To construct my self-directed business education, I’ve relied on a variety of resources. MOOCs and online courses have been the backbone of my studies, of course, but I’ve also learned many valuable lessons by reading business books.

As folks in the northern hemisphere head into summer, I thought it would be nice to recommend a few of my recent favorites. If you’re in need of some good beach reading, look no further!

Here are some of the most enlightening and thought-provoking business books I’ve read in the past year.


1. Work Rules! Insights from Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

When Google stopped relying on grades, transcripts, and school brand names to assess job candidates, they were onto something. This book goes inside the Goliath and describes what makes Google a unique place to work, both in terms of hiring and workplace culture.


2. Managers, Not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development by Henry Mintzberg

This book will change your perspective on what an MBA is, what it does, and what it ought to be and do. A must-read for anyone interested in management education.


3. Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux and Ken Wilbur

Imagine a company where the work is driven by a higher purpose, where teams set their own agendas, where individuals have autonomy over how the work gets done and the authority to make decisions. Reinventing Organizations casts a vision for the organizations of the future. This book completely rocked my world.


4. The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert Sutton

Don’t be thrown off by the crass title. This book is a gem. It offers actionable techniques for keeping bad apples out of your workplace and a wealth of advice to anyone who must work with difficult people.  


5. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

Daniel Pink is one of my all-time favorite business authors. If sales is neither your area of strength nor part of your job description, you may be surprised by what this book has to say about how you’re doing your job.


For more good reads, check out No-Pay MBA’s Favorite Business Books. And if you have suggestions on good business books, feel free to share them in the comments!

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