Identifying your favourite business books is always an interesting topic and one which usually throws up some surprising choices, and often a bit of disagreement.
I was interested to read an article in the Harvard Business Review ingeniously titled,’ For Those Who Want to Lead, Read’. Whilst the article cited that ’evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight’, it also talked about a decline in reading amongst executives and managers. So, in an attempt to create a bit of inspiration and hopefully start some healthy debate here are my five favourite business books:
1. Turn This Ship Around! by L. David Marque - my favourite book, it promotes leadership at all levels in an organisation. The author was a submarine Captain and was described by Simon Sinek as,' the kind of leader who comes around only once in a generation… his ideas and lessons are invaluable.'
2. Good to Great by Jim Collins - this is a fantastic read, which explores the characteristics of great companies. The findings from the book describe high leverage leadership (level 5 leadership), organisational learning, culture, entrepreneurship, and the dangers of radical change programmes as a pathway to success.
3. Influence: the psychology of influence by Robert Cialdini - As you would expect, this book focuses on persuasion and explains the psychology of why people say “yes” and how you can apply this in your life and across your business.
4. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight - this is the author’s account of how he founded and set up Nike with a $50 loan from his father. He describes his trials and challenges and how he turned adversity into success. A great holiday read.
5. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis - Rosabeth Moss Kanter said it best: 'Only Warren Bennis could write a book on leadership that is so inspiring and insightful, captivating and wise, eloquent and revealing. His beautifully crafted stories of outstanding leaders and their fascinating paths to power are sure to launch an exciting journey of self-exploration for future leaders.'
Why not let us know your recommendations - what are your five favourite business books and why do you value them?