Best Business Books of 2017
- Invisible Influence
- Weird in a World That's Not
- Tribe of Mentors
- Lead and Disrupt
- The Four
- Adaptive Markets
- The Potential Principal
- The Captain Class
- Hacking Innovation
- Barking Up the Wrong Tree
- Technically Wrong
- The New Rules of Work
- The Power of Moments
One of the bits of advice we hear most from sales pros and entrepreneurs on the Sales Blog is, “You’ve got to be reading.” Yep, according to the experts, reading the latest industry blogs, articles, and books is key to finding success in your job and your career.
To help you stay at the top of your game, I’ve rounded up the top business books of 2017. Work your way through a few of these must-reads, and see how they impact your success.
20 Best Business Books of 2017
1. “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, shares insights from his notable career. From “baseball cards” distilling each employee’s strengths and weaknesses to computerized decision-making systems that make weighted decisions -- this is an unconventional business book that will stretch your idea of leadership.
Review excerpt: “My takeaway is that finding the truth, being open, and persistent are the qualities needed to achieve any goal or solve any problem.”
2. “Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior” by Jonah Berger
Think you know why you make decisions? Think again. Berger’s book argues the more we understand social influence, the better we are at deciding when to resist and when to embrace it -- on our own terms.
Review excerpt: “Great read and very interesting. It has lots of truths that one may not even realize are all around them influencing their daily lives.”
3. “Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change” by Ellen Pao
In 2015, Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm for workplace discrimination and retaliation. This book recounts how Pao overcame negative PR attacks and won public support. She lost her suit, but changed the way tech offices, the media, and the world talked about workplace discrimination.
Review excerpt: “Silicon Valley's story has long been an ode to white male privilege dressed up in the shiny veneer of "meritocracy." Ellen's court case against her then-employer was when all of that pretense started to unravel, and I'm glad she's now written this book to tell her full story.”
4. “Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done” by Jon Acuff
Is it any surprise 90% of all New Year’s resolutions fail? Author Acuff thought the problem was he wasn’t trying hard enough -- until he learned the most effective exercises are the ones that take the pressure off.
Review excerpt: “Excellent exploration of the pitfalls of perfectionism that keep you from achieving your dreams.”
5. “Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures” by Jennifer Romolini
Broke, divorced, college dropout -- Romolini was all of these. She’s also run some of the biggest websites in the world. This book recounts her nontraditional path to success and shares the secrets to finding a career that’s right for you.
Review excerpt: “A career guide that cuts through the BS and finally admits work is emotional and personal.”
6. “Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World” by Tim Ferriss
Ferriss interviews TED curator Chris Anderson, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, tennis champion Maria Sharapova, and more to learn simple, tactical ways to 10x results, get unstuck, and even reinvent yourself.
Review excerpt: “Every one of these mentors has a piece of advice that can help. It’s a wonderful book to open for inspiration.”
7. “Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovator’s Dilemma” by Professor Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman
What do Blockbuster, Kodak, and RadioShack have in common? O’Reilly and Tushman say these companies weren’t ambidextrous in their approach to solving their own innovator’s dilemma. This book shares how entrepreneurs can avoid the same fate by staying flexible, autonomous, and always experimenting.
Review excerpt: “A must read for all senior management teams and aspiring professionals!”
8. “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google” by Scott Galloway
Learn why “The Four” have become the most influential companies on the planet and why it’s so important to understand them. The author also asks the question, “Can anyone challenge them?”
Review excerpt: “This was a good read and has tons of insight into the power of these four companies. The chapter about Google was both informative and borderline scary.”
9. “Pause: Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break” by Rachael O’Meara
What are the signs you need a “meaningful break?” O’Meara answers that and other important questions about our impulse to tough things out when all we really need is to take a step back.
Review excerpt: “Rachael O'Meara's book on pausing is one of the great missing links in the age of information. The myth of today is: The more conceptual information we can wrap our minds around, the more productive and fulfilled we will be.”
10. “Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook” by Tony Robbins
Robbins interviews 50 of the world’s greatest financial minds for this step-by-step playbook of how to transform your financial life and attain the financial freedom you’ve been wishing for.
Review excerpt: “There are a few books I’ve read that I realized would change something significant about my life. ‘Unshakeable’ is one of those.”
11. “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant
Surprising studies and engaging stories help Grant explore how to recognize a good idea, speak up, find allies, manage fear, and buck outdated traditions. The payoff of heading Grant’s advice? Groundbreaking insights, the ability to reject conformity, and kissing the status quo goodbye.
Review excerpt: “Fascinating and full of insight, the sort of electric book that supercharges your subconscious and starts firing synapses.”
12. “Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought” by Andrew W. Lo
Learn the origins of market efficiency and failures, the foundations of investor behavior, and the practical implications of the biggest financial missteps of our time (i.e., the 2008 meltdown). Want to understand how the market works? This book is a great place to start.
Review excerpt: “‘Adaptive Markets’ is an excellent book on the nature of markets and economics as a broad field.”
13. “The Potential Principal: A Proven System for Closing the Gap Between How Good You Are and How Good You Could Be” by Mark Sanborn
You might be the best in your field … but you could still be better. Sanborn’s “Potential Matrix” and “Potential Principle” help you identify breakthrough improvements you should make in key areas of your life.
Review excerpt: “This is the book you’ve been waiting for to finally achieve your potential.”
14. “The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams” by Sam Walker
From the NBA to the English Premier League and Olympic field hockey, what makes the best teams in the world so extraordinary? Walker argues each of them have one thing: A singular leader with unconventional skills driving unparalleled greatness.
Review excerpt: “Every so often, I come across a non-fiction book that’s so well written it becomes as impossible to put down as a first-rate spy thriller. ‘The Captain Class’ meets that rare standard.”
15. “Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers” by Josh Linkner
Hackers include some of the most creative minds on the planet amongst their ranks. This book breaks down what we can learn from them and how we can put their innovative thinking to work every day.
Review excerpt: “This book is packed with tons of helpful information to truly change your mind set at work -- and in your everyday life.”
16. “Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is (Mostly) Wrong” by Eric Barker
Barker dives into the science behind success, how anyone can achieve it, and why so much of what we think about success is wrong. Want to stop guessing at how to succeed? Barker’s book is a good start.
Review excerpt: “This book is so chock-full of useful information that I highlighted it over 200 times.”
17. “Technically Wrong: Sexists Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech” by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
From chatbots that harass women to signup forms that fail anyone who’s not straight, Wachter-Boettcher demystifies the tech industry. She leaves her readers with the ability to make informed decisions about the services they use and the companies behind them.
Review excerpt: “Truthful depictions of technology, clear and realistic examples, insightful takeaways -- this should be required reading for everyone working in tech.”
18. “Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life” by Tasha Eurich
Self-awareness is the foundation of high performance, smart choices, and healthy relationships -- but most of us don’t see ourselves as clearly as we should. Organizational psychologist Eurich pulls back the curtain on people who’ve made dramatic gains in self-awareness and illustrates how her readers can do the same.
Review excerpt: “After reading Ms. Eurich’s book “Insight,” I am inspired and motivated to become a better husband, father, businessperson, leader, manager, and peer.”
19. “The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career” by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew
Previous generations of professionals picked one job and stuck with it for a lifetime. Technology has changed the way we view careers. Cavoulacos and Minshew offer quick exercises and structured tips to navigate the new rules of today’s workforce.
Review excerpt: “A fresh, thoughtful perspective on charting a career, finding a job, and excelling at work.”
20. “The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Our most positive moments have four elements: Elevation, insight, pride, and connection. The authors argue if we embrace these elements, we can create more moments that matter -- from delighting customers to teaching important lessons that last.
Review excerpt: “This book had great insight on how to make everyday moments more special and meaningful.”
Don’t have the time or patience for paperbacks? Most of these titles are available in audiobooks. Download a book, pop in your headphones, and get something meaningful out of your commute.