5 Books that Every Business Professional Should Read

July 25, 2013 Aaliyah Madadi

As a business professional, you probably engage with a vast array of content on a daily basis: news, articles, blog posts, videos, webinars, presentations, reports, whitepapers… (just to name a few!). There’s no shortage of content to indulge in, and now to add to the list are these 5 fantastic books that every business professional should read. This is a compiled list of favourites from the Uberflip team so you can dive in knowing that they won’t disappoint!

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

This book is a favourite of Randy Frisch, COO here at Uberflip. The term “lean startup” was coined by Eric Ries in 2011 and is “a scientific approach to creating and managing start-ups and getting a desired product to customers’ hands faster.” In his book, Ries walks though the lean methodology of how start-ups should approach product development and launches, and how they can learn from their experiences to create efficient businesses. Here are 5 principles of the lean startup mentality:

  • Entrepreneurs are everywhere
  • Entrepreneurship is management
  • Validated learning
  • Innovation accounting
  • Build – Measure – Learn

The Goal by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt

The Goal is a management-focused novel that is studied in many universities and colleges (I can vouch for this – it was a summer reading requirement at my business school). It is the fictional story of Alex Rogo, a production plant manager who is instructed by his boss to turn the current unprofitable production plant into a success within the next 3 months. While the story focuses on operations management (topics such as bottlenecks and how to address them), the novel does a good job of paralleling these operational themes into key takeaways for both business and personal life. Throughout the dialogue between Alex Rogo and his mentor Dr. Jonah, the novel utilizes the Socratic method of thinking to approach problem solving scenarios. As such, Dr. Goldratt highlights the importance of having a clear and simplistic understanding of the overall goals you want to achieve.

Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game by Kevin Hogan

This recommendation comes to you from our rockstar Account Manager, Audrey Gagnon. Covert Persuasion discusses the psychology behind selling by describing the methods and communication tactics for “effectively persuading anyone of virtually anything.” The book is based off research in human communications, psychology, linguistics, and sales tactics. This book is especially recommended for anyone in sales, although you probably know that strength in sales extends far beyond the office : )

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Depending on how you approach this book, it’s duly effective for both professional and personal growth. Published in 1989, this is book has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and was listed as one of “The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books” by Time Magazine in 2011. The book is broken down into the following 7 habits for effectively attaining any goal:

  • Be Proactive
  • Begin with the End in Mind
  • Put First Things First
  • Think Win-Win
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the Saw

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynold

If your job revolves around giving presentations or you want to learn how to create engaging slideshows, this book is for you. It walks through slide creation techniques, speaking skills, and ultimately gives a detailed overview of the fundamental components involved in creating and delivering killer presentations. The book is divided into 6 key sections:

  • Design
  • Story
  • Symphony
  • Empathy
  • Play
  • Meaning

In a review of this book, Seth Godin (best-selling author, entrepreneur, and public speaker), says: “Please don’t buy this book! Once people start making better presentations, mine won’t look so good. (But if you truly want to learn what works and how to do it right, Garr is the man to learn from).”

Got any other marketing or business-related favourites? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

After graduating from the HBA program at the Richard Ivey School of Business, Aaliyah launched her career as Marketing Coordinator at Uberflip! Prior to her HBA, Aaliyah also completed a Bachelor in English at Western University.

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