A Gift Worth Opening: The 10 Best Business Books for 2016

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Make your New Year's resolution one of self-improvement. Here are 10 great reads for inspiration and personal development.

Ah, books.

The written word—be it in the form of a paperback, a hardbound book or E-book—can leave a lasting imprint on a person’s development.

If you're looking to better yourself as a professional, needing some business inspiration, or just want to dive into a good read during your commute to work—have a look at our top picks for 2016’s must-read business books, and enjoy the personal development.

Related Article: 14 Best Audiobooks for Busy Entrepreneurs

Elon Musk Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

1. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

If you’re interested in how the mind of a revolutionary genius works, then pick up this book. Technology writer Ashlee Vance depicts the life and inner workings of Elon Musk- founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX- and in the process, speaks to the idea of innovation in the modern era. Musk, the subject of a true “rags to riches” story, will arguably have one of the biggest impacts on the future of this planet. You’d be wise to learn a thing or two from this man.

GirlBoss By Sophia Amoruso

2. #GirlBoss

You may know Sophia Amoruso as the CEO of a $250-million+ fashion retailer site called Nasty Gal. But before she built her online empire, Amoruso spent her young-adult life hitchhiking, hungry, and shoplifting. Obviously much has changed since then, and she wrote a book for everyone who can identify with being an outsider or who marches to beat of their own drum. Throughout the book, Amoruso talks about trusting your gut and following the rules only when need be.

Mindsharing The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything

3. Mindsharing: The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything

No man is an island right? This book, written by Lior Zoref, explores the idea of collective intelligence and how tapping into your network can yield more positive results than relying on your own limited knowledge and abilities. According to Zoref, the power of mind sharing can progress both our personal and professional lives.

The Virgin Way If It's Not Fun, It's Not Worth Doing

4. The Virgin Way: If It's Not Fun, It's Not Worth Doing

Y’all know that if Branson wrote the book, it’s bound to be a good read. The Virgin Group leader, who dropped out of school at the age of 16, shares with us how he has built a global empire over the span of forty years, and how his peculiar style of leadership and business relationships has got him there.

Related Article: 10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read for Inspiration

How to Fly a Horse The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery

5. How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery

The title of this book alone should draw every entrepreneur to its pages. Kevin Ashton, the man who first coined the term “The Internet of Things” demystifies the act of innovation and reveals the who, the why, and the how behind some of the greatest creations of this century. Ashton provides hope and insight to the reader, showing that creating something new in the modern era is still possible.

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change

6. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change

For those of you who believe that only way to truly have a sustainable business is to build one that is centered on social improvement, then check out this novel. Adam Braun, the founder of the Pencils of Promise, walks the reader through his professional journey and explains how he turned $25 into 200 schools across the globe. Braun had a fledgling Wall-Street career in his early 20s, but his life was forever altered by an interaction he had while traveling in India and he left that realm to truly change the world around him. All proceeds from this publication will support his organization.

David and Goliath Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

7. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants  

The number #1 bestselling author and innovative thinker is back. Like his other books, David and Goliath is a combination of psychology, history, and beautiful prose that wonderfully challenges the way we think. This time Malcolm Gladwell argues a new interpretation of what it means to deal with obstacles and suffering- and, of course, offers a new way to perceive our environment.

Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us

8. Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us

Want a book that’s already been praised by business mogul Richard Branson and former president Bill Clinton? You’re in luck. In this literary piece, author Kabir Sehgal walks the reader through a historical and economical journey and reveals the relationship between money and humankind in the process.

Work Rules! Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

9. Work Rules! Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

Laszlo Bock, the head of the Google’s “People Operations”, draws on the latest research in behavioral economics to teach all business owners and managers the importance of hiring the right talent, relying on data, and leading a group of employees to success. Bock contrasts stories of terrible working environments with insights into the inner workings of Silicon’s most successful companies. If you think your company culture and overall moral both need a serious boost, pick up Bock’s instruction manual.

Related Article: Business Books You Can't Afford Not to Read in 2015

Team of Teams New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

10. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

In this book, General Stanley McChrystal writes about the skills he used to lead his machine of men and women, The Task Force, to fight Al Queda. Instead of following conventional wisdom, McChrystal changed the nature and interaction of his team: implanting transparent communication, decentralizing decision making, and flattening the hierarchy. His “new rules” resulted in a small organization that was able to triumph. General McChrystal translates these guidelines to the business world and argues that the key to a successful organization is to give groups the freedom to experiment alongside good communication pathways between every level.

 

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