8 Books Every Business Student Should Read


By Staff Writer Published on July 2, 2017

It’s safe to assume that most smart, successful people read books. This is especially true in the business world. If you’re pursuing a business degree or even just thinking about it, it’s never too early to dive into the dynamic world of business books.

With so many business titles to choose from, this post can give you a head start. In no particular order, following are eight books that every business student—or would-be student—should consider reading. Maybe something you read will get you started on—or further along—your ideal business career path.

Rework

By Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

What does it take to succeed in business? Rework shows you what you don’t need as well as what you do need. “Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of downsizing, and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages.”

Giants of Enterprise

By Richard Tedlow

Study the struggles and strategies of outstanding CEOs who “successfully managed cutting-edge technology and formed enduring corporate empires.” Subjects include George Eastman and his Kodak camera; Thomas Watson of IBM; Henry Ford and his automobile; Robert N. Noyce, founder of Intel; Andrew Carnegie and his steel empire; and others.

The Effective Executive

By Peter F. Drucker

This book teaches five essential practices for businesspeople who want to “get the right things done”:

  • Managing time
  • Choosing what to contribute to the organization
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect
  • Setting the right priorities
  • Knitting all these practices together with effective decision-making

Made in America

By Sam Walton

Learn business lessons and insights from the man who turned a single dime store into Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. “In a story rich with anecdotes and the rules of the road of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream.”

The Innovator's Dilemma

By Clayton M. Christensen

The author warns how successful companies can fail if they keep following traditional business practices instead of adopting new ideas and approaches. “Offering both successes and failures from leading companies as a guide, The Innovator’s Dilemma gives you a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.”

David and Goliath

By Malcolm Gladwell

Want to do something difficult? This book will challenge how you think about obstacles and disadvantages. Gladwell offers “a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, suffer from a disability, lose a parent, attend a mediocre school, or endure any number of other apparent setbacks.” David and Goliath could reshape the way you think about the world around you.

Competition Demystefied

By Bruce C. Greenwald and Judd Kahn

In this “radically simplified approach to business strategy,” the authors “offer an easy-to-follow method for understanding the competitive structure of your industry and developing an appropriate strategy for your specific position.”

Awaken the Giant Within

By Tony Robbins

As an expert on the psychology of change, the author reveals a step-by-step approach to mastering yourself. Subtitled How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Financial Destiny, the book “will enable you to discover your true purpose, take control of your life, and harness the forces that shape your destiny.”

Read something that excites you or changes you, whether in a book listed above or any other business book? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook! And if you’re looking to start—or transfer into—the right business degree program, check out your choices at Stevens-Henager College.