Recommended Business Books

Many of our entrepreneurs and guest speakers have cited business books as a source of their inspiration during our events. Some have even authored books of their own. Given the influence they've had on their success, we've taken the time to curate a list of those that have been recommended the most:

Will it Make the Boat Go Faster?: Olympic-winning Strategies for Everyday Success
Ben Hunt-Davis spoke at one of our conferences in 2015 and had the audience gripped with his video and story of Olympic triumph at Sydney 2000. He and Executive Coach Harriet Beveridge have teamed up to show you how to use similar strategies to improve your own life. The pair have been road-testing these methods for 10 years, with clients from all walks of life; managers, leaders, call centre staff, sales reps, athletes and shop assistants; whatever your challenges, whatever your goals, there are ideas that will help everyone.

The Shed Method, by Sara Milne Rowe
However good your strategic thinking or your planning are, success in business is all about being at your best and leading people to achieve amazing things.To do this you need to understand yourself,master your personal energy and enhance your communication skills if you want to be a successful and inspiring leader.

This book is an easy to follow fusion of(some) theory and lots of practical advice on how to be the best version of yourself from an outstanding coach. You’ll want to give copies to all your team and your family once you have read it!

Recommended by Andy Rubin, President of Pentland Brands, who gave an outstanding talk to Forum members in May 2018.

The Manager's Handbook - The 17 Skills Leaders Need to Stand Out, by The Harvard Business Review
This book brings together in one place,decades of the world’s leading business minds on leadership and management in a very practical book that is the reference manual on how to lead and manage. It’s the “toolkit” you’ve been waiting for.

Recommended by Andy Rubin, President of Pentland Brands, who gave an outstanding talk to Forum members in May 2018.

Winning, by Jack Welch
Simply the best “how to” for running complex businesses written by one of the most effective business leaders we have seen.

Recommended by Andy Rubin, President of Pentland Brands, who gave an outstanding talk to Forum members in May 2018.

Conscious Capitalism, by John Mackey & Raj Sisodia
This book combines the thinking of the founder of Whole Foods and a leading business academic. It helps us all think about the trade-offs that occur in business every day by trying to optimise returns to all stakeholders. It helps us understand that a new balanced scorecard should take into account all stakeholders if we are to build a sustainable world for future generations.

Recommended by Andy Rubin, President of Pentland Brands, who gave an outstanding talk to Forum members in May 2018.

Team Spirit, by Brendan Hall
Recommended by Simon Hartley: "At first glance, you may not see how a book with an ocean racing yacht on the cover might help business people. Yes, it is a story of how team spirit won the Clipper Round the World race. However, it is fundamentally about teamwork and leadership. I particularly love the way that Brendan Hall shares his internal wrestles and personal challenges as a leader; his worries, doubts, failures and sleepless nights."

Small Giants, by Bo Burlingham
Recommended by Simon Hartley: "There are some truly world-class businesses that are not corporations, not listed in the FTSE 250 or global multi-nationals. This book inspires small businesses to be true greats."

Legacy, by Jim Kerr
In early 2010, James Kerr had the privilege and unique opportunity of going deep inside the New Zealand rugby All Blacks camp for five weeks to study the way the best in the world stay on top of their game. His subsequent book, Legacy: What the All Blacks can teach us about the Business of Life, detailed the pillars of the squad’s sporting culture of success.

The Speed of Trust, by Stephen M.R. Covey
Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Team Massive Results: "Definitely a life-changing book for me personally. The subtitle 'The One Thing That Changes Everything' tells you all you need to know."

Elite! by Floyd Woodrow
Recommended by Simon Hartley: "In Elite! Floyd gets right to the heart of leadership and identifies the little things that make a huge difference. He tells a story of two SAS units, operating behind enemy lines in Iraq. Both have very similar missions, with similar resources available. One succeeds, despite encountering some extreme and unexpected challenges. The other fails. What was the one defining difference? Leadership!"

Scaling Up, by Verne Harnish
"Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless. The most successful business leaders have a clear vision and the disciplines (routines) to make it a reality." - Verne Harnish

How To Develop Character, by Simon Hartley
The greatest sports teams often recruit people first and players second. They also develop character in people before skills in players. The world's best organisations go beyond teaching skills and knowledge. They know that the challenges of today require personal characteristics such as resilience, tenacity and composure, honesty integrity and courage. In short, they know the importance of having people with the right character. So, how can we go beyond skills, knowledge and even personality? How can we develop character?

The One Minute Manager, by Ken Blanchard
Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Team Massive Results: "Great for people who don't like reading. It will take 90 minutes cover to cover, but it is a lifetime thick in wisdom. Every manager should read this."

Selling For Dummies, by Ben Kench
Ben spoke to members of the Entrepreneurs' Forum and gave plenty of tips, which are reflected in his book, about how to generate more leads, win more sales and build your business."

The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business, by Robert Bloom
Robert Bloom has discovered that every enterprise has at least one strategic asset, one existing strength that can form the foundation for future growth. He calls this an Inside Advantage. This strength usually lies unrecognized in an activity the business is currently performing or in a concept or an idea that the business already owns. Finding this hidden potential and becoming well known for it will grow the business."

Keys to Success, by Sir John Timpson
Sir John Timpson returned to speak to Entrepreneurs' Forum members at the Together We Can Take on the World conference in May 2018.

Sir John was born in 1943 and educated at Oundle and Nottingham University. He become the Director responsible for buying of the family footwear business William Timpson Ltd in 1970.

Following the acquisition of the company by the UDS Group in 1973, he became Managing Director of retailer Swears & Wells and in 1975 was appointed Managing Director of William Timpson, his original family business. His previous books include Ask John (Icon, 2014) and High Street Heroes (Icon, 2015).

Keys to Success is his most recently published book.

The 3x5 Coach, by Dave Baney
Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Team Massive Results

Whether you’re an executive officer, a department manager, or a shift supervisor, you have a clear understanding of your team members’ top accountabilities.

Without clear communication, your team may not share that understanding. They may have entirely different views on their job responsibilities and even why they’re getting paid. This disconnect between managerial and staff opinions can devastate productivity, performance, and team morale.

In The 3 x 5 Coach, market strategist and leadership expert Dave Baney offers a simple, direct solution to this problem. Baney’s effective methodology helps supervisors and employees quickly agree on key job accountabilities while establishing objective systems for evaluating employee performance and growth.

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the many are smarter than the few, by James Surowiecki.
James Surowiecki's book is about the aggregation of information in groups, resulting in decisions that, he argues, are often better than could have been made by any single member of the group. The book presents numerous case studies and anecdotes to illustrate its argument, and touches on several fields, primarily economics and psychology. Recommended by Simon Hartley, Be World Class."

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoe and clothing company Zappos
Recommended by Ian Kinnery, Team Massive Results

Good to Great, by Jim Collins
Another book recommended by many of the guest speakers we've had at the Entrepreneurs' Forum over the years."

Making Character First, by Tom Hill & Walter Jenkins
Recommended by Simon Hartley, Be World Class: "There are very few books that help us understand not only the importance of recruiting and developing character in people, but also the process. In this book, Tom Hill describes how he turned around a failing culture in his own manufacturing business by systematically developing character in his team."

The E-Myth, by Michael Gerber
This book has been recommended by numerous speakers over the years.

Described as "The world's No.1 Small Business Guru", Michael Gerber's companies have helped tens of thousands of small business owner-clients to successfully transform their businesses into world-class operations.

Think in 3D!  The Seven Characteristics of Dramatically and Demonstrably Different Businesses , by Andy Hanselman
Andy is big favourite of the Forum, having spoken at and hosted numerous events for us over the years.

In his book, Andy explores how winning businesses get ahead, and stay ahead of their competitors.  They are 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different' From their competitors - they do things that their competitors aren't, and even better can't!

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
Another book recommended by more than one of our guest speakers over the years, The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that's being adopted around the world. It is changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. The Lean Startup is about learning what your customers really want. It's about testing your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it's too late. .

*Please note: in the interests of transparency, these recommended reads have been linked to the Amazon Associates referral programme and any purchases made from these links will create a small donation back to the Entrepreneurs' Forum, which we will reinvest in helping to make the North East of England a more entrepreneurial place.