Farnam Street helps you make better decisions, innovate, and avoid stupidity.

With over 400,000 monthly readers and more than 93,000 subscribers to our popular weekly digest, we've become an online intellectual hub.

3 Reasons Why Business Books Are Bad for You

Dave Logan, author of Tribal Leadership, offers three good reasons why business books are bad for you.

First, most business books use stories to cover over their complete lack of insight.
Second, the stories themselves often highlight the wrong message….Business success isn’t a checklist, and that’s the implied message from many business books: do these things and you’ll be the hero.
Third, most business books are air sandwiches: empty in the middle.

In place of reading airport bestsellers on the latest repackaged business idea, he recommends three books with a little more substance.

Business leaders need a reboot on the ideas that make organizations run. Is your time best spent reading business books, or talking with people with radically different ideas? Put down the business book and go interact with ideas that challenge you, frighten you, or piss you off. People often ask me what the best business books I’ve ever read are. Here’s my list: The Odyssey, Atlas Shrugged, and Ender’s Game (book one, two, and three).

None are about commerce or strategy. Read The Odyssey to understand character, purpose, and discovery. Read Atlas Shrugged to clarify your own position on how the political economy should run. And read Ender’s Game for how genius and leadership pull people in opposite directions. (Two of the three are well written — you can figure out which is the outlier.) None of these books have takeaways, or to-do lists. None preach. They will make you think.

Source: Dave Logan, 3 Reasons Why Business Books Are Bad for You

Filed Under: