Business IQ

8 Eye-opening books that will change the way you do business

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Successful Australian entrepreneurs reveal the books they turn to when in search of management advice and Leadership tips.

Many successful entrepreneurs read for several hours a day to keep their minds sharp. When it comes to management advice and leadership tips, many of the greatest minds in business have offered their most important insights in their books.

Here are eight transformative reads recommended for business success:

books

1. The Willpower Instinct 

By Kelly McGonigal

Dean McEvoy, Co-Founder of IconPark: "I prefer audio books as I can do other stuff like exercise at the same time so I end up getting through the books pretty quickly. There are lots of people with great ideas out there, but the challenge and discipline is doing the hard work to make it a reality. This book gives some interesting insight into how to motivate ourselves and prevent ourselves from being distracted by the wrong things. Focus is so important in building a successful business."

2. The 4-Hour Work Week

By Timothy Ferriss

Gen George, Founder and CEO of OneShift: "In this book Tim Ferriss encourages and teaches readers to be open to new opportunities from work and from life. He really connects with entrepreneurs and soon-to-be entrepreneurs to make the reader think about how to work to live, rather than live to work − which is what the OneShift mantra is."

3. No Time for Fear: How A Shark Attack Survivor Beat the Odds 

By Paul De Gelder

Gen George, Founder and CEO of OneShift: "Many Sydneysiders in town on 11 February 2009 will remember the navy clearance diver who was attacked by a shark in Sydney Harbour at Woolloomooloo, losing two limbs. This book makes you realise that every second counts. If things are not working out, take a breath and try again. Re-evaluate, recharge and start over."

4. Five Dysfunctions of a Team 

by Patrick M. Lencioni

Graham Winter, Executive Director, Think One Team International: "Lencioni’s philosophies fit perfectly with our Think One Team ethos of developing teams that are united and high performing. It is well written, highly practical and based on applied common sense. There are five dysfunctions that lead to team ineffectiveness; trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and inattention to results. At the end, a practical framework is presented to build successful teams."

5. Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets out of Control

by Jeannette Dewyze & Allan Mallinger

Graham Winter, Executive Director, Think One Team International: "I consult mostly with high performing leaders and teams, and they often go too far with perfectionism and control. This is the best book I’ve read on the topic, so I probably refer someone to it once a week because it is so well put together with case examples and practical suggestions."

6. Business Essential

by A&C Black Business Information and Development 

Geoff Iles, Director of Decor Stone: "This comprehensive guide is vital reading for everyone involved in small business. It’s written by leading business writers commenting on common business issues. The book includes summaries of more than 70 of the most influential business books of all time (because who has the time to read them all), as well as more than 200 practical solutions to everyday business challenges. My favourite part is the Business Dictionary which provides definitions of thousands of business terms and concepts. The ‘Guru’s’ section provides an explanation of the lives, careers, and key theories of the world’s leading business thinkers."

7. Re Work

by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson 

Andy Sheats, CEO of Health.com.au: "Re Work is a great book to re-think the nature of your business. It makes you ask the obvious question of: ‘Why do we do so much of the stupid crap that we all do at work?’ While the word ‘agile’ isn’t used once, the book drips practical ways to think and be more agile."

8. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors

by Michael E. Porter

Andy Sheats, CEO of Health.com.au: "The old standard is still the best at understanding competitive factors in an industry that you don't otherwise know a lot about. Great to workshop the means to gain advantage."

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