At the end of 2016, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's book Thank You for Being Late opened our eyes to the accelerations of technology and globalization happening in the world today--accelerations that will force businesses to change how they operate.
Add to the equation the rethinking of trade and labor policies going on right now in Washington, and this year is guaranteed to pose many new questions to business leaders. Fortunately, entrepreneurs and businesspeople can always turn to great books for advice.
"Business books are especially important now, as we move into an age where information is so readily available that it's hard to determine what's useful and what's not," said Daniel DiPiazza, entrepreneur and author of the upcoming book Rich20Something. "A great book can be the difference between spending months online, sorting through blogs and YouTube videos, and having one, dedicated, tested approach that you can implement and that just works."
The following books, some which have already been released and some which are forthcoming, are excellent instructional guides to navigating today's uncharted business waters. I'm familiar with each of these authors and many were also recommended to me by industry experts. Needless to say, all nine of these books are destined to make a huge impact on the way Americans do business, so make room for them on your reading list for 2017.
1. Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal
With productivity standards ever on the rise, it's becoming increasingly important for employees to make the most of their time. Kotler, an award-winning journalist and co-founder of the Flow Genome Project, and Wheal, an expert on peak performance, set out to understand how we can control our minds to work more efficiently. They spent four years with Silicon Valley executives, U.S. Special Forces operators, and psychedelic researchers to understand how the world's highest performers control their own mental states to induce flow and do their best work when it matters the most.
2. Rich20Something by Daniel DiPiazza
DiPiazza is the perfect example of the Millennial entrepreneur who aspired to something beyond the 9-5. He started a blog, launched a business, and built his Rich20Something brand to teach his peers how to do the same thing. His book walks aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of creating and monetizing a business in the new millennium, using plenty of concrete examples and real-world case studies to support his advice.
3. The New Rules of Work by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew
A new working world in which job changes are becoming the norm rather than the exception requires a new set of rules for forging a career. Cavoulacos and Minshew, the founders of career website The Muse, lay out guidelines for finding the jobs you want, building your personal brand, and advancing your career in 2017 and onward. The modern job landscape may be confusing, but it also offers tremendous opportunity for those who know how to navigate it.
4. Extreme You by Sarah Robb O'Hagan
An executive who has worked for corporate juggernauts like Virgin Atlantic, Nike, Gatorade and Equinox, O'Hagan understands the constant tension in the business world between fitting in and standing out. Extreme You is an inspirational guide for businesspeople everywhere, encouraging them to leverage their unique talents to push boundaries, expand their professional horizons, and become the best versions of themselves.
5. The Manager's Path by Camille Fournier
As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous in business, managers of tech teams are expected to understand their systems as well as their people, essentially pulling double-duty. Fournier, entrepreneur and former CTO of Rent the Runway, is familiar with the unique challenges technology poses for managers, and has written The Manager's Path to assist new managers and experienced leaders alike with actionable advice for leading teams in the Internet age.
6. Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown
Growth hacking is the strategy that transformed companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Uber from scrappy startups to household names. Ellis and Brown, the founders of GrowthHackers, are the leading experts on the subject, and their book is a toolkit for marketers, entrepreneurs and managers who want to implement growth hacking strategies to dramatically scale their businesses.
7. Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin
Lapin is an accomplished television anchor and financial expert who has worked for CNN, CNBC, and Bloomberg, and she now hosts the business competition show Hatched on CBS. In addition to her work in the media, she's passionate about inspiring women to step up and be "bosses" in all avenues of their lives. With Boss Bitch, she draws from her experience to teach women how to awaken their inner "boss" and take charge of their lives, lead teams at work, or lead their own company.
8. Unshakeable by Tony Robbins
Economic uncertainty requires that businesspeople have financial expertise and steadfast will. Building on his previous best-selling book, Money: Master the Game, Robbins lays out a step-by-step financial plan informed by his interviews with 50 of the world's greatest financial minds, unveiling the knowledge and strategies you need to keep a level head and even profit in tough times.
9. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Life rarely goes exactly the way we want it to, but luckily, humans are a resilient bunch. Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of the best-selling book Lean In, learned this the hard way after the sudden death of her husband. She and Grant, a psychologist and professor at Wharton, use this tragedy as a jumping-off point for their exploration of people's remarkable ability to bounce back from adversity and hardship, teaching readers how to find joy again after personal or professional losses.
The best business books are powerful because the author has curated all the available information, selecting only the most useful advice to pass on to the reader. But you'll get even more benefit from a business book if the author's voice resonates with you.
"If you find an author that you connect with, who has maybe been through experiences similar to yours, who can really just hit you right where you need to be hit in order to receive that message, that will change your life," DiPiazza said.
Every book on this list will provide you with worthwhile tips and strategies championed by some of the brightest minds in business. Hopefully, some of them will also speak to you personally and provide you with the knowledge and inspiration you need to grow your business this year.