Best Business & Leadership Books of the Month March 2013

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Book Description
Release date: March 11, 2013
Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.

Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.

 

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Book Description
Release date: March 26, 2013
Chip and Dan Heath, the bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick, tackle one of the most critical topics in our work and personal lives: how to make better decisions.

Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?

In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions.

Along the way, we learn the answers to critical questions like these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t overlook precious opportunities to change our course?

Decisive is the Heath brothers’ most powerful—and important—book yet, offering fresh strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference.

 

The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results by Bob Knight and Bob Hammel

The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results by Bob Knight and Bob Hammel

The Power of Negative Thinking

Book Description
Release date: March 5, 2013
Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, a classic bestseller, has inspired an optimistic perspective for millions of Americans. Now, in an inspirational and entertaining rebuttal, the legendary basketball coach Bob Knight explains why “negative thinking” will actually produce more positive results, in sports and in daily life. Coach Knight, the second-winningest coach in NCAA history with 902 victories, explains that victory is often attained by the team that makes the fewest mistakes. His coaching philosophy was to instill discipline by “preparing to win” rather than hoping to win. That meant understanding the downside and drilling his teams to prevent the things that could go wrong. And when his teams did win, he made sure they didn’t dwell on their success, but rather looked immediately to the challenges of the next game. He applies this lesson to business strategy as well.
Coach Knight has long been inspired by his grandmother’s words, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” As the first person to teach Knight about the power of negative thinking, this book is dedicated to her pragmatic spirit.

 

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live

Book Description
Release date: March 5, 2013
A revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large.

Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? And how did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak?

The key to answering these questions, and many more, is big data. “Big data” refers to our burgeoning ability to crunch vast collections of information, analyze it instantly, and draw sometimes profoundly surprising conclusions from it. This emerging science can translate myriad phenomena—from the price of airline tickets to the text of millions of books—into searchable form, and uses our increasing computing power to unearth epiphanies that we never could have seen before. A revolution on par with the Internet or perhaps even the printing press, big data will change the way we think about business, health, politics, education, and innovation in the years to come. It also poses fresh threats, from the inevitable end of privacy as we know it to the prospect of being penalized for things we haven’t even done yet, based on big data’s ability to predict our future behavior.

In this brilliantly clear, often surprising work, two leading experts explain what big data is, how it will change our lives, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards. Big Data is the first big book about the next big thing.

www.big-data-book.com

 

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Book Description
Release date: March 5, 2013
What makes things popular?
If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

 

The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets by Brant Cooper, Patrick Vlaskovits and Eric Ries

The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets by Brant Cooper, Patrick Vlaskovits and Eric Ries

The Lean Entrepreneur

Book Description
Release date: February 26, 2013
You are not a Visionary… yet.

The Lean Entrepreneur shows you how to become one.

Most of us believe entrepreneurial visionaries are born, not made. Our media glorify business outliers like Bezos, Branson, Gates, and Jobs as heroes with X-ray vision who can look to the future, see clearly what will be, imagine a fully formed product or experience and then, simply make the vision real.

Many in our entrepreneur community still believe that to be visionary, we must merely execute on a seemingly good idea and ignore all doubt. With this mindset, companies build doomed products in a vacuum; enterprises make ill-fated innovation investment decisions; and employees and shareholders come along for an uncomfortable ride.

Falling prey to the Myth of the Visionary confuses talented entrepreneurs, product managers, innovators and investors. It leads us to heartbreaking, costly and preventable failures in new product and venture development.

The Lean Entrepreneur moves us beyond this myth. It combines powerful customer insight, rapid experimentation and easily actionable data from the Lean Startup methodology to empower individuals, companies, and entire teams to evolve their vision, solve problems, and create value at the speed of the Internet.

Anyone can be visionary. The Lean Entrepreneur shows you how to:

  • Apply actionable tips, tricks and hacks from successful lean entrepreneurs.
  • Leverage the Innovation Spectrum to disrupt existing markets and create new ones.
  • Drive strategies for efficient market testing with Minimal Viable Products.
  • Engage customers with Viability Testing and radically reduce time and budget for product development.
  • Rapidly create cross-functional innovation teams that devour roadblocks and set new benchmarks.
  • Bring your organization critical focus on the power of loyal customers and valuable products you can build to serve them.

Leverage instructive tools, skill-building exercises, and worksheets along with bonus online videos.

 

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create

Book Description
Release date: March 5, 2013
Offering insights from the spheres of anthropology, psychology, education, design, and business, Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum, a leading thinker, commentator, and curator on the subjects of design, creativity, and innovation, is first book to identify and explore creative intelligence as a new form of cultural literacy and as a powerful method for problem-solving, driving innovation, and sparking start-up capitalism.

Nussbaum investigates the ways in which individuals, corporations, and nations are boosting their creative intelligence — CQ—and how that translates into their abilities to make new products and solve new problems. Ultimately, Creative Intelligence shows how to frame problems in new ways and devise solutions that are original and highly social.

Smart and eye opening, Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire illustrates how to connect our creative output with a new type of economic system, Indie Capitalism, where creativity is the source of value, where entrepreneurs drive growth, and where social networks are the building blocks of the economy.

 

Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order) by Joe Peta

Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order) by Joe Peta

Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street

Book Description
Release date: March 7, 2013
An ex-Wall Street trader improved on Moneyball’s famed sabermetrics to place bets that would beat the Vegas odds on Major League Baseball games–with a 41 percent return in his first year. Trading Bases explains how he did it.

After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta needed a new employer. He found a new job in New York City but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down as he crossed the street on foot. In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That’s when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball–and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?

In Trading Bases, Peta shows how to subtract luck–in particular “cluster luck,” as he puts it–from a team’s statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball “hedge fund” returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011– with daily volatility similar to funds he used to trade for. Peta takes readers to the ballpark in San Francisco, trading floors and baseball bars in New York, and sports books in Vegas, all while tracing the progress of his wagers.

Far from writing a dry, do-it-yourself guidebook, Peta weaves a story that is often humorous, and occasionally touching; the topic may be “Big Data” but it’s as entertaining as a Bill Simmons column. Trading Bases is all about the love of critical reasoning, trading cultures, risk management, and baseball. And not necessarily in that order.

 

The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell

The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell

The Customer Rules

Book Description
Release date: March 5, 2013
The former EVP of Walt Disney World shares indispensible Rules for serving customers with consistency, efficiency, creativity, sincerity, and excellence. Lee Cockerell knows that success in business – any business – depends upon winning and keeping customers.

In 39 digestible, bite-sized chapters, Lee shares everything he has learned in his 40+ year career in the hospitality industry about creating an environment that keeps customers coming back for more. Here, Lee not only shows why the customer always rules, but also the Rules for serving customers so well they’ll never want to do business with anyone but you. For example:

Rule #1: Customer Service Is Not a Department
Rule #3: Great Service Follows the Laws of Gravity
Rule #5: Ask Yourself “What Would Mom Do?”
Rule #19: Be a Copycat
Rule #25. Treat Every Customer like a Regular
Rule #39: Don’t Try Too Hard

As simple as they are profound, these principles have been shown to work in companies as large as Disney and as small as a local coffee shop; from businesses selling cutting-edge technologies like computer tablets to those selling products as timeless as shoes and handbags; at corporations as long-standing as Ford Motors and those as nascent as a brand new start-up. And they have been proven indispensible at all levels of a company, from managers responsible for hiring and training employees, setting policies and procedures, and shaping the company culture to front line staff who deal directly with clients and customers

Chock-full of universal advice, applicable online and off, The Customer Rules is the essential handbook for service excellence everywhere.

 

Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons by Lewis Schiff

Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons by Lewis Schiff

Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons

Book Description
Release date: March 19, 2013
In Business Brilliant, Lewis Schiff combines compelling storytelling with ground-breaking research to show the rest of us what America’s self-made rich already know: It’s synergy, not serendipity that produces success.

He explodes common myths about wealth and explains how legendary entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Suze Orman, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet have subscribed to a set of priorities that’s completely different from those of the middle class.

Schiff identifies the seven distinct principles practiced by individuals who may or may not be any smarter than the rest of the population, but seem to understand instinctively how money is made. This guide also reveals how these business icons excel in areas of team building, risk management, and leadership development to accumulate their wealth.

He offers a practical four-step program, from choosing one’s livelihood and pinpointing skills to focus on, to negotiating job terms and salary, in order to bring upon greater success.

Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff, coauthor of The Middle Class Millionaire: The Rise of the New Rich and How They are Changing America and The Armchair Millionaire, can help you can achieve better results in your business and in your career.

 

 

More About Amazon.com’s Best Books of the Month
Each month, Amazon.com’s editorial team reads scores of books in search of those we consider the Best Books of the Month. We also seek and select the best books in popular categories like Cooking, Food & Wine books, Literature & Fiction, Children’s books, Mystery & Thrillers, Comics & Graphic Novels, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, and the best books for kids and teens. We scour reviews and book news, we swap books amongst ourselves, and spend our nights and weekends tearing through as many of the best books as possible. Then we face off in a monthly Best Books showdown meeting to champion the books we think will resonate most with their readership.

The titles that make our Best Books of Month lists are the keepers, the ones we couldn’t forget. Many of our editorial picks for the best books are also customer favorites and bestsellers, but we strive to spotlight the best books you might not otherwise hear about. Each month we also pick “Spotlight” book (the #1 Editors’ Pick) and a “Debut Spotlight” (the best new book by a debut author).

The books included in Amazon’s Best Books of the Month program are entirely editorial selections. We have great passion for uniting readers of all ages and tastes with their next favorite read, helping our customers find terrific gifts, and drawing more attention to great books by exceptional authors.