Books To Look Forward To In 2014

This year’s reading list for the busy business traveller goes beyond the how to guides and wise words of management gurus.

The world’s best books have always been about management, and self help.

But looking through books that business travellers around the world are reading, it seems that on the go, business people are going way beyond the ‘one minute manager.’

This is an eclectic mix of subjects and while no one can be surprised by the inclusion of any one of these books (maybe barring Schweizer’s ‘Extortion’), that include biographies and analyses. All these books are user friendly. They are easy on the eye and even easier on the brain. And very light on the Kindle.

LeanIn1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg: This books talks about the chief operating officer of Facebook who urges women to pursue their careers without ambivalence. The author with the able assistance of legendary Hollywood comedy writer and journalist Nell Scovell has written truthfully about her own failings and insecurities. Relatable and inspiring, Sandberg tells every woman to take the opportunity to change the inequality. This book makes us aware of what is going on in the workplace.

stevejobs12. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: A biography of Steve Jobs, based on 40 interviews conducted with him over two years. This is an amazing inside view into the life of one of the great businessmen of our era.

3. The Everything Store by Brad Stone: This is a story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon. The book is a narrative of how Amazon has grown over the years. Filled with details of the spectacular changes in retail, publishing, analytics and more, it offers a glimpse into Amazon’s history and of its visionary founder.

catepillar4. The Caterpillar Way by Craig T. Bouchard and James V. Koch: A biography of Caterpillar Inc, this book is a tale of successful business management. Two outstanding chapters in this book are ‘Caterpillar and Its Employees’ and ‘Tweaking the
Caterpillar Model.’

5. Focus by Daniel Goleman: The author tries to unravel and define ‘focus.’ Through his book he argues that high achievement requires three kinds of focus. While exploring the many aspects of attention, including the voluntary and involuntary systems, Goleman tells us how to manage attention. For a book called ‘Focus,’ the reviews make the book sound contrary. Worth a read, nevertheless.

think6. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: The book discusses how we make choices in business and personal life. An interesting mix of both academic technicalities and clear expressive prose.

7. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler: This book starts out with a self-assessment to determine our own communication strengths and weaknesses. It takes a spiritually mature approach to communication and one that is result-oriented. This book stresses on the utility of communication in the work place and its utility in any relationship.

hundred8. Hundred Percenters by Mark Murphy: Throughout the pages of this fine book are examples of mistakes managers typically make in dealing with employee relations. Murphy then offers realistic suggestions to produce a favourable outcome. He talks of
challenging employees to perform at their highest level.

9. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell: A completely fascinating account of why some people succeed and some don’t. It has to do with luck and opportunities as well as talent. This will be of interest to anyone who is thinking about when their kids should start school and people interested in education policy.

10. Extortion by Peter Schweizer: This books talks about the deeply embedded corruption of American politicians. A Hoover Institution fellow argues that politicians shape legislation in order to extract donations. It gives insight into the current system of politics of America.

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