After completing a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from a top business school (B-School) one thinks that he is ready to call the shots. However, a B-School curriculum doesn’t teach everything one needs in real life. It just makes the student corporate world-smart. Here’s a list of books – some old and some new – that can make an effect. These books have been called as ‘a must-read’ by many across the globe. These books are about entrepreneurs, about real-life corporate circumstances, about turning around businesses and so much more.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by author Stephen Covey which was published in the year 1989.
This book is considered to be one of the most influential books. The author presents seven habits that have become famous because it ‘works.’ These are: Habit 1 is to be proactive; Habit 2 is to begin with the end in mind; Habit 3 is to put first things first; Habit 4 is to think with a Win-Win attitude; Habit 5 is to seek first to understand and then to be understood; Habit 6 is to synergize; Habit 7 is to hone the saw. The book has sold more than 15 million copies in 38 languages across the world while the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies. It remains one of the best selling non-fiction business books ever.
Connect the Dots by Rashmi Bansal published in the year: 2010.
The book looks at the enthusiastic lives of 20 true-life entrepreneurs exclusive of an MBA degree and how they chalked out their personal accomplishments. The book has three sections – Jugaad, Junoon and Zubaan. The Jugaad segment focus on entrepreneurs who have no proper business training, Junoon talks about people who have a strong aspiration to walk with a meticulous idea, and the ultimate section, Zubaan, probes deeper into lives of people who are resourceful but do not have a podium to showcase it.
Beyond the MBA Hype: A Guide to Understanding and Surviving B-Schools by author Sameer Kamat.
This book is a must read because it talks about the non-glamorous side of MBA. Most books talk about how to get into the programs. Most magazines and online articles highlight the fantastic salaries that MBA students get after graduating. This fuels unrealistic expectations among the applicants. And many of them get disappointed when their expectations of a super-high salaries, dream jobs and a radical career change aren’t met. Beyond the MBA Hype tries to balance it out by highlighting what B-schools can and can’t do. The intention is to make the reader a more informed consumer of the MBA degree. A recent publication, the book has got good reviews and is being hailed as a must-read especially for Indian students.
The Halo Effect: … and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers by Phil Rosenzweig.
In this exceptional book, the author unmasks the illusions of the commercial world which have an effect on the commerce press and educational research, as well as different bestselling books. The author claims that he wrote the book over a period of 25 years. Readers have called it a management book which is scientific and palatable. The most pervasive delusion is the Halo Effect. When a company’s sales and profits are up, people often conclude that it has a brilliant strategy, a visionary leader, capable employees, and a superb corporate culture. When presentation falters, they wrap up that the approach was wrong, the leader became conceited, the people were self-righteous, and the culture was sluggish. The author brings out examples of top firms like Cisco, IBM, Nokia, and ABB to explain the Halo Effect.
The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman.
Friedman talks about his concept of ‘flattening’ of the world in the early 21st century, what it means to countries across the globe, companies, communities, and individuals. The book talks about the history of the world twenty years from now and the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an sudden increase of wealth in the middle classes of the world’s two major nations, giving them a vast innovative wager in the victory of globalization.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
It was published around 78 years ago, this book is still a best-seller. The book teaches the importance of communication at work, how to handle people, ways to make people like themselves, and so on. It talks on the subject of how to attain progressive interpersonal efficiency, get holistic perspectives, and articulate thoughts in ways that are heard. Till date, the book has sold more than 15 million copies.
Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch.
Learn about how ‘the world’s toughest boss’ Jack Welch defied conventional wisdom and turned General Motors (GE) in to a ‘lean and mean engine of growth and corporate innovation.’ In 1980s, Welch (known as Neutron Jack) laid off more than 100,000 workers. In the book, he reveals the facts behind this act, the difficult decisions involved, and how he built GE into one of the most successful companies in the world.
Freakonomics by authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.
Freakanomics, is a collection of ‘economic’ articles that delves into unusual and diverse subject, traditionally not covered by economists. The book explores the internal workings of a crack gang, truth about real-estate agents, secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and so on. The stories present that economics is, at root, the reading of incentives.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.
This is the one book that everyone needs to read, regardless of whether or not they’re an MBA student or working at a startup. Ben Horowitz, cofounder and partner at Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most esteemed entrepreneurs, wrote a management book based on first-hand understanding, rather than theory. In his book, Horowitz provides insight into the predominantly demanding moments of running and leading a business, like hiring and retaining the right people, laying employees off, and managing the politics that come with trying to concurrently satisfy investors, managers, executives and co-founders. The general subject matter all the way through his common war stories is that the tough thing to do and the correct thing to do are typically one and the same.
Universal Principles of Design By William Lidwell
The full title of this book is in fact Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design. Rather than dedicating a few hundred pages to a solo set of design paradigms, Universal Principles of Design intentionally allots two pages to all of its numerous concepts. The left side of each two-page layout is devoted to theory, with assistance on where to find supplementary information and capital, while the right side gives visuals and further examples of the realistic appliance of the theory in the real world. The book lists these concepts alphabetically, so it reads more like a suggestion guidebook than the other books on this list. This makes Universal Principles of Design more taxing to get through the first time around, but allows the reader to effortlessly come back to brush up on precise topics down the line.
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist By Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson
In Venture Deals, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson explain the ins and outs of venture capital from the perspective of the entrepreneur, demystifying the term sheet and explaining the tradeoffs between economic value and control. Besides covering the technological aspects of business enterprise, the book covers the diverse participants in the fundraising procedure and how the capital organization of a venture backed firm is destined to side with and defend their individual interests. Venture Deals does a notable job of making venture capital comprehensible and accessible.
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers By Geoffrey A. Moore
This is one of those books that everybody in Silicon Valley has read (probably more than once). Geoffrey Moore shows how thriving technology product adoption follows a pattern called the “Technology Adoption Life Cycle”. Starting with the innovators and early adopters in a meticulous market, a deadly gulf separates the premature majority, delayed majority and stragglers. After laying out this structure, Moore goes on to clarify how companies have effectively “crossed the chasm” before and why those that were unsuccessful to make this seemingly astounding conversion did so. The third edition of Crossing the Chasm has been reorganized to include more fresh examples of high-tech companies that made this dangerous marketing change, such as Salesforce, VMware and Mozilla.
Silicon Valley Career Guide by Andy Rachleff
The Silicon Valley Career Guide which was put together by Wealthfront’s co-founder and Chairman, Andy Rachleff, is a resource for job seekers in the Valley that is now table stakes for everybody looking to connect with an early stage company. And if the MBA scholar is looking for an initial point for deciding which companies he ought to be aiming for, then the 2016 Wealthfront career-launching companies list is an incredibly fine place to begin.