The 11 Business Books That Shaped 2015

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Another list. Sorry.

I tend to shy away from lists (especially ones that recap the year), and here I am breaking my own rules. Why? Well, in case you have not noticed, it’s getting easier and easier to spend your time trolling Twitter feeds and Instagram images, and flicking your way through the Facebook newsfeed. For the most part, we think that we’re more informed when – in reality – our knowledge is increasingly falling into the category of “a mile long and an inch deep.” For true perspective – and time to think – nothing satiates me more than reading a good book (and, yes, I’m a sucker for non-fiction and business books). 2015 ushered in a bunch of gems that captured my attention.

Here are 11 business books that shaped 2015 (in alphabetical order)…

  • A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer. Famed Hollywood producer explains the power of curiosity, and asking questions in this very powerful book about a soft skill that many of us dampen and dismiss. Sadly.
  • Better And Faster by Jeremy Gutsche. Can your brand innovate? How about doing it better… and much faster? Here’s how. 
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. The author of famed book Eat, Pray Love (and many more bestsellers), is back with a book about where creativity lives (mostly as it applies to writing, in this case) and how to qualify what a creative life looks like. Hint: we are all creative… or should try to be.
  • Bold by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. Do you want to be optimistic about our future or pessimistic? Technology is agnostic (it is neither good nor evil). Bold is about the leaders who are optimistic and placing big bets.
  • The Brand Flip by Marty Neumeier. A wonderfully small book about the power of branding, with a massive idea and tons of insights.
  • How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt. We talk a lot about digital transformation in business. We learn from others. MP3s changed the music industry. For fans, they’re fine with downloading (and, now, even more thrilled with streaming). For the industry, it was a disaster. This is how it all went down.
  • Louder Than Words by Todd Henry. It’s hard to create anything authentic when you don’t even know the sound of your own voice. Here’s the roadmap.
  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown. Nothing great happens without making a ton of mistakes. Most of us make these mistakes in public. Don’t worry about rejection or criticism, especially when it comes from those who are risking nothing.
  • Stand Out by Dorie Clark. Some people have an “it factor.” Many people do not. So, is this a nature verses nurture kind of thing, or are there lessons to be learned from those who have true audience?
  • Steal The Show by Michael Port. The most successful people that I know are the ones who really understand how to present and communicate in front of an audience. Here’s a book by one of the masters.
  • Why We Work by Barry Schwartz. It gets kind of meta. We work not just to pay the rent and cover the household expenses. Or, do we? What’s the point in doing all of this stuff that keeps us away from our family and friends?

What books that came out in 2015 moved you?