I’ve spent a good part of my life buried in books of all kinds. But none more than business and self improvement books. Taking notes and getting the best gems of information out of them.
Books I’ve read decades ago still provide ideas that are just as effective today as when I first read them. And re-reading these books (particularly if you’ve read them a while ago) can provide you new insights that you might not have noticed originally.
And so here are over 50 business and personal growth books for you to dive into. They’ll be like rocket fuel for you and your business.
I’ve read nearly all of the books on this list and highly recommend them. A few others are on my upcoming reading list but have good reviews from others who are in the know.
So jump in and enjoy.
These books cover everything from high level strategy to in-the-trenches tactics to grow your business. These ideas work for everyone from small business entrepreneur to medium and large business leaders.
Sales is one of those topics that have hundreds of books written on them. These are some great classic sales books. You’ll likely find at least one that fits your selling style. And regardless you’ll learn a lot about what it takes to be successful in the selling profession.
Many of these authors have quite a few other books on related topics that are worth checking out as well.
Particularly Zig Ziglar (I saw him several times in person and he was a wonderful person, speaker, and salesman), Brian Tracy (all his books are easy reads and covers a variety of business topics but mostly in the sales category), and Jeffrey Gitomer (a leader in the field today).
This section covers everything from how the brain works to small business marketing tactics to how to differentiate yourself and classic advertising tomes. A ton of great reads in this group.
Starting with the persuasion classic by Cialdini and moving into some newer persuasion experts like Kevin Hogan, you’ll learn a ton about how to influence and ultimately prepare better offers for your prospects that are more likely to convert to a sale.
The management/leadership section covers everything from general management topics (One Minute Manager) and leadership (Five Dysfunctions) to technical situations (Fierce Conversations). If you have a management problem, here’s where you need to head next to solve it.
You can’t lead unless you’ve developed your own personal power and understand how to get the most out of yourself. These are books from each of major change leaders in the personal growth industry both past and present. All are good reads (although the 7 Habits takes a bit to get into – once you’re past the first few chapters it picks up and is definitely worth the investment of time).
If you can’t handle the money on a personal level and don’t understand how to make the most of your working life, then the rest probably won’t matter. There are some great ideas here as to what it means to be financially successful, how to get there, and how not to let debt take over your life. These are focused as much on overcoming human nature (that causes your financial life to come apart) as it is the mechanics of handling money and investing.
Hope you enjoyed this journey from some of the most read and most influential business related books of all time. If you have others you like and would recommend, please add them in the comments.
P. S. After this first posted, Jay Abraham posted his Jay Abraham’s Readers Choice “Book List” (Shade # 19 of Jay’s “50 Shades of Jay” series) for which I provided five book suggestions and reasons why they were my favorites.
Below is a listing of those books (from the full list at the link above) and how they impacted me.
- #111 – Good to Great – “The biggest key point for me was putting the right people in the right seat on the bus (put them in the right job/role). Often people who are good for the team may not be the stars but make everyone around them better.”
- #334 – The Art of the Deal – “Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a great businessman and this book lets us in on some of the largest deals that he had made up to that point. The book was a little overblown on the personality of DT, but his persona is a huge part of his brand. The nuggets of wisdom contained in this book bump it onto my top 5 list because they are both valuable and relevant.”
- #367 – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – “Having gone through challenging times and the break up of an executive team, I learned how both trust, and lack of trust, can make or break a team. And as I learned also from Jay and Stephen M.R.
Covey’s “The Speed of Trust”, trust is a key factor to getting things done.”
- #440 – The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People – “Seek first to understand then to be understood. The book was a hard read through the first few chapters (took me three times to get through it). This point was about learning to listen (I used to interrupt and get impatient to talk). By learning to truly listen…and
listen and reflect back what I heard, this reduced many future problems that could have been headed off earlier.”
- #451 – The Tipping Point – “Broken Windows Theory (from the days of Rudy Giuliani trying to fix the crime problem in New York City). Basically if there is one broken window then it is easier for non‐criminals to treat the area like broken windows are standard and not treat the city with care. This also tied to understanding that you might not see results until there is critical mass ‐ then all of a sudden the results show up. With the broken windows, crime didn’t immediately drop off but once people learned and saw that even petty crimes would no longer be tolerated, crime dropped off substantially. This ties pretty well to what you see in business as well. If you are doing marketing, you may see few results until the effects of repetition of your marketing message kick in. Then the results show.”