Transformational Reading for 2014

I work closely with entrepreneurial support professionals from around the world who dedicate their lives to helping people build successful companies. Whether they operate a business incubator, run a co-working space, or manage a seed accelerator program, these talented people serve as business advisors, life coaches, MBA professors, and, occasionally, psychological counselors. Whatever their clients need, they strive to provide. Always on the hunt for new ways to assist their companies, managers of entrepreneurial programs tend to be voracious readers, scouring new publications as well as tried-and-true classics for tools, ideas, and methods. I wanted to tap into their tremendous knowledge so I recently asked my network, what is the one business-related book that you think I should absolutely read before the end of this year? These are the books my peers recommended:

1. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. Recommended by Abbey Bemis, Interim Executive Director, Erie County Economic Development Corporation, Sandusky, OH.

2. Joy, Inc. by Rich Sheridan, Recommended by Joe Licavoli, Manager of Capital Programs & Director of SPARK East, Ypsilanti, MI.

3. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss AND Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows. Recommended by Mark Skinner, Vice President, SSTI & Director of the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN), Westerville, OH.

4. Women Don't Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Recommended by Lisa Marshall at the Tejara Center, Dearborn, MI.

5. The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking by Eli Broad. Recommended by Stuart Rose at The BioScience Center, Albuquerque, NM.

6. Six Thinking Hats by Edward Debono AND Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. Recommended by Chris Mann, Communication Consultant, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Fort Wayne, IN.

7. The Personal MBA – Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman. Recommended by Holly Hanson, Director, Cumberland Business Incubator, Crossville, TN.

8. The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun. Recommended by John Schultz of Manchester, MO.

9. Makers by Chris Anderson AND Startup Communities by Brad Feld. Recommended by Anthony Durante, Program Manager, Allentown Economic Development Corporation, Allentown, PA.

10. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. Recommended by Sarai Johnson of Lean Nonprofit, LLC, Eugene, OR.

11. All In Startup by Diana Kander. Recommended by Christina Carlisle, Director of Programs, NTEC, Inc., Frisco, TX.

12. The Startup Game by William Draper, Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel & C.K. Prahalad, The 5th Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter Senge, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan, AND Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will: How Jack Welsh is Making GE the World's Most Competitive Company by Noel F. Tichy & Stratford Sherman. All recommended by Paul Riser, Managing Director of Technology-Based Entrepreneurship, TechTown, Detroit, MI.

13. From Heart to Start by Derek Handley AND Thrive by Arianna Huffington. Recommended by Sabrina Nagel, AUT Enterprise Ltd. Student Incubator in Auckland, New Zealand.

14. Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Lean In by Sheryi Sandberg, AND Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Recommended by Sam Funchess, President and CEO, The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, Greensboro, NC.

15. The Rainforest by Victor Hwang, The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack, The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Being a Better Leader AND Building a Better Business by Ari Weinzweig, The Triple Bottom Line by Andrew Savitz. Recommended by Molly Reams Thompson, Director, LaunchPad Incubation Program, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH.

16. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. Recommended by Mark Long, Long Performance Advisors, Ellettsville, IN.

17. And thanks to my fellow Michigander Julie Gustafson at the Macomb OU INCubator who sent me these links. One is “2012: A YEAR IN BOOK REVIEWS” http://www.oakland.edu/Newsletter/ViewNewsletter.aspx?x=YTn6r2ViapNeCS05gDyAVQ%3d%3d&sid=1. The other is “2013: A YEAR IN BOOK REVIEWS” http://www.oakland.edu/Newsletter/ViewNewsletter.aspx?x=YTn6r2ViapMBMb88%2flXTwQ%3d%3d&sid=1.

Clearly, I have a lot of reading to do! I am impressed by the wide range of topics, from business education to personal habits, biographies to psychology. I cannot wait to start working on this list of fascinating titles. Hopefully, readers of this blog post will find themselves similarly motivated. Happy reading, everyone!

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