The 5 Business Books You Need To Read


Ready to add some new titles to your list for our 2016 reading challenge? These career classics and new arrivals are reads that every one of us should have on our book shelf! Many of these favorite titles do double duty giving us advice for a great career and a great life.

Need some additional business reading recommendations? The Financial Times has one of the best round-ups, listing the best business books of the year for the past 10 years.

1. How to Have a Good Day

If the old adage is true that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, then Caroline Webb does us a major favor by letting us know how a few small tweaks to our daily behavior can have a major impact on our life. As an economist, Webb takes an almost technical approach to having a good day and uses both neuroscience and psychology to explain and test her suggestions. Along the way, you’ll find it marvelously comforting that such an abstract idea can be broken down to a practically applicable science.

2. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

Think that avoiding office politics and asking permission to take on projects is the way to get ahead? Hold it right there, nice girl!  Dr. Frankel tells us otherwise, and explains a distinct set of 130 behaviors that we learn as girls—and that ultimately sabotage our career efforts as adults. You’ll find yourself bookmarking page after page in this easy read, which basically ends up functioning as your roadmap to effective self-assessment. Bottom line: Don’t let the little things we do get in our way of where we want to go.

3. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

Told as a modern parable, Mann and Burg give us a powerful new take on a classic idea: Give and you will receive. The main character, Joe, is focused on closing a sale, but instead a fortuitous connection with a mentor connects him to a series of other successful people. They teach Joe how the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity, and receptivity will contribute to his own success. This reminder to put others’ interests ahead of our own is one that resonates for our lives, both inside and outside the office!

4. Thinking Fast and Slow

This book nearly begs to be read old school style, with a big highlighter and a notebook nearby to jot down little nuggets you’ll want to refer to again and again. As a world-renowned psychologist and Nobel Prize-winning economist, Kahneman expertly addresses the way we think about and make choices. He explores the two systems of our mind: The first that is fast, intuitive, and emotional and the second that is deliberate, logical, and slow. Once read, you’ll better understand your own biases and quickly catch yourself thinking about how you think!

5. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

We’ve got this little gem on pre-order and are looking forward to May when we’ll get to read it! Grit explores how it’s actually passion and persistence that lead you to success, not necessarily intelligence alone. Until then, soak in Duckworth’s brilliance through her Ted Talk and get prepped by taking your own “grit” self-assessment, which she developed at her character lab while working at the University of Pennsylvania. Be ready for this read to draw big buzz this spring!

Did we miss any of your favorites? If you have a favorite book that inspires your leadership style or gives great career guidance, let us know!