Entry By Jason Brick
Ed. Note - Last week we posted 9 Classic Business Books You Should Have Read Years Ago — and this post is the followup. If you missed the first, we highly suggest you read it now!
Reading is an important form of education for most small business owners, but not all business reading has to be about business. Check out these titles, ostensibly in other sections of the library that can stimulate your business mind just as effectively.
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu
This classic book of military strategy was recommended by Michael Douglas's Gordon Gecko character in Wall Street. You always knew business was full of conflict. This manual tells you how to win them.
- The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
Don't let the title fool you. This hippie-flavored text is full of actionable ideas for improving your personal effectiveness, focus, energy level and relationships with people.
- The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
"Machiavellian" means "brutally effective" for a reason. Another centuries-old book, this one describes how to run a principality for maximum gain. As it turns out, principalities and businesses aren't terribly different.
- The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
A pop-scholarly work on globalization and modern communications, it's one of the best for wrapping your mind around how people work in this century. Business owners operating without his insights are at a disadvantage.
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell uses case studies of successful ideas and businesses as the core of this book, but it's really about how people think and groups react.
- Drive by Daniel Pink
Pink spent years looking at the research on what really motivates people, and found some surprising facts. It will help you identify the kinds of incentives your staff needs, and how to apply them.
- The Book of Five Ringsby Miyamoto Musashi
Where The Art of War discusses battle at the mass scale, Five Rings is about personal combat. Musashi's lessons can just as easily be applied to the "singles combat" of negotiations and meetings with human resources.
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
A guide to moving serenely through the tribulations of life. The Agreements -- Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don't Take Anything Personally, Don't Make Assumptions, and Do Your Best -- are equally applicable to successfully navigating the rough waters of business and entrepreneurship.
- The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
When people say somebody is smart, most of the time they mean that person communicates well. Especially in this age of easy self-publication, social media, blogging and text marketing, knowing how to write is a skill all business owners need. This is the go-to book on the topic, recommended by the likes of Stephen King and "Grammar Girl" Mignon Fogarty.
These obviously aren't the only non-business books you can use for business. Other blogs have recommended everything from The Bible to Dr. Seuss. What reading would you recommend?