8 Must-Read Business Books for 2019

When it comes to reading, people like to make excuses as to why they don’t do it. Some insist they don’t have time thanks to their busy lives, hectic work schedules and growing families. Others say reading isn’t for them or they simply don’t enjoy it.

As a business leader, you can’t afford not to read. According to Neurology, reading on a regular basis as you grow older keeps your memory sharp and improves brain function. Even as you age, it’ll prolong your cognitive lifespan and allow you to think more critically. In the business world, if you aren’t able to use your intellectual abilities to make informed, mature decisions, you’ll never succeed.

Whether your goal in business is to grow leads or improve engagement, learning about it through reading is extremely useful. If you’re looking for some of the best books on business to read this year, here are eight to help you get started.

1. Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt

Oftentimes people feel overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of everyday living. This book explores what it’s like wanting to reach your full potential and accomplish your goals but always getting side-tracked and making excuses not to live your dreams. Written by the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publisher, Michael Hyatt discusses how to quit-proof your goals, what to do when you feel stuck, three ways to improve your chances of meeting your goals and more.

2. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Entrepreneur and speaker Gary Vaynerchuk’s main message is that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, and if you’re young, you’re in the prime of your life to experiment. Vaynerchuk draws from multiple entrepreneurs and businesspeople who rejected corporate life to build their own business. You get a look into what it’s taken business owners to launch the company of their dreams and persist through tough times.

3. Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work by Alison Green

In this good read, Green guides you through what to do if you encounter certain awkward and frustrating scenarios at work. Some of these include being micromanaged, catching a coworker in a lie and getting drunk at the holiday party. This is an honest take on how to handle uncomfortable situations that you otherwise might not be able to navigate. Green emphasizes anyone entrepreneur or business leader to handle their work situations with maturity and respect.

4. Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin

Written by the former CEO of Moz, this novel explores the reasons why so many startups fail and what startup founders don’t understand about going into business. Fishkin examines the myths of tech startups and their seemingly fast track to success. He unveils several common misconceptions about creating a business. No matter what stage your company is in, Fishkin walks you through lessons he’s learned at every point, so it’s applicable to everyone.

5. Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life by Francesca Gino

Behavioral scientist and Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino talks about how “rebels,” or outside-of-the-box thinkers, bring positivity to businesses by adding creativity and innovation. They avoid falling into ruts and following boring routines. In a world where business is so cutthroat and competition is at all time high, it’s essential to bring something unique and different to your business model.

6. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work by Marilee Adams

Marilee Adams explores the questions we ask and how they affect the way we think and behave. She discusses how to ask the right questions and how that can lead you to success both in your personal and professional life. This technique is called QuestionsThinking, which inspires innovation, productivity and creates rewarding relationships. Once you pay more attention to what you choose to focus on, you’ll live a happier, more fulfilling professional life.

7. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Eric Ries discusses the failures he experienced in his early startups and what he learned along the way that eventually led him to success. This book emphasizes using creativity in an efficient way and validated learning as ways to build a startup. It shows you how to measure your business’s progress, use practices that shorten product development and shift your company in any direction smoothly.

8. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek emphasizes the importance of asking why in business. Why do certain startups succeed and others don’t? Why do some people succeed and others don’t? This book suggests that the greatest influencers in the world are all doing the same things – acting, speaking, communicating – while everyone else isn’t. He refers to this as The Golden Circle and explores how businesses can be created and people can connect to them. You just have to ask why.

Over to you

If one of your goals for 2019 is to become a better business leader, then reading these eight books can help put you on the right path. Some of them are strictly business-oriented, while others focus more on how to cultivate the qualities of an effective leader and think with a positive, productive mindset. These books will help you feel motivated to go out, seize the day and use what you’ve learned to be a better business leader.

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