There are a few books out there that have stood the test of time in the business world. They helped shape the industry years ago, and they continue to remain true to this day. If you have high aspirations for yourself and haven't read these five books, you are doing yourself a disservice. They are well worth the time.
1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This is, undoubtedly, the single greatest book about business ever written. There is a reason why it is one of the best-selling books of all time. It is a culmination of lessons learned from some of the world's greatest thinkers and innovators, and Hill breaks down the lessons in easily digestible chapters that focus on so much more than just "motivational language." He gives clear and concise instructions for how you can begin implementing what he's saying, right now.
The best part is, although this book was written in 1937, its lessons are as true today as they were back then. It is the quintessential example of what it takes to become truly successful. As Hill says, "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
2. How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
When it comes to personal development, nobody quite succeeds as eloquently as Dale Carnegie. This book breaks down the game of life in astounding detail, admitting the simple truths many of us don't want to acknowledge--for example, "People do business with their friends." He instructs in careful detail how to become more likable, how to create report, and the value of prioritizing the interpersonal element of business.
This reason this book has remained relevant for so long and cemented itself as a classic is because it relates to so much more than just business. This book will make you a better person.
3. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
If you're new to the self development game then this is a great place to start. Covey does an amazing job at breaking down the pillars of industry leaders and explaining the importance of practice. He focuses far less on theory and far more on daily discipline and accountability.
For Covey, effectiveness is not a talent or a trait, it is a practice--and this book explains how you can implement that sort of daily discipline into your life.
4. Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute
This isn't one of the more well-known books out there, but it is a gem to those that discover it. This book is a narrative that teaches some of the toughest lessons in business by showing a relationship between a boss and an up-and-coming manager. One of the themes in this book is the idea of not being "in the box"--in other words, maintaining a level of self awareness that allows you to see the bigger picture of what's happening in any given moment.
This is a fast and enjoyable read, and not quite as heady as some of the other business books out there. It's also a fantastic book to help you come to terms with whether you are working with or for a true leader, or a dictator.
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
And finally, a classic when it comes to personal finance, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" will change the way you approach money forever. It takes what many people consider to be a confusing topic and makes it so painfully simple that you'll wonder how you didn't understand it sooner.
When it comes to business of any kind, finance is a pillar that requires the utmost attention and mastery. According to Kiyosaki, it all starts with your habits and the way you treat money. In order to be successful, you need to have a positive relationship with your finances, and that means acting out of discipline instead of impulse.
All five of these books need to be on your bookshelf. Even if you aren't a big reader (which you should be), they will serve as reminders to their enclosed principles--and sometimes, a reminder is all you need to stay on track.