Whenever it’s been suggested that I read a ‘business’ book, I grimace. I don’t doubt there’s a modicum of wisdom that could be gleaned from the author(s) and applied to my own life. The problem with most of these books, though, is that they’re usually terrible. I find any that I’ve read seem to suffer from any or all of these hurdles:
- The author is not a writer and the publisher cared so little about this fact that everyone gave up on trying to generate or maintain brain activity for the reader.
- The author believes that he or she actually is a writer and becomes insufferable because the book itself becomes a grandiose narcissistic exercise.
- The book itself covers a topic that’s been covered at least one million times before and offers no new insight or relevance, but another rehash of, “Hey…I noticed this too so I wrote this book.”
- There seems to be an abundance of ‘conceptual’ only books and ‘utilitarian’ only books. Books, like most things, seem to be serving the ends of the spectrum of intelligence. What about for moderates like m’self?
My other problem with business books is that while most can give you tips on what you can do to approach your work differently, they really aren’t that different from diet books. They leave you inspired and making a list of to-dos with how you’re going to rejuvenate your career but reality sets in. The hard work is left up to you. Ah – this is always the case! Only when you make a personal commitment to yourself for change does it manifest (sometimes). Personally, I am a lover of all sorts of genres when it comes to reading. I feel that reading all types of books can be not only personally rewarding but also always ends up somehow influencing my creativity in the workplace. Or even better – in managing the others I work with. I guess I’m more partial to the exercise of taking my current book and seeing what parallels I may draw from it with my own life experiences of the current. It’s not to say that all business books are terrible. But most of the ones I’ve read are. I also realized I need to stop taking recommendations from those people just love business books. I can’t argue though – these people love getting insight from great thinkers or leaders, want to proactively map their futures, ideate on how to change the world. So I can recognize how smart these business book lovers are and I appreciate them being around me. Because they can read all the business books and funnel out the best bits to me in conversation and give me tips on improving myself or my life or my team at work. All without having to suffer through a book that would surely put me back to sleep during my morning commute. Just leave me to my fiction, my autobiographies, my classics, my comics, etc. And trust me that somehow they’re just as inspirational for me as all those Gladwell books. Check out my Goodreads account if you want to see what else I’ve read recently.