Book Review Friday: My Top Ten Favorite Business Books

Rather than reviewing one book this week, I thought I would share my favorite business books. I get asked this question regularly, most recently when I was lecturing at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Business School earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MistikaS, Image #4257988

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MistikaS

I have blogged on this topic previously. However, it has been almost two years. Since that time, my list has changed. Only four of the previous ones are on the new list. However, all twenty (the previous list and this one) are excellent.

If you are just getting started with Evernote, I suggest that you buy Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, 4.0. It will save you HOURS of learning Evernote on your own.

Here are my current top ten favorites (Note: these are all Amazon affiliate links). They are listed in alphabetical order, but with no specific priority:

Again, I purposely did not include any Thomas Nelson books. I don’t want to get into the politics of why I included one author and not another. As I said previously, I read everything by John C. Maxwell. He is my friend and my mentor, and I highly recommend anything he has written. If you are new to his work, start with The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

Question: What are your favorite business books? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog? It’s easier than you think! Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Watch my free screencast

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://wmarkwhitlock.com W. Mark Whitlock

    A Resilient Life by Gordon MacDonald has changed the way I’ve looked at everything–including business. I believe it is one of the most important books every written. (Note: It IS a Thomas Nelson title)

    The most dog-eared book in my collection of business titles is The One-Page Proposal by Patrick Riley. To me, it does for business writing what Twitter does for concise thought. By going through Riley’s process, your thinking crystallizes, your sales strategy becomes more focused, and your call to action becomes louder. After reading and using the principles in the book, I bought two more copies so I can loan them out to others.

    • http://twitter.com/TomofTex Tom Pryor

      I too cherish my read of A Resilient Life by MacDonald.

  • http://human3rror.com John

    wow, thanks for sharing this!

    going to put some of these on my wishlist.

  • http://www.lightvox.com Christopher

    Thanks for the great list Michael.

    I was planning on spending a few hours again with Godin today but, I may have to make a quick run to the bookstore.

  • http://macengr.wordpress.com Scott

    I found Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy to be quite helpful.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/tommylane/ Tommy

    Great list, Mike. I have Getting Things Done. I’m going to add a couple of these books to my library, espcially the John C. Maxwell book.

  • http://www.ProfitableHorseman.com Doug Emerson

    We share many of the titles on our respective lists of the best business books and I’d point to
    “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill as one of my favorites.

  • http://www.simplymissional.com Chris Marlow

    Thanks for the list.

    My favs:

    1. Good To Great
    2. Mavericks @ Work
    3. Tribes
    4. Made To Stick.

    Shalom

  • Douglas Schultz

    Great List! Thanks for sharing. My Amazon Wish List just got longer….I always ask for books at Christmas.

  • http://www.mhaolainschild.typepad.com Rhonda Kemp

    Thanks for a great list. I loved Tribes. @DocKemp recommends Ken Blanchard’s Raving Fans to all his business owner friends.

  • Jason Grubbs

    Mike,

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve read (and re-read)several of these, but I’m excited to check out some of the others. Thank you again for sharing your insights on business and life.

    Jason

  • Denis McCarthy

    Thanks for the list.

    As somebody who is starting up a business my list is a little different.

    The Art Of The Start by Guy Kawasaki
    Make meaning says Guy. A great book for people starting up because of the focus on decency, hard work and providing value for your customers. He also provides you with a road map which is helpful with the confusing times (which are all the time)

    Peak by Chip Conley
    Chip write about what is important. People and why they do things.

    The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

    Tribes by Seth Godin
    A manifesto for the digital age.

  • Larry Carpenter

    My favorite business book is still The Greatest Management Principle in the World by Michael Leboeuf. It came out in 1985 but I have never read a better book on what motivates people and how to structure your organization to encourage and reward optimal performance.

  • Juno Suk

    How timely! I just finished Stress for Success yesterday. I’ve read many, many business and self-improvement books… and have to agree that this is right up there among the best. Pleasantly surprised – the book had so many gems – and not only in the first few chapters like many books do, but held my rapt attention all the way to its end. Only a handful of books have done that for me.

  • Wanda Brewer

    Doug I am with you, books are my most favorite gift to give and receive! Michael, thanks for sharing, agree 100% about John C. Maxwell, I am excited to dive in to your list. Malcolm Gladwell is one of my faves–“Tipping Point” helped me create effective ads, “Blink” made me aware of how we think and thus perceive things. Another is “Blue Ocean Strategies” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, taught me about creating my own market rather than think I just have to compete.

  • http://www.bubbasmith.net Bubba Smith

    Hey Michael,

    This is random – but I would love to see a post or two on lessons you’ve learned from John Maxwell. To be mentored by him must be so a privilege. I love reading your stuff! Thank you for choosing to add value to people!

    Bubba

  • Matt Price

    In the past two years I’ve read and gained insights from Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner; The Six Sigma Way by Pande, Neuman, and Cavanagh; Microtrends by Penn; and a bio of W. Edwards (sic) Deming, The American Who Taught the Japanese About Quality by Aguayo. It’s interesting to me that 15 years ago a dialogue like this would have included Faith Popcorn. She seems to have dropped off the map.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    ~ Book of Proverbs
    ~ Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke

    These contain business principles proven to succeed, whether implemented by faith or savvy.

  • http://www.beautyfromtheheart.org Hannah

    Anne, your favorite business books made me smile. Proverbs never ceases to amaze me.

    Besides the principles in God’s Word, my favorite book related to business (I guess it’d correctly go under “marketing”) is “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath. I haven’t read many other business books (I’m eighteen, so maybe that’s normal.) I’m glad to see some recommendations on where to start reading. Definitely want to pick up “Tribes” now. ;)

    • Eccle0412

      and Love is the Killer App for an 18 year old. solid foundation. along with proverbs

  • http://swduncan.com Steve Duncan

    FYI – the link for slide:ology points to the wrong book.

    I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of “Beyond Bullet Points” It doesn’t work for everything, but it improves most presentations.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Steve: Thanks for the heads-up. I have now fixed the link. I enjoyed Beyond Bullet Points, too. Also, Presentation Zen is excellent.

  • http://www.lifebeyondsport.com Stephanie Zonars

    Thanks Mike…I appreciate the practical nature of all your posts, this one included. I love The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Following its principles brought healing and unity to a team I was on a few years back. I use the exercises it offers frequently when I facilitate team building. Not rocket science, but a great tool to improve any team.

  • Fran Toolan

    I haven’t read too many on Mike’s list. Good To Great is my favorite of his. Jim Collins is my favorite business writer.

    But, my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE business book of all time is The Art of Profitablity by Adrian Slywotzky.

    Written in a parable form, it’s 250 pages packed with practical lessons. I have re-read this book at least 6 times, and pull it out once a month to review things!

  • http://www.john-gallagher.blogspot.com John Gallagher

    Impossible for me to make the list without my favorite Maxwell titles, as well:
    1) 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – Maxwell
    2) Today Matters – Maxwell
    3) Good To Great – Collins
    4) The Simple Church – Rainer & Geiger
    5) The Toyota Way – Liker
    6) Becoming a Coaching Leader – Harkavy
    7) Winning Every Day – Holtz
    8) Jack: Straight from the Gut – Welch
    9) Profit From the Core – Zook
    10) Execution: Discipline of Getting Things Done – Charan & Bossidy

  • http://www.ethos3.com Scott Schwertly

    Thanks for sharing. That’s a great list.

    Here are some of my favorites:

    Story – Robert McKee
    The Back of the Napkin – Dan Roam
    Made to Stick – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
    Slide:ology – Nancy Duarte
    Presentation Zen – Garr Reynolds
    Reality Check – Guy Kawasaki
    A Whole New Mind – Dan Pink
    A New Brand World – Scott Bedbury

  • http://www.nfb.org Lorraine

    Oldies but still goodies:

    1. A basic: “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life” by Alan Lakein (The only time management book I’ve read that does not waste my time by repeating itself in chapter after chapter (Lakein manages great advice in only 136 pages in paperback.)

    2. “The Art of Japanese Management” by two American professors whose names I’ve forgotten, but not what they wrote.

  • http://navigateyourmarketing.com/blog/ David (Marketing Integrity)

    I like many of the ones you included. I would also endorse:

    The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott

  • http://www.chipmacgregor.com chip

    GETTING THINGS DONE is one of my favorites, and I loved YOU ARE THE MESSAGE. But…no FREAKONOMICS? No TIPPING POINT? Two books that really offered big-picture insight.

    Bobb Biehl’s BOARDROOM CONFIDENCE is a classic book on shared leadership. I just re-read it and it did’t feel dated at all.

  • http://jennicatron.tv Jenni Catron

    Some of my favorites are on your list as well.

    My favorite John Maxwell is “The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leaders Day”. I gift this book all the time. I love that it takes his laws of leadership and makes application to Biblical examples.

    Also just read “The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership” by Steven B. Sample. A great book for challenging traditional thinking.

    • Eccle0412

      i have peaked at your blog, and will add your recommendations to my list to read also. Thanks Jenni

  • http://www.MarriageStudies.com Dr. David Frisbie

    More a leadership book than a business book per se: “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker Palmer. I keep a copy of this on my desk and refer to it often.

  • http://xiaofenwang.blogspot.com Mary Wang

    I am reading a book named “Strategies for sucess” by jim dornan this week.
    Really very good,enjoy it.

  • Joe Sheehan

    An engineer’s top business books:
    In no particular order

    Bossidy/Charam – Execution
    Kotter – Leading Change
    Blue Ocean Strategy
    Liker – Toyota Way

    I also once read a fantastic and unique book on Lean product development (told in the form of a story lasting 1 week long) but i’ve since forgotten the title.

  • http://www.janetbirkey.com Janet BIrkey

    I always love your lists, but then I have to add to that never-ending list of what to read next. My checkbook doesn’t love that part so much!

  • http://wonderbranding.com Michele Miller

    Great list, Michael. I really appreciate how varied the list is – there is definitely something for everyone here, no matter what their area of expertise/work. Love the fact that you included Slide-ology. As a presenter, it’s my new favorite reference guide.

  • http://800ceoread.com/blog/archives/008571.html 800-CEO-READ Blog

    The CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers Picks 10

    Michael Hyatt, President & CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, has updated his ten favorite business books. They are: Focus: The Future Of Your Company Depends On It by Al Ries, HarperBusiness Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by…

  • http://www.gracemlcs.com Annette Tarpley

    It’s hard to beat John Maxwell whether in print or audio. I recently have read, “25 Ways to Win With People” by John Maxwell and Les Parrott. It has great tips that pertain to business as well as our personal lives.

  • Terry Locke

    Leading Change and The Heart of Change both by Kotter. That’s all we deal with and these are timeless classics.

  • http://www.toptentopten.com/ Travis Stark

    I think Winning by Jack Welch is a must Read, also I would all the black swan.
    You should post this to my buddy’s site or anyone can make their own at http://www.toptentopten.com/.

    • http://www.5toolgroup.com/ Jay Oza

      I agree. “Winning” is a must read from one of the top CEO of all time.

  • http://davidballard.com David Ballard

    Great list of books! I have read a few, but not all. Seth Godin is one of my favorites. I’m seriously considering his latest offer on Squidoo: http://www.squidoo.com/Alternative-MBA
    Quite an interesting proposal. Michael, keep doing what you do best and so many people will be the benefactors of your passion and expertise. Thanks!

  • Mary

    I wish you would consider adding your “real” list of ten even if it includes books from TN.

    I asked our highest manager for such a list and got a blank stare. I appreciate your list because I often wonder if the advice given in business books is the advice real business leaders would like their employees to follow. It’s hard to go wrong with Maxwell but when I was younger, I read some books that offered terrible advice! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the wisdom to know better.

  • http://www.books-that-can-change-your-life.net Olivier

    Hello,

    Thanks for this list. I personally started a crazy project : read 52 of the best businesses books in 52 weeks in an attemp to pass the Personal MBA (a MBA for less than 1 500$) in one year ( see my blog http://www.books-that-can-change-your-life.net/2008/my-crazy-project-read-52-of-the-best-business-books-in-52-weeks-and-post-a-weekly-review-here-on-my-blog/ )

    The Personal MBA is a comprehensive list of 77 books (93 with the supplements) in 12 categories that is intended to deliver the 20% of the knowledge given in an MBA that give 80% of the results.

    Only a few books are common between your liste and the PMBA one, so i think it is a great complement. Thanks for that :)

    • http://twitter.com/doug_crandall Doug Crandall

      Olivier,
      If you read 52 business books in 52 weeks, then I’m guessing you took away 120% of the knowledge acquired by your average MBA. (And I have an MBA).

      Kudos!

      http://www.bluerudderleadership.com

  • http://ellislab.com/ Leslie

    Only one other person mentioned this so I feel compelled to bring it up again.

    Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich (Wikipedia link) is the grand daddy of the modern business book.

    Due to “get rich” books that flood the market the title might throw you off. This isn’t a “get rich” quick book at all.

    It was published in 1937 at the tail end of the Great Depression. You can see the influence of Hill’s work in a lot of popular modern authors.

    Also, I endorse just about everything ever written by Peter Drucker, the grand daddy of marketing.

  • Michael Sandifer

    What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School – Mark McCormack

  • Pingback: Book Notes: The E-Myth Revisited | Michael Hyatt()

  • http://www.danblackonleadership.blogspot.com/ Dan

    I love this list. Check out my top 10 leadership/business books and my top 5 spiritual books for my answer

  • Haydee

    Michael, I want to read them all too.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Whats-his-name.

    Best business book I've ever read.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/gcprice2 gcprice2

    Good to Great impacted my ministry significantly. The whole idea of a Level 5 leader is incredible.
    Also, Our Iceberg Is Melting, by John Kotter is very relevant for the church as is Jim Collins new book, Why the Mighty Fall
    Though difficult to process, his concepts are powerful. I was impacted by Deep Change by Robert Quinn.

  • http://link Sad53

    Yet teachers are seldom asked to study the language they teach or how its form carries its message. ,

  • http://twitter.com/SWMackey @SWMackey

    The 5th Discipline Peter Senge
    My recent post My 10 favorite things about Valentine’s Day

  • Nick

    Great list. Mine are:

    The Proverbial Crackerjack by Dale Henry
    The Wizard of Ads Trilogy by Roy H. Williams
    The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille
    Punk Marketing by Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons
    Spiritual Leadership by Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby
    Bible by various authors on every subject under the sun and heaven :D

  • Calin

    The most important business books:
    -7 Habits for Highly Efficient People, Stephen R. Covey – it lays the foundations for a true leader by helping you have the personal succes first

    – The 7 Habits for Managers: Managing Yourself, Leading Others, Unleashing Potential [7 HABITS FOR MANAGERS D]- Stephen R. Covey – same principles applied to leading others

    – Jack Welch – Straight from The Gut

    – All the books written by Richard Branson founder of Virgin

    – Good to Great – Jim Collins

    – Ken Iverson – Plain Talk (inspired to buy it after reading about Nucor corporation)

    – Built to Last – Jim Collins

    – From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback – Gordon Bethune

  • Calin

    I forgot a very very important book read:

    – First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

  • Pingback: Reading: Books for Librarians? | Lesley's Journey to Grad School()

  • http://twitter.com/jasonmoffatt Jason Moffatt

    Groovy list. We just read Tim Sanders “The Likeabilty Factor” in my book club. Pretty stellar book. Great dude.

  • Anonymous

    This is a great list. From books I read this year, I would add Rework, Linchpin and Presentation Zen to the list.

    My list: http://www.itsworthnoting.com/toolkit/

  • Gerard Byrne

    Excellent list. Thanks. Gerard, Townsville Australia

  • http://agirlatthewell.wordpress.com Janet

    I’m a big fan of “First Break all the Rules”. I manage employee engagement for my company and it’s remarkable how accurate results can be with 12 simple questions.

  • Anonymous

    Wonder how this list has changed over the past 2 years?

  • Anonymous

    I know you didn’t include any Thomas Nelson titles, so you wouldn’t have included this one, but I found Scott McKain’s Collapse of Distinction very good. The subject matter may be duplicated in some of these others, but the whole point of focusing on what you do and doing it well, rather than copying the competition, struck me with that book.

    Admittedly, when I read “business” books I’m looking with an eye toward church application. Usually with a fearful eye of “how are they going to warp this at the next church leadership seminar.” But some are still quite helpful.

    I’m adding a few of your suggestions to the wish list as well.

  • Cynthia Hopkins

    The Dean of the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship at Regent University, Dr. Bruce Winston, has recently released his book, Be A Leader for God’s Sake, in PDF format.  It is a wonderful book on servant leadership that I love so much that I have actually purchased it for  friends and colleagues.  Now everyone can download it for free!

    http://www.bealeaderforgodssake.org/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that table!

  • http://farmnwife.com judi @ farmnwife.com

    I am reading “Launch” right now. It is excellent.

    “You Are the Message” by Roger Aisles should be required reading for everybody. Love that one

  • http://www.dwaynes--world.blogspot.com Dwayne Morris

    Leadership is Dead, Kubicek
    Poke the Box, Godin
    Tribes, Godin

  • Tad

    I recommend “Seeking Wisdom- From Darwin to Munger” by Peter Bevelin. A great book about how we think and about human psychology and reasons for common misjudgments.

  • michael kilpatrick

    Wow- I thought that I had a pretty good business library but I only have 3 of your top ten – amazon and audible here I come!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/peciriacks Patrick Ciriacks

    Nice list!  Some of my favorites:
    1. Out of the Crisis – Dr. W. Edwards Deming – tough read, but amazing wisdom
    2. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
    3. Leadership is an Art – Max DuPree
    4. The Fifth Discipline – Peter Senge
    5. Now Discover Your Strengths – Marcus Buckingham

  • http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

    Great to see that I have 4 of the same ones that you like. 

    I’d also suggest people get a chance to review some great relationship basics from Dale Carnegie “How to win Friends and Influence People”. Cheesy name, but the information in there is invaluable. 

  • Joe Lalonde

    Thanks for bringing the list back to the forefront. I wasn’t reading you at the time you posted this but I love to see the reading lists of those I respect.

    Has the list changed at all since you posted this 2 years ago?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My most current list is the link at the top of this page: “My Bookshelf.”

      • Joe Lalonde

        Thanks for the link to your current list.

  • Bridget

    Love your list!  I found a few new books from it that I will be digging into!  I would highly recommend a few more:
    1.  The Speed of Trust – Stephen Covey Jr.
    2.  Integrity Selling – Ron Willingham ( This book has made me more money in sales than any book I have ever read! )
    3.  Maximum Achievement –  Brian Tracy – This book should be read by every boss, teacher or parent.  It is about the impact of what we believe about ourselves based on what someone, usually a parent, teacher or person of influence told us as a child. It gives us a great tool to help us understand how we can change the thought processes that are holding us back from reaching our potential.  

    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts!

  • Eccle0412

    if only we all read more and shared knowledge.  Thank you for your example and inspiration.

  • http://twitter.com/iDreamCulture Andy & Janine Mason

    Built to Last by Collins
    How the Mighty Fall – Collins
    Transformation – Silvoso
    31 Chapters of Proverbs…one daily 
    But best of all the LIVING BOOKS – mentors, friends and leaders who are still operating their own businesses or are in the ‘sage’ season of life being able to pour into those younger than themselves.Thanks for what you are giving us Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/owenmorgan Owen Morgan

    This was really helpful – thanks – unfortunately I won’t be using your affiliate links as I’m purchasing in the UK. 
    I’ve read one or two, I am ordering all the others :)

  • Pingback: Take Charge Of Your Own Development | Scott Schimmel()

  • Grenae Thompson

    My favorite business book is “The Stress Effect: Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions—And What to Do About It.” I will be glad to send you a complementary book  for your bookshelf if you are interested. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Like almost all of these and the others I haven’t gotten to.
    Curious if you’ve got a new list these days.
    Would love to see if you do.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent list. Two that I would put on my list are James Autry’s The Servant Leader and Steve Farber’s Greater Than Yourself. Autry presents the application of servant leadership concepts to management and business leadership, without the Christian doctrinal discussion that often accompanies the topic. Farber’s fable describes the truest form of leadership, helping others be their greatness, even when that is greater than yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/kirkweisler Kirk Weisler

    Love your list… I would add 
    “Leadership and Self Deception”  =
     The 7 Habits,   –
    Poke the Box by Seth Godin  –
    Good to Great  –
    Everything I need Know I learned in Kindergarten…and of course… 
    “Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon McKenzie

  • Frontporchdoctor

    Recent reads for me that I loved – The Progress Principle / Orbiting The Giant Hairball / Influencer / the Creative People Must Be Stopped

  • Joel B

    Thanks so much.  This is a great list of books I truly need

  • http://anytodo.com Any To Do

    Great list of motivational and inspiring books! I’d like to add a couple myself, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill,  as mentioned by another reader earlier is, to me, the basis for many other inspirational books which have been written since and is still incredibly relevant and inspiring, even after 75 years (it was originally published in 1937). Another is Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ and his follow up book ‘First Things First’ which I believe is really key to getting priorities in the right order. Finally, The E-myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber is a must read for any business owner.  

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for sharing your list. 7 Habits is a great book along with E-Myth Revisited. I’ve heard great things about Think and Grow Rich but have yet to read it.

  • Lilibet King

    I would add Patrick Lencioni to the list.  The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team is excellent, as is Death by Meeting.  He cuts to the heart of the problem while telling a fable, and the leadership insights are valuable.

  • http://twitter.com/jryan48 Jim Ryan

    Love all of Patrick Lencioni’s books, but his latest “The Advantage” is great.

  • Matt Tolman

    I always the classics like, Think and Grow Rich, Johnathan Livingstin Seagal.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    Entreleadship by Dave Ramsey for sure. Mastering the Art of Selling by Tom HopkIns. Onward by Howard Schultz

  • Claudia Cogliser

    The Five Dysfunctions
    of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is a great resource. I use the book in my MBA
    class in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. Students love
    it and I find it a rich and elegant teaching tool for introducing organizational behavior concepts.

  • Michaelpaddy

    Five Dysfunction of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
    Margin by Richard Swenson
    Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership by Gary McIntosh & Samuel Rima
    Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf
    Execution, The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
    Master Planning by Bob Biehl
    Business @ The Speed of Thought by Bill Gates
    High Performance Ethics By Wes Cantrell & James Lucas
    First Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
    The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker with Joseph Maciariello

  • http://www.UnwillingToSettle.com/ Greg L. Gilbert

    Thou Shall Prosper – Rabbi Daniel Lapin 

    Compound Effect – Darren Hardy

  • Lilibet King

    This is almost 4 years old.  I would love to see an update.  I have read most of these.  I also enjoy Patrick Lencioni and Jon Gordon.

  • Danny

    Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey

    QBQ by John G. Miller

    Couregous Follower by Ira Chaleff

    The Other 6 Days by R. Paul Stevens

    Execution by Bossidy and Charan

    Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

    The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

  • Richard A. Koenigsberg

    GETTING THINGS DONE is the most radical, original and useful book ever written on organizing one’s stuff. Once one knows what one has, then it’s not difficult to determine “what comes next.”

    I’m reading THE E-MYTH REVISITED now. Also, such a startling, original book, the way he combines theory with concrete, personal experience (and everything in business is personal). The key is to develop “systems” that allow one to do things the same way each time you do them: to build a business based on systems that work.

  • Richard A. Koenigsberg

    And since SALES lies at the heart of a business, I’d like to recommend HOW TO MASTER THE ART OF SELLING, by tom Hopkins. 
    http://www.amazon.com/How-Master-Art-Selling-Hopkins/dp/0446692743/ref=la_B001IGOGK0_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348268184&sr=1-1

    One can build an entire business based on the mastering  the sales techniques that he presents in this book.

  • http://twitter.com/chucsoahiakwo Chucs O’ Ahiakwo

    Eat That Frog. Brian Tracy

  • http://www.citizenjournalistnow.com/ Ron Ross

    Six out of ten. Will work on the other four.

  • Kris Winter

    Thank you, Michael!

    I’d like to add Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment by Erwin Raphael McManus

  • msherman2332

    These are great, but I’d have to include Lencioni’s The Advantage on my own list. It’s terrific.

  • http://seekoutwisdom.blogspot.com Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

    I’ll add Quiet by Susan Cain onto the list.  Not strictly a business book but a great read for people in business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/whiz.dom.9 Whiz Dom

    Getting Things Done is fabulous, and anything by Maxwell is a category crasher! He’s one of my favorites. Beyond that, I still like some of the classics like How To Win Friends, Seven Habits and One Minute Manager. There is just some basic, timeless advice in them that make them the rockbed of a business book collection, IMHO.

  • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

    I’m currently re-reading UnMarketing by Scott Stratten, and his book UnBusiness is next in my queue. Great stuff!

  • http://MikeLoomis.CO/ Mike Loomis

    Great list – especially since some of those are new to me. Thank you! Here’s an obscure contender – “Humility” by Andrew Murray- It’s been messing with me and my business for a while! http://www.amazon.com/Humility-Andrew-Murray/dp/1480219029/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358279926&sr=1-11

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Haralson/100000209770542 Richard Haralson

    Wow, while those are great books I was sad to not see mandino or napolian hill in that list. And I would put Linchpin in there before tribes. Well tribes would truly fit for you seeing how large your tribe is.
    currently i am listening to Atlas Shrugged (hank was just on trial) then its on to audio E myth revisited.

  • CindyHSmith

    you are the message by ailes…love that book. oldie but a goodie. have read most of the books on your list. i’ve been in healthcare technology sales for (lots of) years, so i read a lot of books on partnership: “A seat at the table” by marcmiller. Anything by seth godin…read fast company magazine and blogs a lot these days to keep up with the trends.

  • http://twitter.com/SynergyBizNWA Barbara Taylor

    A few more to add…

    Rework – by Jason Fried
    Do the Work – by Steven Pressfield
    Linchpin – by Seth Godin

    Thanks again for the free copy of the Heath brother’s new book, Decisive — I am reading it now.

  • Jeff

    The Servant by James Hunter and Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute. Both take a look at what allows a leader to look within himself so that he might see others more clearly and lead with greater understanding.

  • cragg326

    Change or Die is one of the best books I have read. I am in mental health and have used it with many teams as a change agent. Not so much business minded, more like team building.

  • John Simon

    Great list though I would love to add Peter Church’s book Added Value-the life stories of Indian business leaders. Amazing insight on some truly inspirational people. The book is an excellent primer for anyone seeking to do business.

    http://amzn.com/B009PMPKZ4

  • Dean OBryan

    The Integrated Life, Ken Eldred. Integrating faith and business in real, practical and profound ways.

  • http://www.tommybowman.me/ Tommy Bowman

    Great By Choice by Collins, Start With Why by Sinek, The Advantage by Lencioni, Multipliers by Wiseman = My Power 4

  • John Detlefs

    Zen and the Art of Leadership was a good one for me. Great list with some of my favorites on it!

  • http://davidlarteyblog.wordpress.com David Lartey

    Just starting out in the business world and a little far from western books but I almost always have Getting Things Done by David Allen with me – I am still learning to live the book’s advice. And though I have not read any of Seth Godin’s book, I read his blog regularly.

  • Annette

    Nice list. My favorite kindle book is
    Blogging For Smarties Blogging For Authors and Speakers by Yvonne Wu . Great book for beginners who are using WordPress. Blogging for Smarties has how to’s, strategies and solutions that meet the needs of Authors and Speakers.

  • http://www.perkinsinhaiti.com/ Luke Perkins

    Would you add or remove anything from this list in 2014, Michael?

  • Fanaticus

    Any books by VitalSmarts: Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer, Change Anything

  • http://mnhometown.com/blog Jake Olson

    are any of these particularly well suited to audiobook listening?

  • http://www.mohitsawhney.com Mohit Sawhney

    I think I love authors more than books. I end up reading everything from an author if I’m able to make a connect with him, like John Maxwell, Robin Sharma, Malcolm Gladwell…. Anyway, here’s my favorites list:
    1. Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan
    2. 7 Habits by Stephen Covey
    3. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
    4. Greatness Guide 1 and 2 by Robin Sharma
    5. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
    6. Biography of Steve Jobs
    7. Richard Branson’s Biography
    8. Strengths Finder 2.0
    9. Politically IN-correct guide to Parenting by Nigel Latta
    10. 4 Obsessions of Exraordinary Executives by Patrick Lencioni

  • Bernard Samson

    I read the Kirkus Review of “The Company You Keep: Leading and Managing in the Era of Shareholder Value.” It used words I’d never seen in a business book review: “enthralling,” “delicious” and “a rollicking takedown.” It made a point of highlighting the irreverent humor and all the actionable ideas. I thought that the review was extraordinary so I read it. Simply amazing. I made a list of five ideas I was going to implement immediately–two of them “axioms” for the way we conduct our affairs at work. The book changed my office world.