The Year in Business Books

By Christina Folz Dec 30, 2015

bookblog.jpgIf your New Year's resolution is to get caught up on your business reading, we've got just the post for you. We asked members of the SHRM community on social media which HR and business books amazed, informed and inspired them within the past year. Here are seven titles to pick up in January—or anytime you feel like it, really. Which titles would you add to the list? Anything surprising or unexpected? Enjoy and have a very happy and productive 2016!

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, by Jeffrey Pfeffer, HarperBusiness (2015). “This book challenged me to think outside the box about what makes true leaders great. Prescriptive leadership qualities are not the answer; great leadership is situational. This book also talks more about leadership from a social psychology perspective as opposed to the typical business perspective, which is another reason I found it very interesting. Great read. I highly recommend it!” —Chelsea Esposito, SHRM-CP
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, St. Martin's Press (2015). “It helped me to understand the value of ultimate responsibility in not only your performance, but in how others perceive and interact with you.” —Corey Douglas
Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead​,​ by Laszlo Bock, Twelve (2015). “There's a lot that HR can do to further a company's success without having to spend a lot of money.” —Barbara M., SHRM-SCP

Totem: Mastering Team Performance, by Kevin Mays, Dog Ear Publishing (2015). “One of the most innovative books I’ve read to date. The book delivers valuable lessons in analyzing, building and leading several different types of teams, all wrapped in a fun, fictitious story.” —Kyle Ecker

PROMOTE!: It's Who Knows What You Know That Makes a Career, by Rick Gillis, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015). This book inspires you to promote your accomplishments when sometimes it's uncomfortable to do so. We accomplish things each day, and we should be comfortable expressing our worth to those who have the power to make major moves in our organization. Also useful tool when looking for work as well. —Siara Barnes

Everyone's a Critic: Winning Customers in a Review-Driven World, by Bill Tancer, Portfolio (2014). “It offers insight on how to use online reviews to better understand your customer base and to engage.” —Keith Grossman

Brand Famous: How to Get Everyone Talking about Your Business, by Linzi Boyd, Capstone (2014). “Fantastic insight on creating brand while focusing on small things we do every day.” —Albert Kujur

Bonus Recommendation: My personal pick? Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives​​, by Gretchen Rubin. Broadway Books (2015). Disclaimer: I haven't read this yet, but I am a big fan of Rubin's previous book The Happiness Project ​​and regularly listen to her "Happier" podcast, which includes tips from this new book. Disclaimer II: It's not a business book per se, but, as is the case with many self-help books, it includes lessons that can be harnessed to help people do their jobs better. It includes a fascinating framework called the "four tendencies," which will help you learn how you approach internal and external expectations. By understanding your personal tendency, you can develop skills to help you work and live better. Great food for thought!

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HR Magazine's Book Reviews keep you up to date on must-read titles related to HR and other business topics through weekly book reviews, author posts and recommendations. Looking for a good read? Visit the SHRMStore, our online bookstore, for a wide selection of HR books from multiple authors and disciplines, or sign up for a weekly e-newsletter, which highlights new titles and special offers.

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