domingo, 12 de julio de 2015

How to become better businesspeople and, more important, better people.

The Business Book Every Serious Student Should Read

By John R. Inzero

Do you read how-to-succeed-in-business books? It seems everyone does. And we’re reading them more than ever. The Economist magazine in 2004 estimated that three thousand business-related books were published that year. Bloomberg News reported that eleven thousand business books were published in 2012. This represents an almost 400 percent growth in eight years. The trend shows no signs of slacking. A casual walk through a bookstore (however few of those remain), or an airport news and book kiosk, or a look through Amazon’s booklists brings those statistics very clearly to life. Every day more and more books are being published—and self-published—on how to be better managers, to close the sale, to find new customers, to get that promotion; in general, to be more successful. You can find lists everywhere highlighting the best business books of that year. Be assured, I too was not immune to this siren song of how to achieve success.

Many (many, many) years ago, I read all the business books that were hyped by industry magazines and newspapers. I especially remember one that was termed “the only business book you’ll ever need to read.” Soon after I read it, I saw a blurb about another book that was proclaimed “the only business book you’ll ever need to read.” And I thought, OK, wait a minute. The first only business book I’ll ever need to read held that position for less than a month? I was young then and didn’t really understand hyperbole. I’m not so young now, and I finally have the answer to the question What is the best business book you’ll ever need to read?

It’s found in Shakespeare. After all the paradigms, and the formulae, and the algorithms, and the corpspeak, business is, at its essence, about dealing with people. So how to succeed in business is to learn about people. And the best way to do that is through literature, not the latest “only business book you’ll ever need to read.”

You want to learn what it means to mature and become a leader? ReadHenry V. Prince Hal, in Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, was what could charitably be termed a thug. He ran around London with his group of hell-raisers, famously including Sir John Falstaff, and got into all kinds of lawlessness. Being the crown prince, he was able to avoid the consequences. There was real concern in the court about what would happen when he became king. But then Henry IV died, and Hal’s duty beckoned, he took on not only the crown of leadership but also the responsibilities that came with it.


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