The best business books of the year so far

Chris Schluep on August 07, 2019
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In the first half of 2019, we saw a lot of good books on leadership, and that's highlighted in the list below. That's not to say all of our picks for the Best Business & Leadership Books are focused on the leadership part, but the ones I've chosen to talk about fall into that category. Be sure to check out the full list here.

In the books below, you will find solid practical advice from a distinguished leader; you'll learn how to identify, and stick with, good ideas; you'll find advice on decluttering and reducing your digital space; you'll discover nine lies that are keeping you from being a better leader; and you will discover how to lead a team like a Sherpa.



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The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo

Julie Zhuo works in Silicon Valley and has been managing people since the age of 25. Word has it she was the first intern at Facebook. She gathered a significant following with her blog, and she has continued building a following with her book The Making of a Manager, which is well-organized, insightful, and very useful. Managers of all shapes and sizes would do well to pay attention to Julie Zhuo.



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Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them. This book was blurbed by Daniel Kahneman himself (“This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world.”).



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Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Many books share this theme. And we've heard it before: in order to be happy and do good work, we need to disconnect. Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work, is essentially setting himself up to be the Marie Kondo of technology with this new work, even including a 30-day digital cleanse in his book. It's important to remember that technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.



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Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham

Anyone who works in a corporate environment knows it is a world full of received wisdom and accepted norms. But is it possible for all that we think to be true? And is there a better way? This is a readable book, backed by analysis, that seeks to merge the workplace with something more resembling the real world, providing you the tools to be both a better worker and a better leader.



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The 100X Leader: How to Become Someone Worth Following by Jeremie Kubicek

The process of multiplying leadership lies at the heart of The 100X Leader. Effective leaders see their role as one of helping others to achieve their full potential. The person worth following must be secure, confident, and humble enough to help others grow their leadership skills, and then develop them to multiply those skills to others. In this book, the authors use the metaphor of Tibetan Sherpas: true leadership requires the humility and courage to identify our greatest fears and weaknesses, to face head-on the realities of how others perceive us, and to embark on a journey of change.



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