BusinessWeek ranks business books that are the most recent bestsellers and provides a short summary.
1. The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan.
2. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
3. Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This book will give you “ideas for action” and tips for how best you can work with others. More of a patiencetester than strengthsfinder, the quiz/book is probably best for those who have lots of time on their hands.
4. The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Argues that life is a series of highly improbable yet earthshaking events. Economists, journalists, and corporate planners behave as if they’re living in predictable “Mediocristan” when they’re really in “Extremistan.” It’s a richly enjoyable read with an important message.
5. Microtrends by Mark J. Penn with E. Kinney Zalesne.
6. Made To Stick by Dan Heath. In this “complement to The Tipping Point,” the brothers Heath set out to define just what makes some ideas stick in the mind while others melt away. They discover six principles that are essential to getting people to pay attention to, believe, and care about an idea.
7. Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter, Holger Rathgeber. Skip the story about icebergs and penguins and go directly to page 130 for the authors’ “eight step process of successful change.” Then, spend the time you’ve saved mulling over how these commonsense suggestions can be put into place at your organization.
8. Launching A Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. This primer on leadership focuses on the “five levels of influence,” which range from thinking of learning as a way of life to developing others’ leadership skills. Among those serving as examples: Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
9. Women & Money by Suze Orman.
10. Go Put Your Strengths To Work by Marcus Buckingham. The author he considers how to apply your skills for best advantage. Like the book StrengthsFinder 2.0, this volume sends you to the Web for initial instruction. Then there are drills and inspirational passages, including lessons on how to create a strong team.
11. Avalanche by Steve Sanduski and Ron Carson. Is this really a business book? The authors, both financial advisers, posit that “money can’t buy happiness” and conclude this parable with nine rules for living, including “be a living example of the transformative power of love.” Will such advice really make my 401(k) grow faster?
12. Rules for Renegades by Christine Comaford-Lynch. Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist Comaford-Lynch isn’t shy about promoting her past. The book also contains links to a sample business plan and tutorials on sales and marketing. But like so many other business books, it’s a hodgepodge of inspirational talk and maxims for improving your life.
13. The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni. Another fable from the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Here, the fictional Brian Bailey sells his company and begins retirement only to find that he needs stimulation. He becomes the weekend manager at a local, down-at-the-heels pizzeria â€” and sets about motivating the employees and building the business.
14. It’s Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff. When U.S. Navy Captain Abrashoff took over the U.S.S. Benfold, he came to understand that no matter how technologically advanced one’s enterprise, you have to motivate the crew to achieve. The lessons aren’t exactly original, but the unusual context makes this a worthy addition to the literature of motivation.
15. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. The conceit of this book by two professors at business school INSEAD near Paris, is that there are too many copycat businesses around. To succeed, they recommend, entrepreneurs need to seek out blue waters â€” virgin territory devoid of me-too brand propositions and cutthroat pricing.