, Chester I. Barnard explores the dynamics of how individuals are organized in a business environment. One of the highlights of this book includes why informal organizations among employees is essential in working cohesively formally. Studies show that most people get laid off due to a bad or lack of a relationship with superiors, and not because of performance limitations. They always let go of the ones they don’t know. Don’t be the anti-social victim.
The Art of War
By Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu’s strategies to win at war may initially appear to be simple common sense to some; however, you will find that your interpretation of what Tzu teaches can evolve as you encounter new obstacles in your career. Sun Tzu delves into key actions that any one who expects success must perform. Preparation, knowing when to fight and when to evade, reconnaissance, and other means for winning at real war are imperative at winning the virtual battle between failure and success.
The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle’s-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions
By Scott Adams
Under the parody of situations plagued with scary performance reviews, confusion created by jargon, endless bureaucracy, and other satirical representations of corporate employment, this book gives you pointers on how to deal with this mess. Widely acclaimed as an actual representation of what employees endure in an office setting, keep it in your shelf, and let the laughs educate.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
By Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, has been a life changer for CEO’s, and President Clinton, who invited Stephen R. Covey to teach him to use its principles while in office. The book advocates always proposing arrangements where all parties are mutually beneficial. Among the rest of the habits, Covey instructs readers to exercise and eat right for physical health, and self education to work more efficiently towards one’s success.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
Do you want to know how to speak with people from a position of advantage when a “crucial conversation” comes up? Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler will teach you how to overcome objections and deal with difficult situations involving your superiors or co-workers. While you communicate to build more fruitful relationships, you’ll improve your progression along your career path and enhance your physical health.
Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors
By Michael E. Porter
Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will always be victorious.” In this book, Micheal E. Porter gives you a framework you can use to forecast your competitor’s future actions, and position yourself in the marketplace. According to Porter’s rules, concepts like focus, decreased costs, and uniqueness constitute a recipe for success awaiting any business endeavor.
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
By Daniel Goleman
Daniel Goleman is an expert at explaining how rationale and emotions collaborate to guide us through life. In tis analysis on intelligence driven by emotion, Goleman identifies and prepares the reader to enhance skills that will help you make relationships key to professional growth. Inclusively, parents can learn how to help their children improve their use of emotional intelligence from an early age.
How to Lie with Statistics
By Darrell Huff
Darrell Huff reveals how statistics are used to deceive people in this book. How to Lie with Statistics includes a primer on statistics for those who are unfamiliar with the discipline. It delves into how erroneous conclusions can be derived through the improper use of statistics. How to Lie with Statistics is a must-read for entrepreneurs who aim to leverage data to improve their business processes.
Out of the Crisis
By W. Edwards Deming
Regular education on new ways to manage a company is required for it to succeed. Out of the Crisis shows the reader how to identify external and internal problems. A data-driven procedure for experimentation is key in improving business operations. This title aims to make the reader’s organization a more efficient operation that becomes a greater creator of jobs with a strong culture that trains its workers to deliver outstanding performances.
The Human Side of Enterprise
By Douglas McGregor
Douglas McGregor advocates establishing motivating conditions in the worklplace in this business classic. He inspired change in the workplace by building motivated teams, eager to drive productivity. For some of the most effective tactics to manage employees, this is a must read for entrepreneurs, those in supervisory roles, and employees.
The Richest Man In Babylon
By Mr George S Clason
The Richest Man In Babylon gives you simple and figurative financial advice that is applicable to any era. George S. Clason uses stories to illustrate how people become wealthy by investing. The richest man in Babylon shares stories with his childhood friends that depict the benefits of using part of your earnings to invest in a business venture.