In recognition of National Book Lover’s Day, our team of consultants and staff have recommended the following 27 books for business, personal development, and leadership.
Someone once asked Buffet what the keys were to his success. He pointed to a stack of books and said “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
Build your stack of books and start reading today!
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Recommended by: Lenier J., Management Consultant and George S., Business Development Associate
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
The Last Lecture by Jeffrey Zaslow and Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” -Randy Pausch
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius’
One of the world’s most famous and influential books, Meditations, by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121–180), incorporates the stoic precepts he used to cope with his life as a warrior and administrator of an empire. Ascending to the imperial throne in A.D. 161, Aurelius found his reign beset by natural disasters and war. In the wake of these challenges, he set down a series of private reflections, outlining a philosophy of commitment to virtue above pleasure and tranquility above happiness.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
Recommended by: Will R., Management Consultant
Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
THESE SIX HABITS WILL MAKE YOU EXTRAORDINARY. After extensive original research and a decade as the world’s highest-paid performance coach, Brendon Burchard finally reveals the most effective habits for reaching long-term success. Based on one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, it turns out that just six habits move the needle the most in helping you succeed. Adopt these six habits, and you win. Neglect them, and life is a never-ending struggle.
The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Written in a fast-paced thriller style, ‘The Goal’ contains a serious message for all managers in industry and explains the ideas which underline the Theory of Constraints developed by the author.
The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself? The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face—we hold ourselves back.
Relentless by Tim S. Grover
DIRECT, BLUNT, AND BRUTALLY HONEST, Grover breaks down what it takes to be unstoppable: you keep going when everyone else is giving up, you thrive under pressure, you never let your emotions make you weak. In “The Relentless 13,” he details the essential traits shared by the most intense competitors and achievers in sports, business, and all walks of life. Relentless shows you how to trust your instincts and get in the Zone; how to control and adapt to any situation; how to find your opponent’s weakness and attack. Grover gives you the same advice he gives his world-class clients—“don’t think”—and shows you that anything is possible. Packed with previously untold stories and unparalleled insight into the psyches of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time, Relentless shows you how even the best get better . . . and how you can too.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
Emotional Intelligence – Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.
Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy
The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results . . . whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job. Larry Bossidy is one of the world’s most acclaimed CEOs, a man with few peers who has a track record for delivering results. Ram Charan is a legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors, a man with unparalleled insight into why some companies are successful and others are not. Together they’ve pooled their knowledge and experience into the one book on how to close the gap between results promised and results delivered that people in business need today.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney
By the time it finally disappeared, it’s likely no one even noticed. What happened? The “whirlwind” of urgent activity required to keep things running day-to-day devoured all the time and energy you needed to invest in executing your strategy for tomorrow! The 4 Disciplines of Execution can change all that forever. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind.
The Tools – Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence and Creativity by Phil Stutz and Barry Michaels
The Tools is a dynamic, results-oriented practice that defies the traditional approach to therapy. Instead of focusing on the past, this groundbreaking method aims to deliver relief from persistent problems and restore control—and hope—to users right away. Every day presents challenges—big and small—that the tools transform into opportunities to bring about bold and dramatic change in your life.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art of Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge
This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices.
Winning by Jack Welch
Jack Welch knows how to win. During his forty-year career at General Electric, he led the company to year-after-year success around the globe, in multiple markets, against brutal competition. His honest, be-the-best style of management became the gold standard in business, with his relentless focus on people, teamwork, and profits.
The Box: How the Shipping Containing Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger Book by Marc Levinson
In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Boxtells the dramatic story of the container’s creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the sweeping economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about.
StrengthFinder by Tom Rath
To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in 2001 which ignited a global conversation and helped millions to discover their top five talents. In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you’ll use it as a reference for decades. Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself–and the world around you–forever.
“When we’re able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists. So, a revision to the ‘You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be’ maxim might be more accurate: You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” -Tom Rath
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell
Monday Morning Leadership is a story that can help your career! Everyone likes a good story, especially if there are lessons that can be immediately applied to life. This book is one of those stories – about a manager and his mentor. It offers unique encouragement and direction that will help you become a better manager, employee, and person.
“Leadership can’t be claimed like luggage at the airport. Leadership can’t be inherited, even though you may inherit a leadership position. And leadership can’t be given as a gift – even if you’ve been blessed with an abundance of leadership skills to share with someone else. Leadership must be earned by mastering a defined set of skills and by working with others to achieve common goals.” -David Cottrell
Good to Great by Jim Collins
The Challenge: Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.
In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters and Robert Waterman
The “Greatest Business Book of All Time” (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table. Based on a study of forty-three of America’s best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management — action-stimulating, people-oriented, profit-maximizing practices — that made these organizations successful.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, MD
Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, The Road Less Traveled continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life. It helps us learn how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent; and ultimately how to become one’s own true self.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
A penetrating examination of how we live and how to live better. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live. The narrator’s relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.
Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson
Verbal Judo is the martial art of the mind and mouth that can show you how to be better prepared in every verbal encounter. Listen and speak more effectively, engage people through empathy (the most powerful word in the English language), avoid the most common conversational disasters, and use proven strategies that allow you to successfully communicate your point of view and take the upper hand in most disputes.
“Never react to what people say. React to what they mean. Just remember: People hardly ever say what they mean” ~George J. Thompson, Verbal Judo
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.