As we come to the end of the year, it’s a time for reflection.

It’s only natural to start looking ahead. Trying to figure out what we’ll do to make this year better than the last.

What lessons have we learned? What would we change? What will we try to repeat?

This is where I – being a business geek — look to books to educate and inspire me.

I do have a preference. My favorite form of Biz Lit are Business biographies.
I love — love, love, love — a good business biography. There’s nothing like living vicariously through the successes of those who’ve been there / done that.

I gleen bits of wisdom and eek out psuedo-curriculum from these books. At the very least, they provide a frame of reference for what has (and has not) worked for others in the past. They help me when faced with tough decisions and in forming my own philosophies on how I’d like to do business.

In fact, in many of these books my favorite parts are the discussions on their failures.

At the same time, I still crave applied knowledge.

The best, in my opinion….take successful entities (people, companies, organizations) and break down the nuts and bolts of their operations. They draw out the repeatable process & activities that helped bring them a measure of success. While not necessarily saying – ‘Do this and you’ll grow like gang busters’ — because that just ain’t realistic. They do provide a basis for defining the unique formula required for you to succeed in your own right.

At least – that’s how I see it.

These books are few & far between. So when I find a great book, I love to share it.

Below are 14 of my favorite books:

  1. Getting Things Done (David Allen)
  2. Bill & Dave: How HP Built The World’s Greatest Company
  3. Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat
  4. Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay (Lester Wunderman)
  5. High Wire Act: Ted Rogers and the Empire that Debt Built
  6. When Hollywood Had a King: The Reign of Lew Wasserman, Who Leveraged Talent into Power and Influence
  7. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr
  8. Getting The Right Things Done: A Leaders Guide to Planning & Execution
  9. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
  10. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
  11. Andrew Carnegie
  12. Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun And Made A Fortune Doing Business My Way
  13. The Toyota Way
  14. In Sam We Trust

What are some of your favorites?

Two cool announcements
I’m happy to announce Office Space Coworking is opening up our very own Lending Library for Business Books. In our Akron & Cuyahoga Falls offices, you’ll find a number of books available for you to reading pleasure. I’ll work to get these cataloged and available for online reservation so you members can just pick them up in their mailbox the next time they come into the office. But no – we won’t have the latest John Grisham, sorry.

It’s not big (yet) — but you’ll find ‘my’ favorites there and we’re taking on donations.

If you’d like to borrow one, just send me a note that you’re ‘checking it out’ — and return it when your done.

AND – a couple of us have been talking and decided to get a Business Book Reading Club going. A couple of us are reading ‘Crush it’ right now and we’re going to start organizing when to meet. I’m thinking this will probably come together after the 1st of the year. We’ll host our meetings at the Akron Office Space Coworking location…probably on a bi-weekly or monthly basis…depending one what works best for the group.

If you’re interested in participating, please let me know!

2 Responses to “My 14 Favorite Business Books….(and the Launch of Office Space Coworking's Lending Library)”
  1. Blake Urmos

    I do so much reading online that books are almost irrelevant unless I’m at the beach. Also. I find that reading business related books before bed is guaranteeing a sleepless mind-racing night. However, there are two books that have been completely life changing recently:

    1) 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris http://www.fourhourworkweek.com
    2) Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk http://www.crushitbook.com

    David Allen’s Getting Things Done was definitely an inspiration. That was another life changing piece of work a few years ago. I would love to bounce some ideas and thoughts off people concerning these books.

  2. Todd Jones

    If you PROMISE the book club will happen, I’ll get this book and read it. I’ve been hoping for a business book club.

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