Competing Against Luck – Clayton M. Christensen, Karen Dillon, David S. Duncan and Taddy Hall

The “Theory of Jobs to Be Done” unlocks the mystery of successful product innovation – a mystery often dismissed as luck. “Jobs Theory” holds that people don’t merely buy goods, they “hire” and “fire” products based on whether those products do the “job” that consumers need done. Companies practicing Jobs Theory know their understanding of …

Good Strategy / Bad Strategy – Richard Rumelt

Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to sit down for an extended session with a top business thinker while he discusses the fine points of corporate strategy with you? You can, at least in an editorial sense, when you read Richard Rumelt’s work on business strategy. The prestigious McKinsey Quarterly calls Rumelt “strategy’s strategist,” and The Economist includes him on its …

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout

Using actual examples and sharp analysis, Al Ries and Jack Trout offer 22 “laws” that amount to a basic, concise distillation of their marketing experience and wisdom. Their examples are pithy enough to keep the most jaded marketing person engaged. And their lessons are embedded verities that would be hard to dispute. The only drawback …

Influence – Robert B. Cialdini

Psychology and marketing professor Robert B. Cialdini incorporates extensive scholarly research in this 1984 classic in applied psychology, practical rhetoric and marketing. The impetus of the book was his desire to figure out why others always influenced him so easily. He weaves together personal stories and examples from sales, politics, history and public life as …

Getting to Yes – Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce M. Patton

Authors Roger Fisher, William L. Ury and Bruce M. Patton offer a seminal step-by-step guide to negotiating effectively. The authors use anecdotal examples to illustrate both positive and negative negotiating techniques. They believe that, with principled negotiation, both parties can reach an agreement in an amicable and efficient manner. Principled negotiation is based on the …

Getting (More of) What You Want – Margaret A. Neale and Thomas Z. Lys

Negotiation is an essential skill. Yet people tend to regard the ability to negotiate as a personality trait to develop rather than as an expertise to build. Margaret A. Neale of the Stanford Business School and Thomas Z. Lys of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University offer the ultimate negotiating model. They base …

First, Break All the Rules – Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman present the results of two major studies. One offers findings from polling more than a million employees about their workplace needs. The other is a 20-year study of how the methods of the world’s greatest managers differ from those of lesser managers. This study involved interviews with more than 80,000 …

The Effective Executive – Peter F. Drucker

As an author and an intellectual, the late Peter F. Drucker was a true business sage. Recognized as the father of modern management, Drucker forecast numerous pivotal trends, including decentralization, privatization and the development of the information society. He introduced the concept of the “knowledge worker,” a term he employs widely in this fascinating book. …

Crush It! – Gary Vaynerchuk

Although many people advise against turning your hobby into your day job, Gary Vaynerchuk, an Internet and business phenomenon, vehemently disagrees. He boldly promotes quitting your job to pursue a profession that is your passion. An immigrant from Belarus, Vaynerchuk rose to fame in his mid-30s because of Wine Library TV, the popular, highly publicized …

Never Bet the Farm – Anthony Iaquinto and Stephen Spinelli Jr

Libraries are filled with inspiring but intimidating tales of business success, but such superhero tricks of business engineering seem beyond the reach of mere mortals. Fortunately, Anthony Iaquinto and Stephen Spinelli Jr. provide 15 principles for entrepreneurs. With detailed examples from established companies, such as Dell and Wal-Mart, and more than 80 pages of background …