Amazon.com updates its list of the bestselling books every hour. Here is a snapshot of what is hot right now, this Monday morning, March 30, in the “Management and Leadership” section of the “Business and Investing” category.
1. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. Blink is about the first two seconds of looking–the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of Outliers: The Story of Success and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling.
2. StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths by Tom Rath. Are you unsure where your true talents lie? Do you feel that you are both a person who gets things done and someone who offers penetrating analysis? You can discover whether you are truly an “achiever” or an “analytical” by completing the online quiz. Then, the 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.
3. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leapâ€¦ and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. The author of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Collins concludes that it is possible for a good company to become a great company, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11â€“including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargoâ€“and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success.
4. How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we blink and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind’s black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they re discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation. Drawing on cutting-edge research as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of deciders from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players, Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?
5. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. You probably don’t realize it, but life is a series of highly improbable yet earthshaking events. That’s the argument of The Black Swan, which in many ways is a re-do of the author’s 2001 best-seller, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets. The highly entertaining new book, though, is longer, better-grounded, and with more advice about how to live in the presence of deep unpredictability. The core of The Black Swan argues that 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.
6. Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse (Lynn Sonberg Books) by Peter D. Schiff and John Downes. The country has gone from the world’s largest creditor to its greatest debtor; the value of the dollar is sinking; domestic manufacturing is winding down – and these trends don’t seem to be slowing. This book is a warning of a looming period marked by sizeable tax hikes, loss of retirement benefits, double digit inflation, even – as happened recently in Argentina – the possible collapse of the middle class. However, Schiff does have a survival plan that can provide the protection that readers will need in the coming years.
7. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink. Just as information workers surpassed physical laborers in economic importance, Pink claims, the workplace terrain is changing yet again, and power will inevitably shift to people who possess strong right brain qualities. His advocacy of “R-directed thinking” begins with a bit of neuroscience tourism to a brain lab that will be extremely familiar to those who read Steven Johnson’s Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life last year, but while Johnson was fascinated by the brain’s internal processes, Pink is more concerned with how certain skill sets can be harnessed effectively in the dawning “Conceptual Age.” The second half of the book details the six “senses” Pink identifies as crucial to success in the new economy-design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning-while “portfolio” sections offer practical (and sometimes whimsical) advice on how to cultivate these skills within oneself.
8. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Book & DVD) by John Medina. Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule – what scientists know for sure about how our brains work – and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives. Medina’s fascinating stories and sense of humor breathe life into brain science. You’ll learn why Michael Jordan was no good at baseball. You’ll peer over a surgeon’s shoulder as he proves that we have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You’ll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can’t tie his own shoes.
9. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler. Nudge is about choicesâ€”how we make them and how we can make better ones. Authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we makeâ€” including ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources, and other bad decisions. Citing decades of cutting-edge behavioral science research, they demonstrate that sensible “choice architecture”can successfully nudge people towards the best decisions without restricting their freedom of choice. S straightforward, informative, and entertaining, this is a must-read for anyone with interest in our individual and collective well-being.
10. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Unabashedly inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, the brothers Heath â€” Chip a professor at Stanford’s business school, Dan a teacher and textbook publisher â€” offer an entertaining, practical guide to effective communication. Drawing extensively on psychosocial studies on memory, emotion and motivation, their study is couched in terms of “stickiness”â€”that is, the art of making ideas unforgettable.
11. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: Dritte Ausgabe [GER-GT THE PROJECT MGMT BODY O] [German Edition] by the Project Management Institute. Includes traditional, proven practices as well as emerging practices.
12. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni. The author targets group behavior in the final entry of his trilogy of corporate fables. When the instructional tale is over, Lencioni discusses the “five dysfunctions” (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results) and provides a questionnaire for readers to use in evaluating their own teams and specifics to help them understand and overcome these common shortcomings.
13. The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History by Harry S. Dent. Dent explains “The Perfect Storm” as peak oil prices collide with peaking generational spending trends by 2010, leading to a more severe downtrend for the global economy and individual investors alike. He outlines the critical issues that will face our government and other major institutions, offering long- and short-term tactics for weathering the storm. He offers recommendations that will allow families, businesses, investors, and individuals to manage their assets correctly and come out on top.
14. The E-myth Revisted /The E-myth Mastery: Library Edition by Michael E. Gerber. In this first new and totally revised edition of the more than two million copy bestseller, The E-Myth, Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business — from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed — and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether it is a franchise or not. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.
15. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki with Sharon Lechter. Robert Kiyosaki reveals how he developed his unique economic perspective from his two fathers: his real father, who was highly educated but fiscally poor; and the father of his best friend – an eighth-grade drop-out who became a self-made multi-millionaire. The lifelong monetary problems experienced by his “poor dad” pounded home the counterpoint communicated by his “rich dad”. Taking that message to heart, Kiyosaki was able to retire at the age of 47. This book lays out his philosophy and aims to open readers eyes by: exploding the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich; challenging the belief that your house is an asset; showing parents why they can’t rely on schools to teach their children about money; defining once and for all an asset versus a liability; and explaining what to teach your children about money for their future financial success.