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15 Valuable Business Books That Can Bolster Your Skill Set

15 Valuable Business Books That Can Bolster Your Skill Set

According to many studies, the value of an MBA is declining. As more and more people pursue business degrees, and as colleges make those degrees more convenient, the value of the knowledge associated with an MBA is becoming less and less powerful. However, for those seeking to gain business knowledge, there are many cheap and affordable alternatives to an MBA. For that reason, we have compiled a list of 15 short business books that are a valuable alternative to costly educational programs.

1. How To Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff

How To Lie With Statistics is a valuable alternative to any business statistics class. While not necessarily based heavily in math, this book does give the reader a thorough knowledge of how people use numbers to manipulate facts, to create hypotheses, and, most importantly, how to obscure the truth. Grab this one and learn how you’re being lied to on a daily basis.

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    2. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

    Who Moved My Cheese is an important work detailing valuable business lessons through the parable of two mice caught in a maze. Each day they realize the cheese is not in the same place it was yesterday; this imitates how the goals of a business change and change often, and how the best businesses are able to readily adapt to those changes.

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      3. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

      In addition to being prime water-cooler conversation fodder, The Tipping Point makes clear how an idea, business or otherwise, turns from an idea into a trend into a social epidemic. Using examples such as the popularity of Hush Puppy shoes in the ’90’s, The Tipping Point identifies three types of people that contribute to social epidemics and lays out how these types of people can be used to create epidemics. It is a business book that is valuable for marketers and others concerned with how trends form.

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        4. Rich Habits by Thomas Corley

        In Rich Habits, Thomas Corley lays out the results of his five-year study in which he observed the daily habits of both rich and poor people. Rich people were more likely to engage in regular routines such as brushing their teeth or calling friends on their birthdays. This work is special because Corley takes some simple data and makes it into a highly readable, pocket-sized work.

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          5. Good to Great by Jim Collins

          This intricately data-driven study by University of Colorado professor Jim Collins makes his case for why many businesses fail, and what drives those that succeed. Good to Great uses many visual metaphors to make clear how certain companies moved from average to amazing, while others struggle. Collins’ terms “The Hedgehog Concept” and “The Flywheel and the Doom Loop” are vital to the vocabulary of any successful business person.

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            6. Turn the Ship Around! By L. David Marquet

            Marquet, a retired Navy submarine captain, lays out brilliant leadership methods that he developed during his tenure as a leader of men in trying circumstances. In the take-orders culture of the military, Marquet become wary of giving commands that could not be followed, so he turned each of his individual sailors into leaders instead of followers. Turn the Ship Around is an important study of how to empower those in your command to use their minds.

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              7. Thinking Fast, and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

              In Thinking Fast, and Slow, psychologist Daniel Kahneman spends his efforts deconstructing the reasons why people are often misinformed at the first glance, and how leaders can control their thinking to make sure they are not hoodwinked by logical fallacies or by their own emotions. This work is a brilliant piece of writing that delves deep into how our brains don’t necessarily operate efficiently in the short-term, and gives insights about how we can train ourselves to think more coherently long-term.

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                8. The Black Swan by Nassim NicholasTassib

                In The Black Swan, many misconceptions about the impact of the highly improbable are diagnosed and dissected. Many business leaders read this book to understand how wrong they are often are, and the impact of their wrong-headedness on others. This is a brilliant read.

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                  9. Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

                  Alinsky’s book is a manifesto on how to create grassroots support of any idea, no matter how ridiculous or ‘radical.’ Alinsky’s work is often thought of as more of a handbook on how to organize political, but this is the book that created the idea of personalizing trivial issues, and holds many positive thoughts on how to galvanize people.

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                    10. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

                    In the early part of the 20th Century, How To Win Friends and Influence People more or less started the self-help movement. This book is a powerful tool on how to negotiate with others, how to influence conversations, and how to look good while doing both. No business leader should go without it.

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                      11. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

                      This work is by an Icelandic psychologist and goes thoroughly in-depth on how creative and scientific types dial into their trade and really begin to experience oneness with their work. A brilliant study on how to tap into your potential, Flow is not to be left off this list.

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                        12. The Balanced Scorecard by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton

                        The Balanced Scorecard is all about creating an optimal strategy and implementing it through accurate performance measures that naturally drive goals to completion. These book has a three-pronged approach to justifying strategy, creating measures that will drive the company forward, and optimizing those measures.

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                          13. Sam Walton: Made In America: by Sam Walton

                          What better way to find out about effectiveness in business than by reading the words and perspective of one of the most successful CEO’s in history. Sam Walton’s story is equal part effective narration of his mindset and shrewd business advice.

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                            14. The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki

                            Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start 2.0  is a diagram of entrepreneurship and how to build something from the ground up. Kawasaki is thought of as a visionary on many subjects; I, myself, was once in a webinar in which he taught social media skills to many, free of charge. If anyone can do it yourself, it’s you, and if anyone can show you how to do it yourself, it’s Kawasaki.

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                              15. The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman

                              Friedman has several works that could make this list– most notably The World Is Flat– but The Lexus and the Olive Tree gains the last entry because they truly make the reader delve into and even embrace globalization and the shrinking and complicating of business process as they occur. Read about how geographical and geopolitical boundaries are necessary to be maintained even as business circumvents them all.

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                                Featured photo credit: 42-15181265/Rhodri Utility Warehouse Distributor via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on July 10, 2019

                                30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

                                30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

                                What do your 3pm fridge raid and perfectly alphabetised bookshelf have in common?

                                You most likely did both of them when you should have been doing work.

                                Procrastination is one of the most human behaviours. We’re all guilty of putting off what we know is important from time to time, and it seems the more pressing the task at hand, the better we are at avoiding it.

                                Sure, it means that every time we have an important deadline we end up with a spotlessly clean house and a completely empty inbox, but the real work gets left until the very last minute and is finished in a frenzy of stress and caffeine.

                                But we can gain control over procrastination by noticing it as soon as possible and stopping it in its tracks. On the contrary, you know you have a bad habit when you’re aware you’re putting something off, and you continue avoiding it anyway.

                                To start you off with combating procrastination, here are a few quotes to get you in a motivated frame of mind, because if procrastination has any enemies, it’s motivation to work harder.

                                A Few Home Truths

                                  “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
                                  ― Mark Twain


                                  “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
                                  ― Leonardo da Vinci


                                  “Someday is not a day of the week.”
                                  ― Janet Dailey


                                  “Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.”
                                  ― Israelmore Ayivor


                                  “The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.”
                                  ― Craig D. Lounsbrough


                                  “Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.”
                                  ― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret


                                  “Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.”
                                  ― Noelle Hancock, My Year with Eleanor


                                  “Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.”
                                  ― Matshona Dhliwayo


                                  “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
                                  ― Abraham Lincoln


                                  “A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”
                                  ― Bill Watterson, There’s Treasure Everywhere


                                  “By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?”
                                  ― Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes


                                  “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
                                  ― José N. Harris


                                  Some Practical Advice

                                    “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”
                                    ― Hilary Mantel


                                    “Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
                                    ― Robert Herjavec, The Will To Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding


                                    “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”
                                    ― Pablo Picasso


                                    “It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.”
                                    ― Lon Milo DuQuette, The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema


                                    “Do first what you don’t want to do most.”
                                    ― Clifford Cohen


                                    “How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.”
                                    ― Stephen Richards, The Secret of Getting Started: Strategies to Triumph over Procrastination


                                    “How to stop procrastinating starts with believing you can overcome procrastination.”
                                    ― Robert Moment, How to Stop Procrastinating


                                    “Never put things off…you will wake up and find them gone.”
                                    ― James Jones


                                    Some Tough Love

                                      “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.”
                                      ― Paulo Coelho, Aleph


                                      “If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.”
                                      ― George Bernard Shaw


                                      “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
                                      ― José N. Harris


                                      “What is deferred is not avoided.”
                                      ― Thomas More


                                      “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”
                                      ― Chuck Close


                                      “If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.”
                                      ― Roy Bennett


                                      “Your ideas have legs and just as they run through your head, they could be running through someone else’s head and it’s just a matter of who gets to the finish line first. Nothing is new under the sun so act on your ideas.”― Sanjo Jendayi


                                      “You may not be punished for your procrastination, but for sure you will be punished by your procrastination.”
                                      ― Debasish Mridha


                                      When You Need Pulling out of Procrastination

                                        “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
                                        ― Denis Waitley


                                        “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
                                        ― Karen Lamb


                                        Print these quotes out, stick them on the wall in front of your desk – do whatever it takes to remember why you shouldn’t be putting your work off, or getting distracted by a desire to rearrange your socks into colour order.

                                        It won’t be easy, but being aware of how detrimental procrastination is to your longer-term goals is the first step towards overcoming it.

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                                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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