Our 30 Favourite Business and Self Help Books
Wow, we recently realized we have over 100 blogs on our web site at EGM. We hope you’ve read them all (only joking….).
And as regular bloggers, we’re also avid readers.
We even have a bookcase in our new office. It's kind of like a library for our team to read self-help and self-develop. We also buy the odd audio book for the reluctant readers!
So, here are our top 30 – the ones we’re likely to refer to for blog ideas - and to help understand the world of business, leadership, staff engagement and development.
We hope you find the list interesting and inspiring.
We would absolutely love to hear about the books on your own lists – and in your own bookcases...
The Team at EGM.
(PS there are links that can take you to the apple store to buy if you're stuck for some reading over the Christmas break)
The ‘A’ List
A compelling discussion of the future, the role of technology and how work and life will change. Harari has written two other great books (‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’) but 21 Lessons is our favourite.
Simon Sinek is a great speaker with some excellent videos on YouTube. Sinek’s most famous book is ‘Start With Why,’ but we’ve always preferred the two books by him in our list. ‘Leaders Eat Last’ is full of stories about the emotional aspects of leadership and gets top marks.
A second choice from Simon Sinek. ‘The ‘Infinite Game’ is refreshing as it describes a totally different philosophy on how to run a business; that is, by looking long-term. The principles and framework described are compelling.
Marcus Buckingham uses extensive research to back up the findings he writes about in his books. ‘9 Lies’ challenges common HR practices and beliefs. A great read if you’re ‘on the same page’ as the author about the worth of these practices. Lots of common sense.
Wow, we’ve just got used to Jordan Petersons ‘12 Rules for Life; .when we hear he is bringing out a new book describing the next 12 rules. Controversial and a difficult read at times, but who can disagree with rules like ‘set you own house in precise order, before you criticize the world?’
Elon Musk - Ashlee Vance
Great in depth look at the Elon Musk story. How Musk constantly overcame obstacles and challenges to get where he is today. Highlights the power of determination - brilliant insights into business generally.
Brene Brown has become a star in the emotional leadership arena in recent years. This book explores leadership - the importance of empathy, vulnerability and the signals we send. Great read based on extensive research.
A detailed account of how much bureaucracy is costing organizations – including, the ridiculous extent of self-imposed rules. The authors show how to remove bureaucracy and move to a new business model. A book all executives would benefit from reading.
A compelling story of how Chapman takes over an ailing US company and turns it around by transforming the culture. The book is discussed at length in ‘Leaders Eat Last’ by Simon Sinek. Chapmans book has become a market leader on culture change.
The first book we read on the ‘future of work’ topic. Clear descriptions of why the future of work will be different and the factors that will drive change.
The ‘Not so Far Behind’ List
The Excellence Dividend - Tom Peters: McKinney consultant, Peters was one of the ‘original management gurus.’ His latest book bring his ideas into the current day.
The Future of the Professions – Richard and Daniel Susskind: father and son combination. Detailed account of how the future of work and particularly technology, will impact professions as accountancy and law.
Time to Think – Nancy Kline: absolute classic book on the art of listening and the power of silence. The ideas described are used by coaches everywhere.
Quiet – Susan Cain: the power of the introvert. Susan Cain’s Ted Talk is brilliant and the book isn’t far behind.
Build your Dream Network - J. Kelly Hoey: an excellent book on networking and building contacts - how to focus on the connections that matter and build networks with end-goals in mind.
The Lean Start Up – Eric Ries: the book that catapulted entrepreneurship from a ‘back of the cigarette packet’ activity into almost a science – including, minimum viable products and pivots.
Blue Ocean Strategy - W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne: interesting description of how established companies and startups can find untapped markets. Useful tools and techniques companies have used to do this.
Steve Jobs – Walter Isacson: fabulous and detailed account of Job’s life up until his illness
Disrupted – Dan Lyons: highly amusing account of life in a tech startup. Written by a seasoned News Week reporter who is made redundant and joins the marketing team at the start up.
Turn the Ship Around - by L. David Marquet and Stephen R Covey: classic book on leadership. How the crew of a nuclear submarine are developed into a high performing unit
The Not So Far Behind the Not So Far Behind List
Good to Great – Jim Collins: classic book outlining the attributes of great companies. Has dated a little bit but a really good read.
Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman: classic book on human rationality. Difficult read at times but worth the effort.
Powerful – Patsy Mccord: anything about the HR practices at Netflix is worth reading and this book doesn’t disappoint.
Why Should Anyone Work Here? – Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones: based on extensive research. Explores the top reasons people work for their employers.
How to Grow Leaders – John Adair: written almost 30-years ago – excellent framework for how to develop leaders in any organization. Based on experiences in the armed services.
Relentless – Tim S Gover: great account on what can be achieved through focus and determination with a sporting theme.
Legacy – James Kerr: brilliant book on leadership and team work using lessons learnt from the New Zealand All Blacks.
Utopia for Realists – Rutger Bregman: ideas about the future and how the next generation can do better. Bergman took the headlines at Davos a few years ago with a controversial speech. Worth following.
Principles, Life and Work: Ray Dalio: the principles used by one of the richest hedge fund bosses in the world to drive his business and personal life. Very heavy on the worth of honest feedback
The Fortune Cookie Principle – Bernadette Jiwa: our top Australian writer. Bernadette writes short marketing books, mainly about brand development. Every one of her books is backed up with great examples and stories.