“A capacity, and taste, for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”

This quote by Abraham Lincoln is one that mirrors the mindset of the world’s brightest minds. Success in small business, as in politics and warfare, comes to those who have taken the time to study history, and observe the present. 

Many successful businesspeople have ‘stolen’ the insights of the greats that have gone before them. You should do the same. Here are five books to help you do just that.

  1. Empowered Manager by Peter Block

Empowered Manager presents the workplace as a microcosm of society – riddled with politics and varying interests. Learn how to navigate through the ever-present stumbling blocks in the entrepreneurial cycle: evolving from rigid, uncreative and bureaucratic management to a more flexible and empowering office culture.

  1. Work Rules! by Lazlo Buck

Co-opt the nine secret work rules as outlined by Lazlo Buck, a former senior Google executive. A recurring theme throughout the book is the need for creative expression: do not micromanage your employees. Rather than babysit the great minds in your business, let them flap their wings and fly – and you will reap a bountiful harvest. 

  1. On Fire at Work by Eric Chester

Seasoned business strategist Eric Chester outlines the foundational pillars required to build a productive small business: one that is founded on passionate and driven employees. Learn how to best exploit the most valuable resource in your possession – loyal employees who share your goals.

  1. Built To Last by Jim Collins & Jerry Porras

The goal of any small business owner is to plant a seed that eventually flourishes into a forest. This book is not built on a foundation of vague motivational quotes; rather, the authors highlight the core values and ideologies that separated the 18 visionary companies they chose to cover from their rivals.

  1. The Lean Entrepreneur by Eric Ries

Discover a series of tried and tested strategies to cut down the learning period; reduce excessive spending; and maximise investments in your small business. Before diving headfirst into the unknown, perform a series of practical tests to determine whether or not there is a market for what you are selling.

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