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10 must-read business books your peers will probably have read

Don't leave out Jim Collins, Simon Sinek and Laura Liswood from your business reading list

(Image: Multi-bestselling author Simon Sinek) 

Start with Why – Simon Sinek
Golden nugget:  This popular business book's premise is that it is one of life’s greatest joys to wake up in the morning… every morning, with a clear sense of why that day matters, why every day matters.
This is what it means to find your WHY. This is the start of an inspiring journey… your inspiring journey. 

Simon Sinek is coming to Australia and New Zealand in 2020. See his tour dates here.
Meanwhile, members of The Growth Faculty - On Demand can log in and watch his 2017 sold-out event highlights

Good to Great – Jim Collins
Golden nugget: To make a heavy flywheel move, this business book classic says you need to exude a great deal of effort. It will be slow at first when you push it, but after a period of time, it will begin to be carried by its own momentum.  
In good-to-great companies – the impact (on their flywheel) of their first efforts seems nearly imperceptible, but with enough resolve, their momentum leads to a breakthrough.
Other companies instead move their wheel in erratic patterns, trying new directions, stopping, and lurching back and forth. Eventually, they experience the “doom loop,” and fail to sustain any kind of success for a long period of time. 


Crossing the Chasm - Geoffrey Moore
Golden nugget:   An essential-reading book for tech start-ups, Crossing the Chasm says when it comes to selling and marketing disruptive products (think mobile phone, internet, Airbnb, Uber) early adopters want to go first, but the mainstream wants to go 5th or 6th (not 2nd, 3rd or 4th - as many presume). 
Author Geoffrey Moore refers to this gap as the chasm.
So how do you cross the chasm? 
There are two profiles in the early adopters sector: the technology enthusiasts and the visionaries.  
The enthusiasts love the new platform for its own sake. The visionaries are looking for competitive advantage. 
On the other side of the chasm (the mainstream), you must seek out the pragmatists in pain in flagship companies. They have a problem that they can’t solve through any other option (than your product). 

Members of The Growth Faculty - On Demand can log in and watch Geoffrey Moore's full interview here

The Loudest Duck – Laura Iswood
Golden nugget: In the U.S. (and other Western societies) men are told the squeakiest wheel gets the grease, explains this business bestseller.
But in China, they have a different saying - The loudest duck gets shot. A manager, therefore, will hear American men bragging but hears nothing from the woman (who is taught “don’t be pushy”) or the Chinese man (“don’t get shot”), and thus unconsciously leans toward the American man for the promotion, the pay raise, the better assignments.

Success with diversity takes more than just gathering up a Noah’s Ark of two of every type. 

Members of The Growth Faculty- On Demand can log in and watch Laura Liswood, the only woman named in this Forbes list of 100 innovative leaders, talking about The Loudest Duck here. 


Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion - Robert Cialdini
Golden nugget: In our increasingly overloaded world, Cialdini's business book classic says we use shortcuts to guide our decision-making. 6 “rules of thumb” or shortcuts guide human behaviour.
They are:

  1. Reciprocity,
  2. Scarcity,
  3. Authority,
  4. Consistency,
  5. Liking,
  6. Consensus.
Employing these shortcuts can significantly increase the chances that someone will be persuaded by your request. 

Exclusive interview with Dr Robert Cialdini for members of The Growth Faculty-On Demand can be found by logging into On Demand and watching here. 


The E Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber
Golden nugget:

  • Myth 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs.
  • Myth 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work.

The technician, entrepreneur and manager are all needed in the founder of a business. Without the Entrepreneur, you might as well keep working for someone else as a Technician.  Without any technical ability, the Entrepreneur must rely on others to get anything done, and without the organisational abilities of the Manager, the other two would probably find themselves with the electricity in the office turned off, because they had other things to do than pay the bills.  


The Lean Start-up – Eric Reis
Golden nugget: A popular book for many years, this terrific read says too many startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want.
They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the product, even in a very rudimentary form, to prospective customers.

When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting.
When customers ultimately communicate, through their indifference, that they don't care about the idea, the startup fails.  

Multipliers – Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown
Golden nugget: Multipliers are often viewed as the best boss to work for.
Everyone grows around them; “A players become A+”. They consider the role of the person at the top a genius maker rather than themselves a genius. As a result they attract the best talent through word of mouth.
Diminishers, not surprisingly, do the exact opposite. 

Exclusive footage of Liz Wiseman’s keynote is available to members of The Growth Faculty -On Demand, by logging in and watching here.


3Hag Way – Shannon Byrne Susko 
Golden nugget: A BHAG is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, a term coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last. 
Shannon Byrne Susko builds on this by saying that to get there, you need a 3-year Highly Achievable Goal (3HAG), achieved by mapping out a 36 month quarter over quarter rolling forecast.
She claims it's better than a 12 month budget, because budgets fool businesses into thinking there is money available, leading to over-spending. A rolling forecast gives businesses the real picture, and the ability to adjust spending as a result. 

Members of The Growth Faculty- On Demand can log in and watch Shannon Byrne Susko explaining 3Hag Way on our book club. Simply log in and click here. 

Dare to Lead– Brené Brown
Golden nugget: Leadership requires courage. Courage to be authentic, flawed, real, and most importantly, vulnerable. Understanding yourself is key to quality leadership. We are all tough and tender, scared and brave, grace and grit. Staying vulnerable and curious, while exploring how to be confident and how to set boundaries, is an important part of daring leadership.  

 Members of The Growth Faculty- On Demand can log in and watch Brené Brown chat with us about her book Daring Greatly (the precedessor to Dare to Lead). Simply log in and click here. 


Build an A Team – Whitney Johnson    
Golden nugget: To keep your team members engaged, recognise each is on a learning journey. It's a (stretched out) "S" curve of learning divided into 3 parts: Inexperience, Engagement and Mastery.  Each part of the journey requires care and attention. Keep your team challenged and moving forward. Nearly every human being is on the lookout for growth opportunities. 


Whitney Johnson S Curve

If you're a member of The Growth Faculty - On Demand, you can watch our chat with Whitney Johnson explaining the "S" curve by logging in and clicking here. 

Members of the The Growth Faculty are continually updating their professional development and that of their team at The Growth Faculty - On Demand Business Book Club.  A curated selection of the world’s very best business books are sent to Premium members, and we interview new authors every month.
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