What books should I be reading? This is something I am asked time and time again by entrepreneurs (and people I am coaching).
As a business coach/mentor, I always get asked by entrepreneurs around the world what my favorite business books are. I might as well put them out there for everyone right now to save me time later (yes, next time I’m asked I’ll forward the link to this post).
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek – You need to read this if you want to build a fantastic company. And I can’t see entrepreneurs being happy in their work life until they are clearly working on their “WHY.” I’m living mine, ‘Helping entrepreneurs make their dreams happen’.
- E–Myth by Michael Gerber – This book will help you move from being a start up to leading a company that can run without you doing or knowing how to do each task or job.
- Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish – This, in my mind, is the single most important book that all entrepreneurs and their teams have to read. Re-read it when you’re done. And ensure your team re-reads it yearly until you’re doing everything in it properly. If you are doing everything this book has to offer, then I’d say it’s OK to move on and read another business book.
- Good to Great by Jim Collins – In many ways, I think this book is one that companies need to read when they’ve hit $25 Million in revenues and not earlier. The concepts are the best I’ve ever read. However, I think entrepreneurial companies need more tactical content.
- The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard – In my mind simply the best book on leading people. I first read it in 1986 and being a business coach and mentor, I have all my clients read it too. Along with Situational Leadership (developed with Dr Paul Hersey), this book will transform any company. It’s still current today.
- Trends by Tom Peters & Martha Barletta – This book rocked me into realizing that women make so many of the buying decisions and we’ve been focusing our selling to men. A must read for entrepreneurs in the services space.
- The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr – This book is what broke me from my workaholic doom loop. It will help you realize that work/life balance REALLY is key to growing a great company.
- The Welch Way : 24 Lessons From The Worlds Greatest CEO by Jack Welch -This little book has all of the simple lessons Jack Welch learned and used to build GE into a global dominant brand. More importantly, these are the lessons that helped it be such a well run company.
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – Every business person has to read this book. It’s time we really see the entrepreneur as the hero and realize how much government is crippling our nations today. Gov’t should serve the people not strip away all their earnings and make it harder for companies to grow.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl – While it isn’t a business book it will show you how much the human spirit can overcome and why you’ll overcome every struggle you encounter if you’re clear on what life is really all about. This is a great read before or after Start With Why.
+1 More — Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing – The Riveting true story of Ernest Shackleton that will rock your world. Simply the greatest book I’ve ever read. Tons of leadership lessons from this if you need them too, but it’s also a fantastic read. Steve Jobs bought a copy for every employee at Apple. My grandfather Cam Shortts, who was one of the most voracious readers ever, said it was his favorite book of all time. Years ago, I bought a copy for EVERY franchisee at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and it blew them away. When you see what they endured, you will KNOW that you’ll build your dream too.
Enjoy. But frankly, I think business owners spend FAR too much time reading business books and not enough time putting the business lessons they learn deep in place in their companies.
I took 24 months off business book reading. Now for every 1 business book I read, I next read 4 for fun. Just something to consider!
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And in case you don’t already know, I have written two books…and although I am bias I’ll say that both of them should also be on your reading list.