What is your favorite business book?
I’m not sure I have a favorite, unless you count old standbys like the 7 Habits; I’ve semi-recently read “Decisive” and “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, and enjoyed both of them, more so Decisive. To be honest, I don’t think there are many great books about remote / distributed work; there are some great books about distributed companies, including Scott Berkun’s Year Without Pants (full disclosure: Scott is a client of 10up), but they’re more interesting journalistic treatises on the particular remote company being studied (in that case, Automattic) than thorough analyses of remote work, in general.
I’m not huge on business books just because they tend to suggest one-size-fits-all approaches for problems that are typically very unique for each company. But, that being said, I really enjoyed Made to Stick which is mainly a book of case studies about “sticky” ideas that create good marketing messages. The case examples are excellent.
Zapp: The Lightning of Empowerment is a book loved company wide. The author tells a story of change and awareness on a company and team level. Some of the main points include maintaining employee self-esteem, using active listening and responding with empathy, asking ideas in solving problems, and offering help without taking responsibility. We’ve implemented these ideas for our structure and company culture.
I love a bunch of these, but still:
- Manager 3.0: A Millennial’s Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management by Brad Karsh
- Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson
- ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever by Jason Fried
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
“The Progress Principle” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer is one of the most important books for our business. The two researchers — and investors in iDoneThis — conducted a study on what motivates people at work and what holds them back. Feeling a bit of progress every day, even if it’s small, was the most important thing they found. The insights from that book guide how we develop our product, and also how we reflect upon our own work.
Inspired by Marty Cagan! It’s AMAZING, it’s my business bible.
In the book Marty explains how to create product management processes that allow you to test and validate (or invalidate) all your business and product ideas before you launch them to virtually guarantee you success.
Seriously, we live by it.
I’m not a fan of business books, but I like The Strategy Process by Henry Mintzberg, et al. It’s a series of essays that often refute each other and it taught me that there’s rarely a correct way to approach business. There are lots of acceptable answers to how to approach business problems and you need to decide which solutions work for you.
“Twitter for Dummies” – ha ha 🙂 Just kidding, although it is pretty informative! You’ve caught me here, I much prefer novels over business related reading materials. But I have recently started and am enjoying, “Crucial Conversations – Tools for Talking When Stakes are High “. And I have a teenager, so may prove to be a helpful read for the home front as well.
I can’t narrow this down to one, so I’ll name a few.
- First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
- Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson provides a fantastic view into 37signals’ (now Basecamp) remote culture.
- John C. Maxwell’s The Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is a great leadership book
- Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership is solid as well.
There are far too many great options to choose from!