When was the last time you read a good book? Why not take one with you on your next business trip? We have compiled a list of five recent business and management books that you should read in 2020 – e.g. while driving in your chauffeured limousine.
Imagine you are sitting comfortably in the back seat of a limousine and still have an hour’s drive ahead. Your upcoming meeting is well prepared and you don’t want to distract yourself by scrolling through your LinkedIn timeline or your e-mails. Actually, you could use some inspiration for small talk with your business partner. Put your smartphone aside and grab a book from our tips list. These books offer inspiration and food for thought – a good start to the year 2020.
1. Ben Horowitz: “What You Do Is What You Are” (October 2019)
Ben Horowitz, a leading venture capitalist, modern management expert, and New York Times-bestselling author, combines lessons both from history and from modern organizational practice. In this follow-up to the bestselling business classic The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Horowitz turns his attention to a question crucial to every organization: How do you create and sustain the culture you want? This book is a journey through cultures ancient to modern, spotlighting models of leadership and culture-building from the samurai to prison gangs. Along the way, it answers fundamental questions: Who are we? How do people talk about us when we’re not around? How do we treat our customers? Can we be trusted? This book will help you do the things needed to become the kind of leader you want to be – and others want to follow.
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2. Simon Sinek: “The Infinite Game” (October 2019)
The Infinite Game challenges us to rethink our perspective with a deceptively simple question: How do you stay ahead in a game with no end? Games like basketball and chess are finite, with firm rules and clear endpoints. But business is infinite – there’s ultimately no such thing as “winning” because there’s always a new set of challenges. Those who thrive in the long run are those who play by infinite rules. Through a wide range of examples, Sinek explores how infinite players can exhaust their competitors, stay ahead for the long run, and create strong organizations, built to weather nearly any storm. Great leaders instinctively play the infinite game; now the rest of us can understand how they do it.
3. Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle: “Trillion Dollar Coach” (April 2019)
This book is a leadership playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell, whose mentoring of some of our most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped create well over a trillion dollars in market value. Leaders at Google for over a decade, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle experienced firsthand how the man fondly known as Coach Bill built trusting relationships, fostered personal growth, inspired courage and identified and resolved simmering tensions that inevitably arise in fast-moving environments. To honor their mentor and inspire and teach future generations, they have codified his wisdom in this essential guide.
Based on interviews with over eighty people who knew and loved Bill Campbell, Trillion Dollar Coach explains the Coach’s principles and illustrates them with stories from the many great people and companies with whom he worked. The result is a blueprint for forward-thinking business leaders and managers that will help them create higher performing and faster moving cultures, teams, and companies.
4. Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo: “Good Economics for Hard Times” (November 2019)
In this revolutionary book, the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, show how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day. From immigration to inequality, slowing growth to accelerating climate change, Good Economics for Hard Times offers the new thinking that we need. It builds on cutting-edge research in economics – and years of exploring the most effective solutions to alleviate extreme poverty – to make a persuasive case for an intelligent interventionism and a society built on compassion and respect. A much-needed antidote to polarized discourse, this book shines a light to help us appreciate and understand our precariously balanced world.
5. Paul Collier: “The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties” (December 2018)
Renowned economist Paul Collier offers a candid diagnosis of the failures of capitalism and a pragmatic and realistic vision for how we can repair it. With this book, he was recently awarded the German economics book prize (Deutscher Wirtschaftsbuchpreis 2019) and he was featured in Bill Gates’s 2019 summer reading recommendations.
We have heard many critiques of capitalism, but no one has laid out a realistic way to fix it, until now. Paul Collier outlines brilliantly original and ethical ways of healing economic, social and cultural rifts with the cool head of pragmatism. He reveals how he has personally lived across these three divides, moving from working-class Sheffield to hyper-competitive Oxford, and working between Britain and Africa. Drawing on his own solutions as well as ideas from some of the world’s most distinguished social scientists, he shows us how to save capitalism from itself – and free ourselves from the intellectual baggage of the 20th century.