2020 may be an unproductive year, but it doesn’t have to be a complete waste. For one thing, the lockdown has given people a golden opportunity to catch up on their reading list. After all, books are an easy way to increase knowledge and improve life skills, whether professional or otherwise.
That’s why we have taken the time to compile a list of the ten best business books in 2020. These books have been hailed as game changers when it comes to business and life skills. If you want to get your own business up and running or learn how to think critically to solve complex problems, then these books are perfect.
So let’s take a look at the top ten business books in 2020.
1. Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo
Being miserable at work almost seems like an inevitable outcome in today’s world, but Marie Kondo disagrees. Her book “Joy at Work: Organizing your Professional Life” is a riveting guide for how to declutter your professional life.
This book is a sequel to Marie Kondo’s “Joy at Home” that guided people on making their homes a place that gave them joy. The method for sparking joy at work is different, however. The same tactic of getting rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy” at home, can’t work at the office.
So the decluttering process has to be more methodical, according to Marie Kondo. When sparking joy at work, you have to keep in mind long term success as well. That’s why decluttering doesn’t just refer to the physical workspace but includes everything from emails to digital data. This book is also useful for employers to understand how to make work enjoyable for their employees. Hailed as a revolutionary way to reinvigorate work life, ‘Joy at Work‘ has to be at the top of the list for anyone struggling with professional growth.
2. Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan Varol
Too often are people guilty of stagnant thinking. There’s no excitement in solutions and no innovation to the approach. This makes solving complex problems downright impossible. This way of thinking causes problems in professional life in particular.
But with Ozan Varol’s book, ‘Think Like a Rocket Scientist,’ you’ll be able to come up with simple yet creative solutions. The author’s experience as a rocket scientist and a member of the team that landed the Mars Rover in 2003 makes him well-placed to suggest simple strategies for improving work and life skills.
According to Ozan Varol, it’s not the end of the world if you fall into a mental rut. The important thing is to take help from other people to get yourself thinking again and in a creative way, like attaching inflatable balloons to the Mars Rover to aid in landing or embracing failure as a rehearsal for success.
All in all, ‘Think Like a Rocket Scientist‘ will make you laugh and compel you to think about your everyday problems in a new light. This feature is especially important for entrepreneurs who face several various challenges when starting their business.
3. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
In the digital age, we’ve all got the attention span of a goldfish. If it’s not the constant notifications of social media, it’s the fact that we’ve got a gazillion things on the calendar.
That’s why Cal Newport’s book about how to remain focused in the chaos is a gem for the 21st century. The book is mainly divided into two parts; The Idea and The Rules. The book’s main idea is that to succeed in the modern economy, people need to be able to master new skills quickly and then reproduce those skills at the highest level.
Deep work is the way to do both. The idea is a discussion of the concept of Deep Work while the Rules are the practical manifestation of it. Overall, reviews for Deep Work peg it as the must-read book for 2020 when there’s nothing but distractions around us.
In a world where being busy is synonymous with being productive, ‘Deep Work‘ is the book you need to keep yourself focused and get your work done.
4. The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon by Steve Anderson
Wouldn’t it be nice to talk to Jeff Bezos about how he made the world’s wealthiest company? Well, now you can.
The Bezos Letters are written by Steve Anderson give a sneak peek inside the mind of the richest man in the world. Explore the journey, the mindset, and the strategy employed by Bezos to make Amazon what it is today. The letters and the complementary commentary offer valuable insight for entrepreneurs that can help them get their own business off the ground.
This book isn’t your regular run off the mill autobiography. It’s the gospel for any entrepreneur and business owner who wants to achieve the same success that Jeff Bezos has been able to make.
5. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
Once you’re done with the Bezos Letters, it’s time to read ‘The E-Myth Revisited‘ by Michael E. Gerber. This book is one of the aptest publications for not only people who want to start a business but also for those struggling with their company.
As put forth by Michael E. Gerber, The E-Myth or Entrepreneurial myth is that most people think entrepreneurs start small businesses. The reality is that small businesses are started by people who want to earn a livelihood or are sick of their current job.
Throughout the book, Gerber highlights critical assumptions on the part of entrepreneurs that leads to business failures. As such, this book is the perfect compilation of things you need to avoid to start and maintain a successful small business. It also suggests how to adapt activities for changing conditions.
6. Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath
If you liked ‘Think Like a Rocket Scientist‘ by Ozan Varol, then you’re going to love ‘Upstream‘ by Dan Heath. Both of these books encourage their readers to adopt an innovative approach to thinking.
Upstream compels the reader to think logically about situations and tackle the root of problems. According to the author, if one sees a three-headed fish swimming downstream, a logical thinker heads upstream to find the cause of the fish.
Put simply, upstreaming is the thinking approach that tackles the root of the problem and resolves the cause rather than pursues the symptoms. If you want to provoke your thinking capability and view problems in a more critical way, this is the book.
7. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
This is a book for leaders, employers, and managers. Simon Sinek captures the essence of leadership in his book ‘Start with Why.’ The beauty of the book is that the title gives you the crux of the matter.
To be a good leader, a good employer, or person in a position of authority, you need to ask yourself and your subordinates “WHY” before you ask “WHAT” or “HOW.” Simon Sinek explains this idea in great detail in the book and complements his argument by giving apt examples.
Definitely a book that all business leaders need to read before resuming their firms in a post-COVID environment. Following the rules and the concepts laid out in this book, they’ll be better able to motivate and inspire them.
8. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
The second autobiography in the list is that of co-founder and once CEO of Nike, Phil Knight. This book gives a glimpse into Knight’s world as he spills the beans on how he built an empire. Starting from his early life adventures right down to Nike’s creation and success, the author talks candidly about his business.
For all the young entrepreneurs out there, this is a brilliant start to the reading list. Not only is it a glimpse into one of the best business minds of this generation, but it offers insights that only come through experience and skill.
9. The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to a Career You Love by Ken Coleman
‘The Proximity Principle‘ by Ken Coleman is another must-read for those struggling with their jobs. The author has compiled secrets of networking and long term planning to devise a strategy for a joyful career.
This book is perfect for understanding where and how you struggle at your job and what can be done to fix it. According to Ken Coleman, the key is to plan out the steps of your career in advance. This strategy saves a lot of frustration and worries when it comes to job switching later on.
With four vital concepts to build a long-lasting and meaningful career, ‘The Proximity Principle‘ is one of the best books for professional advice in 2020.
10. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins & Jerry Porras
The last book in this riveting list is ‘Built to Last‘ by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. After reading ‘Shoe Dog‘ and ‘The Bezos Letters,’ this book is perfect for connecting the dots.
Based on a six-year study conducted by Stanford University Graduates, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras’s book details what the most successful businesses did right and what they could have done better. Combined with the knowledge of autobiographies from the leading entrepreneurs, this book is your key to your business’s success.
This list, of course, is not exhaustive. These are only some of the most impactful books for this year. They will help you improve your skills and set your business on the path to success.