Comprehensive List of Best Business Books

Once again, friend and author, Dan Coughlin does his research and puts together a very comprehensive list of some of the best business books through the ages. I hope you find this list helpful. If you see some you have not read, I recommend adding it to your library this year. Enjoy!

By Dan Coughlin

In her terrific book, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, Alice Schroeder wrote, “Benjamin Graham’s book, The Intelligent Investor had mesmerized Warren. For years, he had been going down to the library and checking out every book available on stocks and investing. Warren wanted a system, something that would work reliably. Warren more or less memorized the course textbook, Security Analysis, by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. Buffett says, ‘The truth was I knew the book even better than Dodd. At that time, literally, almost in those seven or eight hundred pages, I could quote from any part of it. I had just sopped it up.’”

Through intense reading and experimentation, Warren Buffett became the world’s greatest investor and one of the richest individuals in the world. Imagine what such in-depth reading can do for your career.

Here are a variety of books I’ve read that I encourage you to consider. My hope is you will scan this list of more than 100 recommended titles, purchase two books for yourself, and read them. I really believe that business leaders are readers, and that one way you can improve your performance is by reading. But don’t just read your two books. Read them, capture a few key ideas that you want to implement, and move those ideas into action.

Here are my recommendations, which have been organized by topics:

Productivity
Less is More by Jason Jennings
Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings
It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small, It’s the Fast that Eat the Slow by Jason Jennings

Leadership
On Leadership by John Gardner
Personal History by Katherine Graham
My American Journey by Colin Powell
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson
My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Gandhi
Walt Disney by Neal Gabler
Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton
They Call Me Coach by John Wooden
Wooden by John Wooden
Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski
Leadership & Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam
Gifted Hands by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey
Think Big by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey
Leadership is an Art by Max Depree
The Gettysburg Gospel by Gabor Boritt
Abraham Lincoln Great Speeches unabridged by Abraham Lincoln, John Grafton, and Roy Basler

Management
Inside Steve’s Brain by Leander Kahney
The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker
The Unofficial Guide to Power Managing by Alan Weiss
Winning by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch
Setting the Table by Danny Meyer
The Spirit to Serve by Bill Marriott

Teamwork
Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis and Patricia Biedermann
Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson
Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Russell Rules by Bill Russell
The Winner Within by Pat Riley
A World Waiting to be Born by Scott Peck

Strategy
Only the Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema
Profit from the Core by Chris Zook
Beyond the Core by Chris Zook
Top Management Strategy by Ben Tregoe and John Zimmerman

Marketing/Branding
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin
Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy

Innovation
The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley
The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley
The Elegant Solution by Matthew May

Organizational Performance
Built to Last by Jim Collins
Good to Great by Jim Collins
The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
The Google Story by David Vise and Mark Malseed
Leading By Design by Ingvar Kamprad and Bertil Torekull
The Pixar Touch by David Price
The HP Way by David Packard
The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt

Personal Effectiveness
Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
Living a Life that Matters by Harold Kushner
Raising the Bar by Tim Rosaforte
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong
The Dip by Seth Godin
Big Russ and Me by Tim Russert
Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
From Promise to Power by David Mendell
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
The Other Side of Me by Sidney Sheldon
Secrets for Success and Happiness by Og Mandino
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
I Dare You by William Danforth
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
First Things First by Stephen Covey
The Essence of Success by Earl Nightingale
The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
Success through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
A Treasury of Albert Schweitzer edited by Thomas Kiernan

Investing
The Snowball by Alice Schroeder
Warren Buffett Speaks by Janet Lowe

Sales
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

Inspiration
The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Consulting
Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss
Getting Started in Consulting by Alan Weiss

Physical Fitness
The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene

Problem Solving
The New Rational Manager by Ben Tregoe and Charles Kepner

Presentations/Writing
Pop! Stand Out in Any Crowd by Sam Horn
Presenting with Pizzazz by Sharon Bowman
Ask Not by Thurston Clarke
The Dream by Drew Hansen

Global Trends
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan

Management Lessons from Auto Racing
One Helluva Ride by Liz Clarke
At the Altar of Speed by Leigh Montville
The Enzo Ferrari Story by Enzo Ferrari
Winners are Driven by Bobby Unser
Racing to Win by Joe Gibbs
McLaren Formula 1 Racing Team by Alan Henry
Racing Back to the Front by Jeff Gordon
Michael Schumacher by Christopher Hilton

Management Lessons from the American Revolution
A Leap in the Dark by John Ferling
1776 by David McCullough
The Summer of 1787 by David Stewart
American Creation by Joseph Ellis
Thomas Paine by Craig Nelson
Thomas Jefferson by R.B. Bernstein
Common Sense by Thomas Paine

About Dan Coughlin
Dan Coughlin works with large and mid-size companies to improve their business momentum. He is a business keynote speaker, management consultant, and author of ACCELERATE: 20 Practical Lessons to Boost Business Momentum. He speaks on leadership, branding, sales, and innovation. His next book, The Management 500: A High-Octane Formula for Business Success is due to be published in May 2009.

2 thoughts on “Comprehensive List of Best Business Books

  1. Dan says:

    If you would like a tool to manage your small business activities and Projects, you can use this web aplication:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your Goals (for business but also in other areas of your life), Projects and Tasks. It has a Checklists section, for the routines and repetitive activities that any business has to do. Also, it features a Schedules section and a Calendar, for scheduling you time and activities.

    Some features from GTD are also present, like Contexts and Next Actions.

    And it’s available on the mobile phone too, so you can access it from anywhere.

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