5 Books Every Professional Must Read!

Here’s 5 thought provoking, influential books which every professional should read, whether just starting out, or already on the way up the corporate ladder.

1. Jack: Straight From The Gut


The John A. Byrne business memoir of Jack Welch, the man who helmed General Electric and turned the company around, transforming it into a lean, mean, corporate machine cannot be bypassed. The book is recommended by none other than Warren Buffet, the American business magnate, investor & philanthropist.

“Welch has had such an impact on modern business that a tour of his personal history offers all managers valuable lessons,” expressed BloomberBusinessweek.


2. Common Stocks And Uncommon Profits

Published in 1958, this book was written by the widely admired and respected Philip A. Fisher, one of the most influential investors in all of history. He possessed a keen eye for innovative company investment opportunities. His investment philosophies (which are around 40 years old) are still studied and applied today. This book is a must-read for managers.

“I am an eager reader of whatever Phil has to say, and I recommend him to you,” praised Warren Buffett.


3. So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

Cal Newport argues in his book that for most of us, mastery of a specific skill can help you discover your passion and put you on the right career path, opening doors which you wouldn’t be able to get a foot in otherwise.

Newport believes you need to ground your career dreams in reality and focus on making yourself valuable to employers. 


4. Give And Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times & Amazon rated Adam Grant’s book as one of the best of 2013.

Grant, a tenured Wharton organisational psychologist, delves into how our success as individuals today is evermore so dependent upon how we interact with other people. He discusses the idea that most people today are either ‘takers’, ‘matchers’ and ‘givers’. ‘Takers’ aim to acquire as much as possible from others, ‘matchers’ prefer an even trade and ‘givers’ contribute without expecting anything back.

According to his research, those who generate the most value for other people are those who reach the pinnacle of their professions.

5. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

This one will really expand your thinking, through this series of essays, Paul Graham draws on examples and historical events to study what he refers to as “an intellectual Wild West”. 

He explores the rise of advancing technology; as computers and other tech begin to take over our daily lives, he analyses what role programmers, software designers and hackers will play into the future and how they will impact how we live and think. 

This book will raise ideas and trains of thought you may never have considered.


This article was originally published on PersonnelConcept.com.au