Business fitness means staying current, an important success move. Books help us put all the pieces together so we can understand the bigger picture. I’ll keep adding to “Great Reads” routinely and hope you’ll comment with your own suggestions!
Clicking on the title takes you to the book’s page on Amazon.com. Because I am an Amazon Affiliate, if you click through and buy, I earn a small commission. Thought you should know!
Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail by Joe Lavelle–Practical and positive approaches for accelerating career growth that will inspire
Business Fitness by Dawn Lennon–An inspiring how-to guide that gives you the insights, strategies, and tools to take control of your own career, the one you really want
Fired to Hired by Tory Johnson—Job-hunting strategies with an insider’s savvy
Howard’s Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life’s Work by Eric C. Sinoway–A rich, conversational book that captures the boundless wisdom around career success of Howard Stevenson, esteemed professor at HBS, entrepreneur, and businessman
Managing Right for the First Time by David C. Baker–A guide for first-time managers that tells it like it is
Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski–Insights and strategies for women who are undervalued where they work and need to take action
Linchpin by Seth Godin—Compelling logic and encouragement on the need to become indispensable at work
The Job Hunter’s Survival Guide by Richard N. Bolles—100 pages on current job hunting tools, how to use them and how well they work
The Instant Survivor by Jim Moorhead–A four-step system for conquering professional and personal crises, practical and straight-forward
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain–An compelling exploration of the role and challenges of introverts in a culture that sets up extroversion as the ideal
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill—A classic on what it takes to be successful. The factors simply don’t change.
What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles—The only career how-to book anyone needs; discover what you want and how to get it
Bossypants by Tina Fey–With expected humor, this book reveals, using real-life situations, how good bosses focus their attention on what it takes to help employees do their jobs well with the least amount of hassle and absent bossyness. A fun and insightful read.
How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things by Neil Smith–A practical book about how to break eight hidden barriers that plague even the best companies with a central emphasis on change
Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution by Lisa Bodell–An approach and techniques for arriving at real innovation by identifying what it would take to bring the company down; case studies, tool kits, and critical thought processes
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki–An inspiring and practical book for leaders who need to hear a fresh voice on how to engage people in today’s marketpace by helping them get connected to to things that matter to them.
Finding Your Next: Using the Business Genome Approach to Find Your Company’s Next Competitive Edge by Andrea Kates–A practical strategy and tactics for drawing on the marketing practices of businesses unlike yours to discover how to (re)position your company in the marketplace.
The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following by Kevin Allen–A fascinating look at the hidden agenda as the emotional motivation that drives business relationships; once tapped, they generate business and long-standing relationships
Tribes by Seth Godin–A compelling challenge to look at leadership as the assembling of followers (tribes) who share a connection with what drives us in business, community, and/or shared issues.
First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman—A wake-up call for managers on what it takes to lead well, based on incredible Gallup research
Good to Great by Jim Collins—A fascinating, well-researched look at what separates great companies from good ones and how to sustain that “greatness”
Leadership Is an Art by Max DePree—A classic on leadership focused on commitment to followers by this CEO author who gets it
Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, PhD—An insightful focus on performance strength types with a website self-assessment so you can find your types. You must buy a new copy to get the access code.
The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen & Robert G. Allen—An inspiring guide to achieving wealth that presents content as non-fiction information on the left-hand pages and as a fictional story on the right-hand pages.
Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman & A. E. Hotchner—The amazing story of how the Newman line of grocery products and his camp for seriously ill children came to be. A hilarious and inspiring non-management book for entrepreneurs.
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by Max C. Maxwell—A clear, concise description of what it takes to be a great leader that showcases key historic figures.
The Essential HR Handbook by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell—A fabulous, easy-to-use, cleanly written handbook with best practice strategies, sample forms, and references.
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey by Ken Blanchard–A classic on how to avoid letting others delegate “up” to you and to get out from under time drains. Short and powerful.
How to Hire A-Players by Eric Herrenkohl–A call-to-action for companies to get serious about hiring the best and a clearly doable process for making that happen, all clearly written by an experienced professional.
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fools Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie–An extraordinary examination of the competing elements of structure and creativity in the workplace, how to balance the two, and ways to overcome the obstacles, all written and illustrated with wild abandon
The Reality-based Rules of the Workplace by Cy Wakeman–A straight-shooting look at accountability, drama, value, change, and fear behaviors that impede career success; an eye-opening book that provides the help needed to get on the right course and stay there
Make a Name for Yourself by Robin Fisher Roffer—A terrific book on personal branding with a focus on women; provides insights and tools to find the right path for yourself.
Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith—A handy, readable guide to getting a handle on what it takes to sell what you can’t touch about your product or service.
SuperStar Selling by Paul McCord–A bottom-line, step-by-step beautifully written book on how to be successful in sales with a set of 12 key principles for high achievement in any career.
Make Your Contacts Count by Anne Baber & Lynne Waymon—All the how-to tactics you need to network effectively and efficiently written to give you a leg up.
Queen of Your Own Life by Kathy Kinney & Cindy Ratzlaff—An entertaining and inspiring book about the 7 best gifts a woman can give herself.
Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck—An inspiring, substantive book by a leading life coach that provides insights and perspectives to guide decision making for your life and career
Power of Focus for Women by Fran Hewitt and Les Hewitt—A personal and inspiring book about what successful women know about how to conquer challenges and create change in their lives.
Nicholas and Alexandra: An Intimate Account of the Last of the Romanovs and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Robert K.Massie–A gripping look at leadership and how family pressures and the influence of outsiders caused the demise of an autocracy
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson–A revealing and compelling account of the life Steve Jobs and the evolution of Apple, as a company and as a force
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson–A monumental look at the life of a genius, loaded with discoveries, surprises, and amazement; no need to be up on your science, it’s his relentless driven in the face of world and personal calamity that’s the allure.
Fiction–Believe it or not!
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson–An expose on global business misconduct, the challenges of large family-owned businesses, and the (in)security of technology. Yes, creepy too!
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand–A politically driven look at big business with one of the most compelling portraits of a strong woman leader, Dagney Taggart, in all of literature. A classic.
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III –A compelling portrait of obsessive competitiveness
That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx—The moral journey of a salesman conflicted by the self-serving ethics of his company and his own compassion
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen—A fascinating look at life in the circus during the early-1900′s where organizational power and internal politics determine the fate of employees
Oil by Upton Sinclair—A portrait of the consequences of overwhelming greed on self, family, and community
The Help by Kathryn Stockett—With an eye on discrimination of domestic workers in the South, this is a story of intimidation and control, then redemption
The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George–Insights into the dynamics of leadership, culture, technology, medicine, war, and government delivered in compelling style and depth
Rainwater by Sandra Brown—A story of selfless leadership to defend hard-working farmers when government grant programs are abused by local politicos
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann–A classic about four generations of Buddenbrooks in Germany during the 1800′s, a family bound to and influenced by their legacy of decades of success in the commodities business; revealed are the same issues, drivers and human frailties of the wealthy business leader today