There are many business books out there to read and not all of them are great. Some, infact, are just there to get the authors name out there but contribute nothing useful to the field. What makes a great book stand the test of time is not how much information it can pack in between its pages but how relatable the information is regardless of the year. When a book is able to showcase examples of situations that people have to deal with on a day-to-day basis then that information becomes relevant very easily to anyone reading it. An author who is able to capture those moments and write it in a way that highlights why and how those situations work the way they do is able to show people what kind of mindset they should have anytime they run into those situations.
Regardless of where technology and science take us we will forever have to deal with people on a daily basis and what makes a business book great is not how well it can show us how to balance a budget or how to raise money but how to handle complex situations that humans bring upon themselves. All those situations deal with office politics. They will forever plague work environments and any business book that can showcase what to do about them will have a longer shelf life than most other books out there that try and tell you how to be a better leader.
Why Read this book when they are new ones coming out everyday?
How you view business should not be based off of how much money your business can bring in but how well you treat everyone you deal with. The first part is easy for anyone who studied finance in college but the second one is a real challenge when trying to please everyone all the time. Those that understand people know that it simply can not be done. You must understand that in any business there will be people you hire who will cause more trouble to the company than give back. Any employee that wants more money for less work shouldn’t be working for your company but those situations get tricky after you have too many employees who feel the same way.
In a world now where there is a new business book coming out everyday why read a book that is no longer in print? (That is is about to change) Doesn’t that mean the information is outdated and old? Most who believe that you should only read information that is current miss out on the trends of the world. History repeats itself and will forever do that because humans are creatures of habit and habits are everywhere. The same can be said of companies, once a routine is established and people get comfortable with that routine it becomes very difficult to break up that routine after while.
If you were to pick up a business book today chances are you will see a lot of micro-stories, lists, how-to’s, and personal stories but what you won’t see are essay style articles that go in-depth as to why certain situations arise. These type of discussions are key to understanding the troubles that companies do not pay attention to. If you fill a company with a lot of yes-men then it is very easy, from an outside perspective, why a company would become a sinking ship but if you were on the inside you would believe that all the talent around you, given their high titled degrees and university names, would alert you if there was ever any danger but what you don’t realize is that the higher you go on the corporate ladder the harder it is for people to say no to you.
Business schools try to teach this by using their old method of using case studies, where students are given profiles of companies with situations that are happening and told to offer a solution. They believe that this method is the best there is but the reality is that only the market can tell you what the best method is for fixing something. Throwing money at a problem never fixes anything except giving people a job worth coming back to. The market in which a company exists will tell you whether or not it is something people or businesses want. If the market does not want it then the company is simply wasting it’s time and money.
That is why the book, Business Adventures by John Brooks, is one of Warren Buffet and Bill Gate’s favorite business book they have ever read. Warren Buffet says that that book is the best he as ever read on investing. Infact, Warren Buffet is the one who introduced Gates to the book after Gates asked him what was his favorite book to read. Mr. Brooks does not give you a formula in which to go by or a step-by-step process in which to follow. He lays out the story and highlights the key parts that show when something started to go wrong or when something started to go right and why that was. They both learned how they needed to look at situations and how they needed to stay focused on the big picture.
Business books today are created in a way that tell stories and then give you the bite size chunks of what it is you need to know so you can get back to what you were doing faster. I have read many business books already and very few read like a novel in which they tell about events that took place within companies. Instead, books today tell you personal stories about what someone had to deal with and how they overcame the problem but nothing like how good investigative writing should be.
Business leaders and entrepreneurs need to be aware of conditions that arise in every business regardless of the field they operate in. This is why so many entrepreneurs who have read business books today say that they want to stay in control of everything, thus, making it harder to let go of control when they have to because they feel they will not be aware anytime something goes wrong. The other reason entrepreneurs do not want to hire more people in the beginning is because they worry bringing in someone new might make decisions on their own that might hurt the company later on. It no longer becomes their pride and joy but a collective experience of what a group of outsiders what to do.
Pick Books that Explain Habits and Situations
If you are looking to read some new business books and would like to avoid reading the bad ones then an easy search online of, “best business books to read” will lead you to a few lists. If you need quality material you might want to consider links from sources that talk about business and keep up with the trends. Here are a few to help you get started.
99 Best Business books by Personal MBA
Best Business books to read in 2014 Stanford Business School
Amazon list of Business Books
10 Best Business Books
20 best Business Books to read for the Summer by Business Insider
Business School Self-Learning
They say that if you want to go to business school you are better off going and starting your own business and using the money you would have for school and applying it to your first company. The experience you will learn doing that is more than what the best business schools can teach you. And this is all true from experiences. If you combine the efforts of reading a new business book once a week on top of trying to launch your company you will have gained more experience than sitting in a classroom waiting to start your own company. At best, you will pitch to so-called “investors” for your senior project to see if it is worth investing in. The whole idea though is that you are selling your idea to get it off the ground. Great businesses are started and kept by their founders. That is hard work enough so if you are just looking to get rich off of your idea then you are wasting your time, effort, and money in general.
What the best business books offer that you will not get from sitting in a classroom is experience in the palm of your hands. A classroom will only give you theory to work on and not only that but there is absolutely no connection between getting straight A’s in business school and business success afterwards. The people who are the most successful in business are the ones who have created tons of companies and learned from their failures. Reading “How to Get Rich” By Felix Dennis will not give you a golden ticket to success but will give you a wake up call to realize how hard it is to become rich. For ever second you spend in class you lose in experience with starting a business.
If you are absolutely dead set on starting a company but too afraid to start, just try starting a blog and managing that everyday. If the task of writing just one article is hard enough then what makes you think you can handle a dozen different things everyday just to start a business and then if you hire people, having to deal with all their issues on top of that? Yea, it’s not easy so getting realistic about the whole process right away is more important than sitting in some class listing to theory concepts that you may never get to use. But if being realistic is your thing then you should at least know that if you plan to work for yourself or someone else in the end that way you are not wasting your time.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s Influence
After Bill Gates released his article on the Wall Street Journal website about the best business book he has ever read I am glad to report that that book has shot to the top of bestseller lists. Infact the company that once printed John Brooks book is now in plans to release a paperback version in the fall. They released an ebook version on Amazon (link at the bottom) which many people have already downloaded, including the free chapter that Gates released on his website (link below). The son of John Brooks, Alex Brooks, said he was very pleased to hear about the sudden interest in his dad’s book and was glad to see that Bill Gates was a fan of his father’s book. It just goes to show that with the right influencer anything can happen to someone, including bring back a good thing.
If you read the reviews now on Amazon you can see the many people who have already read the book, after only a few days ago Gate’s wrote his article, and how they name Gate’s as the reason for reading that book and how great it really is. All the links are listed below if you would like to read the article Bill Gates wrote about the book and the response the book has gotten since it came out.
News Articles and Links