If Warren Buffett could credit one habit for his success, it would be reading. According to him, reading, and thinking, have led him to fewer impulse decisions.
Still, even if you’re not Warren Buffett, reading has proven benefits for you too. According to studies, people who read are more empathetic, more cultured, more likely to live longer and can enjoy sharper minds as they age. (source, source). What’s more, you can dive into a book no matter where you are: lying on a sunny beach, on a hot afternoon after work or after a hike in the mountains.
While there are a lot of classic business books, we went in and selected the most interesting books published this year. So, here you go: 10 fresh, interesting business books to check out over the summer (no, the heat is not an excuse to get lazy).
Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
by Brian Christian
Available hereBook description: Even if they have considerable processing power, algorithms are similar to humans as each have their own limitations. Still, according to the author, people can learn from algorithms strategies on how to answer complex everyday life questions such as “How much can we do over the course of a lifetime?” or “How much messiness should we accept?”. Author of Wall Street Journal and New Yorker bestseller, Brian Christian writes articles that get published in The Atlantic, Wired, The Guardian, The Paris Review etc.
Why you should read it: Given the option, we would all like to have the right answer in any circumstance. Still, when faced with a lot of choices and with complex, yet loosely defined questions, finding out the right answer turns out to be complicated. This book will help you refine your decision making for any highly complex situation, both at work and at home.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World
by William H. McRaven
Available hereBook description: What started as a commencement speech that went viral turned into a book deal. In his speech, William H. McRaven outlined 10 principles that have helped him deal with personal and professional challenges. The book takes the speech a step further and shares simple, yet practical wisdom through tales of what the author encountered during his years of service. A former U.S. Navy Seal, William H. McRaven was also Admiral during 2011 – 2014. He retired in 2014 after 37 years of service.
Why you should read it: Small things can sometimes lead to big changes in time. That’s how apparently insignificant habits like making your bed and practical wisdom work. Done day in, day out, small habits can help you get organized both on a personal and on a professional level. Even if you’re not into the habit, it’s an inspiring read that will leave you energized.
Wait, What?: And Life’s Other Essential Questions
by James E. Ryan
Available hereBook description: Inspired by a commencement address, this book will change the way you think about questions. Author James E. Ryan, the 11th dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, suggests that asking the five basic questions in the book regularly can help tremendously, no matter the circumstance.
Why you should read it: While we’re always looking for the right answer, we rarely consider if we’re asking the right question. We learn how to do math, write, read, do complex analysis, but we are never taught how to ask a good question. A book that’s all about the art of asking good questions is well worth the read.
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
by Kim Scott
Available hereBook description: Radical Candor features the unique, down-to-earth approach to management that has made Kim Scott very popular with CEOs. The idea is simple: to be a good boss, you need to care personally and challenge directly at the same time. The book puts forth actionable advice that anyone can easily implement in order to be a better leader. A former Online sales and Operations manager at Google, Kim Scott was also a faculty member of Apple University, where she developed a class on how to be a good boss. She currently coaches CEOs for companies like Dropbox and Twitter.
Why you should read it: Being a good leader is tough. Caring too much on a personal level might get you perceived as weak. On the other hand, pushing people too hard often translates to being a jerk. This book will help you strike a balance between the two. Also, the actionable provided inside makes for an easy and inspiring read.
Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
by Liz Wiseman
Available hereBook description: As Vice President of Oracle University and global leader for its Human Resource Development center for 17 years, Liz Wiseman has considerable experience with leaders. In her book, she identifies two main types: Multipliers and Diminishers. Multipliers amplify people’s capabilities while Diminishers drain them. The book highlights the 5 principles that make the difference between the two. A 2014 Wall Street Journal best-seller, this revised edition features new examples of Multipliers and advice on how to deal with Diminishers.
Why you should read it: Good leadership can also be taught, and this is a good resource for light and yet insightful advice on how to become a better leader. Additionally, you can also use it as a source of inspiration or just to check up on your leadership style.
Move: How Decisive Leaders Execute Strategy Despite Obstacles, Setbacks, and Stalls
by Patty Azzarello
Available hereBook description: “Move” is the guide to overcoming resistance and getting your entire organization on board for any transformation: new product, internal initiatives, new strategies etc. The book goes beyond the initial change process, showing readers how to make a transformation stick once the change process is in place. Highly popular for her practical, experience-based approach, Patty Azzarello has worked for over 25 years with organizations, learning what makes them tick and enabling them to create value.
Why you should read it: We all know what internal roadblocks look like: long meetings that don’t reach a solid conclusion, interesting projects that don’t seem to be making any way forward or lack of support from colleagues. Check out Patty’s new book on the necessary advice to move past these hurdles.
The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Team
by Sam Walker
Available hereBook description: Fueled by a lifetime of sports spectating, twenty years of reporting, and a decade of research, The Captain Class tells the surprising story of what makes teams exceptional. It presents a fresh, counterintuitive take on leadership that can be applied to any competitive disciplines. The author, Sam Walker is The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editor for enterprise, the unit that oversees the paper’s in-depth page-one features and investigative reporting projects. He founded the Journal’s prizewinning daily sports coverage in 2009.
Why you should read it: High performing teams have long been the subject of research. Also, sports is a very competitive, yet complex field. Success here depends on quite a few factors which include good leadership and teamwork. Read this for advice on what you can do to build a high-performing team, both on and off the field.
The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking
by Olivia Fox Cabane & Judah Pollack
Available hereBook description: Neuroscience offers plenty of insight into what we can do to get into the habit of coming up with new ideas. This book comes in and shows us the exact process. It features a step by step guide that anyone can use to tap into their brainpower, remove internal blocks and come up with breakthrough ideas. The authors, Olivia Fox Cabane and Judah Pollack are both former members of Stanford StartX educational non-profit. Olivia is also executive coach to the leadership of Fortune 500 companies such as Google and Judah lectures at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Why you should read it: While creativity is highly praised for its benefits, it can be hard to get into a frame of mind that allows us to actually be creative. Fear of failure, the unknown or other obstacles can deter us from approaching truly breakthrough ideas. The framework the authors put forth is meant to help you find your way around that, straight into more and better ideas.
Hunch: Turn Your Everyday Insights Into The Next Big Thing
by Bernadette Jiwa
Available hereBook description: Most of the innovations released today appear to be data-driven. Yet data is only one part of the puzzle. While data can show you the current state of things, you need intuition to know where to look, what direction to take and what you should be trying. Author of 5 #1 Amazon bestseller, Bernadette is a recognized global authority on storytelling in business, innovation and marketing. Her new book combines practical exercises with inspirational stories to help you cultivate your intuition.
Why you should read it: Intuition has been long been the subject of debate as no one can explain exactly how it works. Yet it shows up in countless situations nudging us in one direction or another, making us come across hints that prove to be extremely valuable later on. If there’s ever a book or a tool that can help you harness this golden sense, you shouldn’t think twice about reading it.
Creative Change: Why We Resist It . . . How We Can Embrace It
by Jennifer Mueller
Available hereBook description: Most business leaders say that they support creativity and innovation, both required for companies to thrive. Yet research shows that it’s often the same business leaders that reject creative solutions in favour of familiar ones. Jennifer’s book approaches the innovation barrier and offers tools anyone can use to open themselves up to evaluating new, creative ideas. Jennifer has touched on the subject before in her paper “The Bias Against Creativity”, which was downloaded 65,000 times. A professor at the University of San Diego, her work is regularly featured in major outlets such as WSJ, NPR, CNN, HBR, The Atlantic, Fortune, Forbes, and Fast Company.
Why you should read it: Self-awareness might not always be our strongest point. What’s more, we all have our blind spots: things we cannot see because we believe something too strongly. This book provides the tools needed to step outside those familiar boundaries and to approach the new without being terrified of it.
Now back to you. Do you have other books that you plan on reading over the summer? If you do, share it with us in a comment below! 🙂