7 Best Business Books to Read this Summer

Posted on Jul 24, 2017 10:42:56 AM by Alexandre Gauthier

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been a bit of a book worm. In this post, I wanted to share some of my favourite business reads of all time; summertime is perfect to take some time off from your business, have some R&R and get inspired by these phenomenal authors.

In this compilation, you'll find books that range from classics to brand new; from psychology to studies of fortune 500; from leadership and conflict management to grandiose visionnaries that have redefined how business can be done and recrafted our future. Enjoy!

 

The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey

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Quote from the book : 

But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise."

Brief description

This must-read classic has well over 25 million copies sold and is one of the most powerful business books of all times.

Author Stephen R. Covey shares years of learning and research through several stories, some personal, some about great leaders and business people. He walks us through what his 7 habits of highly effective people.

Why it’s on the list

Every great athletes who has struggled will tell you the same thing: back to basics.

7 habits is the “back to basics” of business. Proactivity, planning, prioritization, time management, negotiation, active listening, team work, and continuous improvement; all key elements that drive success in all spheres business.

This book has been my go-to recommendation for friends, peers and team members who tell me they struggle about one of these skills - and it's wildly effective!

Why I like it

I love the relatable examples and how it goes outside of business and right into personal life. Aren’t we - after all - the same persons in life and at work? Chances are, if you struggle in one, you’ll struggle in similar areas in the other. 7 habits is an invitation to take a good look at your best and greatest asset: yourself.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get it on Amazon!

 

 

 

  

 

 

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Maker the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins

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Quote from the book : 

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.

Brief description:

Good is the enemy of Great, or so the saying goes. In this study of some of the highest performing businesses ever, Collins highlights similarities to explain their greatness compared to other Fortune 500’s.

Why it’s on the list:

Another business classic, Good to Great inspires us small business owners by helping us see the forest from the trees. Learning from giants allows us to think at a different scale and then bring back those ideas and sparks of genius and turn them into actionable items for our own small businesses.

Why I like it:

I first read this book while I was in college and I have been revisiting it sporadically ever since.

Chapter 2 – First who, then what – has forever changed the way I look at teams and how I hire (and sometimes fire) team members. Once you’ve chosen who you want to work with and the talent you surround yourself with, deciding what to do with those people makes everything so much more epic in nature.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Get it on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

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Quote from the book : 

Our philosophy is delivering happiness to customers and employees. People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they always remember how you made them feel.

Brief description:

Cool business geek Tony Hsieh walks us through the successful launch and phenomenal growth of ecommerce company Zappos and shares some of the key elements that made the difference in this amazing success story.

By focusing on happiness – his clients’ and employees’ – Zappos was able to become one of the most successful companies in recent years.

Why it’s on the list:

Delivering Happiness has become a mandatory read for all new employees at Amilia since early 2016. It’s happiness-driven framework and approach to customer service is highly applicable to businesses of any type; making it the go-to book for customer service excellence. We've incorporated wowing into our company vocabulary and we've applied their strategy of having all new employees spend time in customer service as part of their onboarding.

Why I like it:

This book resonated directly with my passionate and optimistic view of the world. It was recommended to me by our good friends at GSoft. We then decided to completely re-shape Amilia's customer service department and it's been a huge influence on how it turned out and how we keep evolving it. Fun read too!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get it on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

  

Nonflict: the Art of Everyday Peacemaking by Dr. Amir Kfir & Stephen Hecht, MBA

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Quote from the book : 

Imagining and experiencing the worst facts and feelings can actually free our minds to look at things more positively.

Brief description:

Have you ever had conflict in your life wether internal, with a spouse, family member or colleague?

In that case, this is a book for you. Authors Kfir and Hecht share deeply personal stories of conflicts with light-hearted humour that resonates with most people. Nonflict is a simple and pragmatic conflict resolution method that they share to help you communicate, identify conflicts, and co-create solutions for everyday situations.

Why it’s on the list:

Conflict is a simple fact of life. Learning to navigate its intricacies and transforming it into a constructive force is one of the most important things anyone can learn and share. Again, this book, while written by business people, stretches well beyond it and into personal and family relationships.

Why I like it:

I grew up in a household where yelling, conflict, and aggression were part of the day-to-day. As a kid I was unknowingly on a quest to find better ways to deal with conflict which lead me to martial arts. In judo, I found the basic principles of conflict resolution – that it is unavoidable and that it should be leveraged to create a better situation. The discipline taught me a lot about self-confidence, self-control, and non-violence.

I met with authors Amir Kfir and Stephen Hecht in 2015, while they were writing the book and they introduced me to the Nonflict way which resonated deeply with my childhood experiences. I still have conflict, but I feel better equipped to face it thanks to Nonflict.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get it on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

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Quote from the book : 

From the time we learn to speak, we’re told that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. When you become a manager, it’s your job to say it--and your obligation.

Brief description:

Radical Candor proposes a framework for communicating with colleagues (and other sentient beings) and simply put, becoming a better human.

From “ruinous empathy” to “a-hole”, author Kim Scott walks us through the four main types of communication with humour and an uncanny ability to describe personalities we’ve all met (and sometimes hated). More importantly, she makes you take a good look at yourself, for the better.

Why it’s on the list:

Communicating, growth and providing feedback are some of the most important things a leader can do; when done right. By showing colleagues that you care for them personally and providing timely and precise constructive feedback one can achieve Radical Candor and improve performance and relationships all around. We all need Radical Candor in our lives.

Why I like it:

I attended a confenrce by author Kim Scott at Inbound 2016 on the topic of Radical candor. With her keen observation of work interactions, she made me realize the recurring mistakes I was making as a leader. I’ve been a recovering "ruinous empathy" since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get it on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

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Quote from the book : 

I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to 10 — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.

Brief description:

Elon Musk is half Steve Jobs, half Buzz Lightyear. Author Ashlee Vance walks us through the mind of Elon Musk with commentary and it’s fascinating, and sometimes weird (see above quote).

There’s no denying the genius of the leader, often referred to as a real-life Tony Stark. But what of the man. How did he get there; what sets him appart and what drives him?

Why it’s on the list

A visonnary who quite literally aims to save the Earth despite the best efforts of mankind, Elon Musk’s genius and ability to foresee the future is downright scary.

Author Ashlee Vance does an amazing job of capturing the quirks of the most creative business genius since Steve Jobs.

Why I like it:

I’ve been a fan of Tesla since its inception and lately, I’ve been awed by the achievements of SpaceX. Cars that drive themselves and space shuttles that can land on moving robotic sea platforms appeal to me. And yes, I’m a huge geek. Elon is a man appart, 1-in-billion and I wanted to know more!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Get it on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

  

The World's most powerful leadership principle by James C. Hunter

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Quote from the book : 

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life, you will have been all of these.

Brief description:

Author James C. Hunter moves away from the allegory of Servant Leadership and demonstrates that leadership and character development are one and the same. In this straightforward 3-steps change-process. Leadership, in sum, is about continuous improvement; and love.

Why it’s on the list

Everyone, at some point in their career, looks for leaders and mentors to learn from and get inspired. A book about leadership simply had to be on the list. 

Leadership books are a dime a dozen, but servant leadership felt genuine and refreshing. It has its very own approach to leadership which is bold yet simple.

Why I like it:

I always strive to become a better leader and Servant Leadership stood out as a different approach to popular leadership books. The greatest leaders I have had a chance to work with always acted with me as though theywere there for me, guiding me, teaching me, directing me. I strive to do the same; after all, what is leadership if not the pursuit of helping other become better leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Get it on Amazon!

 

 

 

Conclusion

Those are my recommendations for your business summer books. Share your summer reads with us and let us know what you thought of the recommendations!