It's been stated that most CEO's read four or five books per month. That's a lot of reading. Maybe you don't have quite that much time to devote to reading but are still interested in finding a couple engaging business books to add to your "must read" list next year. 

With the upcoming holiday break, it's the perfect time to dive into a new book and begin learning a new skill or maybe just find some extra inspiration as we enter the New Year.  

Here are a few of my favorite business and entrepreneurship books you should consider reading in 2019.

Lost and Founder, by Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin's book takes a refreshing look at the life of a tech startup CEO. Spoiler alert: it's not all unicorns, rainbows and gumdrops. 

He pulls back the curtain on what it's really like to battle for success in the startup world. His advice is sound and can be applied to any type of business, no matter the size or industry.

The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing, by Thomas T. Nagle and Georg Müller

Maybe this isn't the sexiest book title. But, pricing and profitability is something every entrepreneur likely wants to know more about. 

There's a lot more to pricing strategy than just figuring out how to cover costs. This book teaches the reader how to make strategic pricing decisions to positively affect value perceptions and shift demand.

The Creative Curve, by Allen Gannett

A lot of people wouldn't consider themselves "creative". According to Allen Gannett, creativity is not exclusive - under the right circumstances, anyone can be creative. The art of creativity lies in mastering and following the laws of the creative curve. 

Allen does a phenomenal job of exploring creativity and providing tangible advice for how to spark more creative moments in your life. It is the perfect blend of real-life examples, paired with interesting nuggets of creatives using the "creative curve".

In Principles: Life and Work, Ray Dalio provides a transparent inside look at one of the most successful investment companies in the world. Reading Principles, I realized the importance of radical transparency and honesty - which, Dalio argues allow us to better express ourselves and understand others. 

I particularly appreciate his approach to iterative decision making and goal achievement. If you're looking for one of the best, recent books on business and life in general, check out Principals.

The Coaching Habit is one the most practical books on coaching I've read. It focuses on teaching managers to get to the essence of the issue using a seven-question model. Each question is underpinned by detailed research and presented with solid examples. 

I enjoyed the big picture, the high-level strategy, and the habits that you form by asking powerful questions rather than answering/telling the team members what they need to do. 

Bad Blood is sort of like the Enron scandal meets The Emperor's New Clothes. It is everything people hate about Silicon Valley rolled into one very entertaining book. While reading you'll be in both disbelief and outrage as the Theranos story unfolds. 

The book reveals how incestuous the startup world can be. One of the most interesting topics broached by this book is the powerful fear running rampant in the startup word - the fear of missing out.

Patty McCord's Powerful is probably the best book on organizational culture and managing people that I've read. 

She offers insightful nuggets about the culture at Netflix and how the company motivates its employees. McCord maintains that the greatest motivation is the feeling of contributing to success. Sure, money is important, but people show up to work because they want to contribute to something bigger than themselves. 

McCord's "radical" recipe to HR success?  Simply treat employees like adults, be open with them, share challenges and corporate direction, and don't keep looking over their shoulder. The more we check-in, the more demotivated employees become. 

I'm a big fan of Seth Godin. In fact, Linchpin is required reading when you start working at CoSchedule. 

This is Marketing is a culmination of Godin's history and thinking - the big ideas behind all the tactics and stories in the other books. He offers a complete overview of current thinking and challenges the assumptions and old paradigms that are still prevalent in the marketing world. 

I would say this is a must read if you have anything to do with marketing.

Published on: Dec 17, 2018