Annmarie’s Five Favorite Business Books

Winning by Jack Welch. Straightforward and gutsy, Welch tells it like it is and encourages readers to do the same. Written for managers and employees, Welch’s advice is clear and even inspiring. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Welch’s book demonstrates how to make that happen.

Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. Effectively marketing your business does not have to be costly. Since I share that philosophy, I recommend this book to my clients. Be forewarned, however: The book offers so many good ideas that it is easy to become overwhelmed. Pick out a few, see what’s effective, and try more, Levinson advises. I have also read some of the spin-off books, which do not compare to the original.

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The authors urge readers to re-think the competitive landscape (red oceans) in their industries to create a blue ocean that makes the competition irrelevant. Sounds good in theory, and there is a lot of it, but it does offer excellent strategic guidance that promotes out-of-the-box thinking.

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. This is not a business book. It is a book about relationships. But since so much business dysfunction results from a lack of interpersonal boundaries, this is an important book. Unfortunately marketed to a religious audience, this book contains biblical references that might put off other audiences. The book, however, is far more about psychology.

Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey. The sage who also gave us the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” demonstrates that being moral and highly principled in business is not only the right thing to do, but it is just good for business. Published during the business era of Tom Peters’, “In Search of Excellence,” Covey’s work has better stood the test of time. While I agree the world needs more morally and ethnically principled individuals, the committed Mormon’s likely belief that he is preparing to be the god of his own planet should be kept in mind. We already have enough would-be gods in business and politics.

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