Do you want to develop out-of-the-box thinking? Acquire a problem-solving mindset? Find ways and means out of difficulties? These books will help.

1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck

Mindset makes the difference between success or failure. Dweck writes the growth mindset, or believing you can acquire new skills and become proficient at almost anything, if you work hard enough. This book will teach you how to bring out the best in yourself and others.

2. The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence, Josh Waitzkin

Waitzkin knows how to win. He was only nine when he won his first National Chess Championship. Later, he took up martial arts and became World Champion in Tai Chi Chuan. He credits these victories to being best at the art of learning. He shares his strategies for becoming a superior performer, using losses to win, and outperforming even your toughest competition.

3. The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating A Life While Making A Living, Randy Komisar

Komisar guides us to rethink the Deferred Life Plan and how we value time, among other things. He advises, "consider your budget of time in terms of how much you are willing to allocate to acquiring things versus how much you are willing to devote to people, relationships, family, health, personal growth, and the other essential components of a high-quality life."

4. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, Dan Ariely

Ariely describes all the different ways humans act irrationally. From purchasing decisions to doing what's good for us, Ariely says, "our irrational behaviors are neither random nor senseless--they are systematic and predictable." Understanding how we're predictably irrational will help you lead your team and the market, as well as make better, more rational, decisions.

5. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, Ryan Holiday

There's nothing like a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to challenge your resourcefulness. Holiday shows you how to turn obstacles into advantages by changing your perception, taking correct action, and mustering the will to persevere.

6. Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It, Mitch Joel

Technology has changed everything, from the way people connect, to how we buy and sell, but people and businesses haven't kept pace. Joel warns, "many businesses will die and many jobs will disappear." He wrote this book to give us a road map to reboot our businesses and ourselves so we not only survive, but thrive and "become amazing."

7. Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, Ryan Holiday

In this expose, Holiday reveals how he manipulated, lied to, and conned bloggers and journalists to generate publicity for friends and clients. While I would never recommend duplicitous methods, the book does teach you to always question what passes for "news," and to remain cautious when pageviews determine what content gets published.

8. I F**king Love That Company: How a New Generation of Brand Builders is Defining the Post-Amazon World, Bayard Winthrop

Is the retail market doomed because of online shopping? Not necessarily, Winthrop says. By building its brand--through great products, strong values, and good relationships--retailers can develop loyal customers who vigorously tell the whole world about their beloved brand.

9. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, Clay Shirky

Shirky examines how information technology is changing the ways groups organize, communicate, and coordinate, whether for good or bad. Of course, you already knew that web-based platforms have made it much easier to share and have conversations. But have you really been harnessing them? The examples in this book will give you new ideas.

10. Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators, Clay Shirky

Shirky continues his exploration of how online platforms are changing the way we live. He focuses on how new media enable us to use our free time or "cognitive surplus" to collaborate and participate, rather than for passively consumption (e.g., watching TV). Some of these new collaborations may be frivolous, but he's optimistic that most will be valuable, not just to individuals, but to communities and society as a whole.

11. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, Eliyahu M. Goldratt

In this business novel, Goldratt tells the fictitious story of a plant manager who has 90 days to improve his factory's performance or have it shut down. As he struggles to keep his plant open, he discovers how to think through problems and deduce basic principles of business success, including the now popular Theory of Constraints.

12. Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs, Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham

Many entrepreneurs want a step-by-step formula or rules for business success. But what makes people succeed are mental habits, ways of thinking that help you overcome difficulties and take advantage of opportunities. Thankfully, anybody can develop those mental habits, as this book shows you how.

13. First, Break all the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Based on their Gallup study of 80,000 managers, Buckingham and Coffman prove that the greatest managers break conventional management rules of to bring out top performance from employees. These include hiring for talent rather than experience, playing favorites, and ditching old career paths.

These books will give you the motivation, examples, and tools you need to become a more resourceful entrepreneur. Begin with the one that excites you the most, and make your way through the list.

Published on: Apr 27, 2016
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