Top Business Books of 2020

Drunk with possibilities

Anytime anyone suggests “the best” of anything – you can be sure it’s a subjective opinion. An opinion that melds an individual’s needs, taste, and experience.  Given this caveat, here are 5 of my “best business books” for the year of 2020.  My hope is that one or several of these suggestions will resonate with your needs, taste, and experience. Happy reading! David


Right Away and All at Once: 5 Steps to Transform Your Business and Enrich Your Life

Greg Brenneman helped turn around Continental Airlines, leading it from worst to first in two months and then proceeded to launch a firm, Turnworks, that has helped dozens more companies.  Greg had sage advice at the beginning of this crisis, suggesting that the role of leaders is to “absorb fear, and exude hope.”  And since it has been suggested it’s going to be chaos this entire decade, we are likely to be in perpetual turnaround mode for quite some time!  Read the opening chapter “Who Needs a Turnaround?” – then implement his 5-step process, beautifully detailed in this actionable book.

Beat the Crisis: 33 Quick Solutions for Your Company

The father of pricing and hidden champions, Hermann Simon, chairman of Simon- Kucher & Partners Strategy and Marketing Consultants, wrote this quick read during the 2008 financial crisis – and his solutions are just as applicable today.  Go to chapter 6 first to learn about seven pricing strategies you can immediately utilize to drive cash and profit.  Many clients have added to their bottom line by upping their sophistication in pricing.

Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say – and What You Don’t

L. David Marquet’s first book, Turn the Ship Around , is a classic turnaround story, showing how he took a nuclear submarine from the worst in the Navy to the first in 12 months. His latest book on leadership language is just as great and easy to read.  It’s the first and only guide I know that gets as specific about how to move from a “wisdom of the loud” to the “wisdom of the crowd.” His six new leadership plays like “Commitment rather than compliance” actually make the job  of the leader easier!

BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0): Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company

From Jim Collins, one of the most influential business thinkers of our era, comes an upgrade of his classic, Beyond Entrepreneurship, that includes new findings and world-changing insights.

What’s the roadmap to create a company that not only survives its infancy but thrives, changing the world for decades to come?  Nine years before the publication of his bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins and his mentor, Bill Lazier, answered this question in their bestselling book, Beyond Entrepreneurship.

BE 2.0 is a new and improved version of the book that Jim Collins and Bill Lazier wrote years ago. In BE 2.0, Jim re-examines the original text of Beyond Entrepreneurship with his 2020 perspective.

This book includes the original text of Beyond Entrepreneurship, as well as four new chapters and fifteen new essays. BE 2.0 pulls together the key concepts across Collins’ thirty years of research into one integrated framework called The Map.

Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual

Jocko Willink was a Navy SEAL for 20 years, rising through the ranks to become the commander of Task Unit Bruiser―the most decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War. After retiring, Willink co-founded Echelon Front, a multi-million-dollar leadership and management consulting company, writing the #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership.

“What if you are promoted into a new position leading your former peers? What if you don’t get selected for the leadership position you wanted? How do you overcome imposter syndrome, when you aren’t sure you should be leading? As a leader, how do you judiciously dole out punishment? What about reward? How do you build trust with your both your superiors and your subordinates? How do you deliver truthful criticism up and down the chain of command in a tactful and positive way?”

These are all questions about leadership. And while there are books out there that provide solid leadership principles, there is no “leadership field manual” that provides a direct, situational, pragmatic how-to guide that anyone can instantly put to use.

Leadership Strategy and Tactics focuses on how to take leadership theory, quickly translate that theory into applicable strategy, and then put leadership into action at a tactical level.


© 2021 David Paul Carter. All rights reserved.

Also published on Medium.com.


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