Reading is a basic, fundamental skill. It is one of the first skills taught in school, and yet, few of us realize how important it is after we graduate. Reading has been proven to keep our minds young, healthy and sharp, while also helping us develop analytical skills, makes us better communicators, stimulating the creative centers of our brains, and strengthening our ability to recall information.
Skills like these can benefit just about everyone, but for entrepreneurs and business professionals, the ability to analyze a situation, apply lessons learned, and come up with innovative solutions is crucial. That is why if you’re looking for guidance on how to become a more effective, successful, and overall better leader in the corporate world, books are your best friend.
Hundreds of great business books come out every year, and while it’s not possible to read them all, the best books attract readers and positive reviews long after their publication dates. Here are our top 5 picks of the bunch.
1. “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins
This management book by Jim Collins describes how companies transition from being good companies to great companies, and how most companies fail to make the transition. Good to Great summarises the findings from extensive research into what makes certain high performing companies outperform their peers. The findings are both interesting and capable of being replicated by any company that wishes to improve performance.
2. “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport
Distraction is an issue so many people struggle with, but it’s especially detrimental in the world of business, where success hinges on the ability to adapt quickly.
In Deep Work, Professor of Computer Science Cal Newport shares his insight on how to focus deeply on cognitively demanding tasks in a world filled with distractions. Newport argues that the ability to focus without distraction isn’t something people are born with—it’s a skill that must be learned, practiced, and mastered.
3. “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek
By examining the lives of great leaders like Martin Luther King to Steve Jobs, motivational speaker Simon Sinek attempts to develop a common thread in the reason for their success, despite having very different goals and aspirations.
Sinek draws on a range of real-life experiences, weaving together a clear vision of what it takes to lead and inspire others. His book is a great read for anyone looking to understand what it means to lead with confidence.
4. “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
In this New York Times bestseller, Fried and Hansson present their readers with a variety of low-cost ways to grow their business, with lessons on increasing productivity, not getting bogged down by too much planning, and ways of getting exposure for your business without spending too much startup cash.
Fried and Hansson are both entrepreneurs with tech backgrounds who offer great advice for any business owner who might be an expert in their field but a beginner to the world of entrepreneurship. Rework tosses aside conventional business jargon and instead offers advice that’s solid and straightforward.
5. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is a classic of the self-help and personal development genre. In writing it, Napoleon Hill researched the lives of more than 40 millionaires to discover what common thread ran through them. Hill offers practical knowledge about tackling goals by focusing on a single, defined one, arguing that the biggest successes often follow the biggest failures.