50 business books you must read in your lifetime


1) The Essential Drucker (2001), by Peter Drucker – A selection of one of businesses most prolific writers work on business and management.

2) Asking The Right Questions – Phil Rosen Zweig – A guide to asking better questions of the workforce and client, making your questions more worthwhile and helping you think more critically.

3) The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997), by Clayton Christensen  – A must read about when new technologies cause old companies and firms to fail. Also, when to try something knew as opposed to sticking with what you already know.


4) Guerilla Marketing (1984), by Jay Conrad Levinson – A must – read book on marketing for the knowledge worker, manager, executive, or entrepreneur. Cheaper advertisement and marketing for all!

5) The Human Side of Enterprise (1960), by Douglas McGregor – Social science, human nature and psychology, led with business practice, a very interesting look at how humanity affects enterprise.

6) All Marketers are Liars – Seth Godin – Another one on Marketing by Seth, showing that the best marketing campaigns are the ones that tell an interesting and engaging story.

7) Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers – Seth Godin – Marketing is a difficult subject, Seth Godin a different way of thinking about advertising products and services.

8) Leading Change (1996), by John P. Kotter – 25 years worth of experience condensed into a single book, Kotter speaks about how businesses lead through periods of change and how to do that efficiently and effectively without alienating your customers.


9) The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People (1989), by Stephen R. Covey – 7 single points that create a fantastic framework for making sure you make the most of your time.

10) Eat That Frog! – Brian Tracy. A scheme written to make you do the most important things in the morning. The “eating of the frog” makes everything else you do after eating the frog easier. The thinking behind it is there isn’t much worse you can do than eating a frog!

11) Who Moved My Cheese? (1998), by Spencer Johnson – A great motivational book written in the style of a fable. Interesting read.

12) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink

Drive is a fantastic book, showing that retaining staff is a simple equation of giving automation and time to improve their craft. This fosters entrepreneurial spirit and helps create innovation.

13) Emotional Intelligence (1995), by Daniel Goleman  – A book dedicated to the idea of IQ, how it affects everyone on a day-to-day life and the decisions made.

14) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kanheman – A great book, focusing on exactly how your brain works in the two ways that is does. Read the book slowly and absorb all of the detail, understand how the conclusions of this book affect your day-to-day thoughts.

15) The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – A look at neurology in business and personal life, showing how habits can be changed and why it’s a good idea to do so.

16) Brilliant Project Management – Rob Cole – Projects can be daunting, no matter how seasoned you are as a manager. Deadlines and costs mount up and this book helps you deal with these stresses and make great projects

17) Stephen Pressfield – Do The Work – A book showing that you really don’t need a perfect idea to actually get something down on paper. Giving yourself the chance to make something awful you can then iterate upon in the future. Very recommended.

18) Productivity Masterclass – Get this book if you are tempted to throw in the towel on your goals, or if you have a project you want to start, but fear of all the niggling little stuff along the way keeps you from starting.

19) Extreme Productivity –  Robert Pozen (2012) – Another book dedicated to productivity, focusing on reducing the time you spend in the office whilst maximizing results.

20) 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done – Peter Bregnan – (2011) – A third book on productivity, dealing with the right things in the right order. Reading this book will inspire you to higher heights.

21) Getting Things Done – David Allen (2002)  – Fantastic guide to higher productivity and a great way of project managing your life and business responsibilities.


22) Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You – John Warrilow – A great book about making companies to sell. Using IPO to generate profit and success.

23) Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness – Jeffrey Gitomer. Gitomer, a very well known writer for sales columns nationwide writes a concise set of rules for Sales. High recommended.

24) Zig Ziglar – Secrets of Closing the Sale – A book dedicated to the final phase of selling. This book will singlehandedly bring your profits up and help you spend time on the clients that benefit most from your time.


25) Winning with Transglobal Leadership – Linda D Sharkey

This book deals with the super important idea of leadership. With original research and interview with world leaders, this book is a fantastic primer on developing your own leadership and those of your managers.

26) On Becoming a Leader (1989), by Warren Bennis – A collection of interviews with leaders from a wide range of fields on how being a leader give you interesting opportunities but deprives you from others in both business and personal life.

27) The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–but Some Don’t, by Nate Silver (2012) – The problem with predictions and how people put too much stock in to predictions and their ilk.

28) Cool Boss: Master 11 Qualities of Today’s Greatest Leaders  (2013)- Read this to understand the change in leadership paradigm and how the new leadership generation act.


29) Out of the Crisis (1982), by W. Edwards Deming – A book written by the man who invented quality measurement and improvement techniques based on iteration in an era where the marketing slogans were based on being flawless.

30) Walter Isaacson’s – Steve Jobs (2011) – A remarkable biography about a remarkable man. Well known for perfection in business life, interesting to see behind the mask, so to speak.


31) Happy Company: How to create a happy, trustable and successful business (2013)- A great book on proven strategies of today’s most successful companies.

32) Reinventing Discovery – Michael Nielsen (2011) a great book about how companies and scientists are trying to create global communication networks for a variety of purposes.

33) IKIGAI – Sebastian Marshall – A great book by a lesser-known author, based on getting better at strategy as an idea and giving the best work you possibly can to your clients.

34) Practically Radical by Bill Taylor – Practically Radical is a great book about organizations finding ways to reinvent themselves. The writer is part of The Fast Company, super high calibre writing.

Informative / Ideas

35) Boomerang by Michael Lewis – A well regarded book on U.S. Economics, on stocks and shares with a few chapters on the recent economic crisis of the EU.

36) Rework – 37signals.   This book focuses on just starting to earn money. Doesn’t make you create a business plan etc. Very Very recommended.

37) Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder – Nassim Nicholas Taleb – In this book, Taleb compares bodies and muscles to businesses, where tension and damages to a muscle makes it stronger over time. This idea is shown to businesses, showing that businesses grow when stressed. Very interesting.

38) Remote – 37Signals – A book that seems apt with the massive furore that Yahoo created when they banned homeworking. A book showing how remote working is a good idea, not just another way to waste time.

39) Pragmatic Thinking & Learning – The problem is most companies are trying to herd racehorses and race sheep. This book shows the failures of management and how to remove barriers for people being productive.

40) Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli – Designed for smaller businesses, this book is part of the Domino Project. The Domino Project is an initiative by Amazon to spread great books to those who might need to read them. Meetings are often dreaded by all as they are seen as a waste of productive time or one person dominates the meeting and doesn’t allow others to speak. This book offers ideas on how to prepare for meetings and to keep them on track and useful.

41) The One Minute Manager (1982), by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson – The original, bestselling blockbuster that has transformed businesses worldwide. The One Minute Manager is a short simple book based on a few studies and techniques to increase global productivity and help shift your profit margin higher.

42) Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution (1993), by James Champy and Michael Hammer – A well written, concise book on how to implement business using the internet to get new clients and sell.

43) The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career. This is a book about startups by the CEO of LinkedIn. Lots of ideas for showing that startups can be profitable, useful and highly engaging.  ” How are you first, only, faster, better, or cheaper than other people who want to do what you’re doing in the world?  ” is a small segment of the book that sums the rest up.

44) How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), by Dale Carnegie – The seminal classic. This book doesn’t just cover business etiquette but also highlights how a little social practice can make you a very happy and rich person.

45) Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (1994), by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras – Six years of research went into creating this tome, looking at startups and large corporations. A great resource for building organizations indeed.

46) Competing for the Future (1996), by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad – A book on compromising between today’s competition and the future plans of a business.

47) Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (1980), by Michael E. Porter – This book is the end word in competitive strategy, being printed in 19 languages worldwide. Offers a great overview into the world of competition and how to make the most of your company against the competition.

48) The Six Sigma Way (2000), by Peter S. Pande, Robert P. Neuman and Roland R. Cavanagh – A book that provides basic, non-technical information on understanding and implementing Six Sigma in your workplace or business.

49) Toyota Production System (1988), by Taiichi Ohno – Another classic book, this one deals with attempting to develop lean and agile development, with a historical view of how to create a manufacturing chain without getting caught up in red tape. The author invented the flow for Toyota.

50) The Art of Being Unreasonable – The author of this book created not just one, but two Fortune 500 companies with his unreasonable thinking. This book shows some of his thought processes, on topics like negotiating to risk–taking.