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SECURE THE JOB YOU WANT & EXCEL
chapter 34
the best business books
 

To be serious about achieving the maximum possible success in your career or profession, it is necessary to approach your education as an on-going, lifelong process that never ends. This means always being on the lookout for opportunities to become better informed and wiser about both the field you are engaged in and the world around you.
Get into the habit each year of reading a half-dozen books on business, history and politics to expand your thinking, expose yourself to new ideas, and develop a better understanding of human nature. In the case of business books, do not waste your time reading about the latest management fad or CEO’s writing puffery on how great they are.
Over the last 40 years, some 100,000 different books on the subject of business have been published in English, including approximately 5,000 in the past year alone. Apart from those mentioned earlier, I recommend that you read these twelve books to enrich your business education:
  1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
  2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey.
  3. Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons by Seymour Schulich.
  4. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker.
  5. Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank.
  6. Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company by Andrew S. Grove.
  7. What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis.
  8. The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith.
  9. The Essays of Warren Buffet: Lessons for Corporate America edited by Lawrence Cunningham.
  10. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. (This author's Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All is also superb.)
  11. Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton with John Huey.
  12. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone.
In addition to the above business books, I highly recommend that you read David Halberstam’s The Best and Brightest, which describes America’s involvement in the Vietnam war and how big-league political decisions are made in the U.S. The theme of the book is that there is a critical difference in the decisions reached by those who are supposedly “the best and the brightest” and those who are the wisest.
I also strongly recommend Thomas L. Freidman’s book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century to gain a better understanding of the forces driving globalization today. Freidman is brilliant at distilling complicated major issues into their essence in easily understandable language.
Lastly, I recommend that you read Leadership by William Safire and Leonard Safir. This is a collection of excellent and wise quotes on the subject of leadership.
 

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