A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about the email newsletters that make me smarter. Today, I want to share some of the business books I have read and loved, and learned from.
An oldie but goodie, this book was published in 1Roger Fisher981 and is almost as old as I am. It is still the best book on negotiations that I have read, I go back to the five propositions on a weekly basis:
- “Separate the people from the problem.” (watch out for emotion, make sure the negotiation builds the relationship, instead of destroying it)
- “Focus on interests, not positions.” (what are they really asking for?)
- “Invent options for mutual gain.” (grow the pie)
- “Insist on using objective criteria.” (commit to a real conversation)
- “Know your BATNA.” (best alternative to a negotiated agreement)
Other than the amazing title (the world needs more love), I return to this book almost daily for the way Sanders suggest we treat others in the workplace. Every day, I try to be a “lovecat.”
How? By sharing my knowledge, my network, and my compassion and love. Because, “Those of us who use love as a point of differentiation in business will separate ourselves from our competitors just as world-class distance runners separate themselves from the rest of the pack trailing behind them.”
From Good To Great, I go back to the idea of the bus: get the right people on the bus, then figure out where to drive it. Not necessarily the other way around. “First who, then what.”
From Built to Last, I go back to the acronym BHAG, Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I ask myself, is my BHAG big enough? It is clear and compelling enough?
Duhigg explains habits as cue, routine, reward. He also explains that you can’t stop or extinguish a bad habit, but you can work on the cue and the reward, and thus change the routine, change the habit.
The concept of keystone habits (the habit that makes every other good habit easier) is also eye-opening.
On that same topic, on my reading list next is Atomic Habits by James Clear.
I love lists. But am I using my various lists in the most impactful, efficient manner? This book is about how to create the right checklists, and how to use them to save lives (in hospitals or in the airline industry for example) and make businesses work better. I read it twice, and still feel like I would learn more by reading it a third time.
There are so many lessons from this book, I wrote a separate blog post on it after finishing it. It is a reminder to think about our thinking. Indeed, as Sharma puts it, the “one thing that makes us fully human is our ability to think about our thinking.”
Think about your thinking. And read books that help guide, improve, challenge, grow your thinking.
What are your favorite business books?