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Comparsion on MBA course structure and Josh Kaufman’s Top 40 Self-study Books for MBA

Comparsion on MBA course structure and Josh Kaufman’s Top 40 Self-study Books for MBA

A while ago, Seth Godin stated one can receive same knowledge as MBA course and able to better use of time and money than actual experience combined with a dedicated reading of 30 or 40 books. This statement would be correct if we take out the following aspects/advantages of attending MBA courses:

  • Networking
  • Discussions during the class
  • Assignments on writing analysis on applying theories into case study or your experiences

If we omit (or don’t care) the advantages of those aspects in MBA classes and you are self-motivated enough to set aside time per day to self-study on books, you can definitely receive the same knowledge from books than attending MBA course.

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Recently, Josh Kaufman extended Seth’s idea and developed a book list that able to substitute MBA. It is a very good book list.

For me, I am studying Master in Business, majoring Human Resource Management and I am seeking to closing this course with just a Graduate Certificate and move on to MBA. I have been looking into MBA course for a while now. Because I am seeking for options – for instance gaining knowledge without having to pay expensive fee to attend MBA, I looked into Josh’s book list and compared topics of the book and the subjects that MBA offers.

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I categorized the core subjects of a MBA course structure. Combining the subject list with the list on categories on minors/concentration, I also categorized the book to topics which Josh Kaufman recommended and see if they cover similar knowledge areas in MBA.

An example on university MBA course structure:
Core subjects:

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  • Managing in the Global Business Environment – [General Management, Global]
  • Understanding Data – [Statistics, Analysis]
  • Financial Statements Analysis 1 – [Financial, Analysis]
  • Strategic Management – [Strategy]
  • Human Resource Management Issues – [HRM (Human Resources Management)]
  • Business Communication – [Communication]
  • Fundamentals of Marketing Management – [Marketing]
  • Organisational Behaviour 1 – [HRM]
  • Entrepreneurship – [Entrepreneurship]
  • Business Law 1 – [General Law]
  • Financial Management 1 – [Financial]
  • Understanding Leadership – [Leadership]
  • Creative Problem Solving – [Creative thinking, Problem solving]
  • Managing Technological Innovation – [ICT (Information and communication technologies)]
  • Economics in Business 1 – [Economic]
  • Business Plans 1 – [Strategy]
  • Corporate Accountability and Governance – [Corporate Law]

Concentrations/Minors categories:

  • Accounting
  • Arts & Cultural Management
  • Business Communication
  • Corporate Governance
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Health Services Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Technology Management
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
  • Strategy

Josh Kaufman’s recommended book list for personal MBA:

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  1. Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fullfillment by George Leonard – [Learning]
  2. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton – [Motivation – Strength]
  3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen – [Self-help – Time Management]
  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – [Self-help – Productivity]
  5. What the CEO Wants You to Know : How Your Company Really Works by Ram Charan – [Business – Focus]
  6. Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business : 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning by Ram Charan – [Business – Growth]
  7. Michael E. Porter on Competition by Michael Porter – [Economic]
  8. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne – [Strategy]
  9. Seeing What’s Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change by Clayton M. Christensen, Erik A. Roth, Scott D. Anthony – [Strategy]
  10. The Essential Drucker: Management, the Individual and Society by Peter Drucker – [Management]
  11. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman – [Management]
  12. The One Thing You Need to Know : About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success by Marcus Buckingham – [Management, Leadership]
  13. The Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffett & Lawrence Cunningham – [General Business]
  14. Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger by Charlie Munger – [General Business]
  15. The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Finance for Nonfinancial Managers by Robert A. Cooke – [Finance]
  16. Essentials of Accounting by Robert Newton Anthony and Leslie K. Pearlman – [Accounting]
  17. The Goal : A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox – [Process, Decision-Making]
  18. Lean Thinking : Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated by James Womack & Daniel Jones – [Management, Process]
  19. The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, & Consciousness by Virginia Postrel – [Economic]
  20. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman – [Creative thinking, Design]
  21. Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt – [Economic]
  22. The Marketing Playbook: Five Battle-Tested Plays for Capturing and Keeping the Lead in Any Market by John Zagula & Richard Tong – [Marketing]
  23. The Art of the Start : The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki – [Entrepreneurship]
  24. The Bootstrapper’s Bible: How to Start and Build a Business With a Great Idea and (Almost) No Money by Seth Godin – [Entrepreneurship]
  25. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler – [Communication]
  26. On Writing Well, 25th Anniversary : The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser – [Communication, Writing]
  27. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie – [Communication]
  28. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini – [Communication]
  29. The Little Red Book of Selling : 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer – [Sales]
  30. The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion : A Guide Understanding Your Expertise by Peter Block – [Consulting]
  31. Real Estate Principles for the New Economy by Norman Miller & David Geltner – [Economic, Real Estate]
  32. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Fisher, Ury, and Patton – [Communication]
  33. Principles of Statistics by M.G. Bulmer [Statistic]
  34. A Primer on Business Ethics by Tibor Machan & James Chesher – [Ethic]
  35. Brand New : How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers’ Trust from Wedgwood to Dell by Nancy F. Koehn – [Entrepreneurship]
  36. American Business, 1920-2000: How It Worked (The American History Series) by Thomas K. McCraw, John H. Franklin, and A. S. Eisenstadt – [General Business]
  37. The Little Book of Business Wisdom: Rules of Success from More than 50 Business Legends by Peter Krass (Editor) – [Management, Leadership]
  38. Re-imagine! by Tom Peters – [General Business]
  39. The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkun – [Project Management]
  40. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch – [Self-Help – Time Management]

In my opinion, couple of points on my end:

  • From comparing the general category of the books, Law and Financial Analysis would be the two areas which are missing from the list.
  • A specialized book on Global and International Business would be nice to have too.
  • I am not quite sure why Real Estate Principles for the New Economy by Norman Miller & David Geltner is on the list. Is it essiental to understand the economic in real estate point of view?
  • I see the importances of self-help ( as this is the main theme of this site), and it does help development and maximize your productivity on your job – however does it fall into MBA course and topics?
  • Most of the books on the list are hands-on style. I love practial books and I am all for it. A seperate list of theory books for MBA that similar to what MBA course use would be a good for reference too.

What are your views on Josh’s book suggestions for MBA?

The Josh Kaufman “Personal MBA” Program

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Leon Ho

Founder of Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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