Must Read Books for Businesses Owners and Entrepreneurs
Whatever your type or size of business, dedicating time to professional development and continual learning is an invaluable pursuit.
But PD needn’t always be a course or conference. It can be as simple as picking up a book (Kindle or audiobook) and learning lessons from other’s experiences.
Fill your airport, flight or travel time with one of these great reads to inspire, motivate and arm you with tools for business success.
The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo
Takeaway: Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo the pomodoro technique (named for the tomato-shaped kitchen timer originally used by Cirillo) is a simple technique designed to increase productivity, avoid procrastination and encourage focus and flow.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Takeaway: Touted as one of the most influential books ever written, it's like the Holy Grail for devotees to the elusive perfect work/life balance formula. With actionable tips for entrepreneurs struggling with time management, productivity and positive thinking, it serves up learnings from other ‘effective’ people to inspire and motivate.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Takeaway: Bestselling author and New York Times journalist Malcolm Gladwell offers insights and tips into intuitive thinking – the process of making decisions in the blink of an eye. Written in Gladwell’s trademark straightforward tone, it’s a seminal work on leadership designed to decrease the time you spend agonising over decision-making.
Inspiration and Resilience
Chapter 1: You Have the Power to Change Stuff by Daniel Flynn
Takeaway: The founder of social change company Thankyou shares his powerful story of how business can affect change for good.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Takeaway: If the founder and one-time CEO of Nike can’t impart some usable inspiration for running a successful business, who can? Filled with entertaining anecdotes and life lessons, Phil Knight weaves an insightful retelling of his rags to riches tale.
The Girl Who Climbed Everest by Alyssa Azar
Takeaway: What Alyssa Azar, who grew up in country Queensland, lacks in years she makes up for in wisdom. As Australia’s youngest adventurer, Alyssa has faced countless challenges; from walking the Kokoda Track at eight to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro at 14. Read the inspiring story of how she overcame adversity to become the youngest Australian to ever summit Mt Everest.
The Book of Joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Douglas Abrams
Takeaway: Two of the world’s most spiritual men face-off to answer the question of how to find joy in the face of challenge and adversity. An uplifting and inspiring set of anecdotes and lessons from the frontline of lives lived with joy and compassion.
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The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki
Takeaway: The follow up to 2004’s much-celebrated guide to starting a company, this sequel includes updates for a modern world. From apps to crowdfunding and social media, Art of the Start 2.0 is the the ultimate guide for starting anything – and seeing it through.
Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like The Enemy by Micah Zenko
Takeaway: Security expert Micah Zenko makes a case for the power of using corporate red teams – professional saboteurs and skeptics that test vulnerabilities – for arming your business against external threats and weaknesses. Using 16 case studies, Zenko lays out six best practices you can put into action.
The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur by Jim Horan
Takeaway: Simplify your business plan and hit the ground running quicker with this simple one pager designed for entrepreneurs who want to be nimble but still have direction.
Build An A Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve by Whitney Johnson
Takeaway: Corporate coach and consultant Whitney Johnson provides valuable insights on ways to increase morale and encourage high performance through thoughtful job design.
Who Killed Change – Solving the Mystery of Leading People Through Change by Ken Blanchard with John Britt, Pat Zigarmi and Judd Hoekstra
Takeaway: Written as an entertaining whodunit, Blanchard examines why organisational change is such a challenge for so many businesses.
High-Maintenance Employees: Why Your Best People Will Also Be Your Most Difficult...and What You Can Do about It by Katharine Graham Leviss
Takeaway: Long in title, big in detailed guidance on managing high-maintenance employees who are also often high performers, this book is essential for businesses in a growth phase or looking to scale up.
Work/Life Balance and Mental Health
The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness Through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness by Hugh Van Cuylenburg
Takeaway: Mental health advocate Van Cuylenburg draws on time volunteering in India and his postgraduate study to offer a practical recipe for resilience. The popular projectm, which has been rolled out to schools, clubs and xxx around Australia promotes the power of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness for creating lasting happiness.
Who Stole My Mojo by Gary Bertwistle
Takeaway: Losing your mojo or motivation and spark can all parts of your life, especially work. Bertwistle offers practical tips and strategies for living life with zest and getting your flow back again.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
Takeaway: Blogger and writer Manson gives his comical but based-on-research take on the modern world’s obsession with positivity as the soluction for everything. In the easy to read life-guide he offers an alternative: figuring out which things to really give a f*ck about.
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