Five Must-Read Business Books for 2016

We look forward to December, when respected publications announce their top business books of the year.  Whether you’re contemplating a start-up in 2017 or running a successful business here in the Upstate, it’s good to unplug from the day-to-day grind and contemplate the insights of those who’ve spent years researching and exploring an idea that can have a lasting impact on your own business.

The five books highlighted below repeatedly appear on several reputable lists covering the best of 2016. We encourage you to pick one up during the holidays.


Smarter Faster Better:  The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
Written by Charles Duhigg (Random House, March 2016)

Smarter Faster Better Author of 2012’s best seller, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg takes on the whole concept of performance at work and home with Smarter Faster Better. A gifted writer and reporter for the New York Times, Duhigg walks us through some challenging topics with a colorful and enjoyable narrative. As Inc. writes, “Smarter Faster Better is dense with self-help tactics like telling ourselves stories to sustain our focus and attention, setting goals that are both aspirational and realistic, and thinking about the future as a range of potential outcomes.”


Originals:  How Non-Confirmists Move the World
Written by Adam Grant (Viking, February 2016)

Originals, written by Adam Grant Recognized as the leading professor at the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, organizational psychologist Adam Grant writes about thinkers who bring new ideas into the world in his new book Originals. “What Adam Grant brings to the conversation in Originals,” writes 800CEOread, “is that ingenuity is inside all of us. It often takes great courage, but challenging the status quo and changing your world or the world at large is not only the arena of the eccentric; it is available to everyone, every day.” In Originals, Grant explores what it takes to be creative and champion new ideas.

Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent
Sydney Finkelstein (Portfolio, February 2016)

Superbosses written by Sydney Finkelstein The Steven Roth Professor of Management at Dartmouth’s Tuck Center for Leadership, Sydney Finkelstein has written over 20 books, including the best seller Why Smart Executives Fail. His newest, Superbosses, the result of a ten-year research project, profiles leaders who have cultivated some of the best talent in their industries. The book describes what they did and how they did it, providing insights for anyone in a leadership capacity. According to Inc., “Finkelstein set out to discover what those star makers have in common: how they transform their protégés into apprentices and then set them on a course to become supernovas.”

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Cal Newport (Grand Central Publishing, January 2016)

Deep Work written by Cal Newport As every business owner knows, one of the greatest challenges with young employees is maintaining high concentration on demanding, high value jobs, particularly in a world of constant distractions. That’s the premise behind Cal Newport’s new book, Deep Work. The 34-year-old professor of computer science at Georgetown University presents a rigorous 4-part training regimen for transforming the mind and building habits to support this skill. According to best selling writer Daniel Pink, Deep Work establishes a guide to “the kind of intense concentration in a distraction-free environment that results in fast, powerful learning and performance. Think of it as calisthenics for your mind — and start your exercise program today.”

How To Have a Good Day
Caroline Webb (Crown Business, February 2016)

How To Have A Good Day written by Caroline Webb A senior advisor to McKinsey, Caroline Webb’s firm Sevenshift uses insights from behavioral science to help people make concrete improvements to their working life. How To Have A Good Day has been published in 16 languages and more than 60 countries. In the book, Webb translates three key scientific concepts into easy-to-follow guidelines that unlock our potential to: Improve our energy, establish priorities, get more productivity from every hour, strengthen our personal impact and develop more resiliency in the face of misfortune. According to Fortune magazine, “her insights are rooted in behavioral science …. So when she advises you how to structure your day to maximize creativity (avoid multitasking, batch together similar challenges, and take breaks), she’s not just riffing or sharing bromides; she’s offering wisdom based on the science of how human beings actually operate.”

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