Playwright Alan Bennett wrote, “A book is a device to ignite the imagination.” Taking a look at Amazon’s recent list of its best books about business and leadership provides plenty of opportunities for you to light your creativity fuse.
The latest trend: Two of the top ten books specifically recognize the role of women in business.
Which of these Top 10 best-selling business books have you read?
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover (pub. Nov 4, 2014) – The author, who has taught at Stanford Graduate School of Business explains the “Hook Model,” which is a four-step process that helps drive consumer engagement and explains why some products win, while others flop.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz (pub. Mar 4, 2014) – The author, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz (as in Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape), offers essential advice that includes practical wisdom for business challenges with strategies they don’t teach you in business school, including firing friends, poaching the competition, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality and knowing when to cash in.
- #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso (pub. May 6, 2014) – This New York Times best-seller is an unconventional business book, telling how the author went from troubled teen and dumpster diver to selling vintage clothes on eBay. She now heads Nasty Gal, a $100-million online fashion retailer with more than 350 employees.This book tells her unique path to success and overcoming naysayers.
- The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick M. Lencioni (pub. Mar 13, 2012) – The author, formerly with Oracle, Bain & Company, and Sybase, has authored 10 business books. This one combines real-world stories and anecdotes with practical, actionable information. The book’s manifesto is “Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.”
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek (pub. Jan 7, 2014) – This book’s principle message is simple: The buck stops at the leader’s desk. The key, the author says, is to understand the impact leaders have on those they lead. Using true stories pulled from manufacturing, the military, government and investment banking, this book explains how to avoid creating a workplace that’s full of cynicism, paranoia and silos, and create a team that will foster trust and cooperation.
- Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace (pub. Apr 8, 2014) – Catmull is a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and Wallace is the daughter of author Irving Wallace.This book is for managers who want to lead their employees to do great things, appealing to those who strive for originality. This is a blueprint on “How to build a creative culture.”
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (pub. Apr 15, 2014) – The author is a self-described “essentialist” and has a Stanford MBA. This book is not a time management book; it is about saving time by focusing on getting the right things done. The approach teaches the reader on how to determine only what is absolutely necessary and then get rid of everything that is not, allowing one to excel at the contribution one makes to the things that really count.
- Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg (pub. Mar 11, 2013) – The author is COO of Facebook, and one of Time magazine’s Most Influential People in the World. Using wisdom and humor, she describes how women can combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and details how men best benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters (pub. Sep 16, 2014) – The author, the founder of PayPal, provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp and dozens of other startups. In this book he makes the case that the most important skill that every leader must master is learning to think for oneself. The concept is that if you do what is already being done, you are just adding to it, or he says, going from “1 to n.” But if you do something truly new, you go from 0 to 1 and you escape competition when your business is unique.
- MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins (pub. Nov 18, 2014) – The number one business book is really a financial primer for everyone, from an author known best for his coaching and motivational speeches that have reached more than 50 million people worldwide. In his first book in 20 years, he focuses on how we can secure financial freedom for our families and ourselves, based on interviews with more than 50 world-renowned financial experts.