Knowledge is power. That statement is true in life in general but it particularly holds water in the business world.
While experience is often a key element in gaining business smarts, the best business books can go a long ways in helping anyone involved in the world of commerce.
Favorite Business Books
Let’s take a look at some highly favored business books. This list will include some timeless gems along with some newer selections that apply to conditions in today’s business climate. This list is but a small smattering of the offerings of great business books. Here are a few:
- Think and Grow Rich – This classic by Napoleon Hill was inspired by a suggestion from another great business writer, Andrew Carnegie. The title implies that it’s a “get rich” book but the author has explained it will help anyone succeed in all lines of work and be anything they want. Published in 1937 this book still ranks in the Top 10 of all business books published with over 70 million being sold as of 2011.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie wrote this powerful book in 1936. The book arose from Carnegie’s lectures during his 14-week course on business acumen. This book was revised in 1981 to include updated business language and anecdotes but it is still as timeless as ever in its recommendations.
- Influence: Science and Practice – This 2003 offering by Robert B. Cialdini is a book the deals with decision making. The pages of this book show that making better decisions makes you a better businessperson. The author worked “undercover” in many fields, such as car and door-to-door sales, and can back his words with practical, real-world experience.
- The Dip – There is an idea in American business that if you don’t give up you will always win. Seth Godin debunks that myth in this book. This short offering, 76 pages long and published in 2007, illustrates the concept of the “dip”, or a temporary setback. It shows how to recognize whether it’s worth pushing through this dip or quitting. You can be a big winner if you quit sometimes.
- Tribal Leadership – The idea of the success of a company depends on its “tribes” is an innovative concept. Written by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright, this book , published in 2008, describes the power of an organization that operates as a tribe instead of a group of people coming together from 9 to 5. A thriving corporate culture can be established by an effective tribal leader.
- Blue Ocean Strategy – This 2005 book suggests companies should create new demand in untapped market areas rather than compete with existing companies and industries. W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne look at over a hundred strategic moves by companies spanning a hundred years and thirty industries that allowed those companies to thrive. Don’t jump in the already blood-red waters of your rivals. Find a new ocean, a blue ocean for your firm to tread water in.
Use Books to Your Advantage
You are not going to learn to run a business reading books. That mostly comes from living the experience and being part of the everyday culture of any company. Books can be used to give you a better understanding of how the business world works though.
You can pick up concepts and ideas that allow you to thrive in any business setting. Pick up a business book, or two, and pick up some great business acumen.