My Favorite Business Books

These books have all had a material impact on how I live and work. Any one of these will help you to move your life forward, faster.

How will you measure your life?

How will you measure your life?

by Clayton M. Christensen

From the world’s leading thinker on innovation and New York Times bestselling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen, comes an unconventional book of inspiration and wisdom for achieving a fulfilling life.

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How will you measure your life?

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

by Greg McKeown

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

by Dan Pink

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

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Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives

Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives

By Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek

A new generation of “life entrepreneurs” is emerging: people who apply their vision, talents, creativity, and energy not only to their work but to their entire lives, changing the world for themselves and those around them. In this book, successful entrepreneurs Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek draw on numerous interviews with fifty-five leading entrepreneurs worldwide as well as the wisdom of multiple thought leaders to provide vivid examples, moving vignettes, concrete frameworks, and practical strategies for revving up our work and play through entrepreneurial leadership.

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Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last

By Simon Sinek

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.

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The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection and Courage

The Power of Vulnerablity

By Brene Brown (Audio Program)

Is vulnerability the same as weakness? “In our culture,” teaches Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”

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Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

By Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?

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Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation To Create Radically Successful Businesses

By Eric Reis

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

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The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born, It’s Grown. Here’s How.

By Daniel Coyle

Whether you’re coaching soccer or teaching a child to play the piano, writing a novel or trying to improve your golf swing, this revolutionary book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism.

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Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

By Adam Grant

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others.

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Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow

By Chip Conley

After fifteen years of rising to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley’s company was suddenly undercapitalized and overexposed in the post-dot.com, post-9/11 economy. For relief and inspiration, Conley, the CEO and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, turned to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s iconic Hierarchy of Needs. This book explores how Conley’s company “the second largest boutique hotelier in the world” overcame the storm that hit the travel industry by applying Maslow’s theory to what Conley identifies as the key Relationship Truths in business with Employees, Customers and Investors.

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Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life

Getting More: How You Can Negotiate To Succeed In Work And Life

By Stuart Diamond

Based on more than 20 years of research and practice among 30,000 people in 45 countries, Getting More concludes that finding and valuing the other party’s emotions and perceptions creates far more value than the conventional wisdom of power and logic. It is intended to provide better agreements for everyone no matter what they negotiate – from jobs to kids to billion dollar deals to shopping.

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Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

By Dan Ariely

In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They’re systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

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The Startup of You: Adapt To The Future, Invest In Yourself, Transform Your Career

The Startup of You: Adapt To The Future, Invest In Yourself, Transform Your Career

By Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

The career escalator is jammed at every level. Unemployment rates are sky-high. Creative disruption is shaking every industry. Global competition for jobs is fierce. The employer-employee pact is over and traditional job security is a thing of the past.

Here, LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show how to accelerate your career in today’s competitive world. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Work And Business

By Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential.

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Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Great By Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

By Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen

Ten years after the worldwide bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns with another groundbreaking work, this time to ask: why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research, buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Collins and his colleague Morten Hansen enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous and fast-moving times. This book is classic Collins: contrarian, data-driven and uplifting.

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The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles Of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success In Life And Work

By Shawn Achor

Our most commonly held formula for success is broken. Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.

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