Business and leadership books are published by the thousands each year. Some are more of the same trite advice regurgitated merely with new adverbs and nouns in the lineup, but others are providing enlightening, useful, and innovative reading. In your quest to gather the latter of the two, Goodreads can offer an invaluable vetting tool.
Goodreads, a community forum for readers that review and rate books on a star system, can help you discover the next big business and leadership book on your must-read list for 2018. Let’s look at some of the top books readers over at Goodreads are loving in the business, tech, and leadership category.
1) Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business And Influence – And How You Can, Too.
Social media is no doubt one of the most potent influencers within how modern businesses operate, market, connect and grow.
Of 1,100 plus ratings on Goodreads, Gary Vaynerchuk‘s “Crushing It” with a 4.26 star average for his newest book, which isn’t surprising from this four-time NY Times bestselling author.
In 2009, Vaynerchuk released, “Crush It,” which went on to become an international bestseller. “Crush It” outlined how crucial having a vibrant personal brand was in success for entrepreneurs.
Now, “Crushing It” expounds on its predecessor’s notion, explaining what’s changed and what’s remained the same over the last decade when it comes to personal branding.
The author shares unique stories from the perspective of entrepreneurs and influencers who’ve followed “Crush It” to become even more personally and financially wealthy. These are the experiences of dozens who’ve built thriving businesses and personal brands by not following the predictable corporate path.
The secret to success? The book teaches that the secret to success is in understanding all social media platforms and then how to use the tools offered within each platform to amplify personal brand.
2) Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
Workplaces have evolved; so, shouldn’t its human resources, or workforce, develop alongside it?
Patty McCord, co-founder of Netflix Culture Deck, explains how and why so many companies are recruiting, motivating, and synchronizing employees all wrong in her new book, “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility.”
McCord explains why traditional HR, such as employee performance reviews, empowerment planning, and retention plans, fail to produce results and waste valuable time best spent elsewhere.
Whereas employee motivation is concerned, the book advocates doing away with employer promises of perks and bonuses in favor of aspects like challenging work. The overall theme here is radical honesty, which includes showing the door to employees who don’t fit the needs of their employer.
McCord’s opinions on workforce issues and how businesses should best run for performance and profitability delivered with a touch of light-hearted humor amongst some very ‘powerful’ ideologies, and they’re backed up by the motivational lessons she learned working in Silicon Valley, including those as chief talent officer at Netflix.
Of the 600 plus Goodreads ratings, “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility” has 4.22 average stars.
3) The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate
Can nice girls be successful in business?
Media executive and angel investor Fran Hauser introduces the concept of female success and ambition with the notion of kindness in her first book, “The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate.”
The candid book offers a guideline for ambitious females not wanting to lose themselves along the road to success. It dissects and deconstructs a stigma that women in the workplace often face – tough women are bitches to work with, and nice women are weak and ineffective businesswomen. In this seemingly no-win situation, Hauser provides strategies and personal stories to show women how they can retain their values and true identity and still be successful.
Female empowerment is a strong theme, with much of the book’s advice and wisdom centering around the concept of balancing empathy with decisiveness, rising above double standards, cultivating confidence, and sidestepping stereotypes like niceness.
Fran Hauser’s candid installment is the book for women who know what they want. They need motivational, practical, resounding advice on how to get there ((without compromising themselves)) from someone who’s walked the walk and talked the talk.
Readers at Goodreads have a little over 200 ratings with a 4.66 star average.
4) Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work
Alison Green, the author of “How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager,” staffing consultant, and blogger, has a history of offering no-nonsense, measured, practical, constructive, and calming advice on her Ask A Manager blog for managers and new employees alike. Her advice blog has covered just about any and every topic that relates to the work experience, with Bravo TV dubbing her as the “Dear Abby of the work world.”
In her newest book, “Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work,” Green provides a playbook for workplace navigation, covering just about any ‘what if’ scenario and how to address and solve them.
There are tastes of humor here, if for no other reason than the sheer absurdity that some of these scenarios even exist in a workplace. It’s also quite poignant and practical advice from someone highly versed in areas like effectively speaking up for yourself, framing concerns to those in authority, coworker cohesion, knowing when to speak up and when not to, interviewing skills, and how to communicate when you’re the boss.
Goodreads has over 200 ratings with an average 4.66 star rating.
5) The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
Is culture something you are, or is culture something you do?
NY Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle’s newest book, “The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups,” explores how the most successful organizations in the world, including sports teams like the Spurs and military bodies like SEAL Team Six, tick. From where does that kind of cultural chemistry come? How’s it built? How’s it sustained? And, how can it all be applied by tomorrow’s leaders in future team building so that great things get accomplished?
Using a combination of science, insight from world leaders, examples of the application within a plethora of entities, and his ideology, Coyle identifies the three critical skills of cohesion in the culture-building process in explaining how such diverse, successful groups learn to function with a single mindset. He explores strategies that spawn learning, cohesion, collaboration, trust, and positive directions. Stories of both failures and successes are included in his testimony of what to and not to do. Pitfalls and reform advice strategies are explored at length.
The end result is a navigation map to a culturally cohesive environment in which problem-solving skills and innovation are plentiful and expectations are surpassed. This is the book for those wanting to understand the language and dynamics of successful groups.
Goodreads has 1400 plus ratings with 4.39 average stars.