14 Must Read Books Of 2014

Published on 26 Dec 2014 . 10 min read

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Books have become an integral part of our lives. For information we look up to books, for inspiration we look up to books, for leisure time we look up to books, for role models we look up to books, for emotions we look up to books, and for enriching our lives we look up to books. In recent times, with the advancement of entrepreneurship, the significance of the business books have become quiet prominent. Here we present to you 14 must read books of 2014 of the mentioned category.

1) Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
New York Times bestseller; named one of the best books of the year by Financial Times and Library Journal, do I need to give you more reasons to read this book. “Creativity, Inc.” is touted as a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights. The truth is, it’s as applicable to employees as it is managers because it will give you insight into those forces that are driving your company to succeed, or dooming it to failure. It’s the story of Pixar and the man behind it, but it’s also an ode to creativity and to protecting creativity, the creative process and the environment that fosters it.

2) Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation 
Larry Downes and Paul Dunes, both experts in the tech world, break the bad news about technology disruption to potential entrepreneurs in this book. The bad news for entrepreneurs is that instead of sitting back and making money with technology, they are really going to have to work: The tech world is moving so fast that if companies don’t innovate, they're going to become obsolete overnight. How can executives protect themselves and harness the power of Big Bang Disruption? Based on extensive research by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, and executives from more than thirty industries, the book, Big Bang Disruption will arm you with strategies and insights to thrive in this brave new world.

3) The Ambitious Woman: What It Takes and Why You Want to Be One?
When you think of the word ‘ambitious’, what comes to your mind? Power hungry? Getting ahead no matter what it takes? Someone who runs over others to accomplish their goals? While many people may have a negative view of what it means to be ambitious, author, motivational speaker and women’s movement leader, Esther Spina, is not one of them. In fact, in The Ambitious Woman, Esther shows that Ambitious Women are found in all walks of life - the famous and the not-so-famous. They embody characteristics such as inspiration, empowerment and motivation to help people accomplish their goals. Ambitious Women can be humble and loyal; they are disciplined and have a never-give-up attitude. Real and genuine ambitious people care about others; they are not self-centred. They are “ambitious” about seeing others succeed, and creating win-win relationships in all areas of life.

4) Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
The author, Tony Robbins has coached and inspired more than 50 million people from over 100 countries. More than 4 million people have attended his live events. Oprah Winfrey calls him “super-human.” Now for the first time—in his first book in two decades—he’s turned to the topic that vexes us all: How to secure financial freedom for ourselves and our families. Based on extensive research and one-on-one interviews with more than 50 of the most legendary financial experts in the world—from Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett, to Ray Dalio and Steve Forbes—Tony Robbins has created a simple 7-step blueprint that anyone can use for financial freedom. This book delivers invaluable information and essential practices for getting your financial house in order. MONEY Master the Game is the book millions of people have been waiting for.

5) The Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business 
One of the most profound changes in business and society is the emergence of the post-Millennial generation, Gen Z. While every new generation has faced its share of disruption in technology, economics, politics and society, no other generation in the history of mankind has had the ability to connect every human being on the planet to each other. What might this mean for business, markets, and educational institutions in the future? In this revolutionary new book, The Gen Z Effect: the Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business, authors Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen provides a mind-bending view of why we will need to embrace Gen Z as the last, best hope for taking on the world’s biggest challenges and opportunities.

6) How to Be a Power Connector: The 5 50 100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits
Judy Robinett defines the essentials of a strong network, which she says should be wide, deep and robust. Wide isn’t just about numbers. It’s about diversity among connections. Those from different industries, professions, skill sets, cultures, ages and interests will provide you with a broader perspective. These connections push the boundaries of your comfort zone and minimize blind spots related to congruent thinking. Robinett, explains a networking strategy that starts with understanding that the quality of your connections and your time — and theirs — count.

7) Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time 
We live in a world that is broken. For those who believe that there must be a more efficient way for people to get things done, here from Scrum pioneer Jeff Sutherland is a brilliantly discursive, thought-provoking book about the management process that is changing the way we live. It already drives most of the world’s top technology companies.  And now it’s starting to spread to every domain where people wrestle with complex projects. Woven with insights from martial arts, judicial decision making, advanced aerial combat, robotics, and many other disciplines, Scrum is consistently riveting. But the most important reason to read this book is that it may just help you achieve what others consider unachievable. 

8) The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success
What does it take to get ahead now—and stay there? High performance has always required shrewd strategy and superb execution. These factors remain critical, especially given today’s unprecedented business climate. But Rich Karlgaard—Forbes publisher, entrepreneur, investor, and board director—takes a surprising turn and argues that there is now a third element that’s required for competitive advantage. It fosters innovation, it accelerates strategy and execution, and it cannot be copied or bought. It is found in a perhaps surprising place—your company’s values. Karlgaard examined a variety of enduring companies and found that they have one thing in common; all have leveraged their deepest values alongside strategy and execution, allowing them to fuel growth as well as weather hard times.

9) The Carpenter: A Story about the Greatest Success Strategies of All
This book is about setting goals and working towards them, about getting the priorities in life right and then working towards having a life that is successful and happy in all aspects. It includes the story of Michael who learns from a carpenter, the basic lessons of life, about visualising his life as it could be and planning and working towards that aim. At the same time, he should also, do not lose sight of other things, like his health, the family that he loves and the relationship he has with them.

10) Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More without Settling for Less 
In Scaling up Excellence, bestselling author Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint.  Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance,  to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices.  Drawing on inside accounts and case studies and academic research from a wealth of industries – including start-ups, pharmaceuticals, airlines, retail, financial services, high-tech, education, non-profits, government, and healthcare -- Sutton and Rao identify the key scaling challenges that confront every organization.  They unpack the principles that help to cascade excellence throughout an organization, as well as show how to eliminate destructive beliefs and behaviours that will hold them back. 

11) Business without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know
“Too often, we seek to keep the status quo working. This is a book about breaking it.”—Seth Godin. Contrary to popular belief, the business world is not that complicated. While every industry and every profession requires specific expertise, the truth is that the "business of business" is relatively simple. For the past seven years, Geoffrey James has written a daily blog that's become one of the most popular business-focused destinations on the web. In BUSINESS WITHOUT THE BULLSH*T, readers will learn surprising but tried-and-true secrets about being an extraordinary boss, about coping with annoying co-workers, and navigating the thorny problems that recur in every workplace.

12) #GirlBoss
Sophia Amoruso, the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal, a $100 million plus online fashion retailer with more than 350 employees. Sophia’s never been a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is winding as all hell and lined with naysayers. #GIRLBOSS includes Sophia’s story, It’s deeply personal yet universal. It proves that being successful isn’t about how popular you were in high school or where you went to college. Rather, success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break. A #GIRLBOSS takes her life seriously without taking herself too seriously. She takes chances and takes responsibility on her own terms. She knows when to throw punches and when to roll with them. When to button up and when to let her freak flag fly. As Sophia writes, “I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool.  Then let’s do this.”

13) Zero to One: Notes on Start-ups, or How to Build the Future 
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Thiel states that although Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself. Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique. 

14) The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”  — Marcus Aurelius. We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek. These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations. This book reveals that formula for the first time—and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage.

14 must read books in 2014
Kajal Sonkar
Kajal is an intern at SHEROES and a student Lady Shri Ram College.

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