Having read over 500 business / self development books it is difficult to pick one that I would say was the best.
Clearly the most influential on my business and life thinking was series of books written by Jim Collins.
Starting with Build To Last through Good To Great; Great By Choice to How Mighty Fall.
These books had and still have the biggest influence on how I think about business and life.
Here’s simple story on origin and content of these books (the way I see it):
There was always a question of what makes a truly great company. Not good company, but great. Obviously, first you need to define your “great company”. Jim Collins (and Jerry Porras) and their team set the criteria and after 6 years of research published book Build To Last.
When touring with lectures from this research, one question repeatedly came up – “can our company become great? and if yes, then how?”. So Jim went back to work and after years of research published “Good To Great”. Same story happened but with different question “could great companies ever fail?”. And the answer you can find in “How Mighty Fall”.
Main reason I love these books is that they are based on years of research and everything is based on data. These are not “let’s create hype” books. I was lucky to work for one of great companies – Procter & Gamble – and I can confirm that all findings in Build to Last are correct.
I will write on above books in more detail in following posts.