Top Business Books 2014

by JaneG

In this article I look at the top new, exciting business books on the market. Books by writers that know and understand the world of business.

When it comes to business books there is a great deal of good books to pick from. To me the question is not: 'What is the best business book to read?', but rather 'which books can I not afford to miss?'.

I have found it tricky to decide, what really constitutes a business book. For instance Sun Tzu's the Art of War is an excellent book for business people to read, but it's really a military manual and not a business book. Ultimately I decided to go with a more narrow interpretation of what a business book is, in my selection.

Uncommon Service

The author Frances Frei is a professor at Harvard, her focus is technology and operations management. So she knows what she is talking about.

The USA is a service economy to the tune of 80% of GDP. Unfortunately much of that service is bad. Most businesses only put service into their mission statement and act when customers complain. This leads to mediocre service.

In Uncommon Service, Frei explains how a business can deliver extraordinary service with ordinary employees.

One of my personal pet peeves is businesses that think their employees can do any amount of work, perfectly, every time. Inevitably nothing really gets done right. You have to prioritize and then communicate the priorities to your employees.

Frei shows you how good service can be used as a competitive weapon, particularly in difficult economic times.

Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business

Most companies treat service as a low-priority business operation, keeping it out of the spotlight until a customer complains. Then service gets to make a brief appearance – ...

$32.00  $13.99

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Found something worth reading 2014
Reading in Bed
Reading in Bed

Steve Jobs

This is my favorite type of business book. A book that tells the story of how a great person or company got where they are. It's not just entertaining; there is so much you can learn by reading it.

Let me tell you my favorite story about Steve Jobs: At the time Apple was trying to hire away a manager from Coke. The negotiations had stalled. The manager wasn't sure whether it was the right move for him. So Mr. Jobs called him up and said: "What you need to decide is whether you want to keep selling sugared water or come work for me and change the world". The next day the manager signed the contracts, to start working at Apple. In my opinion that is really what Steve Jobs did. He built a company that changed the world.

Steve Jobs

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and ...

$35.00  $6.94

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The Power of Habit

Firstly, the title sounds a bit like a self-help book, the Power of Habit is not a self-help book. It's about how people have evolved the inclination to repeat actions that have had positive results in the past.

In marketing it's a well known fact, that it is cheaper to retain a customer or client, than it is to go out and get a new one. The Power of Habit looks at the whole process from getting someone to try something, for the first time, to the point where they buy the product or service repeatedly.

You may rightly point out that there have been quite a few books on this topic, however the Power of Habit does take a fresh approach, it is well written, well researched and I found it very useful.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at ...

$28.00  $7.50

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The Start-up of You

One of the co-authors of this book is Reid Hoffman, he is a founder and chairman of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking site like Facebook. Instead of linking to friends, you connect with work/business colleagues. Ironically, if you have never heard of LinkedIn, this book probably has the most to offer you.

It use to be that an employee in the USA would work for 1 to 3 businesses over the span of their life and do basically the same job, the whole time. Today you are likely to work with or for many more businesses and do many different jobs. To do well in this 'new world' you need to understand and build relationships with your peers.

Counter-intuitively the stronger links you build are as important as the weaker links. This is because the weaker links take you outside your traditional role and comfort zone. In my opinion The Start-up of You, is one of those books you just cannot afford not to read.

The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

A blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley's most innovative entrepreneurs.The career escalator is jammed at every ...

$26.00  $9.84

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Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy

Foreword by Morgan SpurlockFrom the bestselling author of Buyology comes a shocking insider’s look at how today’s global giants conspire to obscure the truth and manipulate ...

$25.00  $9.35
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically ...

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new ...

$26.00  $12.55

I hope you found top business books 2014 useful. If you have a business book you would like to recommend, please leave a comment. Go to Examples of Time Management Skills at Work for more of my writing.

Updated: on 12/09/2013, JaneG
 
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