Moving some books around recently and got to thinking about some of my favorites. Books that I have had forever. Some dog eared. Some read through once or twice and a couple that sit as references for when I need answers. I usually read on management, leadership, governance, stewardship, strategy, history, and I am a sucker for how to’s. Business books are of great interest to me.
Business executives are driven people who don’t mind sharing their insights into how they think through business problems and face everyday challenges. Many of the most influential business people have written books. Thinkers,tycoons, entrepreneurs, gurus, and even those we like to call pitchmen for the flavor of the month management idea. Seems like everybody has a book.
My approach to business reading hasn’t changed much over the years. I read everything I can about the industries I do search work for. My files are full of snips, charts, glossaries, lists, articles, pdfs. I keep everything. People who know me know I keep a new word list with industry jargon. When a new term pops up, say, during a business phone call or meeting, it goes into my jargon notebook for googling later. It is an amazing way to learn and I have to say that words fly about that you thought you knew the meaning of until you do the research. It is an eye opener if not humbling. Everything I keep gets filed in a series of folders that I can search when needed.
I keep a small library of favorite books. Business books for me are part reference, part idea sources, and always a learning experience. The books I keep on the shelf are my personal favorites. I will share my list of favorites. Be forewarned. Not all of them are current. Some on this list go back years. Several I consider classics, several I think I just need to have, and all I have enjoyed over and over.
Here is my list and please note that these are not ranked in any way. I like them all and not in a particular order. Here goes!
- The Art of War Sun Tsu
- Three books that I keep together on my shelf by Michael E. Porter. Competitive Strategy, Competitive Advantage, Competitive Advantage of Nations.
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship Peter F. Drucker
- Preparing for the Twenty-First Century Paul Kennedy
- Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
- The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith
- A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge by PMI
- A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy Musashi Miyomoto
- Ropes to Skip and the Ropes to Know: Studies in Organizational Behavior Ritti & Funkhouser
- Now, Discover Your Strengths Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton
- The Unofficial Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder Jack Griffin
- Flawless Consulting Peter Block
- The Empire of Business Andrew Carnegie (Reprinted from the 1923 original)
Share your thoughts on my list or tell me what’s on your shelf. Reach me at www.sawyertms.com/contact
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