There seems to be an endless supply of books to help entrepreneurs and business professionals get ahead of the competition.
Here are eight business books Capella University business faculty members recommend adding to your reading list.
by Marcus Buckingham & Gallup (2016)
Learn what the world’s greatest managers do differently.
In this book, Gallup details the results of its groundbreaking study of more than 80,000 managers – from front-line supervisors of small firms to leaders at Fortune 500 companies. Their findings reveal important performance and career lessons and include tips and ideas for how to apply them.
The book emphasizes that managers should build on their employees’ strengths and presents the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment as a key tool to that end.
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt (2014)
Originally published in 1984, this 30th Anniversary Edition is still recommended reading for managers.
The Goal is written like a thrilling novel about a plant manager who desperately wants to improve performance in his factory. With disaster brimming at work and at home, we follow his journey to break convention and set things right. The story is a clever way of explaining Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC), a beneficial concept for managers to understand.
The book redefines what a “goal” is and inspires continuous improvement for individuals and organizations.
by Sheryl Sandberg (2013)
Since her popular TED talk in 2010, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been changing the conversation around women in the workplace.
Lean In continues her efforts to empower women so they may reach their full potential at work and at home. Sandberg uses humor, anecdotes, and research to encourage women to stop holding themselves back and start taking risks, seeking challenges, and pursuing their goals.
The book outlines practical steps for negotiation, mentorship, and individual growth for women around the world.
by Timothy Ferriss (2009)
The 4-Hour Workweek provides a blueprint for a better work-life balance, where there’s more life to enjoy and less work to bog you down.
Ferriss outlines how he went from earning $40,000 per year while working 80 hours per week, to $40,000 per month on less than 4 hours per week. His tips include outsourcing to virtual overseas assistants, abandoning a career in favor of short bursts of work followed by mini-retirements, and using templates to eliminate email, negotiate with clients, and more.
Ferriss encourages you to go after your dreams with ideas meant to take your way of thinking about work way outside of the box.
by Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
To understand why certain products or trends catch on, Malcom Gladwell recommends we think about them as epidemics.
The Tipping Point helps you understand how a precisely targeted push can help your idea spread like a highly contagious virus. Gladwell’s bestselling book outlines the specific personality types that pollinate ideas and trends via word-of-mouth marketing.
From fashion trends to smoking, and from Blues Clues to Paul Revere, he analyzes various “tipping points” – the magic moment when “it” caught on, whatever “it” is – throughout history.
by Clayton M. Christensen (1997)
When a book influences the likes of Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, you can bet it’s worth reading.
Now known as a classic on disruptive innovation, Clayton M. Christensen’s bestseller shows how even the most successful companies can miss out as new waves of innovation hit. Regardless of the industry, companies must ditch traditional business practices to gain market leadership in changing times.
The Innovator’s Dilemma provides a set of rules companies can follow to capitalize on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.
by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles (1993)
A quick read that will stay with you, Raving Fans underlines the importance of customer service.
Written as a parable, the book follows a new area manager on his first day. You’ll be hooked by the story and impressed by its vision to set your customer service goals higher. Instead of just satisfied customers, you want to create raving fans. By focusing on what your customers want and delivering beyond their expectations, you’ll revolutionize your business and improve your bottom line.
by Stephen R. Covey (1989)
The timeless wisdom of the 7 habits are as applicable today as when this book was originally published.
This quintessential self-improvement tome is centered upon Covey’s belief that your perception of the world is more important than your behavior or attitude. And in order to change your perception, you must adopt the 7 outlined habits.
Rooted in history, philosophy, psychology, and science, Covey’s analogy-rich book is essentially a lesson in self-discipline. While the habits may appear simple at first glance, to master them is an investment of time and concentration. Covey argues that it is an investment that pays off.
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