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25 best business books: 6-10

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When the markets crashed in 2008, advisors took on a role that emphasized education.

To better handle that expanded role with their clients, advisors needed a better understanding of markets.

Today we’re looking at the best business books that study markets, corporations and global economies.

I welcome your thoughts on my selections and if you feel like I left any deserving books off the list, please leave a comment below or send me an email at [email protected]

bulls and bust

10. Bull! : A History of the Boom, 1982-1999: What drove the Breakneck Market–and What Every Investor Needs to Know About Financial Cycles (HarperBusiness (October, 2003)

By Maggie Mahar

Background: A multitude of books have been written about market booms and busts, but Mahar’s is, quite simply, the best. She goes deep inside the levers and machinations that turn markets and uncovers the blind faith that far too many have that markets will be able to bail them out of whatever financial shortfall they’ve found themselves in.

Takeaway: When you feel that gravitational pull of the markets trying to suck you (and your hard-earned dollars) in their vortex, resist; resist; resist.

Quote:  ”Some historians emphasize the psychological factors that drive cycles; others focus on economic causes. The most sophisticated recognize that the two cannot be separated.” 

Up next: The Art of War


art of war9. The Art of War (Tribeca Books; December, 2010)

By Sun Tzu 

Background: The oldest military treatise known to man, is also a mainstay in many business schools, at least it was in the two I attended. Written thousands of years ago, The Art of War remains alarmingly relevant today.

Takeaway: “Sun Tzu said the most important factor to consider is the cost of competition. Rather than building large armies and engaging in direct, long battles, one should keep their investments small and their contests quick. Furthermore, the best way to defeat a competitor is not to attack him, but rather to focus on an area that he must defend.”

Quote: “Those skilled at making the enemy move do so by creating a situation to which he must conform; they entice him with something he is certain to take, and with lures of ostensible profit they await him in strength.” 

Up next: Winning

jack welch winning

8.Winning: The Ultimate Business How-To Book (HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition; October, 2009)

 By Jack Welch and Suzy Welch

Background: Have you ever wondered what drives executives to the top and then what keeps them there? You get exactly that in Winning. In his characteristic brusque tone, the former General Electric chairman and CEO offers no-nonsense insights into the upper echelons of the corporate business world.

Takeaway: Find out the importance of setting a tone for a company’s cultural values and the inclusion of all voices in decision-making.

Quote:  ”I think winning is great. Not good—great. Because when companies win, people thrive and grow. There are more jobs and more opportunities.” 

Up next: The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century 

the world is flat7. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Picador; 3rd edition; July, 2007)

By Thomas Friedman

Background: Whether looking at the global economic meltdown of 2008 or the current scare over the Ebola virus, the world is increasingly a place where everyone is your neighbor and no book has better incapsulated globalization and its effect on business than New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

Takeaway: It’s a small world after all.

Quote: “In 2003, some 25,000 U.S. tax returns were done in India. In 2004, the number was 100,000. In 2005, it was roughly 400,000. In a decade, you will assume that your accountant has outsourced the basic preparation of your tax returns–if not more.” 

Up next: In Search of Excellence

in search of excellence6. In Search of Excellence 

(HarperBusiness; revised edition; November, 2012)

By Thomas J. Peters and Robert H., Jr. Waterman 

Background: Dozens, if not hundreds, of books have focused on “lessons from America’s best-run companies.” Many of them are fine studies on corporate America, but none hold up to the original in the genre, In Search of Excellence, a research project of Peters and Waterman conducted from 1979 to 1980. In their study, the authors investigated the common qualities of America’s best companies.

Takeaway: Look at the path carved by market leaders and find out how they got there and what the commonalities are among successful companies.

Quote: “Stick to the knitting–stay with the business that you know.” 

If you’re looking for More best business books.


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