We’ve all heard of business books like How to Win Friends And Influence People, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and the howevermany habits of people that claim to be successful. When you search ‘Top 10 business books, you’ll struggle to find a list without these. These books have undoubtedly helped many over the years reach their business goals, and contain business advice that can no doubt also be applied to other aspects of life. Our list today, however, is all about books that do the opposite. Rather than giving you business lessons that will help you through life, here are some books containing life lessons that will help you in business. After all, the best business leaders draw their knowledge from a variety of sources.
- Factfullness by Hans, Ola, and Anna Rosling. With the amount of bad news circulating around us all the time, it’s easy to lose perspective and think that the world is all doom and gloom. Many people fall into apathy and feel like there is no point to whatever it is that they are trying to do. To start and run a successful business, you need to have a balanced perspective and a reason to keep going. Factfullness can help with this, as the book is all about dispelling pessimistic myths about humanity, and finding the ways in which things are getting better. Give it a read, and it might rekindle that spark of hope in you.
- Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Some of you may have seen Brene Brown’s impactful Ted Talk about the power of vulnerability. For those that haven’t, her book explains it in depth. The author demonstrates just how afraid we are to be vulnerable and truthful with ourselves and those around us, and explains why this fear can hold us back from fulfilling our needs. In business, as in life, relating honestly to others is just as necessary as being able to persuade or flatter. Without open communication, issues can’t be expressed and problems can’t be straightened out. Daring Greatly can help you open channels of communication that you aren’t used to using.
- The Little Owl’s Book of Thinking by Ian Gilbert. Don’t be fooled by the Beatrix Potter-esque cover, this book is a hidden gem of wisdom. It follows the story of a little owl, whose father is giving him lessons in how to think. Each chapter, the little owl is faced with a problem, and each chapter he learns a new way to approach and solve it. If you’re pressed for time, this book is short enough to be finished in one afternoon, although you may find yourself wanting to refer back to it again later. The best part of all is that the lessons are framed in an easy-to-follow narrative, so you can even read it together with your kids. Two books in one, a guide to thinking and a bedtime story!
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Introverts are an often-untapped resource. Many introverted people are highly skilled, but reluctant to engage in the social politics of self-presentation. Much of the time, this means that their potential goes unnoticed, and they lose opportunities to others who are more comfortable with ‘tooting their own horn’. This book demonstrates the importance of not overlooking the quieter among us, and it is clear how learning these lessons can make you a stronger leader in business. So if you’re an extrovert (which, as the head of a business, you very likely are) why not take a break from all the noise, find a quiet corner somewhere, and have a read.
As a business person we know you’re very very busy, but try to take some time to sit back with a cup of rooibos and a book – we promise it will be worth it.