Featured Business Author

Business Guru Adam Grant

Book Cover Image. Title: Give and Take:  A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Author: Adam Grant

Give and Take

Adam Grant

Adam Grant, whose new book Give and Take has been getting raves in all quarters, is the youngest full professor and single highest-rated teacher at Wharton Business School. He has been honored as one of the world's top 40 business professors under 40, and he has received numerous awards and media attention for his research. In addition, he has consulted and presented for organizations ranging from Google to the U.S. Army and Navy. To his other credits, which include former record-setting advertising director, junior Olympic springboard diver, and professional magician, he now adds bestselling author. We invited Grant to talk about a few of the books that have inspired him. His short list appears below. 

Book Cover Image. Title: The Paradox of Choice:  Why More Is Less, Author: Barry Schwartz

The Paradox of Choice

Barry Schwartz

Before I read this book, I believed that the more choices we had, the better off we were. Barry Schwartz turns that belief upside-down, and provides a fascinating look at why maximizers, people who look for "the best" when making decisions, typically do better but feel worse. He offers a wealth of evidence-based wisdom about how to make decisions that yield success and happiness, and many of my students have described his advice as life-changing. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: The Geography of Bliss:  One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World, Author: Eric Weiner

The Geography of Bliss

Eric Weiner

Rarely have I laughed out loud so many times when reading a book, and in addition to being hilariously funny, this one was extremely thought-provoking. I loved how Eric Weiner, a self-described grump, shared his stories from trotting the globe in search of the happiest country on earth. His entertaining narrative is filled with interesting insights from happiness research and keen observations about a wide range of cultures. I walked away from this book with a renewed appreciation for the ancient idea that happiness is journey, not a destination, and a strong desire to visit several new countries. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Influence:  Science and Practice, Author: Robert B. Cialdini

Influence

Robert B. Cialdini

In my view, this is the book that launched the genre of blending stories and social science that has become increasingly popular with the advent of books by Malcolm Gladwell and the Freakonomics duo. When I was a freshman in college, I took three different psychology classes that assigned Influence as required reading, and I found it so captivating that I read it three times. When I took my first real job in advertising, it was Bob Cialdini's brilliant analysis of the psychology of persuasion that shielded me against the weapons of influence that my clients were wielding. Not long after this book rescued me from being a pushover and a doormat, it inspired me to become a psychologist. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Author: Susan Cain

Quiet

Susan Cain

Like so many other Westerners, I took it for granted that introversion was a weakness -- extraverts were naturally gifted in leading, selling, networking, and so many other important skills in life. Susan Cain's enthralling book opened my eyes to the possibility that the "extravert ideal" was a myth. Her work led me to begin conducting studies that debunked the extraverted leadership advantage and the extraverted sales advantage, and has given me a fresh way of looking at the world in which listening matters as much as talking. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me):  Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, Author: Carol Tavris

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

Carol TavrisElliot Aronson

Every day, people do things that are unfair, hurtful, or even immoral, but manage to persuade themselves that they've done no wrong. I had long been puzzled by this tendency, and it was Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson who unraveled the mystery for me. I couldn't put this book down; it's full of counterintuitive experiments and powerful examples from settings as diverse as marriage, psychotherapy, and the courtroom that illuminate what dooms people to become rationalizing animals, and how we can escape the traps of justifying things that we never should have done. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: A Whole New Mind:  Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, Author: Daniel H. Pink

A Whole New Mind

Daniel H. Pink

I grew up assuming that left-brainers had a major advantage in the world, and walked away from this book convinced that I was wrong. Dan Pink presents a compelling, provocative analysis of why right-brained skills such as storytelling, symphony, empathy, and design are increasingly important in a creative economy based heavily on knowledge work. His notion that the MFA is the new MBA left me rethinking my most fundamental practices as a teacher, speaker, writer, and researcher. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Flow:  The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Author: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Some of the greatest moments in life occur when we're in the zone -- so completely absorbed in an activity that we lose track of time and our surroundings. This book gave me a road map for finding more of these optimally engaging experiences, and it also gave me a different way of thinking about possible careers. Instead of just looking at my strengths and my values, Flow steered my attention toward the types of activities that I found engrossing. When I realized that teaching, reading, and writing were three of the activities in which I regularly found flow, I knew it was time to consider a career as a professor. I also enjoyed the fact that the book spells the last name of author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi last name phonetically so that readers can learn to pronounce it (chick-sent-me-high-ee). Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: The No Asshole Rule:  Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't, Author: Robert I. Sutton

The No Asshole Rule

Robert I. Sutton

So many people spend the vast majority of their waking hours in workplaces that are poisoned by disrespect, back-stabbing, and malice. Bob Sutton boldly outlines promising steps for building organizations marked by civility and enduring those that aren't. I've found myself following his advice on a regular basis, and reading his book was one of the forces that stimulated my own interest in studying how to deal with takers and turn them into givers. Buy Now