What are your favorite business books?

My two favorites (so far) are “The E-Myth Revisited.” and “The E-Myth Manager” both by Michael Gerber.

Basically, they are books geared towards small business’ and the problems that the owners face. They put it best:

"E-Myth \ ‘e-,’mith\ n 1: the entrepreneurial myth : the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work "

In other words, a plumber might not be the best person to run a plumbing business. Good books, but they follow that “make a point by telling a story” guideline which can sometimes be irritating. The web site is pretty good as well.

One book that I’ve always been amazed by its popularity is “Who moved my cheese?” That little piece of tripe can only be popular because it tells the reader about 30 times to go out and tell everyone else how good the book is. I bet more people promote this book out of sheer herd-mentality than there are those who promote it because they found it helpful. 90 pages of “Things change. Deal. Oh yeah, while dealing, tell your friends how good this book is because johnandsuzieandlauraandjoeyandrobertandamandaandetc. all did.” :rolleyes:

What about those other popular ones like “7 habits of highly effective people” or “1 minute manager” or ??? I’ve never heard much about them. Any others?


I’ve recently become addicted to “management/business” books. I think the best one out there is How to Win Friends and Influence People(Dale Carnegie). An oldie but a goodie, and if it were required reading for everyone in a leadership or management role I think the world would run a lot more smoothly. I also like the more Machiavellian ones like, well, The Prince (not really a business book but a lot of people accept it as such) or The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene).

Jeffrey J. Fox’s series is also v. good…easy to follow, no buzzwords or “paradigms”, easy to implement but very effective.

As you can see I read the more “people skills” oriented rather than “business” oriented books, but then I need all the help I can get in that regard!

From an MBA perspective (meaning, these get taught in business school, and speak to broader business themes, although there is plenty in them that could apply to small business, too).

Michael Porter - Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage - the definitive books on the subjects; cemented Porter’s name as the most important business prof since Peter Drucker.

Clayton Christiansen - The Innovator’s Dilemma. Deeply insightful book about how new technologies displace older technologies. Very applicable to tech sector businesses…

Valuation - by McKinsey & Co. (Copeland, Koller, Murrin) - the book that tells you how to truly value a company - a technical book for investors as well as business people.

There’s others, but these are a great start. “7 habits” is a great self-help book that can be applied to business, more than it is a business book, per se…

From Stephen Covey, I liked First Things First better than Seven Habits. This book is focused on time management.

Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline and Fifth Discipline Fieldbook are both great. The focus here is on systems thinking. This is very useful for figuring out why things aren’t working, like why 2 departments can’t work well together, or why you never get customers from a certain market segment.

Yeah, me too!

Thanks folks, I’ll go do some shopping soon.