My Top 10 Favourite Business Books

Source || By|Ben brett


Over the Christmas break, I had the opportunity to get into a bunch of books I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I posted this on my Instagram and saw that a lot people were interested in what I was reading. I’ve always loved reading business books and have found that there are some great books out there which will help you gain clarity over your business (or future business). So here are my top 10 favourite business books.

No 1: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

This book is by far my favourite. It may be starting to show some age (particularly by the standards of Silicon Valley) but its lessons remain constant. This book coined the term ‘minimum viable product’ and really challenged me to see things in a different way. I have a tendency to want to work on things until they are ‘perfect’, and this book changed my mind about this.

No 2: Good to Great by Jim Collins

This book was the first I read in a whole series of books of a similar nature by Jim Collins. I’ve also read ‘Built to Last’ and ‘Great by Choice’ which are both excellent. This book takes an analytical view of companies that have performed well when their peers have not in the same period. This seeks to pick apart what separated these companies (Hint: It’s good leadership).

No 3: Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co by Ken Grossman

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20 Books Every Marketer Should Read in 2018

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Finishing up the last page of a great book is bittersweet sorrow, invariably followed by a wave of panicked questions.

How did I reach the end so fast? Why must it be over? What will I read next?

Turn that frown upside down. All good things must come to an end, of course, but luckily there is always another excellent read awaiting you. And if you’re looking to build out your 2018 reading list, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve selected some of our favorite new marketing books and compiled them below. Not only that, but we also reached out to the authors of each to find out which works had the biggest impact on their careers, and shared their responses.

The result, we hope, is a definitive collection of indispensable texts for today’s marketers, colored by input from some of the brightest minds in business.

Before you get started, make sure to catch up on our past marketing book recommendations:

And now, without further ado…

20 Marketing Books You Should Read in 2018

Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit, by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose

Two of the foremost voices in content marketing, Pulizzi and Rose have another hit with the follow-up to their 2011 classic, Managing Content Marketing. Playing off the perception that marketing is primarily a cost center, the authors suggest sending this discipline out to pasture — at least the less strategic, less insight-driven, less innovative version they now see — and restructuring it. “What if we completely flipped the idea of the marketing function on its head?” Pulizzi and Rose propose doing so by recognizing media and monetization trends, then turning the department into a clear-cut profit center.

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Simon Sinek in conversation with Reggie Yates

Simon Sinek’s recent video on ‘The Millennial Question’ went viral with over 150 million views.

Find Your Why is the follow up to Start with Why, the global bestseller and the subject of the third most watched TED Talk of all time.

With Start With Why, Simon Sinek inspired a movement to build a world in which the vast majority of us can feel safe while we are at work and fulfilled when we go home at night. Now, along with two of his colleagues, Peter Docker and David Mead, Sinek has created a guide to the most important step any business can take: finding your why.

This easy-to-follow guide starts with the search for your personal why, and then expands to helping your colleagues find your organization’s why. With detailed instructions on every stage in the process, the book also answer common concerns, such as: What if my why sounds like my competitor’s? Can you have more than one why? And, if my work doesn’t match my why, what do I do?

Whether you’re entry level or a CEO, whether your team is run by the founder or a recent hire, these simple steps will lead you on a path to a more fulfilling life and long-term success for you and your colleagues.


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How Bill Gates reads 50 books a year

By | Abhijit Bhaduri | Founder, Abhijit Bhaduri & Associate

 Bill Gates reads almost 50 books in a year. He clearly is less busy than both of us. How does he find the time to do this? Does he employ someone to just read the books and ghost write it for him? You can check out his blog and see just how many he has already read in 2018.

Bill Gates Notes

He posts a review of the book that he’s reading and you can pick up some neat ideas even if you have not read the book. I have not read the book Factfulness. I have just read the review of the book by Gates.

Factfulness  was the last book written by Hans Rosling. He had the ability to make complex ideas simple.

Hans was a friend who Gates admired. Labels like “developing world” and developed world” are misleading labels says Rosling. When those are the only two options we can choose from, we are likely to think anyone who does not have a certain quality of life as “poor”.

Bill GatesSomeone who standing on top of a skyscraper and looking down at the city is likely to see all the other buildings as “short” whether they are 10 stories high or 50. The same thing happens with income.

Life is significantly better for those on level two compared to level one. But it is hard to see that from level four unless you know how to look for it. The book is about the ten instincts that keep us from seeing the world “factfully”. The book offers practical advice about how to overcome our innate biases.

Hans Rosling worked on the book until his last days and even brought some chapters with him in the ambulance to the hospital. His son and daughter-in-law helped finish the book after he passed.

Here is Gates talking about Factfulness



Taking time out to read is hard when there so many emails to respond to and so many Facebook photos to check. We live in a world where devices rule our lives. It is hard to build time to read and reflect. However most successful people who maybe much busier find time to read and keep notes. Gates Notes is a great example of notes that summarise key ideas of a book. A young Elon Musk read for 10 hours each day before growing up to become Tesla CEO.

Here are some ideas I have tried

Block 30-45 minutes daily

You can start by blocking 10 minutes every day to read. Keep this time device-free and go to a place where you will not be disturbed. That makes a tremendous difference to what you can read and retain. As you get comfortable with the 10-minute window, increase it gradually.

Reading is like learning to lift weights. You always start by lifting the weight you can manage comfortably. Then gradually, over time increase the weight.

Take notes

I used to underline passages and scribble notes in the page margins. Now I simply use Post-it notes and stick them in the pages which have struck my fancy. If you read eBooks then most reading apps allow you to highlight and take notes in the app.

I use the Kindle app on my phone. You do not need to buy a Kindle. Use the Kindle app on your smartphone. It works and it is a free app.

Analog and digital

I always have some books on my smart phone which I can read while I wait (for flights or before people gather for meetings). I keep a few paperbacks handy that I read daily when I am home. This combination of paperback and digital books works well for me.

Reprinted with permission & originally published by Abhijit @

Creating a Shared Culture of Learning with Books

By | Ben Eubanks – Industry Analyst, Podcaster, and Influencer, Lighthouse Research

Books. They’ve been around pretty much forever, and that familiarity is one reason they are not as appreciated as some other learning tools. But don’t be fooled–there’s more than meets the eye. It’s been said that reading one hour a day will make someone an international expert in their field in 5-7 years. While that exact figure may be up for debate, it’s clear that reading is a powerful activity for self-development.

In this episode of We’re Only Human, I interview Zach Rubin, cofounder of PBC Guru, a company that designs and delivers book club experiences for organizations looking to create a culture of shared learning. The discussion covers what books companies most often request, how to use books for supporting social learning, and a special free offer for We’re Only Human listeners.

Whether you’re a book nerd like me or not, this show is going to demonstrate that this fundamentally human activity, reading, has more value than you would have imagined.


Originally published by Ben Eubanks @upstarthr  and republished with kind permission.

I’m a human capital management industry analyst helping companies and vendors with strategy, content, and more. I have worked as an analyst for more than seven years with five of those in an independent capacity.

Previous experience working as an in-the-trenches leader in the human resources field has provided a broad range of opportunities to lead HR in smaller organizations, government contracting firms, and the nonprofit sector. I’ve had my hands in pretty much everything at some point: recruiting, benefits, employee relations, coaching, and the rest of the spectrum you run across in an HR shop.

I’m also co-founder of the HRevolution movement, an event that has attracted hundreds of attendees from around the globe to work together and explore the future of HR, work, and business. During the evenings, I write at I’m an HR blogger with a passion for leadership and culture–two things that can make or break your organization.