The Seven Essential Business Books
Updated: Aug 20, 2022
Librarians Should Post This List as Required Reading for Business Patrons BY Mark L. Jenson 1. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton. This is the book that changed the face of negotiating—both business and personal negotiating. It’s compendium of well-tested strategies for resolving any type of conflict. More important, it encourages a negotiating mindset that enables both sides to get what they need—if not everything they might want. Instead of negotiation as conflict (which, in spite of lip service to the contrary, is still the norm today), the negotiation process can actually become the foundation of a mutually beneficial on-going relationship. 2. The Art of War by Tzu Sun. On the other side of the coin, while business might not be war, the rich insights of this 2,000 year-old classic are relevant to any situation in which conflict might arise. That means any business situation, no matter how win/win we might try to be. 3. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The One Minute Manager is so simple it’s brilliant, a basic text for anyone who manages other human beings, or anyone who simply manages themselves--or tries to. With the longer and longer hours of the global economy, the authors’ take on balancing productivity against job—and life—satisfaction is more pertinent today than it was when the book was first conceived. This is a book to be read and re-read. 4. Filling the Glass: The Skeptic’s Guide to Positive Thinking in Business by Barry Maher. The fourth spot on the list was first occupied by The Power of Positive Thinking, followed by several recent “feel-good” bestsellers. Try defending any of them to today’s cynical managers and entrepreneurs. Filling the Glass, however, trades “let’s all think happy thoughts” for a hardheaded, reality-based inspiration. With practical, effective strategies for getting what you want in your career without sacrificing who you are, it’s so much the best of the breed that it’s in a class by itself. 5. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Jack Trout and Al Ries. Even business people who have nothing to do with marketing have something to do with marketing. Those who don’t understand the laws of marketing—no matter what their position in the company—become an obstacle that those who do understand marketing are forced to try to overcome. The 22 Immutable Laws succinctly explains the rules of a game almost all of us are playing in one form or another. 6. Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. From the smallest Mom and Pop operation to the high tech start-up to the largest Fortune 100 conglomerate, businesses of every size and description can benefit from Levinson’s recently updated classic. For those of us not directly involved in marketing, Guerrilla Marketing is even more valuable for the inventive, entrepreneurial mindset it engenders than its specific strategies and tactics. That’s why it’s spawned a 30 book series—and enough imitators to overburden the most affluent library. 7. What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. Even if they’re never planning to look for another job, this is an essential addition to your library. Like a parachute, it’s there for when all else fails—or for when all else simply seems likely to fail. Whenever the thought of changing jobs crosses the mind—as it always does at one point or another—this parachute offers an invaluable reality check, providing the tools necessary to properly assess the situation. So you don’t jump when the plane isn’t really going down. But so, when you do have to jump, you’re most likely to land safely back on solid ground.
From Today's Librarian, Copyright, M. L. Jenson, all rights reserved. Used by permission.