My (Updated, Slightly Changed, Hopefully Improved) Business Book Challenge

Almost a year ago I issued what I called my ‘Business Book Challenge.”  I presented the challenge as follows:

Almost a year ago I issued what I called my ‘Business Book
.”  I presented the
challenge as follows:


have come to the conclusion that most (maybe all) business and strategy
books are useless. They over-generalize. They offer little value.
I go in with such high
expectations, based on reviews and descriptions, and am almost
universally disappointed.

I want to be
find the business and strategy books that do help, that really deliver
value.  I want to find the must reads.

I want books
that offer guidance and support on how to start and run a effective
businesses and organizations.  I’m looking for authors who really
understand how to change people’s minds or understand their behavior.  I
know there must be a book out there
that can help me (and
others) to be organized and efficient, creative, and successful.
And of course, I want
to find a book that offers really good advice on how to break through
and make a difference/impact in today’s connected society.

I have been
trying for years, with nothing to show for it.  So now, I am asking for

I had expected a flood of suggestions and ideas, but that didn’t
happen.  A few people sent recommendations of books or authors to
consider, but nothing stood out.  Most of the emails and feedback I
received came from people who agreed with my assessment that the
business book industry not meeting our needs, and/or who shared my
frustration about the lack of helpful business knowledge and insights
being proffered period.  My challenge went nowhere.

There are good books out there — but I am not satisfied with the options that I have found, and I know more is possible (and needed).  NOTE: I shared some expanded thoughts over at if you are interested. 

So, I want to re-issue my business book challenge — with a twist.


NEW, UPDATED, HOPEFULLY IMPROVED CHALLENGE: I am looking for a chapter from (or section, or
excerpt, or piece of) an
incredible, must-read, changes
everything about how we do things kind of
business (or
strategy, management, economics, marketing, organizational behavior,
leadership, etc.) book.

I am giving up my search for an entire book and instead focusing on
the what pieces and parts from different books I can read — that when
combined, will present me with a truly valuable body of knowledge and
insight.  If you are an author who believes that what you wrote is
game-changing, let me know which chapter I should read.  If you are a
publisher who works with authors who you believe ‘get it’, tell me which
piece of their writing is not to be missed. If anyone out there have a favorite books —
ones that have changed your life, opened your eyes to a new way of
thinking, or become the book you give you tell everyone they have to
read to succeed — tell me which piece delivered the goods.

Here is my plan/promise:


– I will read and provide my thoughts on every chapter, section
or excerpt that someone argues can deliver the desired value.  I will
post thoughts here and cross promote everything I share on other blogs I
support, through my twitter feed, in podcasts, and similar.

– I will trade emails, blog posts, or other correspondence with
any author or publisher who wants to make the case for why their
chapter stands out from the pack, and share the back-and-forth between
us for everyone’s benefit.

– If/when I find a chapter that lives up to the hype and/or come
across a book that is worth reading, I will shout it from the rooftops,
write blog posts and articles selling its virtues, and buy copies for
people I work with, work for, and provide advice to.


I have wasted
too much time reading books (and other information) people say will
teach me something, change my life, give me guidance on how to succeed,
or satisfy my curiosity.  Most of the time the book simply doesn’t
live up to its billing.  Please help me find the must-reads, one
chapter at a time.

If you can help, leave a comment below, email me, send me a message
on twitter (
or Facebook, or LinkedIn.  Whatever, just send me a message and let’s
figure this out together.