Read about our pricing and services
Bulk discounts are non-returnable.
ISBN 9781118062548 Published Sept. 2011
See all formats
Posted Jan. 4, 2012 7:40 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
What was the Best Business Book written in 2011? Watch this 90 second video and find out more.
Ok, so we didn't tell you what the best book was. We didn't even tell you what the winners of each category were. But below, you'll see the books that made our short list of the best business books of 2011, ordered by category.
Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It by Adrian J. Slywotsky with Karl Weber, published by Crown Business
Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims, published by The Free Press
Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America’s Big Three Automakers—GM, Ford, and Chrysler by Bill Vlasic published by William Morrow
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin, published Penguin Press
The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability & Success by Carol Sanford published by Jossey-Bass
Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader by Linda A Hill & Kent Lineback, published by Harvard Business Review Press
Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins & Morten T. Hansen, published by HarperBusiness
I Moved Your Cheese: For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else’s Maze by Deepak Malhotra, published by Berrett-Koehler
We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement by Rudy Karsen & Kevin Kruse published by John Wiley & Sons
You Need a Leader—Now What?: How to Choose the Best Person for Your Organization by James M. Citrin & Julie Hembrock Daum, published by Crown Business
Breaking the Fear Barrier: How Fear Destroys Companies From the Inside Our and What to do About by Tom Rieger, published by Gallup Press
Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers by Jeanne Liedtka & Tim Ogilvie, Columbia Business School Publishing
Escape Velocity: Free Your Company's Future from the Pull of the Past by Geoffrey A. Moore, published by HarperBusiness
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard P. Rumelt, published by Crown Business
Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Valuable Asset by Daniel Diermeier, Ph.D., published by McGraw-Hill
Marketing & Sales
Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant by David A. Aaker, published by Jossey-Bass
Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy by Martin Lindstrom, published by Crown Business
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk, published by HarperBusiness
Users, Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business by Aaron Shapiro published by Portfolio
We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World by Simon Mainwaring published by Palgrave Macmillan
Entrepreneurship & Small Business
Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler published by Portfolio
The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business by Carol Roth published by BenBella
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries, published by Crown Business
Making It Happen: Turning Good Ideas Into Great Results by Peter Sheahan, published by BenBella
The Method Method: Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-Up Turn an Industry Upside Down by Eric Ryan & Adam Lowry, published by Portfolio
Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking That Block Women's Paths to Power by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, & Mary Davis Holt, published by Jossey-Bass
Harper's Rules: A Recruiter's Guide to Finding a Dream Job and the Right Relationship by Danny Cahill, published by Greenleaf
It's Not About You: A Little Story about What Matters Most in Business by Bob Burg & John David Mann, published by Portfolio
Tell To Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber, published by Crown Business
Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance by Jonathan Fields, published by Portfolio
Innovation & Creativity
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry, published by Portfolio
Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition, by Stephen M. Shapiro, published by Portfolio
Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas by Kevin P. Coyne & Shawn T. Coyne, published by Harper Business
Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity by Josh Linkner, published by Jossey-Bass
The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, & Clayton M. Christensen, published by Harvard Business Review
Finance & Economics
The Coming Jobs War by James Clifton, published by Gallup Press
Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis by James Rickards, published by Portfolio
Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL by Roger Martin, published by Harvard Business Review Press
The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do by Eduardo Porter, published by Portfolio
Retirement Heist How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers by Ellen Schultz, published by Portfolio
Stay tuned next week when we announce the winners from each of these categories, and the following week we'll announce The Best Business Book of 2011! The suspense!!!
Introducing the Candidates: Personal Development
Posted Dec. 19, 2011 3:00 p.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
Over the course of this week, we will be introducing, by category, the candidates for the 2011 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards. Even though only one of the candidates can win the big prize, good business books deserve an audience, and perhaps one on this list will be the winning book..to you.
First, we take a look at the Personal Development category:
- Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong by Alina Tugend | Riverhead Books
- Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama by Sophia A. Nelson | BenBella Books
- Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking That Block Women's Paths to Power by Jill Flynn, et al | Jossey-Bass, An Imprint of Wiley
- Briefcase Essentials: Discover Your 12 Natural Talents for Achieving Success in a Male-Dominated Workplace by Susan T. Spencer | Greenleaf Book Group
- Discover Your CEO Brand: Secrets to Embracing and Maximizing Your Unique Value as a Leader by Suzanne Bates | McGraw-Hill Professional
- Discovering the Leader in You, 2E: How to Realize your Leadership Potential by Sara N. King, et al Jossey-Bass, An Imprint of Wiley
- Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information by Christopher Frank and Paul Magnone | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Flipping Burgers to Flipping Millions: A Gude to Financial Freedom by Bernard Kelly | Hyperion
- Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success by Thomas DeLong | Harvard Business Review Press
- Great on the Job: What to Say, How to Say It The Secrets of Getting Ahead by Jodi Glickman | St. Martin's Press
- Harper's Rules: A Recruiter's Guide to Finding a Dream Job and the Right Relationship by Danny Cahill | Greenleaf Book Group
- It's Not About You: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business by Bob Burg and John David Mann | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly by John Kay | The Penguin Press
- Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth by Matthew Kelly | Hudson Street Press
- Prosper: Create the Life You Really Want by Ethan Willis and Randy Garn | Berrett-Koehler
- Shake the World: It's Not About Finding a Job, It's About Creating a Life by James Marshall Reilly | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master in Business and in Life by Stefan Swanepoel | Jossey-Bass
- Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber | Crown Publishing Group, Crown Business
- The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg Portfolio/Penguin US
- The Way Up: How to Keep Your Career Moving in the Right Direction by Donald J. Hurzeler | Greenleaf Book Group
- The Working Woman's GPS: When the Plan to Have it All Leads You Astray by JJ DiGeronimo | Halo Publishing International
- Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance by Jonathan Fields | Portfolio/Penguin US
- What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potent by Robert Steven Kaplan | Harvard Business Review Press
- Why People Fail: The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them by Siimon Reynolds | Jossey-Bass, An Imprint of Wiley
So which book is going to win the Personal Development category and be in the running for the 800-CEO-READ Best Business Book of 2011? We'll announce the shortlist and winner in January!
Break Your Own Rules
Posted Sept. 19, 2011 6:17 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
Author of Employees First, Customers Second, Vineet Nayar, recently wrote a couple of blog posts included on the HBR Blog Network that started a bit of a dust-up in comments. First, at the beginning of the month, he asked the question: "Are Women Dissatisfied Enough?" and went on to assert two "pre-conditions" were needed--in addition to an enabling corporate environment--to improve the successes of women in business. The first requisite was "a sense of dissatisfaction — an intense unhappiness and a sense of frustration with the existing reality" and the second was "[t]he aspiration to grow."
In this post, yes, Nayar seemed to be prodding women to take more responsibility for their lack of presence in organizations, to look at themselves as part of the problem rather than strictly blaming the historically-male-centric hierarchy of business. And as one can expect, this inspired some argumentative commentary from men and women alike. His two preconditions seemed to imply that women simply didn't care enough or try hard enough. Many of the responding comments revolved around one intriguing, but omitted, aspect of the argument for women's lack of representation in business: perhaps women do not hold higher places in business not because they aren't allowed or because they don't "want" it enough, but because they don't choose to participate either in the fight or in traditional organizations.
Now I didn't get the impression that Nayar intentionally ignored this possibility. A brief blog post about a single subject often cannot encompass the whole of a social/business/cultural/political problem. And I think consideration of that option was implied in the title. Are women dissatisfied enough to incite change? Maybe not--but not because they are unmotivated or passive, but because they are finding other ways to be successful and feel fulfilled. The conversation started by his first post caused Nayar to write a follow-up post two weeks later titled, "How Women Can Flourish in the Workplace?"
In this follow-up, Nayar momentarily steps away from the issue of women's responsibility and opens with "I'd like to return to the conversation by reiterating my fundamental belief that the corporate world has largely failed women, an argument that I've made earlier here and in other public forums."
Companies must create organizations that are aligned, culturally and emotionally, with woman employees' priorities. There isn't one clear solution, though....Companies also need to change their expectations that employees should be available anywhere, anytime; find ways around women's reticence to advocate for themselves; and change the unwritten rules of workplace engagement favoring men.
His concentration on organization change* is brief, however, and he moves in again on how women can change their behavior to strengthen their position, or rectify their "reticence to advocate": choose the right professional courses in post-secondary education; negotiate for equal pay at the entry level because it is too difficult to make up the difference higher up or later on; push for promotions, don't just take on extra work thinking the work will be recognized. The comments on Nayar's article cover a lot of ground, as is to be expected for such a broad and often contentious issue, but ultimately everyone seemed to agree, even unwillingly, that while corporate culture must change (and, really, first be willing to change), women must also change. This is not a new argument.** But how to change while remaining authentic and avoiding some throw-back 1980's shoulder-padded power-suit kind of superficial change?
A new book by executive coaches Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt, Break Your Own Rules, will be an incredible help to those women who want to take their progress into their own hands. Flynn, Heath and Holt aren't interested in playing Quixote and charging the familiar windmill that is the male-centric corporate culture. Nor are they interested in women becoming men and denying the traits that make them good managers and leaders. Nor are they advocating for women to find their success outside the corporation. Instead, they are interested in empowering women to think differently, so that they can act differently. This book isn't about blame: it's about banishing bad habits, habits that are obstacles to success.
We get in our own way when we buy into limiting beliefs. But we don't have to continue repeating the same pattern. We have it within our power to change our own thinking and therefore change our future. We can nurture the beliefs that will sustain us and help us grow. Women have been taught as children, in school, and on the job to behave in certain ways. In contrast, our research and years of experience coaching women executives on the rise tell us that what we really need to do to succeed at the hightest levels in business is to think differently.
Their book centers around 6 "old rules" that women have been trained to uphold and the converse habits that should be practiced and employed. [Their ChangeThis manifesto will give you a comprehensive overview of the 6 rules.]
- Take Center Stage
- Proceed Until Apprehended
- Project Personal Power
- Be Politically Saavy
- Play to Win
- It's Both-And
I found myself nodding along while reading the many stories told in Break Your Own Rules, but none so much as during the chapter, "Proceed Until Apprehended." In a brief opening story, the authors relay an all-to-familiar occurrence. Two peers (in this case a man and a woman) are asked to help with a project that lay beyond their normal daily work. The woman is instantly excited about the prospect and quickly asks her immediate boss for permission to take on this new project. The man quickly says yes to the opportunity, sans permission, and beats the woman to the punch. The authors say, "Asking for permission, not making waves, denying our career ambitions, doing as we are told, following the rules. These are not punishable offenses, but they do throw a roadblock across our path to power at work." Because, they explain, doing so gives the impression that women are deferring and not decision-makers. If you "Proceed Until Apprehended," you may instead be seen as someone who made things happen and is not afraid of a little push-back.
"It's Both-And" is another chapter that offers a surprising and somewhat reassuring conclusion. You know that perfectionism, that "in-it-to-win-it" attitude, that 'holding up the weight of the world' volunteerism that you have assumed for so long got you to where you are today? Well, that could actually be holding you back from advancing higher in your field. Why? Two possible reasons. Not only might you be perceived as difficult to work for, and as a result, miss out on future managerial opportunities, but you may also have "burn out" written on your forehead since no one can do everything for very long. So the authors suggest "It's Both-And" as their new rule to eliminate extreme thinking and promote resilience.
I dare say that Flynn, Heath and Holt would agree with Nayar that while there is value in trying to change how organizations treat and promote women, the most immediate thing that women can do is change how they themselves approach the challenges of working within a restrictive system. Though they may diverge from Nayar in claiming that women aren't trying hard enough. Instead, I think they would say women often try very hard...just not always in the right way. Break Your Own Rules will challenge you to relish being the center of attention, to act instead of ask, to closet your modesty, to play the game, to take a risk, to embrace uncertainty, and most critically, to realize that there is strength in numbers and women helping women will be the only way to make a crack in the windmill that is the traditional male-centric corporate structure.
*Also included at the end of Break Your Own Rules is a "Reading List for Women Leaders" to which I would add The Female Vision: Women's Real Power at Work by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson, which we reviewed and recommended last year. That book offers a bilateral look at what unique qualities women bring to the corporate table, and how both organizations and their leaders can value and use those qualities to their advantage.
**Apparently I tackle a similar version of this same topic each year around this time. What do you think? Has progress been made over the past year? Over the past decade?
Women in Business(books)
Posted June 22, 2011 9:19 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
As I (and many others) have noted, women business book authors make up a very small percentage of the category, and while the number is growing, often books by women are more niche-oriented or geared toward the personal, so don't get the powerful push or word-of-mouth that more general business books get. So I'd like to spend a little time talking about the books written by women that have landed on my desk recently:
This spring, Anne Kreamer's book, It's Always Personal, first intrigued me--no, touched me--due to the personalized publisher copy being used to promote the book. Kreamer wrote:
I was told when I started work that if I wanted to be professional, I should never let my feelings show at work--that emotion had nothing to do with success. But somehow once I’d been working for a few years I realized that that advice seemed mainly to apply to women. The well-known chairman of my Fortune 500 entertainment company thought it was completely acceptable to call me up and scream at me because a good deal I’d made had not moved up the price of the company’s stock. He got explosively angry at me, but I certainly didn’t feel like I could reply in kind. So I cried. And felt even worse, but I sucked it up and went on, burying that experience until a few years ago when a former colleague and I were talking about how every woman we knew had had a similar experience. Because of my personal experience I realized I really needed to understand why crying on the job was such a taboo.
In most every intense conversation, including those I have at work, I tend to cry. And I hate it. And I avoid those intense conversations as much as I can. Which means I tend to avoid conflict, asking for help or recognition, laying it on the line. It's Always Personal spoke directly to me and I found great aid in Kreamer's assertion that "[w]e can...engineer and guide their course [of our emotions] so that they flow productively--used, if you will, for irrigating our crops and generating our power" instead of feeling like my emotions were instead robbing me of my power.
Lida Citroen, a branding expert, brings us a guidebook for "creating power through personal branding" in Reputation 360. Citroen starts us out with three questions: What kind of car would you be? What kind of song would you be? What kind of beverage would you be? Then, she suggests you ask the same questions of your target audience, and if you are an atmospheric Bon Iver cut while your audience is an 80's Journey sing-a-long, well, you've got a ways to go toward speaking your customer's language.
Other useable, accessible advice from Citroen? Remember that you've had successes, that you have had superhero moments, and don't pack those memories back in the past. Don't limit your networking only to people who can help you get a leg up; remember to surround yourself with cheerleaders too. Go with your gut: if something doesn't feel right, like your website design doesn't match up with your personality, change it, regardless if it takes extra time, money or effort. After all, it's your personal brand.
Life coach Alissa Finerman's book is about Living in Your Top 1%. What is unique about Finerman's book is that she presents nine rituals for achievement. Rituals. It's an interesting word to choose. She explains: "It is important to note there is a big difference between knowing about a concept and regularly practicing it." The focus is on practice, on recreating your reality through moderating your mindset and making small changes. Finerman's advice is supported throughout with highlighted Takeaways, Top 1% Tips and Pep Talks, and chapter-concluding Bottom Line Summaries. Particularly helpful, I found, was her "Go for the Goal" chapter which emphasizes the usefulness and practicality of small steps amounting to big things. And that is really what Finerman's book does, help you look closely at the details of your life so that you can make the right small changes to climb up into your top 1%.
In September, you'll hear us get really excited about The Big Enough Company by Adelaide Lancaster and Amy Abrams, owners of In Good Company (where women entrepreneurs go to work, meet and learn). Well actually, we're pretty excited about it now! I can seriously tell you that even the galley is quite a gorgeous read in terms of content presentation and organization, full of solid advice that grounds the personal interviews.
The Big Enough Company explores how to grow your enterprise in a way that sustains your own personal goals and needs, not someone else’s standards. Drawing on the true stories of nearly 100 entrepreneurs, as well as their own experiences, Lancaster and Abrams guide readers through the best principles that really matter when you work for yourself. This book empowers entrepreneurs to ignore popular “wisdom” and peer pressure to take charge of their businesses in a way that will help them succeed on their own terms.
Also in the entrepreneurship category, I must mention Carol Roth's excellent The Entrepreneur Equation. This is the book to read if you are considering starting your own business and are brave enough to look the staggeringly poor odds (90% failure rate) in the eyes and learn how to avoid the common pitfalls. Roth will encourage you to look closely at your own personal motivations, evaluate the risks, assess the timing, and acquire the tools you need. What is so tremendous about this book is that Roth isn't cheerleading, but soberly advising, and that is exactly the kind of information new business owners truly need.
Vernice "Flygirl" Armour is a huge personality with a hugely engaging new book, Zero to Breakthrough. Armour is a flygirl for real: a former captain in the United States Marine Corps who has set a LOT of firsts in her life. So she is the perfect person to answer the question: "how do you get big things done?" What I love about this book is that Armour speaks directly to us as readers who are moving step-by-step through this book with her. After a particularly harrowing, adrenaline-filled story, she asks: "Okay, are you still breathing?" And then steps us through what we should take away from the story: "Here are a few ways to use this incredible story when you have to make tough choices." This kind of authorial language keeps us turning pages, ingesting her wisdom as though it's being served up by a good friend.
Here is an example of what differentiates Armour's advice from others. Typically when we are advised to face our fears, no one bothers telling us that we should not face all of our fears. Armour makes that distinction:
*Follow your fear if it means doing otherwise would put everything you have at risk.
*Avoid following through on fears that put others at unwanted or unnecessary risk.
What else? She offers a Combat Confidence that really resonates: "Use fear to your advantage by looking at it as a field guide to the areas of your life in which you need to acquire more knowledge."
With a professional history like hers, she knows of what she speaks. We'd all do well to listen.
Great on the Job by Jodi Glickman is all about communication and ranges from the very simple (saying "Thank You", or updating a colleague) to the more refined (crafting an effective elevator pitch) to the most delicate (communicating through a crisis.) Included in the book are Tear-Out Cheat Sheets that break down each chapter and might be handy to tuck into your wallet for future use. But Glickman's book isn't just about what to say, and how to say it right, it is about doing the right thing. Sound sappy? What I mean is this: Glickman will make you conscious of communication, of how other people are relying on you to step up, speak out, stay steady, and the only way you can truly be the person people rely on and turn to, is to communicate.
Two other exciting books coming up this fall that you should bookmark for future reference (and literally just came in the mail today) are:
Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath and Mary Davis Holt.