Best Business Books – 2015

by: Kristof, Nicholas D.,
A path appears : transforming lives, creating opportunity /

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by: Halpern, Jake,
Bad paper : chasing debt from Wall Street to the underworld /

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by: Schlender, Brent,
Becoming Steve Jobs : the evolution of a reckless upstart into a visionary leader /

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by: Rubin, Gretchen Craft.
Better than before : mastering the habits of our everyday lives /

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by: Jackley, Jessica.
Clay, water, brick : finding inspiration from entrepreneurs who do the most with the least /

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by: Stallard, Michael Lee.
Connection Culture : the competitive advantage of shared Identity, empathy, and understanding at work /
ATD Press, [2015]
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by: Robinson, Ken,
Creative schools : the grassroots revolution that’s transforming education /

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by: Rudder, Christian.
Dataclysm : who we are when we think no one’s looking /

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by: Butler, David
Design to grow : how Coca-Cola learned to combine scale and agility (and how you can too) /

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by: Hallowell, Edward M.,
Driven to distraction at work : how to focus and be more productive /

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by: Vance, Ashlee,
Elon Musk : Tesla, SpaceX, and the quest for a fantastic future /

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View Description“There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk’s relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. More than any other executive today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as a science fiction fantasy. In this lively, investigative account, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance offers an unprecedented look into the remarkable life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious businessman. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends, the book traces his journey from his difficult upbringing in South Africa to his ascent to the pinnacle of the global business world”–From publisher description.

by: Morgridge, Carrie,
Every gift matters : how your passion can change the world

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by: Goodman, Marc,
Future crimes : everything is connected, everyone is vulnerable, and what we can do about it /

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View DescriptionTechnological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side. Criminals are often the earliest, and most innovative, adopters of technology, and modern times have led to modern crimes. Today’s criminals are stealing identities, draining online bank accounts, and erasing computer servers. It’s disturbingly easy to activate baby monitors to spy on families, to hack pacemakers to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity, and to analyze a person’s social media activity to determine the best time for a home invasion. Meanwhile, 3D printers produce AK-47s, terrorists can download the recipe for the Ebola virus, and drug cartels are building drones. In Future Crimes, Marc Goodman raises tough questions about the expanding role of technology in our lives.

by: Maxwell, John C.,
Good leaders ask great questions : your foundation for successful leadership /

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by: Roberts, Russell D.
How Adam Smith can change your life : an unexpected guide to human nature and happiness /

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by: Bryant, John Hope.
How the poor can save capitalism : rebuilding the path to the middle class /

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by: Ashton, Kevin.
How to fly a horse : the secret history of creation, invention, and discovery /

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by: Thaler, Richard H.,
Misbehaving : the making of behavioral economics /

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View Description“Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments”–Amazon.com.

by: Packard, Susan.
New rules of the game : 10 strategies for women in the workplace /

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by: Putnam, Robert D.,
Our kids : the American Dream in crisis /

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View DescriptionWhat has happened to the Land of Opportunity? The promise of the American Dream is that anyone, regardless of his or her origins, can have a fair start in life. If we work hard, we can get a good education and achieve success. But over the last several decades a disturbing ‘opportunity gap’ has unexpectedly emerged between kids from ‘have’ and ‘have-not’ backgrounds. The central tenet of the American Dream — that all children, regardless of their family and social background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life — is no longer ‘self-evident.’ Robert Putnam begins this examination of our national prospects with the story of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students — ‘our kids’ to everyone in town — went on to lives better than those of their parents. They raised their children with the same expectations. But those children — and their children — have not fared so well in an age of fragile families, crumbling communities, and disappearing jobs. Their lives reflect the diminishing opportunities that haunt so many American kids today. Putnam tells poignant stories of rich and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, drawing on a formidable body of research undertaken especially for this book. In the final chapter, Putnam offers suggestions for how we might halt this decline in opportunity and restore a greater chance for upward mobility.

by: Chase, Robin,
Peers, Inc. : how people and platforms are inventing the collaborative economy and reinventing capitalism /

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by: Sutton, Robert I.
Scaling up excellence : getting to more without settling for less /

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by: Sutherland, Jeffrey Victor.
Scrum : the art of doing twice the work in half the time /
Crown Business, [2014]
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by: Hoffman, Reid.
The alliance : managing talent in the networked age /

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View DescriptionFor most of the 20th century, the relationship between employers and employees in the developed world was all about stability and lifetime loyalty. That has recently changed, giving way to a transactional, laissez-faire approach that serves neither party well. A new arrangement is needed, the authors argue — one built on alliance (usually temporary) and reciprocity. The high-tech start-up community of Silicon Valley is pointing the way, and companies that wish to be similarly agile and entrepreneurial may learn valuable lessons from its example. Under the new compact, both employer and employee seek to add value to each other.

by: Wilkinson, Amy,
The creator’s code : the six essential skills of extraordinary entrepreneurs /

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by: Horowitz, Ben,
The hard thing about hard things : building a business when there are no easy answers

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View DescriptionBen Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup–practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, from cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing about Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.

by: Horowitz, Ben,
The hard thing about hard things : building a business when there are no easy answers /

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by: Isaacson, Walter.
The innovators : how a group of inventors, hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution /

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by: Madsbjerg, Christian,
The moment of clarity : using the human sciences to solve your toughest business problems /

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View Description“Christian Madjsberg and Mikkel Rasmussen, principals at ReD Associates, argue for the role of a new set of tools to understand the ‘soft’ factors that influence how people buy and consume ideas and products. Drawn from the authors’ work with companies like Lego, Samsung, Adidas, Intel, IBM, and Coke, the book will teach you how to understand people holistically in their environments-how they live, what they think and do all day, what their habits are, and how they understand the world. For brand fanatics and business leaders alike”–Publisher information.

by: Lieber, Ron,
The opposite of spoiled : raising kids who are grounded, generous, and smart about money /

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by: Goldsmith, Marshall,
Triggers : creating behavior that lasts– becoming the person you want to be /

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View DescriptionExecutive coach and psychologist Marshall Goldsmith discusses the emotional triggers that set off a reaction or a behavior in us that often works to our detriment. Do you find that at times you suddenly become defensive or enraged by an idle comment from a colleague? Or that your temper rises when another car cuts you off in traffic? Your reactions don’t occur in a vacuum. They are the result of emotional and psychological triggers that often happen only in specific settings — at meetings, or in competitive situations, or with a specific person who rubs you the wrong way, or when you feel under particular pressure. Being able to recognize those triggers and understand how the environment affects our behavior is key to controlling our responses and managing others at work and in life. Make no mistake — change is hard. And the starting point is the willingness to accept help, and the desire to change. Over the course of this book, Marshall explores the power of active questions to get us to take responsibility for our actions — and our failure to act. Questions such as “Did I do my best to make progress toward my goal?” “Did I work hard at being fully engaged?” He discusses the importance of structure in effecting permanent change. Because, he points out, change is hard, and without a structure to keep us on track, we inevitably relapse and fall back. Filled with stories from Marshall’s work with executives and leaders, Triggers shows readers how to achieve meaningful and sustained change that will allow us to open our imaginations and escape the rigidity of binary thinking.

by: Bock, Laszlo.
Work rules! : insights from inside Google that will transform how you live and lead /

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View Description“‘We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It’s not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.’ So says Laszlo Bock, head of People Operations at the company that transformed how the world interacts with knowledge. This insight is the heart of WORK RULES!, a compelling and surprisingly playful manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live. Drawing on the latest research in behavioral economics and with a profound grasp of human psychology, Bock also provides teaching examples from a range of industries — including companies that are household names but hideous places to work, and little-known companies that achieve spectacular results by valuing and listening to their employees. Bock takes us inside one of history’s most explosively successful businesses to reveal why Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work in the world, distilling 15 years of intensive worker R&D into delightfully counterintuitive principles that are easy to put into action, whether you’re a team of one or a team of thousands. Cleaving the knot of conventional management, some lessons from WORK RULES! include: take away managers’ power over employees; learn from your best employees–and your worst; only hire people who are smarter than you are, no matter how long it takes to find them; pay unfairly (it’s fairer!); don’t trust your gut: use data to predict and shape the future; default to open: be transparent, and welcome feedback; if you’re comfortable with the amount of freedom you’ve given your employees, you haven’t gone far enough. WORK RULES! shows how to strike a balance between creativity and structure, leading to success you can measure in quality of life as well as market share. Read it to build a better company from within rather than from above; read it to reawaken your joy in what you do”–

by: Tate, Carson.
Work simply : embracing the power of your personal productivity style /

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by: Thiel, Peter A.,
Zero to one : notes on startups, or how to build the future /

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