Here is an excerpt from 250words.com on the best ten leadership and business books as recommended by Amazon and then a little something on Zero to One, This Changes Everything, The Innovator’s Method, Smartcuts, The Virgin Way and more.
Each month, editors at Amazon select the best books for 16 categories. It’s a great resource for anyone who likes to read. Yesterday, I browsed the “Business and Leadership” section. It listed 10 books, several of which have already appeared on 250 Words. The Virgin Way (Richard Branson) and Zero to One (Peter Thiel & Blake Masters) were on 250 Words’ “The Top 15 Business Books to Look Out for in Q3.” I wrote about Smartcuts (Shane Snow) on Monday.
See full article by 250words.com
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Leadership and Business Books #1: Zero to One
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.
Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.
Leadership and Business Books #2: This Changes Everything
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.
In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.
Leadership and Business Books #3: Smartcuts
Entrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow (Wired, Fast Company, The New Yorker, and cofounder of Contently) analyzes the lives of people and companies that do incredible things in implausibly short time.
How do some startups go from zero to billions in mere months? How did Alexander the Great, YouTube tycoon Michelle Phan, and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon climb to the top in less time than it takes most of us to get a promotion? What do high-growth businesses, world-class heart surgeons, and underdog marketers do in common to beat the norm?
One way or another, they do it like computer hackers. They employ what psychologists call “lateral thinking” to rethink convention and break “rules” that aren’t rules.
Leadership and Business Books #4: The Innovator’s Method
The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Start-up into Your Organization by Nathan Furr & Jeff Dyer
Have you ever come up with an idea for a new product or service but didn’t take any action because you thought it would be too risky? Or at work, have you had what you thought could be a big idea for your company—perhaps changing the way you develop or distribute a product, provide customer service, or hire and train your employees? If you have, but you haven’t known how to take the next step, you need to understand what the authors call the innovator’s method—a set of tools emerging from lean start-up, design thinking, and agile software development that are revolutionizing how new ideas are created, refined, and brought to market.
To date these tools have helped entrepreneurs, designers, and software developers manage uncertainty—through cheap and rapid experiments that systematically lower failure rates and risk. But many managers and leaders struggle to apply these powerful tools within their organizations, as they often run counter to traditional managerial thinking and practice.
Leadership and Business Books #5: The Virgin Way
The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson
While building the Virgin Group over forty years, Richard Branson has never shied away from seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on several occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost.
Now Branson gives an inside look at his strikingly different swashbuckling style of leadership. Learn how fun, family, passion, and the dying art of listening are key components to what his extended family of employees around the world have always dubbed (with a wink) the “Virgin Way.”
This unique perspective comes from a man who dropped out of school at sixteen, suffers from dyslexia, and has never worked for anyone but himself. He may be famous for thinking outside the box—an expression he despises—but Branson asserts that “you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you.”
Leadership and Business Books #6: Unretirement
The budget battles of recent years have amplified the warnings of demographic doomsayers who predicted that a wave of baby boomers would bleed America dry, bankrupting Social Security and Medicare as they faded into an impoverished old age. On the contrary, argues award-winning journalist Chris Farrell, we are instead on the verge of a broad, positive transformation of our economy and society.
The old idea of “retirement”—a word that means withdrawal, describing a time when people gave up productive employment and shrank their activities—was a short-lived historical anomaly. Humans have always found meaning and motivation in work and community, Farrell notes, and the boomer generation, poised to live longer in better health than any before, is already discovering unretirement—extending their working lives, often with new careers, entrepreneurial ventures, and volunteer service. Their experience, wisdom—and importantly, their continued earnings—will enrich the American workplace, treasury, and our whole society in the decades to come.
Leadership and Business Books #7: Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder
Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder by Jim Clifton & Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal
Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder delves into the psychology of the entrepreneur. Gallup research shows that decisions and actions, influenced by the personality of the entrepreneur, affect the survival and growth of the venture.
Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder is about understanding what drives entrepreneurs to start, sustain, and grow a successful company. What are the personality characteristics and behaviors that lead to venture creation and success? Can one learn to be an entrepreneur, or is it a quality a person is born with? The book attempts to answer these questions with the hope that if you are planning to start a business or are managing one, you can discover your entrepreneurial talents and in the process, increase your potential to start or grow your venture.
Leadership and Business Books #8: Scrum
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
We live in a world that is broken. For those who believe that there must be a more efficient way for people to get things done, here from Scrum pioneer Jeff Sutherland is a brilliantly discursive, thought-provoking book about the management process that is changing the way we live.
In the future, historians may look back on human progress and draw a sharp line designating “before Scrum” and “after Scrum.” Scrum is that ground-breaking. It already drives most of the world’s top technology companies. And now it’s starting to spread to every domain where people wrestle with complex projects.
If you’ve ever been startled by how fast the world is changing, Scrum is one of the reasons why. Productivity gains of as much as 1200% have been recorded, and there’s no more lucid – or compelling – explainer of Scrum and its bright promise than Jeff Sutherland, the man who put together the first Scrum team more than twenty years ago.
Leadership and Business Books #9: China’s Super Consumers
China’s Super Consumers: What 1 Billion Customers Want and How to Sell it to Them by Savio Chan & Michael Zakkour
Chinese Consumers are Changing The World – Understand Them and Sell To Them
China has transformed itself from a feudal economy in the 19th century, to Mao and Communism in the 20th century, to the largest consumer market in the world by the early 21st century. China’s Super Consumers explores the extraordinary birth of consumerism in China and explains who these super consumers are. China’s Super Consumers offers an in-depth explanation of what’s inside the minds of Chinese consumers and explores what they buy, where they buy, how they buy, and most importantly why they buy.
The book is filled with real-world stories of the foreign and domestic companies, leading brands, and top executives who have succeeded in selling to this burgeoning marketplace. This remarkable book also takes you inside the boardrooms of the people who understand Chinese consumers and have had success in the Chinese market.
Leadership and Business Books #10: The Upside of Your Dark Side
The Upside of Your Dark Side by Todd Kashdan & Robert Biswas-Diener
- Anger fuels creativity
- Guilt sparks improvement
- Self-doubt enhances performance