The business book category is a perennially successful one for publishers. That’s because businesspeople read. They read to understand their work better, to get insights into strategies that might serve them in negotiations, to learn leadership lessons, to understand trends and to have a better handle on how to manage their employees.
Given the wealth of business titles published every year, ranging from the gimmicky to the drily academic, it can be hard to find books that are both instructive and entertaining enough to hold your attention when you pick them up after a long day of work. Personally, I prefer what is knows as “Big Think” books. These are narratives that tackle big questions or trends through a more macro lens. They analyze ideas and functions that are universal and seek to make them applicable and explicable to individuals.
Big Think books will not necessarily tell you how to run your business, but they might make you think differently about the world in a way that can impact your decision making. The themes tackled in these narratives won’t offer specific instructions on how to efficiently operate your shipping company, say, but they might help you understand the dynamics of global shipping with a big picture perspective that can be useful in deciding what contracts to take on or what equipment to invest in.
Perhaps I’m biased, but I think books are an essential tool for anyone involved in business. Simply put, they expand your mind and exercise your brain while providing hours of intelligent entertainment. (Also, they make for great conversation starters at those stodgy conferences or corporate events.)
Here are some titles you may want to check out the next time you visit your local book store:
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Originals: How Non-Comformists Move the World by Adam Grant