- Is it really worth reading business books?
- Do business books make you smart or skilful?
- Do they bring business success?
A bookshop classifies business books according to their topics or themes they address. But looking at business books another way gives us another classification.
- Ego-trip books – CEOs or other important people inflate their egos with ”inside” stories of How I did it? or How great am I for having achieved so much success etc.
- Cure everything formulas – Consultants and other smart Alecs promote their ideas, products or services for solving every problem known to business. They also claim to solve unknown problems.
- Settling Score Tirades – Have-beens, would-have-beens, never-have-beens with unquenched desire for power, recognition and success write these ”business” books to vent their hurt feelings and hurt their ”enemies” with revealing titles like Never before revealed secrets of America’s greatest tycoon or This is how Corporations Really Cheat etc.
- Get Rich Instantly – This is a huge zillion-dollar business. Most of the writers use a lot of effort to convince readers how they have decided to share these never before revealed secrets with the readers out of pure agape or selfless love. Some of them have similar authors joining forces to promote and recommend each other. This guarantees great benefits to them in the form of increased sales.
Who Reads Business Books?
- The Capital by Karl Marx
- Balanced Scorecard by Robert Kaplan
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu
- The Nature of Managerial Work by Henry Minzberg
- The General Theory of Employment by John Maynard Keynes
- The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge
- Principle Centred Leadership by Stephen R. Covey
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
- Reowrk by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier
- Leading from the Front: No Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women
- The Four Hoour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
- A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
- The E Myth by Michael Gerber
- Your Million Dollar Dream by Tamara Monosoff
- Creating Money by Sanaya Roman Diana Packer
- The 10 Laws of Enduring Success by Maria Bartiromo
Do people who should read these business books ever read them? Yes, many do in spite of the fact that getting new ideas means unlearning old ideas. Many busy people are quite capable of achieving such mind shifts. This is precisely what Stephen Covey says in his best seller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is the seventh habit: Sharpen the Saw.
- Quality of information
- Leisure time to digest what you read
- The right to carry out actions based on what you have learnt
If any organisation or society lacks any of these three, that society is on a downward spiral. How then to judge the authors who write business books? We can get some help from Faber again: The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.
“Then what is the nature of good writing and bad?”and answers it by
“It’s not speaking or writing well that’s shameful; what’s really shameful is to engage in either of them shamefully or badly”.
- The writer has something to say
- The writer knows really what s/he is saying
- What is written actually speaks to you, touches you or moves you
- You have changed after reading
“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector”.
“Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say”.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by C.K.Prahlad
- Reengineering the Corporation – A Manifesto for Business Revolution by Michael Hammer, James Champy
- The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
- The Effective Executive or any book by Peter Drucker
- My Years with General Motors by Alfred P. Sloan
Why are you Going to DO After Reading a Business Book?
- Try out the new idea
- Discuss with business colleagues
- Begin implementing an idea because the writer so forcefully argued for it
- Decide that it is a great idea but nah it won't work for me
For really busy people who have no time to read but need to get the gist of a book even if to say that they have read it, here's help. A business book summary service.
Enjoy your business book!