With myriad business books claiming to make you more successful, I thought it would help to pull together a list of those books we’ve actually read and used. What books have you benefited from, and why?
Not Everyone Gets a Trophy (Bruce Tulgan)
My intention with this book was to learn more about Gen Y needs/expectations and the reality of a corporate world built by (and for) Baby Boomers. Tulgan does review many stereotypes of the Millennial Generation at length, and does offer limited advice on how to manage that generation.
What’s missing from this book is the admission that many of the growing pains associated with Gen Y entering the workforce existed with every other generation before them. All recent grads want to change the world. All recent grads want to be compensated in a meritocracy, rather than a largely tenure-based system. These are not specific to Generation Y, but rather endemic to all new generations.
Corporate America will change as a result of Generation Y (the largest generation in American history). And though that’s an entirely different topic that isn’t covered by Tulgan, I find myself in search of more reading in that area.
This book is a good read for recent grads who want to see themselves as their older coworkers do. It highlights common conceptions and misconceptions, and offers some advice for bridging any possible generational divide. It does use a lot of anecdotal evidence, reinforces stereotypes, and does not provide as much actionable advice as other books on the subject.
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Seth Godin)
Like almost every “business” book I’ve read, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable by Seth Godin is an over-administration of a few simple points. Why, then, would I recommend this book? Because those points are extremely important. Godin outlines the reasons why linchpins are the most important, though often undervalued, employees in any organization, and how the future of Corporate America (really, Corporate World) will come to rely more and more on these groundbreaking trendsetters.This book is a logical addition to Godin’s catalog, which is what I was hoping for. It’s a very comfortable read, accessible to all as either dedicated study or bedtime/beachtime leisure. Though it doesn’t prescribe a course of action to becoming a linchpin, it does leave the reader with many thought-provoking questions and few great stories.
What To Do When You Become the Boss: How new managers become successful managers (Bob Selden)
I have to admit, this book was sitting on my shelf for almost a year. I picked it up three separate times and was never able to make it past a few chapters. I tried reading it on the plane, in my comfy reading chair at home, and before bed, and I could never get in to it. This is the first book in years that I couldn’t/didn’t complete, and I take that to mean I shouldn’t recommend it. Though it did get 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, so maybe I’m missing something.