Eight of the best business reads for World Book Day

On world book day, we celebrate literature from the past, the present and literature aimed at a range of audiences.  Yes, in particular it’s a great day for children’s literature but we thought we’d also take the opportunity to give you some recommended reading from the business world. So without further ado…..

Hug your Haters – Jay Baer

You may think that you’ve got customer service down to a tee – but do your customers agree? Jay Baer found that many businesses still rely on legacy customer service methods such as phone and email.  So Baer’s intention with ‘Hug your Haters’ is to update ideas on modern customer service including the minefield of social media and review sites.   Read this book and learn to deal with ‘trolls’, very public complaints, the future of customer service and more.

Option B – Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

This is not an easy read in places, but Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s candid book about resilience in the face of tragedy and disaster is moving and inspiring in equal measure.  Sandberg shares the way she coped with her own personal tragedy and explores how others have overcome adversity and grief.  At the end of the day in big business, it’s only money – but there are times when your world feels like it is falling apart.  If ever there was an inspiring text to lend perspective, this is it.

How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie

The book is now over 20 years old but it’s as true now as it was when first published.  As much in business relies upon personal relationships and how people perceive you, this book should become your bible.   It is designed to help build meaningful relationships with colleagues and customers, help win business by teaching how to make compelling points and help develop colleagues without their resentment.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future – Ashlee Vance

Today there are few figures more charismatic than Elon Musk.  There aren’t many who have their sights set so high either.  From trying to revolutionise electric cars to building the world’s largest solar farm in Australia, Musk’s list of achievements is already pretty long.  This book explores Musk and his contribution to business, innovation and industrialism.  Vance also asks if currently long-term leaders of the manufacturing world are really prepared for break-through ‘disruptor’ businesses like Musk’s – and seeks to plot the future of a globally competitive market place.

Too Big to Fail – Andrew Ross Sorkin

Ego, fear and greed.  Three pretty strong words.  That’s what Andrew Ross Sorkin portrays as he recounts the drama surrounding the financial crisis of 2008. Named ‘Best Book’ by The Economist, Financial Times and Business Week, Too Big to Fail will amaze, thrill and maybe even make you angry that things got so out of hand in the name of greed and ego.  It’s not overstating to say that the fate of the world was in the hands of a few, very powerful business men, women and politicians – fascinating and worrying in equal measure!

The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle

Daniel Coyle dives in to the nature/nurture debate and tries to find out what encourages talent and keeps it growing.  He interviews top coaches, educators and researchers to try to unlock the ‘secret’ of talent and visits so-called talent hot spots to gain insight.   For example, in Brazil, Coyle looks into how and why they produce so many top footballers.  Effectively, this book is about practice making perfect, only it’s also explaining how to practice in the right way.  In doing so, Coyle claims you may unlock talents you never knew you had.

Brotopia – Emily Chang

People think that tech companies are among some of the more principled corporations out there.  In Brotopia, Emily Chang explains that there’s a ‘silicon ceiling’ in the tech sector and it’s still hard for women to get to the top of the game. Chang interviews Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and former Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer to find out about their rise to the top and the challenged they faced along the way. Given the recent #MeToo movement, this book has never been more poignant.

Superconnector – Scott Gerber

I’m a big advocate of networking and see it as an important success factor in business.  So do Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh, but not necessarily in the traditional sense.  Gerber and Paugh urge business men and women to stop networking for networking sake and to work at building meaningful business relationships for our modern business age.  As with many of the books on this blog, Superconnector’s source material includes a range of business leaders who share their expertise and experience in maximising the mutual value they get from their connections.

Have you read a good business book recently? Please feel free to comment on this post and let us know what you’ve read. All books listed on this page are available to purchase on Amazon – though other bookstores are available! Happy reading!

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