Summary of Best Business Books of 2014

Have you wanted to improve your career for a long time, now? That is a very understandable feeling.

However, with so many business books out there, it’s nearly impossible to find a book that will suit you.

After all, who has the time to go around the bookstore reading the backs of hundreds of books?

So, instead, you grab a bunch of random books that have attractive covers…and they end up being useless.

In this book, we provide you with a list of the best business books of 2014, as well as a great summary of all of them to make it easier for you to choose the ones you need! The best part is, there are books for businesspeople of all categories.

What you’ll learn in this book:

– Miscellaneous business books (Including books about creativity in business, etc.)
– Books for businesswomen
– Books for businesspeople regarding economics
– Books for businesspeople regarding marketing

And lots of tips and bits of advice!

Order now here.

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Book Summary of Getting Things Done by David Allen

The main aim of being employed in any organization is to improve the company’s rate of production. This is however not achieved in many cases because of ignorance. Most of the employers would want to see you take their companies to a higher level within a very short period of time. They always want to see you making a lot of profit for the company irrespective of the time you have stayed in that organization. However, this should not be the case. There are some important factors to be put in mind for you to achieve these most desired dreams.

Time management should be given the first priority. It is viewed as a minor component but without it, you can never achieve high production. It should be combined with systems that are dependable and very effective. In addition, one should not be overloaded with a lot of information. He/she should not have a large volume of work or data to deal with over a very short period of time. In case there is a large volume of data, it should be shared among several employees of the organization.
In this book, you will find all the information that you need and the system empowerment strategies.

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Summary of Leading Change by John Kotter: 8 steps to successful change

Once you’ve decided that your company is indeed ready for a change, you will want to chart a path to successful change. So just how do you go about doing that? As it turns out there are a few different suggested for planning change management. One well-recognized method for change management is following John Kotter’s eight-step plan.

Born in 1947, John Kotter initially went to school for electrical engineering. After completing his undergraduate degree in 1968 (at Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Kotter switched his interests to business and management and went on to earn a Master of Science from MIT in Management in 1970. He moved just a few blocks over to Harvard University to earn his Doctor of Business Administration degree in 1972. The same year that he earned his doctorate, Kotter joined the faculty at Harvard, becoming a tenured professor a decade later. Throughout his career, Kotter focused on change management as a major highlight of his publications (which include an impressive roster of 19 books, 12 of which have been business bestsellers).

In his most-renowned bestseller, Leading Change, Kotter outlines what has become a well-known and well-respected process for change management. The strategy is an eight-step plan that Kotter says is integral to successful change. He writes, “Successful change of any magnitude goes through all eight states, usually in the sequence shown. … Although one normally operates in multiple phases at once, skipping even a single step or getting too far ahead without a solid base almost always creates problems.” Outlined below are the eight steps you will need in order to form a solid base for your change.

Step One: Create Urgency. For change to succeed, everyone in the company needs to believe in it as a necessity. Kotter writes that in order for change to be successful, 75 percent of a company’s management needs to be on board with the change. That means that it is of paramount importance that you get as many people as possible to see the needed change as urgent. That being said, don’t jump in too fast. Once you have convinced your company that change is an urgent need, you still need to follow the remaining steps in an organized fashion.
To create that sense of urgency, you will need to think long and hard about why change must occur now. Is it actually urgent? Think about the questions in the readiness assessment section above, and if you think your change really meets the criteria, then you can begin thinking about how to share your belief in the urgency of action with others. Examine the market and competitive realities, identify points of crisis or major opportunities, and find outside evidence supporting the need for change. Have honest discussions, present convincing reasons, and bring all stakeholders into the fold.

Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition. Once you have convinced others that there is an urgent problem that must be addressed, you need to convince the key people in your organization to be on board in advocating for and supporting your proposed change. Identify who the most effective leaders are in your organization and recognize that they might not necessarily be the people at the top of the hierarchy. Identify people who will be a dynamic part of your coalition for change. Check your team for weak spots and continue emphasizing the urgency of the situation.
Step Three: Create a Vision for Change. There are a lot of possible changes that might address the problem or situation you are seeking to change. You need to identify the best ideas of the lot and link them together to create a compelling vision that can ultimately galvanize your base to support your change.

A strong vision of your ultimate goal will help your team understand why change is necessary and why you are asking them to get on board. Once people understand exactly what your final goal is, they are more likely to agree with the specific steps that affect them personally or that require them to act.

How do you create a vision? First, you need to identify the various goals of the change and see how they can link together. You need to think about the values of the change and how they relate to your company’s overall direction. To impart this vision to others, you should develop a quick five-minute speech to convince the important members of your organization. You should make sure that your change coalition understand your vision and is able to explain it quickly.

Step Four: Communicate the Vision. Whether or not you develop a successful method for sharing your vision with others will have a huge impact on the probability of success for your company’s impending change. You will need to communicate your change vision frequently because there are a mass of important communications that occur within a company every day and you need to insure that this particular communication stands out. You will need to hold special meetings to communicate your vision, but you’ll also need to use the vision daily so that people will begin to see how it fits into the company in a positive way. Show how the change vision will help solve problems on a daily basis. Make sure that you don’t just talk the talk, but actually walk the walk. Make sure that you utilize the change vision yourself in your own actions so that others do not think of it as something imposed upon them. Lead by example.

Step Five: Remove Obstacles. Hopefully, if you’ve clearly communicate the urgency for your change and have made sure that everyone understands your vision, you should be able to minimize the number of obstacles that you face. That being said, some obstacles are inevitable. Some obstacles will come in the form of people, while other obstacles will come in the form of processes or structures that are incompatible with the change you seek. You need to continually check for obstacles of all types. Make sure that your change leaders understand the importance of identifying obstacles to change. Identify those who are resisting change and see what can be done to change their attitude. Make sure that you reward people who are actively making sure that change happens.

Step Six: Create Short-Term Wins. Change is often a long-term goal. However, people are motivated by success, so it is often highly beneficial to create short-term goals and targets. Having many achievable steps makes the entire task seem less daunting and can provide opportunities for positive reinforcment along the way.

To create short-term goals, look for easy projects that will face little criticism. Make your initial goals ones that are not particularly costly so that you can easily justify the early steps in the change process. Reward the people who help you meet your early short-term goals.
It bears mentioning again that it is extremely important to make sure that your short term goals are achievable. If your early goals are not successful, it could hurt the success of your entire change project. So choose your first goals wisely and thoroughly analyze the likely success of each goal as well as the price of failure.

Step Seven: Build on the Change. Make sure that you don’t decide the project is over too soon. Don’t count your chickens before they are fully hatched and determine that you’ve won before you have totally completed the project. Although it’s important to have short-term goals, remember that achieving the short-term goal is not the end point. Real change is more than one or two short-term goals.To achieve real success, you need to maintain the motivation to keep your team moving forward.

Don’t give up after one success — or failure. Remember that your change management plan may require modification along the way and it is possible that after achieving the first few short-term goals, you may have additional goals to add or current goals to alter. Whatever the case, make sure that you — and your change team — understand and remember that everyone is in it for the long haul.

Step Eight: Make Change Stick. To make change stick, you have to make it part of the company’s culture. Change shouldn’t just be something that is taught to the new guys. If you want it to stick, change needs to be something that everyone is on board with. You need to make sure that new hires are taught the new culture, but you also need to make sure that old-timers dedicated to the old culture don’t hinder progress. If there are some old culture employees who are not committed to the new culture, you may want to consider offering them early retirement. On the other hand, you should try to offer promotions to those leaders who are committed to the new culture.

As Kotter explains in his book, the rate of change will speed up over time; it won’t slow down. That means that there should be an ongoing, persistent sense of urgency in order to ensure that change is always a priority. By following the eight steps outlined above, companies can implement and manage that ongoing change process in an effective manner.

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Turn the ship around book summary

David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders is one part biography, one part self-improvement, and one part business advice. Marquet was a long-time Navy officer and the newly appointed captain of the U.S.S. Sante Fe when he deliberately gave an impossible order, just to test his soldiers. When they, as expected, followed it without question, Marquet realized that he was leading a culture of followers.

Marquet immediately set out to cultivate leadership at all levels – and in doing so he ultimately raised the status of the Santa Fe from a struggling ship to an award-winning operation. The military is typically a place in which the culture dictates that some people are followers and other people are leaders. Marquet discovered, though, that increasing the responsibility and decision-making abilities of the “followers” actually made them better at what they did. Marquet discovered the value of leadership traits at all levels of a hierarchy – a valuable discovery that has immediate implications for the business world. Marquet

In addition to telling his own story, Marquet provides clear steps for empowering the workers at any organization. He tells how to promote proactivity, reverse a demoralized culture, enhance teamwork, minimize errors, eliminate top-down monitoring, and embed learning everywhere. In combination, these tips can help you transform any culture of followers into a productive, proactive culture of leaders. Although the Navy is clearly a place for good leadership, you might never expect it to be a place where everybody is treated as a leader. Marquet explains, though, that if that is a possibility in the Navy, it is certainly a possibility in your organization or business as well.

In addition to explaining how to bring out the leadership qualities in others, though, Marquet also explains what traits to cultivate in yourself to make yourself a better leader. The roles of curiosity, control, competence, and clarity are all discussed in Marquet’s book.

Marquet’s book has become a bestseller and Stephen Covery – author of the esteemed book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – said, “I don’t know of a finer model of this kind of empowering leadership than Captain Marquet.” Fortune ranked it as a number one must-read business book and it has been ranked number one in leadership and management books on Amazon. Best of all, though, this book has a particularly engaging story that comes along with all the great leadership advice.

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Summary of the book Lean In by Sherly Sandberg

The book is based on the premise that female advancement and leadership in the business world has stalled – and Sandberg offers the advice to help move it forward. The basic premise is that women should “lean in” to their careers instead of stepping back to focus on family life, thus saying no to new opportunities in the process.

In Lean In, Sandberg talks about the leadership ambition gap and the double standard in terms of how ambition is perceived in women and men. In men, ambition and success are considered good things, whereas in women those traits are viewed negatively. Sandberg writes, “Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.” However, Sandberg doesn’t use that information to imply that women should be less ambitious. Instead, she uses it point out that women are often held back by their fear of being viewed negatively for exhibiting ambition. She asks, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” Answering her own question, she writes, “Fortune does favor the bold and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.”

Sandberg also talks about the importance of staying at work and continuing to put in time when raising a family. She says, “Don’t leave before you leave.” By that, she means that women shouldn’t preemptively leave work for family. She criticizes the fact that Western culture teaches girl to expect that they may need to leave work to have children. Lean In philosophy entails working as long as you can into the pregnancy, hiring childcare to enable you to devote more time to work, finding a significant other willing to share family responsibilities equally instead of adhering to more traditional gender roles, and not leaving work for family responsibilities. Sandberg is speaking from experience in regards to the importance of not leaving work for family. She has two children, but stayed in high-ranking executive positions even while having kids – and that’s exactly the sort of thing she means by leaning in.

Essentially, the business advice that Sandberg shares is the diametric opposite of what Arianna Huffington promotes in Thrive. They are essentially incompatible philosophies, although both have been incredibly influential. However, Sandberg’s philosophy – which has many proponents who have spawned a “Lean In” movement – has generated a number of detractors as well.

One of the main criticisms has been that leaning in isn’t necessarily feasible for everyone; it really only works for women who are privileged to begin with. That is, if you don’t have money for childcare to allow you the extra time at work or if you are a single parent, you may not be able to lean in. Another criticism is that it doesn’t always work. Some women try to lean in to their careers and just fall on their faces. Literally. Like Arianna Huffington.

Both those criticisms have some validity, so it seems that “leaning in” is something that maybe isn’t for everyone. Clearly it works wonders for some, but it might not be the thing for everyone. Detractors or not, Sandberg doesn’t seem to mind – she’s too busy leaning in to her own business life to be worried about those who disagree with her ethos. The takeaway message from all this is that not everyone can lean in – but if you can, it pays off in spades.

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Summary of the Book – How to Win Friends and Influence People

Although it was published in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People is still one of the best self-help books on the market. If you want to help give your career a boost with some self-help classics, there is no better place to start than this. Written at the height of the Great Depression, Dale Carnegie’s classic gem is still incredibly valuable today.

Dale Carnegie shares the same last name as the famous industrialist, but the two are not related. Dale was born into extreme poverty, so all the advice he shares in How to Win Friends is gleaned from his own hard-earned – and extremely successful – experience.

Carnegie’s book aims to help its readers grasp the way psychology applies to life and thus help increase your popularity, win people over to your way of thinking, win new clients, be a better salesperson, handle complaints smoothly, and much more. One of the early sections of the book explains fundamental techniques for handling people: don’t criticize or condemn; give honest appreciation; and arouse in the other person eager want. Next, the book moves on to discuss six ways to make people like you. Basically, Carnegie says that you need to be interested in other people, that you should smile, that you should remember that everyone likes hearing their name, that you should be a good listener, that you should talk in terms of the other person’s interest, and that you should make the other person feel important.

Next, Carnegie, moves on to give some valuable advice about how to win people to your way of thinking. He outlines this how-to with 12 steps:

Avoid arguments – the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid one.

She respect for other people’s opinions.

Quickly admit it when you are wrong.

Throw down a challenge.

Start off in a friendly manner.

Dramatize your ideas for maximal impact.

Let the other person do a lot of the talking.

Appeal to nobler motives, not baser instincts.

Try to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Be sympathetic.

Start with questions to which you know the answer is yes.

Let the other person think an idea is theirs.

The book also has a valuable chapter on how to be a good leader without arousing resentment. Some of the advice includes beginning with praise, letting the other person save face, using encouragement, making the other person happy about doing what you say, praising improvement, asking questions instead of giving orders, and talking about your own mistakes. Some of this stuff seems intuitive once you read it, but it’s not something you’d think of on your own.

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Book Summary of the Everything Store – Amazon

Amazon almost ended up being named,, and were all possibilities under consideration, but ultimately the company’s founder settled on naming the online store after the world’s largest river. The tale behind the founding and growth of is recounted in an absorbing fashion in Brad Stone’s book, The Everything Store.

When the retail giant began in 1995, it was an online book store based in Seattle. According to The Everything Store, the start-up was so small that “a bell would ring on Amazon’s computers, and everyone in the office would gather around to see if anyone knew the customer” whenever a purchase was made.

Although it started with books, the business branched out into electronics, movies, and more, an expansion which helped it survive the financial turmoil at the end of the millennium. Stone’s book details how the retail giant became a competitive platform for third-party sellers, much like EBay, and how it outgrew existing book selling chains like Barnes & Noble.

This is not the first book to detail the founding and evolution of Amazon, but it is the most thorough. Stone even manages an interview with Bezos’ estranged biological father, a retired circus performer. With a plenitude of business lessons and a large helping of interesting backstory, The Everything Store is a good pick for your To-Read list.

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Book Summary of In Search of Excellence by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman

Waterman and Peter have carried out their research in many companies. This research was undertaken I more than forty three companies in America. They did not major in one sector but expanded their research in companies carrying out their activities in various fields. They included service offering companies, high technology farms and the companies that offer consumer goods. In the whole research, the results were not as expected. They found out that all the companies were having all the eight basics of management irrespective of the field in which the company majored in. these basics were being used by different companies in order to excel in whatever they are doing.

In this book, they highlighted clearly the basics that can be used by a business in order for it to grow up economically. They even used some of the most successful companies which are excelling to serve as a very good example to many other businesses that would love to improve on the profits they make on daily basis. This would help the upcoming entrepreneurs to have very wonderful strategies so that they that they may not encounter the big loss like the other business persons that preceded them in the same field.

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Book summary of Great Work – How to Make a Difference People Love

Are you living up to your potential at work? Are you doing your best, but just feel that your potential is going unrecognized? Sometimes it just helps to know the right people – but sometimes it also helps to know the right things. One recent bestselling book does a particularly excellent job of detailing those right things. The book is called Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love and it’s by David Sturt. It was released in 2013 and has since attracted countless rave reviews.

The book incorporates numerous real-life stories to illustrate its points. For many readers, the stand-out aspect of the book is the very personal stories of how individuals – not just CEOs, but also low-level employees – have acted passionately and innovatively to make a difference at work, one person at a time. The book discusses how anyone – even a janitor, as in one example – can make a difference that everyone loves.

Sturt talks about how you can capitalize on the situation around you to contribute innovative ideas that stand out. He writes, “When you have a feeling something at work could be improved upon, pay close attention. The door to your own great work quest is about to swing wide open.” Sturt teaches readers exactly how to recognize that moment that will open the door to your success and how to take the right action at the right time.

Specifically, how does Sturt advise that you should go about achieving outstanding results? There are five basic actions that Sturt outlines. Those five critical skills are:

Ask the right question.

See for yourself.

Talk to your outer circle.

Improve the mix.

Deliver the difference.

The advice in Great Work is gleaned from an intensive set of work studies. One study included a diverse group of 302 senior executives from Fortune 100 companies, who provided examples of great work in their organizations. Another study included a database analysis of 1.7 million instance of award-winning work. Sturt also incorporates finding for a Forbes study to clarify the understanding of what constitutes great work. Also, a number of one-on-one interviews play a role in the book.

Great Work is currently number five on the New York Times list of business bestsellers. Although this is Sturt’s first book, he has outstanding business credentials. Currently, Sturt is the executive vice president of the O.C. Tanner Company, a human resource consulting company. He has worked in marketing research, consulted for Fortune 1000 companies, spoken at conference internationally, and been featured on major media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and MSNBC.

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Power of habits book summary

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit details the nature of habits and how to break them – or learn to use them to your advantage. The book weaves research and data into an engaging narrative, creating a very readable yet very informative volume.

One particularly interesting concept the book addresses is the idea of “keystone habit,” or habits upon which other habits rely. In the Prologue, the author offers a strong example of a keystone habit by citing a woman, Lisa, who solved her debt, obesity, and unemployment problems all by quitting smoking. She replaced smoking with running and that change caused her to make other changes that had a ripple effect in her life. Smoking was the “keystone habit” in her case.

The book has chapters that explain how and why habits form, how you can form new habits, how you can replace olds habits, keystone habits, how willpower shapes habits, how habits can form both by accident and by design, how companies use habits to sell their products, the relationship between social movements and habits, and the way that free will factors into habits.

One of the most useful portions of the book – the portion with the most obvious implications for daily life – is the first appendix, entitled “A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas.” This section explains how to isolate the cue – the cue that prompts you to engage in the habit you are trying to change – and identify the routine. If your habit is unhealthy eating, then your cue might be a certain time of day when you tend to want a snack. The problematic routine may be a trip to the convenient store or the nearest vending machine. Duhigg suggests finding a different reward, such as socializing or taking a walk. Then, Duhigg says to develop a plan to implement the new routine and reward. In this example, the plan would be to spend 10 minutes socializing or taking a walk around the time that you find yourself wanting a quick snack every day.

The Power of Habits has gotten some great accolades and reviews. It’s been a New York Times Bestseller, a Washington Post Bestseller, and a Los Angeles Times Bestseller. It was named one of the best books of the year by The Wall Street Journal. Various reviews called it a “first-rate book,” “absolutely fascinating,” and “a flat-out good read.” This book can be incredibly valuable whether or not you actually have bad habits you are trying to break — it’s also a great way to learn how to use others’ habits to your advantage.

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