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How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence People

Dale Carnegie

Business Book Synopsis:

This book is packed with timeless wisdom that can help people achieve their goals. It offers advice on how to build relationships and deal with other individuals in an effective way, such as giving honest appreciation or asking questions instead of telling someone what they should do directly. While the 214-page novel was written over 80 years ago, it still holds up today since its principles are universal – anyone could benefit from learning them!

Why it’s a great business book:

The book contains countless nuggets of information to help make you a better leader, listener and relationship builder. One piece of advice is that when listening, “seize upon the important words” (Carnegie 15). It will lead your conversations in more productive directions as it forces people to be specific about what they want from others. This can even save time if someone isn't satisfied with how their request was interpreted by another person! The author also advises us not only on how we should listen but why we shouldn't interrupt during a conversation: "You were born an original; don’t die a copy" (17) instead enjoy conversing one-on-one because there are many benefits like increased intimacy and improved relationships both personal or professional.

Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill

Business Book Synopsis:

Imagine the stories that could be told from these successful millionaires! Napoleon Hill's 238-page book Think and Grow Rich tells about his journey to find out what makes a millionaire. In this book, he shares some advice on how you can too become wealthy.
In addition to summarizing information in an accurate fashion, make sure your summary is interesting! You should avoid using words like "I think" or other less confident phrases when writing summaries because they do not demonstrate the strong critical thinking skills necessary for academic success at university level courses such as ENGL 111/111H (International English).

Why you should read this business book:

Think and Grow Rich is a great book to read for business advice. It was originally published in the 1930s, but it still remains popular today with over 100 million copies sold since then. Popular quotes include “A quitter never wins-and-a winner never quits” which shows how powerful this book can be if you're looking for some entrepreneurial guidance as well as insights into what causes people to become successful entrepreneurs like Hill himself who's responsible at least partially of selling 20 million books by his death despite only publishing around that number during his lifetime due to lack of support from publishers such as John Wiley & Sons Incorporated (Bertrand Russell).

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Robert T. Kiyosaki

Business Book Synopsis:

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a popular personal finance book that often teaches in colleges. The story of Robert T Kiyosaki’s two fathers: one rich, and one poor are shared throughout the narrative. He shares financial lessons he learned from his rich dad dispelling common myths along the way to teach readers how they can become wealthy too.

Why it’s a great business book:

Rich Dad Poor Dad is considered one of the best business books about financial literacy. With over 26 million copies sold, celebrities like Oprah, Will Smith, Donald Trump and Daymond John have publicly praised it. This book is great for those who are starting out as an entrepreneur because it provides a mindset to look at things from their perspective - “Workers work hard enough not be fired while owners pay just enough so that workers won’t quit." Reading this can make you feel slightly more motivated to start your own venture if you still hold on to your 9-5 job now

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek

Timothy Ferriss

Business Book Synopsis:

The 4-Hour Workweek is considered a game-changing business book by many. It offers insight into how life can be and how it should be. Ferris shares his story of being an overworked entrepreneur for too long and not living the full experience that he wanted to live, so he managed to create a better work/life balance after much trial, error, advice from others who had succeeded at this method before him; The book takes you through step by step with ways in which one could lower their workload such as via outsourcing (Ferris suggests even hiring your own virtual assistant).

Why it’s a great business book:

Business books don’t get any better than this one. The New York Times bestseller was on the list for over four years, and it sold 1.3 million copies around the world! If you decide to become a dropshipper, Tim Ferriss' book should be at top of your reading list as it complements many lessons from this book such as outsourcing and living a life of freedom which are great for new entrepreneurs because they can have more time off without having too much stress about their business not being profitable enough or growing fast enough. One of the memorable quotes in Ferriss’ book is, “The question is then, how can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000?” as it teaches you that you can change your lifestyle even without being a millionaire.

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life

Marilee G. Adams

Business Book Synopsis: 

The book Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee G. Adams doesn't inspire you in a rah-rah kinda way but instead delves deep into rewiring your mindset to be more positive and inquisitive versus negative and judgmental. It breaks down the difference between having a judger (negative) or learner (positive) mindset where it's all about asking questions like "What can I learn from this?" vs "what is wrong with me"/"who do i blame". Of course if someone is knee deep in negativity making that switch won't happen overnight which makes this books helpful because it has practical advice on how to transition out of being stuck.

Why It’s a Great Business Book: 

If you’ve been filled with self-doubt, negative thoughts or more obstacles than you know how to overcome, this book by Adams is like reading the words straight out of an executive coach. The author shares simple transition questions that can help move from a negative judger mindset into a positive learner one without having to do any drastic personality changes. Entrepreneur books often teach tactics that will help run your business but this one helps gain control of your business by improving yourself as well.

The $100 Startup

The $100 Startup

Chris Guillebeau

Business Book Synopsis:

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau shares case studies of 50 individuals who make at least $50,000 from a low investment under one hundred dollars. The book is action-oriented and focuses on the importance of choosing profitable passions over planning to achieve results.

Why it’s a great business book:

The $100 Startup is one of the best business books for entrepreneurs on a tight budget. This book reiterates with its case studies that starting a business doesn’t need to cost much money, which we know will be helpful because our goal in this article is to attract readers who are interested in entrepreneurship and might not have access or resources as others do. Also notable within Guillebeau's ideas are his recommendations about failing quickly so you learn from your mistakes early on and investing only when it shows profitability as he does himself (he was an artist before becoming self-employed). He also provides us with what many consider “the secret sauce”: A One-Page Business Plan which encourages action instead of thinking aimlessly without taking any.

The Personal MBA

The Personal MBA

Josh Kaufman

Business Book Synopsis:

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman teaches readers the business fundamentals you'd learn in school, so that they don't have to go. You'll master productivity and decision-making while finding out what goes on behind closed doors in the real world of businesses. He also explains how things actually work in business so that you can build a profitable empire.

Why it’s a great business book:

Many people put off starting a business until they pursue an education or take up online courses. With books like this, you get all the essentials of doing business in one easy to read book! It teaches great lessons such as "A good salesman, as the old (and politically incorrect) saying goes, can sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo." Readers will also learn concepts such as The Iron Law Of The Market.

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Seth Godin

Business Book Synopsis:

You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.

What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last?

Face it, the checklist of tired 'P's marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed - Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few - aren't working anymore. There's an exceptionally important 'P' that has to be added to the list. It's Purple Cow.

Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though...now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows - but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period.

Why it’s a great business book:

In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It's a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Daniel H. Pink

Business Book Synopsis:

Salespeople aren't the only people who engage in selling. Everyone is a salesperson, according to Daniel Pink's new book To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others."

He writes that one-in-nine Americans are employed as professional sellers but even those outside of this category find themselves engaging with others persuasively on a daily basis--whether they're trying to convince their boss for extra time off or convincing friends and family over holiday dinner not to order turkey again next year.

Why it’s a great business book:

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals that extraverts don't make the best salespeople, shows how giving people an "off-ramp" can matter more than actually changing their minds, describes six successors to the elevator pitch, three rules for understanding another's perspective.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

Michael E. Gerber

Business Book Synopsis:

E-Myth 'e-,'mith n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work Voted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs. An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths about starting your own business. Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber, with sharp insight gained from years of experience, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business.

Why it’s a great business book:

Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. The E-Myth Revisited will help you grow your business in a productive, assured way.

The Secret

The Secret

Rhonda Byrne

Business Book Synopsis:

In 2006, a groundbreaking feature-length film revealed the great mystery of the universe—The Secret—and, later that year, Rhonda Byrne followed with a book that became a worldwide bestseller.

Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions, and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.

Why it’s a great business book:

In this book, you’ll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life—money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You’ll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that’s within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.

The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers—men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

The Art of War

The Art of War

Sun Tzu

Business Book Synopsis:

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is an ancient Chinese military book. However, many of the concepts in this book apply to politics and business. The book shares insights into how to outsmart the competition and how to be an effective leader.

Why it’s a great business book:

The Art of War was written in the 5th century BC yet is still being taught in many business school programs today. The concepts from the book apply to highly competitive business settings to help brands crush the competition. The book offers intelligent insights such as “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” In a business setting, replace enemy with competitor and it instantly becomes applicable.

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Eric Ries

Business Book Synopsis:

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on "validated learning," rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it's too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Why it’s a great business book:

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.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

MONEY: Master the Game

MONEY: Master the Game

Tony Robbins

Business Book Synopsis:

In MONEY: Master the Game Tony Robbins shares financial secrets from 50 of the world’s best financial experts. In his book, he shares insights from billionaires Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn. Robbins simplifies the interviews into seven simple steps to help the average person achieve financial freedom.

Why it’s a great business book:

Tony Robbin’s book is best for entrepreneurs who are looking to invest their profits. However, learning the concepts in business books like this will help you make strategic financial decisions. In this book, you’ll learn how to invest in the stock market. The New York Times bestseller offers success insights such as “Success leaves clues. People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something different than everyone else does.” Thus, reminding people to pay attention to what successful people do differently and learning from those who’ve succeeded before you.

The Miracle Morning: The Not‑so‑obvious Secret Guaranteed

The Miracle Morning: The Not‑so‑obvious Secret Guaranteed

Hal Elrod

Business Book Synopsis:

The Miracle Morning covers some of the best practices for waking up in the morning. It teaches readers how to wake up with more energy and motivation. He encourages readers to start each day with good habits. Business books such as this include actionable steps to improve your mornings.

Why it’s a great business book:

Most people try to change all of their bad habits at once. With The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod recommends changing a person’s morning habits as a simple but effective solution. He goes on to say, “How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably create a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre productive morning routines generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.” Starting your day with good habits can transform your entire day and your life.

Lean In

Lean In

Sheryl Sandberg

Business Book Synopsis:

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In delves into the lack of female leaders and how to succeed as a female in the business world. She offers women insight into how to grow professionally while sharing personal stories and real data. Sandberg shares her personal struggles to help prevent women from making the same mistakes.

Why it’s a great business book:

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is one of the few business books geared for women. Women are encouraged to break the glass ceiling and accept praise when deserved. She encourages women to “…be more empowered at work.” She teaches women to focus on being independent instead of relying on mentors. The best advice Sandberg gives in her book is “Taking initiative pays off. It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.”

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

Business Book Synopsis:

System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Topping bestseller lists for almost ten years, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a contemporary classic, an essential book that has changed the lives of millions of readers.

Why it’s a great business book:

In his mega bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, world-famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.

Business Adventures

Business Adventures

John Brooks

Business Book Synopsis:

What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.

Why it’s a great business book:

Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. Longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks’s insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself.

Five additional stories on equally fascinating subjects round out this wonderful collection that will both entertain and inform readers . . . Business Adventures is truly financial journalism at its liveliest and best.

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Ola Rosling

Business Book Synopsis:

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how many young women go to school; how many of us live in poverty - we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.

Why it’s a great business book:

In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and a man who can make data sing, Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens, and reveals the ten instincts that distort our perspective.

It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.

Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead 

Brené Brown

Business Book Synopsis:

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

Why it’s a great business book:

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

The Intelligent Investor

The Intelligent Investor

Benjamin Graham

Business Book Synopsis:

The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham's philosophy of "value investing" -- which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies -- has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.

Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham's strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham's original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today's market, draws parallels between Graham's examples and today's financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham's principles.

Why it’s a great business book:

Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.

Radical Candor

Radical Candor

Kim Scott

Business Book Synopsis:

From the time we learn to speak, we’re told that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. While this advice may work for everyday life, it is, as Kim Scott has seen, a disaster when adopted by managers.

Scott earned her stripes as a highly successful manager at Google and then decamped to Apple, where she developed a class on optimal management. She has earned growing fame in recent years with her vital new approach to effective management, the “radical candor” method.

Radical candor is the sweet spot between managers who are obnoxiously aggressive on one side and ruinously empathetic on the other. It’s about providing guidance, which involves a mix of praise as well as criticism—delivered to produce better results and help employees achieve.

Great bosses have strong relationships with their employees, and Scott has identified three simple principles for building better relationships with your employees: make it personal, get (sh)it done, and understand why it matters.

Why it’s a great business book:

Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Taken from years of the author’s experience, and distilled clearly giving actionable lessons to the reader; it shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity, finding meaning in their job, and creating an environment where people both love their work and their colleagues.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Angela Duckworth

Business Book Synopsis:

In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, students, and business people both seasoned and new that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called grit.

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not genius, but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own character lab and set out to test her theory.

Why it’s a great business book:

Here, she takes readers into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers; from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that not talent or luck makes all the difference.

The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

Clayton M. Christensen

Business Book Synopsis: 

Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen says outstanding companies can do everything right and still lose their market leadership -- or worse, disappear completely. And he not only proves what he says, he tells others how to avoid a similar fate.

Focusing on "disruptive technology" -- the Honda Super Cub, Intel's 8088 processor, or the hydraulic excavator, for example -- Christensen shows why most companies miss "the next great wave." Whether in electronics or retailing, a successful company with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know when to abandon traditional business practices. Using the lessons of successes and failures from leading companies, "The Innovator's Dilemma" presents a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.

Why it’s a great business book: 

The Innovator’s Dilemma is the revolutionary business book that has forever changed corporate America. Based on a truly radical idea—that great companies can fail precisely because they do everything right—this Wall Street Journal, Business Week and New York Times Business bestseller is one of the most provocative and important business books ever written. Entrepreneurs, managers, and CEOs ignore its wisdom and its warnings at their great peril.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

Business Book Synopsis:

For the first time ever in a book, TalentSmart's revolutionary program helps people identify their EQ skills, build these skills into strengths, and enjoy consistent performance in the pursuit of important life objectives. The book contains proven strategies from a decade-long effort to accurately measure and increase emotional intelligence. Trusted by upper-echelon leaders inside companies worldwide, these strategies will enable you to capitalize on the skills responsible for 58% of performance in all types of jobs.

Includes a passcode for online access to the world's bestselling emotional intelligence test, the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal®, which will show you where your EQ stands today and what you can do to begin maximizing it immediately.

Rooted in sound research involving more than 500,000 responses, this new edition of the test will:

--Pinpoint which of the book's 66 emotional intelligence strategies will increase your EQ the most.

--Reveal the specific behaviors responsible for your EQ scores.

--Allow you to test yourself a second time to measure how much your EQ has increased from your efforts.

The book's smooth narrative style turns rigorous research into memorable stories and practical strategies that anyone can use to his or her advantage.

With 90% of top performers high in EQ, and EQ twice as important as IQ in getting where you want to go in life, who can afford to ignore it?

Why it’s a great business book:

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential:

1) Self-Awareness
2) Self-Management
3) Social Awareness
4) Relationship Management

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

William N. Thorndike

Business Book Synopsis:

What makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise. Others might point to the qualities of today’s so-called celebrity CEOs—charisma, virtuoso communication skills, and a confident management style. But what really matters when you run an organization? What is the hallmark of exceptional CEO performance? Quite simply, it is the returns for the shareholders of that company over the long term.

In this refreshing, counterintuitive book, author Will Thorndike brings to bear the analytical wisdom of a successful career in investing, closely evaluating the performance of companies and their leaders. You will meet eight individualistic CEOs whose firms’ average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty—in other words, an investment of $10,000 with each of these CEOs, on average, would have been worth over $1.5 million twenty-five years later. You may not know all their names, but you will recognize their companies: General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne. In The Outsiders, you’ll learn the traits and methods—striking for their consistency and relentless rationality—that helped these unique leaders achieve such exceptional performance.

Why it’s a great business book:

Thorndike explores the importance of thoughtful capital allocation through the stories of eight successful CEOs. A good read for any business leader but especially those willing to chart their own course.

Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change

Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change

Stacey Abrams

Business Book Synopsis:

In Lead from the Outside, Stacey Abrams argues that knowing your own passion is the key to success, regardless of the scale or target. From launching a company, to starting a day care center for homeless teen moms, to running a successful political campaign, finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action. Stacey uses her experience and hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, while offering personal stories that illuminate practical strategies.

Stacey includes exercises to help you hone your skills and realize your aspirations. She discusses candidly what she has learned over the course of her impressive career: that differences in race, gender, and class are surmountable. With direction and dedication, being in the minority actually provides unique and vital strength, which we can employ to rise to the top and make real change.

Why it’s a great business book:

Leadership is hard. Convincing others―and often yourself―that you possess the answers and are capable of world-affecting change requires confidence, insight, and sheer bravado. Lead from the Outside is the handbook for outsiders, written with the awareness of the experiences and challenges that hinder anyone who exists beyond the structure of traditional white male power―women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make a difference.

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein

Business Book Synopsis:

Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients — or that two judges in the same courthouse give different sentences to people who have committed the same crime. Suppose that different food inspectors give different ratings to indistinguishable restaurants — or that when a company is handling customer complaints, the resolution depends on who happens to be handling the particular complaint. Now imagine that the same doctor, the same judge, the same inspector, or the same company official makes different decisions, depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday. These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical.

In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Cass R. Sunstein, and Olivier Sibony show how noise contributes significantly to errors in all fields, including medicine, law, economic forecasting, police behavior, food safety, bail, security checks at airports, strategy, and personnel selection. And although noise can be found wherever people make judgments and decisions, individuals and organizations alike are commonly oblivious to the role of chance in their judgments and in their actions.

Why it’s a great business book:

Drawing on the latest findings in psychology and behavioral economics, and the same kind of diligent, insightful research that made Thinking, Fast and Slow and Nudge groundbreaking New York Times bestsellers, Noise explains how and why humans are so susceptible to noise in judgment — and what we can do about it.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Simon Sinek

Business Book Synopsis:

In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY -- the third most popular TED video of all time.

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

Why it’s a great business book:

Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.

Too Big to Fail

Too Big to Fail

Andrew Ross Sorkin

Business Book Synopsis:

Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami. From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea, and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world’s economy.

Through unprecedented access to the players involved, Too Big to Fail re-creates all the drama and turmoil, revealing never disclosed details and elucidating how decisions made on Wall Street over the past decade sowed the seeds of the debacle. This true story is not just a look at banks that were “too big to fail,” it is a real-life thriller with a cast of bold-faced names who themselves thought they were too big to fail.

Why it’s a great business book:

In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin—a New York Times columnist and one of the country's most respected financial reporters—delivers the first definitive blow-by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, he re-creates all the drama and turmoil of these turbulent days, revealing never-before-disclosed details and recounting how, motivated as often by ego and greed as by fear and self-preservation, the most powerful men and women in finance and politics decided the fate of the world's economy.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Daniel Goleman

Business Book Synopsis:

Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our "two minds"—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.

Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.

The best news is that "emotional literacy" is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

Why it’s a great business book:

Drawing on groundbreaking brain and behavioral research, Goleman shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well. These factors, which include self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy, add up to a different way of being smart—and they aren’t fixed at birth. Although shaped by childhood experiences, emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened throughout our adulthood—with immediate benefits to our health, our relationships, and our work.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covey

Business Book Synopsis:

Internationally renowned leadership authority and bestselling author Stephen R. Covey presents a personal hands-on companion to the landmark The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has become a touchstone for individuals, families, and businesses around the world. The overwhelming success of Stephen R. Covey's principle-centered philosophy is a testament to the millions who have benefited from his lessons, and now, with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook, they can further explore and understand this tried-and-true approach. With the same clarity and assurance Covey's fans have come to appreciate, this individualized workbook teaches readers to fully internalize the 7 Habits through private and thought-provoking exercises, whether they are already familiar with the principles or not.

Why it’s a great business book:

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity--principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Susan Cain

Business Book Synopsis:

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

Why it’s a great business book:

This book is actually so convincing, sensible, and genuine it should inevitably effect change in schools and offices. It's also a clever idea to write a book that communicates to introverts – a huge percentage of the reading public – how awesome and undervalued we are. This book is relevant to all, whether you are an introvert or not.

Even extroverts have introverts in their life and can gain value from a book that makes sense of their behavior. Overall, it’s an examination into the value society places on introverts and the science that makes people more or less outgoing.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Business Book Synopsis:

The Black Swan is the 2nd book in the five-book series by Nassim Nicholas Taleb on uncertainty. In this book, he explains the phenomenon of Black Swans, i.e. extremely unpredictable events that have a massive impact on our societies and the course of history. In The Black Swan summary, we’ll outline some of the key ideas in the book, including how we’re surrounded by randomness beyond our control, why we struggle to accept it, and how we can address our blind spots.

Why it’s a great business book:

The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Brene Brown

Business Book Synopsis: 

Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential.

When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start.

Four-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question:

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

Why it’s a great business book:

In this new book, Brown uses research, stories, and examples to answer these questions in the no-BS style that millions of readers have come to expect and love.

Brown writes, “One of the most important findings of my career is that daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It’s why we’re here.”

Whether you’ve read Daring Greatly and Rising Strong or you’re new to Brené Brown’s work, this book is for anyone who wants to step up and into brave leadership.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

Simon Sinek

Business Book Synopsis: 

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.

In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.

Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a "Circle of Safety" that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.

Why it’s a great business book:

The highly anticipated follow-up to Simon Sinek’s global bestseller Start with Why.

Simon Sinek is an optimist, a visionary thinker, and a leader of the cultural revolution of WHY. His second book is the natural extension of Start with Why, expanding his ideas at the organizational level. Determining a company’s WHY is crucial, but only the beginning. The next step is how do you get people on board with your WHY? How do you inspire deep trust and commitment to the company and one another? He cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them. It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what. Drawing on powerful and inspiring stories, Sinek shows how to sustain an organization’s WHY while continually adding people to the mix.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

John Carreyrou

Business Book Synopsis: 

IIn 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

Why it’s a great business book:

In Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, John Carreyrou presents a detailed history of the events leading up to Elizabeth Holmes's fall from grace. In 2016, she was purported to be the world's "youngest female self-made billionaire." Until it all came crashing down. Follow this tale of fraud, intrigue, lies, and a woman who would do anything to protect her darkest secret.

First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

Jim Harter

Business Book Synopsis:

What separates the greatest managers from all the rest?

They actually have vastly different styles and backgrounds. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They don’t hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They don’t believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything they set their mind to. They don’t try to help people overcome their weaknesses. And, yes, they even play favorites.

In this longtime management bestseller, Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its massive in-depth study of great managers. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial firms. Whatever their circumstances, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup’s research were those who excelled at turning each individual employee’s talent into high performance.

Gallup has found that the front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. This book explains how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience, set expectations, build on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix their weaknesses, and get the best performance out of their teams.

And perhaps most important, Gallup’s research produced the 12 simple statements that distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest. First, Break All the Rules is the first book to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction and the rate of turnover.

First, Break All the Rules presents vital performance and career lessons for managers at every level — and best of all, shows you how to apply them to your own situation.

Why it’s a great business book:

Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its revolutionary study of more than 80,000 managers in First, Break All the Rules, revealing what the world’s greatest managers do differently. With vital performance and career lessons and ideas for how to apply them, it is a must-read for managers at every level.

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

Jim Collins and Jerry I Porras

Business Book Synopsis:

"This is not a book about charismatic visionary leaders. It is not about visionary product concepts or visionary products or visionary market insights. Nor is it about just having a corporate vision. This is a book about something far more important, enduring, and substantial. This is a book about visionary companies." So write Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in this groundbreaking book that shatters myths, provides new insights, and gives practical guidance to those who would like to build landmark companies that stand the test of time.

Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Collins and Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies -- they have an average age of nearly one hundred years and have outperformed the general stock market by a factor of fifteen since 1926 -- and studied each company in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day -- as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: "What makes the truly exceptional companies different from other companies?"

What separates General Electric, 3M, Merck, Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard, Walt Disney, and Philip Morris from their rivals? How, for example, did Procter & Gamble, which began life substantially behind rival Colgate, eventually prevail as the premier institution in its industry? How was Motorola able to move from a humble battery repair business into integrated circuits and cellular communications, while Zenith never became dominant in anything other than TVs? How did Boeing unseat McDonnell Douglas as the world's best commercial aircraft company -- what did Boeing have that McDonnell Douglas lacked?

By answering such questions, Collins and Porras go beyond the incessant barrage of management buzzwords and fads of the day to discover timeless qualities that have consistently distinguished out-standing companies. They also provide inspiration to all executives and entrepreneurs by destroying the false but widely accepted idea that only charismatic visionary leaders can build visionary companies.

Why it’s a great business book:

Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the twenty-first century and beyond.

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change

Ellen Pao

Business Book Synopsis:

In 2015, Ellen Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech world—and exposed its toxic culture and homogeneity.

Her message overcame negative PR attacks on her professional conduct and personal life, and she won widespread public support—Time hailed her as “the face of change.” Though Pao lost her suit, she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices, in the media, and around the world. In Reset, she tells her full story for the first time. And Shonda Rhimes and Netflix will bring it to the screen.

Why it’s a great business book:

Ellen Pao’s bravery in filing the lawsuit made her a hero to many women and helped change the conversation around sexism in tech. Now, Pao is back . . . with a new book, Reset, which takes readers behind the scenes of the roller coaster she’s been on.

Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business

Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business

Jay Conrad Levinson

Business Book Synopsis:

When Guerrilla Marketing was first published in 1983, Jay Levinson revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Based on hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson’s philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it. In this completely updated and expanded fourth edition, Levinson offers a new arsenal of weaponry for small-business success including

* strategies for marketing on the Internet (explaining when and precisely how to use it)

* tips for using new technology, such as podcasting and automated marketing

* programs for targeting prospects and cultivating repeat and referral business

* management lessons in the age of telecommuting and freelance employees

Why it’s a great business book:

Guerrilla Marketing is the entrepreneur’s marketing bible -- and the book every small-business owner should have on his or her shelf.

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Roger Lowenstein

Business Book Synopsis:

In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall.

When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself. The dramatic story of Long-Term’s fall is now a chilling harbinger of the crisis that would strike all of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, a decade later. In his new Afterword, Lowenstein shows that LTCM’s implosion should be seen not as a one-off drama but as a template for market meltdowns in an age of instability—and as a wake-up call that Wall Street and government alike tragically ignored.

Why it’s a great business book:

This book traces the rise, fall, and rescue of Long-Term Capital Management, perhaps the most celebrated (and infamous) hedge fund in history. It is a remarkable account of how a lot of really smart people—from the fund’s partners to its bankers to the regulators charged with protecting the public’s interest—did some things that, with the luxury of hindsight, proved to be very foolish.

It is a story with few heroes, but one with many lessons to be learned. However, beyond merely offering a cautionary tale of how greed, hubris, and myopia almost brought down the entire financial system, Lowenstein also provides the reader with an excellent description of the myriad investment strategies that continue to be employed by the hedge fund industry today. At the very least, this is a book that will challenge what you think you know about leverage, liquidity, and diversification.

The Wealth of Nations

The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith

Business Book Synopsis:

Originally delivered in the form of lectures at Glasgow, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations Books I-III laid the foundations of economic theory in general and 'classical' economics in particular, and this Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Andrew Skinner.

The publication of The Wealth of Nations in 1776 coincided with America's Declaration of Independence, and with this landmark treatise on political economy, Adam Smith paved the way for modern capitalism, arguing that a truly free market - fired by competition yet guided as if by an 'invisible hand' to ensure justice and equality - was the engine of a fair and productive society. Books I - III of The Wealth of Nations examine the 'division of labour' as the key to economic growth, by ensuring the interdependence of individuals within society. They also cover the origins of money and the importance of wages, profit, rent and stocks; but the real sophistication of his analysis derives from the fact that it encompasses a combination of ethics, philosophy and history to create a vast panorama of society.

This edition contains an analytical introduction offering an in-depth discussion of Smith as an economist and social scientist, as well as a preface, further reading and explanatory notes.

Why it’s a great business book:

The Wealth of Nations was published 9 March 1776, during the Scottish Enlightenment and the Scottish Agricultural Revolution. It influenced a number of authors and economists, as well as governments and organizations. For example, Alexander Hamilton was influenced in part by The Wealth of Nations to write his Report on Manufactures, in which he argued against many of Smith's policies. Interestingly, Hamilton based much of this report on the ideas of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and it was, in part, Colbert's ideas that Smith responded to with The Wealth of Nations. Many other authors were influenced by the book and used it as a starting point in their own work, including Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and, later, Ludwig von Mises. The Russian national poet Aleksandr Pushkin refers to The Wealth of Nations in his 1833 verse-novel Eugene Onegin.

Barbarians at the Gate

Barbarians at the Gate

Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

Business Book Synopsis: 

“Barbarians at the Gate” written by investigative journalists Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, follows Ross F. Johnson as he merges two of America’s biggest brands in the 1980s, RJR and Nabisco, becoming the CEO and president of tobacco and food corporation RJR Nabisco. What follows is the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco, with a frenetic Wall Street bidding contest between members of the RJR Nabisco management, the investment banking firm Shearson Lehman Hutton, and the LBO firm Kohlberg, Roberts and Co, for the takeover of the company. This takeover was the peak of a wave of LBOs in the 1980s, and after a competitive bidding process, private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) put in a winning $24.5 billion bid. This netted Johnson over $60 million and put millions more into the hands of executives, lawyers, and bankers involved in the deal.

Why it’s a great business book:

A #1 New York Times bestseller and arguably the best business narrative ever written, Barbarians at the Gate is the classic account of the fall of RJR Nabisco. An enduring masterpiece of investigative journalism by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, it includes a new afterword by the authors that brings this remarkable story of greed and double-dealings up to date twenty years after the famed deal. The Los Angeles Times calls Barbarians at the Gate, “Superlative.” The Chicago Tribune raves, “It’s hard to imagine a better story...and it’s hard to imagine a better account.” And in an era of spectacular business crashes and federal bailouts, it still stands as a valuable cautionary tale that must be heeded.

The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

Business Book Synopsis:

There were dozens of books about Watergate, but only All the President's Men gave readers the full story, with all the drama and nuance and exclusive reporting. And thirty years later, if you're going to read only one book on Watergate, that's still the one. Today, Enron is the biggest business story of our time, and Fortune senior writers Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind are the new Woodward and Bernstein.

Remarkably, it was just two years ago that Enron was thought to epitomize a great New Economy company, with its skyrocketing profits and share price. But that was before Fortune published an article by McLean that asked a seemingly innocent question: How exactly does Enron make money? From that point on, Enron's house of cards began to crumble. Now, McLean and Elkind have investigated much deeper, to offer the definitive book about the Enron scandal and the fascinating people behind it.

Why it’s a great business book:

Meticulously researched and character driven, Smartest Guys in the Room takes the reader deep into Enron's past—and behind the closed doors of private meetings. Drawing on a wide range of unique sources, the book follows Enron's rise from obscurity to the top of the business world to its disastrous demise. It reveals as never before major characters such as Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow, as well as lesser known players like Cliff Baxter and Rebecca Mark. Smartest Guys in the Room is a story of greed, arrogance, and deceit—a microcosm of all that is wrong with American business today. Above all, it's a fascinating human drama that will prove to be the authoritative account of the Enron scandal.

In search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies

In search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies

Thomas Peters and Robert H. Waterman

Business Book Synopsis:

The "Greatest Business Book of All Time" (Bloomsbury UK), In Search of Excellence has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table.

Based on a study of forty-three of America's best-run companies from a diverse array of business sectors, In Search of Excellence describes eight basic principles of management -- action-stimulating, people-oriented, profit-maximizing practices -- that made these organizations successful.

Why it’s a great business book:

Joining the HarperBusiness Essentials series, this phenomenal bestseller features a new Authors' Note, and reintroduces these vital principles in an accessible and practical way for today's management reader.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

Business Book Synopsis:

Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Isaacson’s portrait touched millions of readers.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with the author, he asked for no control over what was written. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. He himself spoke candidly about the people he worked with and competed against.

His friends, foes, and colleagues offer an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

Why it’s a great business book:

Steve Jobs has certainly left his mark in the world of business. This business book by writer and journalist Walter Isaacson who’s previously written biographies about Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and others, extensively covers the late Apple co-founder’s professional and personal life.

This biography is based on extensive interviews that Isaacson conducted with Steve Jobs and those who knew him. It’s a “warts and all” biography, which Steve Jobs fully cooperated with. The reviews generally indicate that this is an accurate, engaging narrative about a compelling, if imperfect, a subject whose ingenuity changed the world forever.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey

Jim Huling

Business Book Synopsis:

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following the 4 Disciplines—Focus on the Wildly Important; Act on Lead Measures; Keep a Compelling Scoreboard; Create a Cadence of Accountability—leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.

4DX is not theory. It is a proven set of practices that have been tested and refined by hundreds of organizations and thousands of teams over many years. When a company or an individual adheres to these disciplines, they achieve superb results, regardless of the goal. 4DX represents a new way to think and work that is essential to thriving in today’s competitive climate. The 4 Disciplines of Execution is one book that no business leader can afford to miss.

Why it’s a great business book:

The 4 Disciplines of Execution is written by members of the time management training and organization firm, Franklin Covey, including Sean Covey, son of Franklin Covey’s founder, Stephen Covey. This business book discusses the four disciplines of execution which the authors see as being precise rules for translating strategy into action. These disciplines are focus, leverage, engagement, and accountability. The authors lay out ways they believe your business can implement and accomplish these disciplines.

The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

Erin Meyer

Business Book Synopsis:

Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together.

When you have Americans who precede anything negative with three nice comments; French, Dutch, Israelis, and Germans who get straight to the point (“your presentation was simply awful”); Latin Americans and Asians who are steeped in hierarchy; Scandinavians who think the best boss is just one of the crowd—the result can be, well, sometimes interesting, even funny, but often disastrous.

Even with English as a global language, it’s easy to fall into cultural traps that endanger careers and sink deals when, say, a Brazilian manager tries to fathom how his Chinese suppliers really get things done, or an American team leader tries to get a handle on the intra-team dynamics between his Russian and Indian team members.

In The Culture Map, Erin Meyer provides a field-tested model for decoding how cultural differences impact international business. She combines a smart analytical framework with practical, actionable advice for succeeding in a global world.

Why it’s a great business book:

The business world may be global now. However, cultures are often still very far apart. There have been numerous cases where a global business got things horribly wrong in a local market because they didn’t make enough effort to understand the local culture. Even if you want to start a freelance business and work from a home office, you often have to adapt to working with foreign cultures. Too often a lack of cultural understanding can lead to confusion and unintended consequences—and that’s the problem this business book by Erin Meyer attempts to solve.

Erin Meyer’s written this business book in a friendly, easy-to-understand way, to raise your awareness and consciousness of cultural issues you could encounter in business dealings outside of your home turf. You don’t want to have to recall an entire product line from a market because of a culturally-inappropriate decision you made, right?

Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right

Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right

Adam and Matthew Toren

Business Book Synopsis:

Lessons in applying passion and perseverance from prominent entrepreneurs

In the world of entrepreneurship, your vision solidifies your resolve when things get tough, and it reminds you why you went into business in the first place. Authors, brothers, and serial entrepreneurs, Matthew and Adam Toren have compiled a wealth of valuable information on the passionate and pragmatic realities of starting your own business. They've also gathered insights from some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs. This book delivers the information that both established and budding entrepreneurs need, explains how to implement that information, and validates each lesson with real-world examples.

Small Business, Big Vision provides inspiration and practical advice on everything from creating a one-page business plan to setting up an advisory board, and also delivers a call to social entrepreneurship and sustainable business practices. This powerful book:

  • Offers instruction in whether and how to seek investors
  • Outlines the pros and cons of hiring employees and provides guidance on how to find the best outsourced workers
  • Presents a comprehensive action plan for effective social media marketing
  • Explains how to build an information empire and become an expert

Small Business, Big Vision proves that with a flexible mindset, practical skills, and the passion to keep pushing forward, entrepreneurs can find success, even in today's ever-changing business landscape.

Why it’s a great business book:

Small Business, Big Vison is one of the best business books for aspiring small business owners, full of inspiring and practical advice for getting started. It can be very confusing when going it alone in the business world, especially as a freelancer learning how to find good leads, write freelance proposals and close deals on great work from home gigs. This business book is written specifically for solopreneurs that want to unlock more growth for themselves without risking a lot of capital on complicated marketing tactics.

The authors of this business book, two brothers, not only share their own experiences, but also pull insights from numerous other successful businesspeople. In this business book, you’ll learn from their successes and mistakes. It covers everything from preparing a one-page business plan, to setting up a comprehensive action plan for effective social media marketing.