Wednesday, January 17, 2007

 

Great business books aren't always about business

I was excited to see Ben's list of top 10 books that every business leader should read, and was particularly excited to see that he included a book that is not about business.

Amidst such classics as Selling the Dream and Purple Cow (the entire list is well done and on target), Ben also listed Theodore Rex, part two in a three-part biography of Teddy Roosevelt by Edmund Morris (part three has yet to be published). In addition to a great biographical text, Ben described the book as also "a treatise on the qualities of superhuman energy, charm and political skill."

Fictional novels, biographies and other reading material can often be very instructive for busy business leaders and managers, even if they're not found on the Business shelf at the local bookstore.

A couple books I've read recently that also fit this bill include:

His Excellency, a biography of George Washington by Joseph Ellis. Washington was an incredible leader, and this book gave myriad examples of why.

Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, by David Maraniss. Roberto Clemente's contributions to baseball weren't well known until his untimely death in 1972, largely because he labored his entire career in small-market Pittsburgh. But Clemente was a giant of a man, a pioneer for Latin Americans in baseball, with a clear direction for his life. His life story provides examples of leadership, commitment, focus and determination - all critical skills for leaders at every level.

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