Inspiring Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

View all Recommendations by Subjects > Finance and Business book lists; This list was last updated on 8/13/2013
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The Dilbert Principle

The creator of Dilbert, the fastest-growing comic strip in the nation (syndicated in nearly 1000 newspapers), takes a look at corporate America in all its glorious lunacy. Lavishly illustrated with Dilbert strips, these hilarious essays on incompetent bosses, management fads, bewildering technological changes and so much more, will make anyone who has ever worked in an office laugh out loud in recognition.

The Dilbert Principle: The most ineffective workers will be systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage — management.

Since 1989, Scott Adams has been illustrating this principle each day, lampooning the corporate world through Dilbert, his enormously popular comic strip. In Dilbert, the potato-shaped, abuse-absorbing hero of the strip, Adams has given voice to the millions of Americans buffeted by the many adversities of the workplace.

Now he takes the next step, attacking corporate culture head-on in this lighthearted series of essays. Packed with more than 100 hilarious cartoons, these 25 chapters explore the zeitgeist of ever-changing management trends, overbearing egos, management incompetence, bottomless bureaucracies, petrifying performance reviews, three-hour meetings, the confusion of the information superhighway and more. With sharp eyes, and an even sharper wit, Adams exposes -- and skewers -- the bizarre absurdities of everyday corporate life. Readers will be convinced that he must be spying on their bosses, The Dilbert Principle rings so true!

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The Complete Yes Minister
This book is a companion to the highly successful BBC series, "Yes Minister."
release date: Jan 11, 2011
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Poorly Made in China
An insider reveals what can—and does—go wrong when companies shift production to China

In this entertaining behind-the-scenes account, Paul Midler tells us all that is wrong with our effort to shift manufacturing to China. Now updated and expanded, Poorly Made in China reveals industry secrets, including the dangerous practice of quality fade—the deliberate and secret habit of Chinese manufacturers to widen profit margins through the reduction of quality inputs. U.S. importers don't stand a chance, Midler explains, against savvy Chinese suppliers who feel they have little to lose by placing consumer safety at risk for the sake of greater profit. This is a lively and impassioned personal account, a collection of true stories, told by an American who has worked in the country for close to two decades. Poorly Made in China touches on a number of issues that affect us all.

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Don't Bring It to Work
How can you get to the bottom of workplace behaviors that simply don't work for you or your organization?

Don't Bring It to Work explores what happens when patterns originally created to cope with family conflicts are unleashed in the workplace.?This groundbreaking book draws on the success of Sylvia Lafair's PatternAware program Total Leadership Connections. Throughout the book she shows how to break the cycle of pattern repetition and offers the tools that can turn unhealthy family baggage into creative energy that will foster better workplace associations and career success.

Lafair identifies the thirteen most common patterns that correspond to characters familiar to anyone who has ever worked in an office: Super Achiever, Rebel, Persecutor, Victim, Rescuer, Clown, Martyr, Splitter, Procrastinator, Drama Queen or King, Pleaser, Denier, and Avoider. To help overcome destructive behavior problems, she maps out the three main steps for becoming aware of patterns and finding the way OUT:

  • Observe your behavior to discern underlying patterns
  • Understand and probe deeper to discover the origins of these patterns
  • Transform your behavior by taking action to change

The book includes a wealth of real-life anecdotes and practical, workbook-style exercises that clearly show how anyone can get beyond old, outmoded attempts at conflict resolution and empower themselves to make profound differences both at work and in their personal lives.

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21 Dirty Tricks at Work
21 Dirty Tricks at Work is about lies. The type of underhand, pernicious and downright Machiavellian scheming that goes on in business every day. An estimated £7.8bn is lost each year in the UK alone though unnecessary and counter-productive office politicking. But 21 Dirty Tricks at Work is also a book of hope. It exposes the classic manoeuvres and gives practical advice on dealing with them to the vast majority who just want to do a good day's work.

21 Dirty Tricks at Work provides you with all the information you need to spot negative tactics and self-interested strategies. It shows you how to spot the games frequently being played and how to come out with your credibility intact and your sanity preserved.

So, if you are fed-up of being on the receiving end of constant backbiting and skulduggery from workmates, join hands with the authors and get Machiavelli on the run!

release date: Feb 01, 1992
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Crazy Bosses

Since the latter part of the century just past, Stanley Bing has been exploring the relationship between authority and madness. In one bestselling book after another, reporting from his hot-seat as an insider in a world-renowned multinational corporation, he has tried to understand the inner workings of those who lead us and to inquire why they seem to be powered, much of the time, by demons that make them obnoxious and dangerous, even to themselves.

In What Would Machiavelli Do?, Bing looked at the issue of why mean people do better than nice people, and found that in their particular form of insanity lay incredible power. In Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up, he offered a spiritual path toward managing the unruly executive beast. And in Sun Tzu Was a Sissy, he taught us how to become one of them, and wage war on the playing field that ends in a dream home in Cabo. Now he returns to his roots to offer the last word on the entity that shapes our lives and stomps through—and on—our dreams: The Crazy Boss.

Students of Bing—and there are many, secreted inside tortured organizations, yearning for blunt instruments with which to fight—will note that he has walked this ground before, looking for answers. In 1992, he published the first edition of Crazy Bosses, which was fine, as far as it went. Now, some 15 years and several dozen insane bosses later, he has updated and rethought much of the work. Back in the last century, Bing was a small, trembling creature, looking up at those who made his life miserable and analyzing the mental illness that gave them their power. Today, while still trembling much of the time, he is in fact one of those people his prior work has warned us against. His own hard-won wisdom and now institutionalized dementia make this new edition completely fresh and indispensable to anyone who works for somebody else or lives with somebody else, or would like to.

In short, Bing is back on his home turf in this funny, true, and essential book, peering with his keen and frosty eye at the crazy boss in all his guises: the Bully, the Paranoid, the Narcissist, the Wimp, and the self-destructive Disaster Hunter. If you loved the original, classic Crazy Bosses, you'll be thrilled to plunge back into the new, refurbished pool. If you are new to the book, strap yourself in: it's going to be a crazy ride.

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The Peter Principle

The Peter Principle has cosmic implications.”
New York Times

Back in 1969, Lawrence J. Peter created a cultural phenomenon  with his brilliant, outrageous, hilarious, and all-too-true treatise on business and life, The Peter Principle—and his words and theories are as true today as they were then. By posing—and answering—the eternal question, “Why do things always go wrong?” Peter explores the incompetence that runs so rampant through our society, our workplace, and our world in an outrageously funny yet honest and eye-opening manner. With a new foreword by Robert I. Sutton, bestselling author of The No Asshole Rule, this twenty-first century edition of Peter's classic is set to shake up the business world all over again.

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The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
More than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
•How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
•How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
•How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
•How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
•How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”

The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss' The 4-Hour Workweek includes:
•More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point
•Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
•How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times
•The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either
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The No Asshole Rule
The No Asshole Rule is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Business Week bestseller.
release date: Jan 01, 1984
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How to Lie with Statistics

Over Half a Million Copies Sold--an Honest-to-Goodness Bestseller

Darrell Huff runs the gamut of every popularly used type of statistic, probes such things as the sample study, the tabulation method, the interview technique, or the way the results are derived from the figures, and points up the countless number of dodges which are used to full rather than to inform.
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