Best business books of all time

98462704 I’ve always believed that part of my job (and anyone who wants to work for me) is to keep feeding my brain.  If you aren’t reading a new book, learning how to do something new, checking out a webinar or enrolling in a class — you are sliding backwards on an incline that is incredibly steep.  And almost impossible to recover from.

I’ve always been a very fast reader — so I am able to consume at least a book a week.  But there are so many out there that I want to read….the stacks by my desk and bed (not to mention what’s on my iPad) is crazy.

But there are a very small handful of books that I re-read at least once a year.  They feed my brain and fuel my spirit.  So when Mike Sansone, over at Converstations created the Fave Four book readers meme and tagged me — I knew immediately what my answer would be.

The meme asks — what are my top 4 cornerstone business books?

These are the books that I believe every business leader and owner (or those who aspire to be either) should read and re-read:

Radical Leap/Radical Edge by Steve Farber:  I think of these two books as a single book — just parts 1 and 2.  It is without a doubt, the best business/leadership book I have ever read.  Enough said.

Becoming a Category of One by Joe Calloway:  This is the book on branding that I wish I had written.  It’s the how and the why — all wrapped into one very inspirational read.

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith:  Today, most of us do not sell widgets.  We sell a service, our ideas or our counsel.  This field guide will help you understand just how to sell what no one can see or touch.

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann:  This is a leadership book that, if you let it, can change everything.  It’s about vision, generosity and the real truth.

My bonus/surprise best business book:  The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  I know you’re going to think I am crazy — but this series actually takes the lessons from the four books above and puts them into action.  It’s a book about love, courage, knowing yourself and being true to that, knowing your audience, doing what’s right, and getting the job done.  It is a wonderful business primer.

(To buy any of these books, click on the title.*  To read more about the authors, click on their name)

All of these authors have written other books that I love as well.  But these are not only their best — the are simply the best.

Jump in…and tell us (either in the comments or on your own blog) what are your Fave Four.  If you tweet about it, use hashtag #fave4books.

*Yes, those are affiliate links.

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12 comments on “Best business books of all time

  1. Is this book available in the UK? Thanks Grant

  2. Andy says:

    Harry Potter’s a brilliant business model. Scrape together an idea from other people’s books, and fire up the hype machine! 😉

  3. Rob says:

    Great shares, I haven’t heard of any of these…gonna snag Selling the Invisible eventually. Sounds like exactly what I need over at my endeavor. Thanks!

  4. David Nadler says:

    Hey Drew,
    Thanks for recommending the Go-Giver. Apparently I was one of the 7 people left in the world that hadn’t read it.

    But now I have and I’m the better for it. Love having people you can “trust” for recommendations.


  5. Peter Tubbs says:

    I was impressed by “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis for its lessons on looking past the conventional wisdom to what really brings value to an organization.

    When you have a smaller budget than the other guys, your have to work in unconventional ways. Its about On Base Percentage, not Home Runs.

  6. Jan says:

    @Corporate photographer London:
    Which book? The books are linked to amazon, there you could buy it! I can recommend the book “The Radical Leap”, too. Unfortunately, it was very hard to read for me, since I’m from Germany.

  7. I just read Radical Leap and Radical Edge, in reverse order. I went to Chapters to try and pick many of the books on your list up and the only one they had was Radical Edge. (I’m sure they had HP as well but I’ve already read it =p)

    I finished it in one night, went to another chapters the next day and bought Radical Leap.

    Haven’t found the other three yet. If they’re as good as the first two then the wait should be worth it.

  8. Larry Keltto says:

    Stephen Covey’s “First Things First,” which introduced his “quadrant” framework, has held up very well since it was published in the mid-1990s.

  9. This is sheer coincidence, truly.
    I was researching today, and learned that yours is the world’s most popular marketing blog.
    I had to come over–although now that I’m here, I realize that I’d been here before.

    I really came over to hear your thoughts.
    Then I saw Best Business Books.
    Thought I’d check it out.

    And PS, I’d love to talk, via email works fine:

    Thanks for this honor, Drew.

    Harry Beckwith
    Selling The Invisible

  10. Larry and Peter — thanks for the additional recommendations. I haven’t read Money ball but of course know Covey’s First Things First.

    That was the challenge of this question. I could only list 4 (granted I added a bonus book!) So it was a tough call.

    But I stand by my choices!


  11. Harry,

    It’s an honor to have you swing by — thank you. As much as I would like to be the world’s most popular marketing blog, I suspect Seth and some others can probably lay claim to that far more than myself.

    But, we’ve built a nice community here and I love the discussions we get into.

    Truth be told, I think all of your books are excellent — but Invisible is my favorite. I’ll follow up with an e-mail as well.



  12. McMoneysac says:

    Selling the invisible really is great. I loved it and it helped me a lot. Cant comment on the other books cause i havent read them

    kind regards

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