The Best Business Books Ever, published by editors at Basic Books (2011), reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D. June, 2011.
Overview: An executive once asked me how he could get well grounded in leadership now that his job had changed. I gave him a daunting list of books that I had read over many years. The big problem was that this guy had a “day job” which limited his reading time. There are several compendiums of business book summaries, and I have found The Best Business Books Ever to be one of the best of this summary genre, mostly because I like the standard structure that they used for every book. The consistent structure consisted of 5 critical elements: “Why Read It?” (bottom line of the book/author’s contribution to the discipline of business); “Getting Started” (the author’s main theme); “Contribution” (key bullet takeaways of the book); “Context” (both immediate and long-term impact of the book); and “For More Information” (a bibliography for more related info). This simple, consistent structure adds a surprising power to the book, which I recommend as a reference to any executive wishing to attain fundamental, grounded business literacy. This month I’ll review a number of key summaries that were like visiting old friends and meeting some new ones. Note that my reviews are only the tip of this very deep business intelligence iceberg. So, if you avoid reading the entire book, it will be at your own peril!