Need A Present For The Holidays? Try One Of These Books

Dec 11th, 2009 by actonmba

Looking for a good read or a gift for someone over the holidays?

Here are a few books we recommend that will not only provide entertainment, but also information and tips on how to create and maintain a great business. These books are valuable for any time of the year at any point in your lifetime.

Stocking stuffer: A Message to Garcia, Elbert Hubbard

Although this book may like a breeze, but don’t be deceived by its size. Hubbarb recounts the story of Rowan, someone who “got the job done” and delivered President McKinley’s urgent message to General Garcia without question. The message and challenge presented  is invaluable and can be related to any situation in your day-to-day life. Additionally, read about the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence’s note, “Message to Garcia.”

Made to Stick, Chip Heath & Dan Heath

This book analyzes what makes certain ideas stand out and what makes most ideas ordinary and forgettable. The Heath brothers offer six principles of successful ideas: simplicity, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories.

Master Teacher Steven Tomlinson says, “It doesn’t matter how good your idea is. It does not matter how good your business proposal is. It doesn’t matter how talented you are if other people don’t know it. And for them to know it means seeing it with their mind’s eye. And to see it, you need to say the words that make the pictures stay with them. This book is about that skill.”

The Art of War, Sun Tzu, Sun Zi

The principles featured in The Art of War was written about 2,500 years ago about Chinese military tactics, but can be applied to any modern-day activity that involves strategy. Business professionals and others  look to the book today for advice on leadership, strategy, organization, competition and cooperation.

Good to Great, Jim C. Collins

In Good to Great, Collins presents the findings he and his team of researchers discovered about turning a business from good to great. His results include factors like Level 5 Leaders, the Hedgehog Concept, the Flywheel and the Doom Loop, a Culture of Discipline, and Accelerators. Collins provides great insight to the simplest concepts that makes businesses great, a feat a mere 11 companies of all that have made the Fortune 500 have achieved.

Getting Past No, William Ury

Ury offers advice and strategies on how to negotiate and deal with difficult people and situations. His five-step system will teach you how to get someone to say “yes” instead of “no.”  Getting Past No will help you in any situation, whether it be a stubborn boss, an exasperated client or cranky spouse.

Ben Allen, Teacher at Acton, recommends this book. “What you do in difficult situations and the people that you work with in those situations is what this book is about. Being able to have difficult conversations and deal with it with people who are in a negative mindset from time to time is extremely hard. Please pay attention to this and note your reaction to it – I think there is information in your reaction as much as in the book,” says Ben.

Photo courtesy of mintlips.

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