Best 2017 Business Books to Future-Proof your Career

Reading every day can add make you live longer.

Not a joke. A new report by Yale University found that people who read books -- not magazine or newspapers -- lived for two years longer.

So here is my contribution to your health!

What is your favorite book? Please share and let me know what you think!

Category: Management

The Hard Thing About Hard Things - Ben Horowitz

 

My startup friends lauded that it is a must-read for entrepreneurs. While you may not be founding a company anytime soon, the hand-to-hand combat leadership experiences Ben shared in this book makes it a must-read for all managers.

Imagine:

What should you do if you have to fire someone?

What if that person is also your best friend?

Most management books are eager to offer best practices and their 5-step process to help you get through that day in hell. What they never talk about is how to deal with the fear, guilt, and sadness when you push the severance packet across the conference room table to the unsuspecting victim.  

Ben does not shy away from sharing he struggled emotionally when he has to let his best friend go. Will we still be friends? I know it is the right decision, but will my team think that I am a jerk? How am I going to tell my wife about this?

Most management books give you a "this is all going to be ok" reassurance, but we really need more people like Ben who never pretends to have the right answers. He is funny, open, and vulnerable in sharing his success and near-death experiences in the day-to-day grind of managing a team and a business. 

He just wants to share his experience on how he built a billion-dollar business without losing his soul or his sanity. 

A must-read for every manager and leader. 

Category: Diversity

Reset - Ellen Pao

 

You may have heard of the #METOO movement. 

But before #METOO there was Ellen Pao. The David who dared to take on the Goliath, her employer, the most powerful VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to court for gender discrimination. 

Pao's story of how gender bias actually happened day-to-day basis really resonates with me. Her story reveals the other side of the shiny, "make-the-world-a-better-place" world of Silicon Valley. 

There is only so much you can "lean in" when the conversation around the corporate jet table is on the relative merit of porn stars

When I was reading through the first few chapters, I had a feeling that Ellen was almost naive in expecting true workplace meritocracy. If you are a woman working a corporate job, you will see a much tamer version of her stories playing out in your work life.  

We just got used to it.

We just thought that is what life is.  

I am grateful that Ellen decided to put her personal and professional life on the line to challenge the status quo. 

She lost in court, but she lays herself down as the kindling, quietly waiting for the spark to arrive. 

And I would like to think that without her, #METOO would not shine as brightly today.  

Category: Future of our Digitial Life

Who Can You Trust? - Rachel Botsmann

 

Call me paranoid. I unplug my Alexa at night, cover the camera on my laptop, and I leave my cell phone at home if I do not want to be tracked. The convenience of getting a Lyft home in post-Hollywood Bowl concert traffic meltdown is enticing.

But deep inside, I am not sure if I trust Facebook, Google, and much more with my data. As someone said, if something is free, you are the product.  

Rachel's book reassured me that my gut is right. Ah, it feels good to be right, but then I quickly realize...

The world will be better off if I am diagnosed with DSM-5 Paranoid Personality Disorder Syndrom.

Check out her WIRED UK article on China's plan to launch its Citizen Social Score in 2020 if you want to get a taste of the book.  

Want to know how the Citizen Social Score system works? Imagine this. 

Remember that high-school friend John that you reluctantly connected on WeChat? Well, 5 points off your score today as he posted a "negative" comment somewhere. Oh, and by the way, they may bar you from flying to go home for the holidays if your score is too low.  

Wow. THAT sent chills down my spine. 

"Minority Report" is here now. Read this book if you care.