As the year winds down, one thing isn't growing shorter -- my nightstand pile of noteworthy business books.
I receive mountains of them, and most become instant library donations. But the ones that intrigue me keep hanging around, mocking my lack of free time. Eventually, I get to read them.
I hoped to do a post about each of these, but given that soon it will be time to talk about the hot business books of 2012, I thought I'd present my list of the business books I considered "keepers" this year. This is a highly individual list -- several of these are by people I've met, so that may have influenced my thinking.
This is not a best-of or a ranking -- these are listed alphabetically:
- Become a Franchise Owner! by Joel Libava. I know the "Franchise King," and I can't wait to read this one. Despite the upbeat-sounding title, Joel is known for his very frank opinions on franchise best practices. The book cuts the bull and helps would-be franchisees spot the problems as well as the opportunities. A must for anyone contemplating a franchise purchase.
- Business at the Speed of Now by John Bernard. The founder of consulting firm Mass Ingenuity discusses how to empower your people to deal with customers' rising expectations in the always-on era.
- Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki. It's pretty much all about how to influence customers in an ethical way. A key read, especially if you want to win in online sales.
- EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. The famed money-management guru takes on leadership, boiling down his 20 years of experience and tells you how to lead your team to glory.
- The Entrepreneur Equation by Carol Roth. Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur? No, really, are you? Roth dares to suggest that not everybody has what it takes, and explains the traits required to make it as a business owner.
- Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod. Combine your capacity to work with your capacity to love -- all while enjoying MacLeod's fun cartoons.
- The Method Method by Eric Ryan, Lucas Conley and Adam Lowry. I got to know the ecological cleaning-products company Method a while back when I interviewed them for a story. This one's for every entrepreneur who would like to crack a long-established category and bring a new twist to it.
- Share, Retweet, Repeat by John Hlinko. Want to know how you get a horde of people to a Facebook page? Hlinko's book has some enlightening anecdotes from his time as a political promoter.
- The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. The Wine Library TV phenom shows where the return on investment is in social media -- and offers case studies to back it up.
- Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields. I had a chance to hear Jonathan speak at SOBCon Northwest this year. His exploration of how successful leaders move forward despite their fears is fascinating -- and inspiring.
What business books have you picked up (and read!) this year? Leave a comment and add to my list.