Business book club

I met with Sarah today and she noticed a book in my car, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. "Is that any good?" she asked. I told her no, it's a long, boring-ass book, and I will probably never finish it (which is the truth). Then we started talking about something else. But when I got home I started thinking that although this particular book is a turd, I have read a lot of excellent business books lately that I can recommend. In fact I've been meaning to for a while. So here's a list of some resources that I have found useful.

How to Win Friends and Influence People
I picked this up with low expectations during a particularly long print job at Kinko's and read it halfway through. When I got back to the office I immediately ordered a new copy from Amazon. Stunningly practical advice written in a concise, and down-to-earth style. Not bad for a book first published in 1937. This is the foundation. Everyone should read this book.

Art of the Start
Guy Kawasaki also writes (and speaks) with an immediate and concrete delivery. I blazed through this book and practically never set it down. I work at a start-up company, and while I was reading I suddenly understood a lot of things that we had done. I wish I would have read this book four years earlier.

Delivering Happiness
Perhaps I was particularly fond of this one because it's focused around customer service, which I do. But really, whatever you do, you should understand customer service if you want to do it well. I actually took notes while reading this book, which is unusual for me, but there were just so many great ideas to capture!

Good to Great
I am just finishing the audio version of this one now, and it's, well... pretty great! What I like about this is that it's not just a bunch of opinions or even personal anecdotes. No, they took a ton of raw data and did science to it. The result is reality-tested case studies on building an enduring organization.

Online Resources

  • I haven't got around to reading any of Seth Godin's books, but his daily blog is a great brain-starter. Read it with your morning coffee.
  • Set Higher Standards: I used to read this for the business parts and skim the running stuff, but now I can use it all!
  • I have Penelope Trunk's book, Brazen Careerist, but I prefer her blog where she is able to be more candid. I love this woman.

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