Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten gives an overview of books available  on the market. These are books that cover various genre such as how to improve yourself, leadership, strategy, sales and marketing, rules and scorekeeping, management, biographies, entrepreneurship, narratives, innovation and creativity and big ideas. Each book listed has approximately 1-3 pages in order to describe what a person should find if they made a purchase. 

It isn’t a necessary interesting reading but if you are a big book reader you can quickly browse through various titles available. I find this to be more of a bathroom or coffee book in the sense that the few pages needed to describe each work can be quickly read. It is also beneficial to browse around by jumping back and forth versus reading from cover to cover. Three books that I find of interest are:

1.)Flow by Mihaly Csikszenthmihalyi discussed the concept of pursuit of happiness from Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson. Flow is a concept entailing when people are totally focused and completely un-self-conscious. Research helps determine that these moments occur when a person feels they have adequate skills to cope with challenges. Such moments are goal directed, rule-bound action systems that provide adequate self-feedback. It can be defined as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”

Flow (1991). The psychology of optimal experience. Harper Perennial.

2.)On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis discusses how through circumstance, grit, and pure willpower people can become leaders. It is through the constant search of life and its meaning that such leaders find unique prescriptions. Such leaders have the capacity to express themselves through humanistic psychology concepts like those by theorists Abraham Maslow. According to the book great leaders don’t set out to be leaders but become them based upon the full expression of themselves. 

On Becoming a Leader (2003). The Leadership Classic. Basic Books

3.)Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad discusses how most executives focus on the present but do not focus enough on the future. When making budget and strategic decisions they constantly seek to solve problems in the present by looking at short-term gains while damaging long-term prospects. For example, an executive may try and cut costs and raise return on investments by laying off employees but fail to find higher levels of revenue. Such managers are considered “denominator managers” because they are more reactive to their environments instead of creating environments. The authors state, “Seeing the future first may be more about having a wide-angle lens than a crystal ball.”

Hamel, G. & Prahalad, C. (1996) Competing for the Future. Harvard Business School Press.

No matter what your interest and focus you will certainly find some books to read within the pages. It is a nice guide to some of the best business books available on the market and certainly I have a plan to buy a few after I get through the one’s I am reading now. You can keep it in your library to create your wish list of market offerings. 

Covert, J. & Sattersten, T. (2009). The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. NY: Penguin Group
Pages: 339
Cost: $16

No comments:

Post a Comment