I love books. I inherited that trait from my parents.
In today’s post I am going to talk about some of my favorite business books and why they made my list. Some of the smartest and forward thinking business people I have known are avid readers. And, they are willing to share their favorites. It also shows that you love what you do and have committed to lifelong learning in order to stay current and relevant.
There are thousands of books out there championing the latest business buzz words. There’s no harm in reading them, but, there are some good magazines like CFO Magazine that can present them in a much shorter version.
What makes a good business book is a matter of personal opinion. Some of them do stand out more than others. So, without further conversation, below are a few of my favorites.
THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO – Author: Atul Gawande Published: 2009
I’d describe it as thought provoking and insightful. It’s a fascinating read and never boring. Dr. Gawande wrote this book while a surgeon at a major hospital. If you are a list maker, you’ll agree with his premise that checklists are critical in more ways than you might think. The section on how big buildings are constructed through the management of lists is enlightening and the reader can find many ways to apply these lessons to their own careers. See how list making can organize and streamline your life a a controller as well as your personal life.
OUTLIERS – Author: Malcolm Gladwell Published: 2008
Author of ‘The Tipping Point’ and the recently published ‘David & Goliath’ Gladwell gives new meaning to ‘thinking outside the box’. While the anecdotal stories in each chapter will definitely broaden your thoughts about the subjects presented, it’s really a book about how data can provide proof that our assumptions are questionable at best. I think the lesson learned is to look beneath the surface, to investigate and open your mind to other possibilities. I think the accounting regimen we are taught in school is just that, regimented thinking. As controllers, how can you reorganize or streamline your business, if needed, when you can’t think openly enough to see there is a problem. You’ll find this a great read and one you won’t soon forget.
DOUBLE ENTRY – Author: Jane Gleeson White Published: 2011
Attention all accountants and accounting students. This book is for you. It’s strange that in Accounting 101 or 102 they don’t teach the history of double entry bookkeeping. ‘Double Entry’ is subtitled ‘How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance’. It’s a small book but understanding how Luca Pacioli developed debits and credits and two sided entries which must balance provides a foundation for our understanding of how what we practice as accountants was developed.
If you have a budding accounting student you know, this book is for him or her. I recommend you read it before you wrap it!
MAKING IT ALL WORK – Author: David Allen Published: 01/01/2008
In 2001 David Allen published his best selling book ‘Getting Things Done’. ‘Making It All Work’ is a follow up to that book and where I discovered the author.
Gone are the days where managers, even top executives, had secretaries or administrative assistants. They’ve been replaced by laptops, tablets and desktop computing. There’s no one to hand you a paper phone message, or take dictation, or file your paperwork. On top of that, all of us have more projects, emergencies, fires, personnel, etc. competing for our time. It’s all exhausting! His subtitle is ‘Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life’. Treat this book like a manual that you refer to often as you try to squeeze more time out of your day to be truly productive.
ORGANIZED FOR SUCCESS – Author: Stephanie Winston Published: 2004
Stephanie Winston first became known when she published her ‘The Organized Executive’ over thirty years ago. Of course, her ‘Organized for Success’ is much more current, it is still nine years old. I agree, a lot has changed during that time. However, the bones of the book concentrates on those things that keep us all from being more productive in our daily work life. I consider ‘The Organized Executive’ and ‘Organized for Success’ a basic primer on how to fill the role of an executive based on how others have succeeded.
I recommend you also treat ‘Organized for Success’ as a manual you will refer to over and over.
You should be able to find all these books on www.amazon.com. Pick one and dedicate yourself to some personal enrichment drawn from the pages of the books I have recommended. Good Reading!