1 P. T. Barnum – The Art of Money Getting (1880)
There are no shortcuts to wealth, aside from right vocation, good character, and perseverance—and don’t forget to advertise.
2 Richard Branson – Losing My Virginity (1998)
Don’t be afraid to be different. On entering any new field or an industry, aim to really shake it up and provide new value.
3 Andrew Carnegie – The Gospel of Wealth (1899)
The wealth creator has a moral obligation to enrich the lives of others in whatever way they can.
4 Alfred Chandler – The Visible Hand (1977)
Our civilization is as much managerial as it is capitalist.
5 Ron Chernow – Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (1998)
Society’s interests are best served by giant monopolies which provide quality and lower prices for the consumer.
6 Clayton Christensen – The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997)
Bigger companies can fall into a trap in which it only makes sense to serve existing customers; but new customers and technologies are where the growth is.
7 Duncan Clark – Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built (2016)
Don’t be cowed by the big players in your industry, or the people with top credentials. The main ingredients in business success are vision, patience, and agility.
8 Jim Collins – Great by Choice (2011)
The measure of a company is not how much it can expand in good times, but whether it is able to withstand downturns and crises and carve out a long-term future.
9 W. Edwards Deming – Out of the Crisis (1982)
Quality is not the result of an individual worker, but must be part of a system.
10 Peter Drucker – The Effective Executive (1967)
No one is born effective, just as no one is born a leader. Effectiveness depends on clarity of aims and the desire to contribute.
11 Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton – Getting To Yes (2011)
The best negotiators focus on principles, not attempts to manipulate.
12 Martin Ford – Rise of the Robots (2015)
Artificial intelligence and automation, as well as providing business possibilities, will transform the economic and political landscape.
13 Michael E. Gerber – The E-Myth Revisited (2001)
The key to real prosperity in business is to work on your enterprise, not in it.
14 Conrad Hilton – Be My Guest (1957)
Thinking big is the basis of all great enterprises and fortunes.
15 Ben Horowitz – The Hard Thing About Hard Things (2014)
Nothing really prepares you for leading an organization and getting it through the inevitable crises.
16 Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs (2011)
Great products are about art as much as technology.
17 Josh Kaufman – The Personal MBA (2010)
A few good books and practical experience will serve you just as well, or better, than going to business school.
18 Guy Kawasaki – The Art of the Start (2004)
Before anything else, the fundamental purpose in starting any new enterprise is to create meaning.
19 John Kay – Obliquity (2010)
To fulfill their potential, people and organizations need higher-level goals that go beyond their own gain or profit.
20 Stuart Kells – Penguin and the Lane Brothers (2015)
There is always a huge market for things that people want that, with a sudden drop in price, they can now afford.
21 W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne – Blue Ocean Strategy (2005)
Companies make the mistake of focusing on the competition when they should be focused on creating big leaps in value for the customer.
22 Phil Knight – Shoe Dog (2016)
Going into a line of business solely to make money is rarely a good idea. Be motivated by the wish to make things better for people in some concrete way.
23 Richard Koch & Greg Lockwood – Simplify (2016)
It is the simplifiers, not the innovators, who take the really big prizes in business.
24 Terry Leahy – Management in Ten Words (2012)
It is one thing to survey customers about what they want, but quite another to actually be on their side.
25 Patrick Lencioni – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2002)
Organizations increasingly find that they rise or fall depending on the quality of their teams.
26 Marc Levinson – The Box (2006)
Great innovations seem simple and obvious in hindsight.
27 Theodore Levitt – Marketing Myopia (1960)
Companies stop growing because they fail to correctly understand what business they are in.
28 Stanley McChrystal – Team of Teams (2015)
Widely shared information and devolution of power can make an organization unified and powerful.
29 Douglas McGregor – The Human Side of Enterprise (1960)
People will naturally want to do their best for an organization if they feel that their need for personal development is being met.
30 Geoffrey A. Moore – Crossing the Chasm (1991)
There is a distinct pattern to the acceptance of new products in the marketplace, ignorance of which dooms many start-ups.
32 Al Ries & Jack Trout – Positioning (1981)
It’s senseless trying to go head to head with an established leader of a product or category. Instead, develop a new product or service that you can be first in.
33 Eric Ries – The Lean Startup (2011)
If you believe in your idea so much, be willing to be proven wrong on it by relentless testing and iteration. Whatever survives of the process you will know has a market.
34 Sheryl Sandberg – Lean In (2013)
More women at the top is not just good for its own sake; companies will only succeed if they are properly representative of half of their market.
35 Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg – How Google Works (2015)
Only by creating a culture of learning and innovation will you attract the right people to your enterprise.
36 Alice Schroeder – The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (2008)
Time, discipline, and focus are the most important ingredients in building a fortune.
37 Howard Schultz – Pour Your Heart Into It (1997)
Huge enterprises can be built by giving people a small moment of joy in their day.
38 Peter Senge – The Fifth Discipline (1990)
Great companies are communities in which there is a genuine commitment to every member’s potential being realized.
39 Simon Sinek – Start With Why (2009)
A person or organization only really succeeds in a big way when they arrive at a crystal clear awareness of their purpose—what they are doing to advance others and the world.
40 Seema Singh – Mythbreaker: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and the Story of Indian Biotech (2016)
The first rule of business is to create a real business that can be constantly ratcheted up and used to fund future growth.
41 Alfred P. Sloan – My Years with General Motors (1963)
A big company does not have to be bloated. With good management it can react quickly to changing market conditions.
42 Brad Stone – The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013)
Even when it loses you money in the short term, a radical desire to please the customer builds loyalty that makes for long-term success.
43 Matthew Syed – Black Box Thinking (2015)
Willingness to fail frequently, while absorbing the lessons of failure and making constant adjustments, is the only real path to success.
44 Frederick Winslow Taylor – The Principles of Scientific Management (1911)
Increased efficiency allows workers as well as managers and owners to prosper.
45 Peter Thiel – Zero To One (2014)
Competition is overrated. The most successful businesses are those which create a natural monopoly through the brilliance of their product.
46 Robert Townsend – Up the Organization (1970)
The key to great corporate performance is not employing great people, as conventional wisdom says, but letting your existing people flower.
47 Donald Trump – The Art of the Deal (1987)
To succeed in business, balance boldness and promotion with patience, caution, and flexibility.
48 Ashlee Vance – Elon Musk (2015)
The visionary entrepreneur is not content to create a business, but must shape the future.
49 Jack Welch – Jack: Straight from the Gut (2001)
Never underestimate how far you can go by just being yourself.
50 James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones & Daniel Roos – The Machine that Changed the World (1990)
New practices in manufacturing and management have saved vast resources and brought higher-quality goods.