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April 3, 2017

New Releases: Business Books to Watch in April

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 9:59 AM – Filed under: Big Ideas & New Perspectives, Biography & Narrative, Current Events & Public Affairs, Innovation & Creativity, Leadership & Strategy, Management & Workplace Culture, Marketing & Sales, Personal Development & Human Behavior, Publishing Industry, The Company

Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat. by Sarah Robb O'Hagan, Harper Business

The former president of Gatorade and Equinox shares lessons from highly accomplished “Extremers” from all walks of life, including business, sports, and entertainment, to help you learn to stand out in your life and career, be the boldest version of yourself and reach your true potential.

Sarah Robb O’Hagan believed she was destined to be a champion. Trying a handful of her hand at sports, music, and theater she learned she wasn’t a natural superstar. Yet she wanted to have impact, to make a difference. But how? After a series of few early successes, a number of epic failures, plenty of self-reflection, and myriad conversations with high performers, Sarah found greatness and turned her passion into a career.

Making her way up the corporate ladder to become an executive at Virgin Atlantic, Nike, Gatorade, and Equinox—as well as a wife, mother, and endurance athlete—she picked up a thing or two about what separates stars from the rest of the pack. Yes, talent matters. So does a strong work ethic. But even more so, superstars learn when to stand out and when to fall in line. They know how to make the most of their unique strengths, when to buck convention, and how to pivot off of failures, get over their weaknesses and reach new levels of success.

In every challenging situation, personal or professional, individuals face the pressure to conform to the accepted norms. But doing so comes with heavy costs: passions are stifled, talents are ignored, and opportunities are squelched. The other, far bolder choice, is to embrace what Sarah calls Extreme You: to confidently bring all that is distinctive and relevant about yourself, to everything you do. You’ll achieve more if you’re willing to step up—and out of line.

Inspiring, surprising, and practical, Extreme You is her training program for becoming the best version of yourself.

A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System by T. R. Reid, Penguin Press

Bestselling author T. R. Reid voyages around the world to solve the urgent problem of the US’s failing tax code, unravelling a complex topic in plain English and telling a rollicking story along the way.

The US tax code is a total write-off. Overstuffed with loopholes and special interest provisions, it works for no one—except tax lawyers, accountants, and corporations, that is—certainly not me and you. Not for the first time, we have to tear it up and start over. That happened in 1922, and again in 1954, and again in 1986. There’s a pattern here; we reach this point every 32 years. Which means the next complete re-write of the tax code is due in 2018. Can we write a new tax code that is fair and simple? Can we cut tax rates and still bring in the revenue required? In fact, we can—by learning from the world’s other democracies. Around the world, wealthy democracies, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK, have all reformed their tax codes, while the US has languished. With his penchant for making complex subjects accessible and even fun, T. R. Reid travels the world in order to find out what makes for good taxation (if that’s not an oxymoron!) and brings that knowledge home.

So byzantine are the current statutes that by the government’s own estimates, Americans spend six billion hours and ten billion dollars every year preparing and filing their taxes. In the Netherlands it takes fifteen minutes! Brilliantly successful American companies like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google pay effectively no tax at all because of loopholes which allow them to move profits offshore. Indeed, the dysfunctional tax system has become so easy to dodge that it is a major cause of economic inequality, as Warren Buffet and Thomas Piketty have pointed out. But it doesn’t have to be this way, the ever-intrepid Reid proves, crisscrossing the globe, from the Czech Republic to Mexico. Doing our taxes may never be America’s favorite pastime, but it can and should be so much easier.

Pause: Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break by Rachael O'Meara, TarcherPerigee

An inspiring, powerful guide to learning to “pause”—even just for a few minutes a day—to check in with yourself, avoid burn-out, and lead a happier, more meaningful career and life.

Rachael O’Meara was a customer support manager at Google when she realized she was burned out and needed to reassess her path. The best way to do this was to take a “pause”—a time-out to create space for her inner voice to be heard and to align her actions to lead a more meaningful, fulfilled life. Pausing can be as simple as a five-minute walk outside, or a day spent unplugged from digital devices. Pause offers a chance to remember what “lights you up” beyond paychecks and corporate status. Rachael explains how to recognize the signs that you need to pause, tips for creating a meaningful experience, and how to return to everyday life with mental clarity and maintain your “pause mindset” to keep the lasting changes and boost fulfillment.

Weaving in psychology-based research on how pausing can boost one’s emotional intelligence and ability to act, feel, and communicate authentically and responsibly with her and others’ stories of pausing. Rachael helps you create your own “Pause Plan,” regardless of how much time, money, or resources you have, and explains the different ways you can learn to meaningfully pause—whether for sixty seconds a day, an hour, a week, or over the course of several months—and discover what you value most, to lead the most satisfying and fulfilling life you choose.

Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges That Defined the Company That's Disrupting the World by Mike Hoefflinger, AMACOM

Its success was far from accidental.

Facebook’s founding is legend: In a Harvard dorm, wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg invented a new way to connect with friends… and the rest is history. But for the people who actually molded this great idea into a game-changing $300 billion company, the experience was far more tumultuous and uncertain than we might expect.

Mike Hoefflinger was one of those Facebook insiders. As a computer engineer turned marketing innovator who worked with COO Sheryl Sandberg, Hoefflinger had a front-row seat to the company’s growing pains, stumbles, and reinventions.

Becoming Facebook tells the coming-of-age story of the now venerable giant. Filled with insights and anecdotes from crises averted and challenges solved, the book tracks the company’s development, uncovering lessons learned on its way to greatness:

  • How Facebook recovered from its “disastrous” IPO
  • How the growth team achieved the impossible
  • Why Facebook’s News Feed ads were the company’s most important business decision ever
  • How Google+ attacked and lost
  • Why—and how —Instagram and WhatsApp were added to the mix
  • What the company does to win the talent wars
  • What makes Zuckerberg, Sandberg, Cox, and other A-teamers tick
  • Which products and technical advancements are on the horizon and why
  • And much more

Intimate, fast-paced, and deeply informative, Becoming Facebook shares the true story of how Zuckerberg joined the ranks of iconic CEOs like Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos—as Facebook grows up, overcomes setbacks, and works to connect the world.

High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant by Scott Wintrip, McGraw-Hill

The pioneer of High Velocity Hiring reveals his system for filling jobs effectively and instantly—making it your ultimate weapon in winning the war for talent

In High Velocity Hiring, you’ll learn about the innovative and actionable program that’s changing the way recruiting and hiring is done. The author explains how to stop participating in the old way of hiring (keeping a job open until the right person shows up), and instead, engage in the new way of hiring (cultivating top talent until the right job shows up).

You’ll learn how a straightforward step-by-step approach—called the Talent Accelerator Process—harnesses a flow of top talent, eliminates hiring delays, and maintains a pool of people ready to hire.

The Land of Enterprise: A Business History of the United States by Benjamin C. Waterhouse, Simon & Schuster

A new, gripping history of America—told through the executives, bankers, farmers, and politicians who paved the way from colonial times to the present—reveals that this country was founded as much on the search for wealth and prosperity as the desire for freedom.

The Land of Enterprise charts the development of American business from the colonial period to the present. It explores the nation’s evolving economic, social, and political landscape by examining how different types of enterprising activities rose and fell, how new labor and production technologies supplanted old ones—and at what costs—and how Americans of all stripes responded to the tumultuous world of business. In particular, historian Benjamin Waterhouse highlights the changes in business practices, the development of different industries and sectors, and the complex relationship between business and national politics.

From executives and bankers to farmers and sailors, from union leaders to politicians to slaves, business history is American history, and Waterhouse pays tribute to the unnamed millions who traded their labor (sometimes by choice, often not) or decided what products to consume (sometimes informed, often not). Their story includes those who fought against what they saw as an oppressive system of exploitation as well as those who defended free markets from any outside intervention. The Land of Enterprise is not only a comprehensive look into our past achievements, but offers clues as to how to confront the challenges of today’s world: globalization, income inequality, and technological change.

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida, Basic Books

Intellectual rock star Richard Florida confronts the dark side of the creative economy he celebrated in The Rise of the Creative Class, and grapples with the gentrification, inequality, and segregation it has created in our cities.

In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world's superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. Meanwhile, many more cities still stagnate, and middle-class neighborhoods everywhere are disappearing. Our winner-take-all cities are just one manifestation of a profound crisis in today's urbanized knowledge economy.

A bracingly original work of research and analysis, The New Urban Crisis offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.

The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty by Jonathan Morduch & Rachel Schneider, Princeton University Press

Deep within the American Dream lies the belief that hard work and steady saving will ensure a comfortable retirement and a better life for one's children. But in a nation experiencing unprecedented prosperity, even for many families who seem to be doing everything right, this ideal is still out of reach.

In The Financial Diaries, Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider draw on the groundbreaking U.S. Financial Diaries, which follow the lives of 235 low- and middle-income families as they navigate through a year. Through the Diaries, Morduch and Schneider challenge popular assumptions about how Americans earn, spend, borrow, and save—and they identify the true causes of distress and inequality for many working Americans.

We meet real people, ranging from a casino dealer to a street vendor to a tax preparer, who open up their lives and illustrate a world of financial uncertainty in which even limited financial success requires imaginative—and often costly—coping strategies. Morduch and Schneider detail what families are doing to help themselves and describe new policies and technologies that will improve stability for those who need it most.

Combining hard facts with personal stories, The Financial Diaries presents an unparalleled inside look at the economic stresses of today's families and offers powerful, fresh ideas for solving them.

Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy by Anindya Ghose, The MIT Press

Consumers create a data trail by tapping their phones; businesses can tap into this trail to harness the power of the more than three trillion dollar mobile economy.

According to Anindya Ghose, a global authority on the mobile economy, this two-way exchange can benefit both customers and businesses. In Tap, Ghose welcomes us to the mobile economy of smartphones, smarter companies, and value-seeking consumers. Drawing on his extensive research in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and on a variety of real-world examples from companies including Alibaba, China Mobile, Coke, Facebook, SK Telecom, Telefónica, and Travelocity, Ghose describes some intriguingly contradictory consumer behavior: people seek spontaneity, but they are predictable; they find advertising annoying, but they fear missing out; they value their privacy, but they increasingly use personal data as currency. When mobile advertising is done well, Ghose argues, the smartphone plays the role of a personal concierge—a butler, not a stalker.

Ghose identifies nine forces that shape consumer behavior, including time, crowdedness, trajectory, and weather, and he examines these how these forces operate, separately and in combination. With Tap, he highlights the true influence mobile wields over shoppers, the behavioral and economic motivations behind that influence, and the lucrative opportunities it represents. In a world of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, wearable technologies, smart homes, and the Internet of Things, the future of the mobile economy seems limitless.

Problem Solved: A Powerful System for Making Complex Decisions with Confidence and Conviction by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, Career Press

It can be messy and overwhelming to figure out how to solve thorny problems. Where do you start? How do you know where to look for information and evaluate its quality and bias? How can you feel confident that you are making a careful and thoroughly researched decision?

Whether you are deciding between colleges, navigating a career decision, helping your aging parents find the right housing, or expanding your business, Problem Solved will show you how to use the powerful AREA Method to make complex personal and professional decisions with confidence and conviction.

Cheryl’s AREA Method coaches you to make smarter, better decisions because it:

  • Recognizes that research is a fundamental part of decision making and breaks down the process into a series of easy-to-follow steps.
  • Solves for problematic mental shortcuts such as bias, judgment, and assumptions.
  • Builds in strategic stops that help you chunk your learning, stay focused, and make your work work for you.
  • Provides a flexible and repeatable process that acts as a feedback loop.

Life is filled with uncertainty, but that uncertainty needn’t hobble us. Problem Solved offers a proactive way to work with, and work through, ambiguity to make thoughtful, confident decisions despite our uncertain and volatile world.
The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction
by Richard Bookstaber, Princeton University Press

Our economy may have recovered from the Great Recession—but not our economics.

In The End of Theory, Richard Bookstaber, one of the world's leading risk managers, discusses why the human condition and the radical uncertainty of our world renders the standard economic model—and the theory behind it—useless for dealing with financial crises. What model should replace it? None. At least not any version we've been using for the past two hundred years. Instead, Bookstaber argues for a new approach called agent-based economics, one that takes as a starting point the fact that we are humans, not the optimizing automatons that standard economics assumes we are.

Bookstaber's groundbreaking paradigm promises to do a far better job at preventing crises and managing those that break out. As he explains, our varied memories and imaginations color our economic behavior in unexpected hues. Agent-based modeling embraces these nuances by avoiding the mechanistic, unrealistic structure of our current economic approach. Bookstaber tackles issues such as radical uncertainty, when circumstances take place beyond our anticipation, and emergence, when innocent, everyday interactions combine to create sudden chaos. Starting with the realization that future crises cannot be predicted by the past, he proposes an approach that recognizes the human narrative while addressing market realities.

Sweeping aside the historic failure of twentieth-century economics, The End of Theory offers a novel and innovative perspective, along with a more realistic and human framework, to help prevent today's financial system from blowing up again.

Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown, Crown Business

The definitive playbook by the pioneers/creators of growth hacking, one of the hottest business methodologies in Silicon Valley and beyond, which drove the rapid market-share growth of start-ups like Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, Dropbox, Yelp, LinkedIn, Pintrest, and more.

Growth hacking is a highly accessible and practical method for growth that focuses on the customer—how to attain, retain, engage, and monetize them. It does for market share what The Lean Startup did for product development and business model generation for strategy.

Written by it’s pioneers, this book is a comprehensive tool kit that any company in any industry can use to grow their customer base and increase market share. It is for anyone looking to repalce wasteful “spagehetti-on-the-wall” marketing initatives and achieve more consistent, replicable, cost-effective, and data-driven results.

Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today's Business While Creating the Future by Scott D. Anthony, Clark G. Gilbert, Mark W. Johnson, Harvard Business Review Press

Game-changing disruptions will likely unfold on your watch. Be ready.

In Dual Transformation, Scott Anthony, Clark Gilbert, and Mark Johnson propose a practical and sustainable approach to one of the greatest challenges facing leaders today: transforming your business in the face of imminent disruption. Dual Transformation shows you how your company can come out of a market shift stronger and more profitable, because the threat of disruption is also the greatest opportunity a leadership team will ever face. Disruptive change opens a window of opportunity to create massive new markets. It is the moment when a market also-ran can become a market leader. It is the moment when business legacies are created.

That moment starts with the core dual transformation framework:

  • Transformation A: Repositioning today’s business to maximize its resilience, such as how Adobe boldly shifted from selling packaged software to providing software as a service.
  • Transformation B: Creating a new growth engine, such as how Amazon became the world’s largest provider of cloud computing services.
  • Capabilities link: Fighting unfairly by taking advantage of difficult-to-replicate assets without succumbing to the “sucking sound of the core.”

Anthony, Gilbert, and Johnson also address the characteristics leaders must embrace: courage, clarity, curiosity, and conviction. Without them, dual transformation efforts can founder.

Building on lessons from diverse companies, such as Adobe, Manila Water, and Netflix, and a case study from Gilbert’s firsthand experience transforming his own media and publishing company, Dual Transformation will guide executives through the journey of creating the next version of themselves, allowing them to own the future rather than be disrupted by it.

Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms by Maureen Chiquet, Harper Business

The former global CEO of Chanel charts her unlikely path from literature major to global chief executive, guiding readers to move beyond the confines of staid expectations and discover their own true paths, strengths, and leadership values

In Beyond the Label Maureen Chiquet shares her unlikely journey from literature major to business leader, seeking to inspire a new generation of women to create successful careers and meaningful lives by discovering what is most vital to them and defining themselves on their own terms.

A mixture of vivid storytelling and provocative insights, Beyond the Label helps you ask the right questions to discover your highest potential in today’s increasingly complex and competitive world.

  • How do you define and re-define yourself as you grow?
  • How do you recognize your blind spots?
  • How do you step up as a leader without sacrificing your feminine side?

Rescuing the conversation from tired tropes—“glass ceilings” and “act like a man”—Chiquet puts forth a philosophy that will encourage readers to create a professional identity that is empowering, authentic, and meaningful.

Wise, inspiring, and deeply felt, Beyond the Label is for every woman who is tired of trying to squeeze into constrained categories, and who longs for a life without limits on who she is or who she will become.

The Great Questions of Tomorrow: The Ideas that Will Remake the World by David Rothkopf, Simon & Schuster/TED

A unique tour around the world in search of the great thinkers of our time and their next big ideas.

With the world at the threshold of profound changes, the question becomes: Where are the philosophers? Where are the great thinkers of today? Where is the next Jefferson, Curie, or Mandela? Which technologies and changes in the nature of life will they harness, embrace, or be inspired by? As the world’s center of gravity has shifted over the centuries from Europe and then to the US, so too has the center of intellectual gravity. With that center shifting to Asia and also to the emerging world, will those places produce the transformational thinkers of the twenty-first century?

Embarking on an around-the-world search, David Rothkopf strives to answer these questions, uncovering what the next big ideas are and where they’re emerging. Who are the people behind the ideas, and how they will be colored by their place and culture of origins? Many of these ideas will be sought from unexpected markets—the way mobile money is being pioneered in Tanzania and Kenya, for example, or the way that access to the Internet is being explored or treated as a basic human right in Costa Rica, Estonia, and Finland. Along the way, Rothkopf highlights key areas in which transformational thinking will be needed. Core notions such as democracy and government, war and peace, money and markets, human rights and philosophy, and work and identity. Through fascinating and thought-provoking stories, Rothkopf ultimately reveals ideas that are being debated now—ones that will produce incredible breakthroughs in the years ahead.

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin, Little, Brown and Company

A stinging polemic that traces the destructive monopolization of the Internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon, and that proposes a new future for musicians, journalists, authors and filmmakers in the digital age.

Move Fast and Break Things tells the story of how a small group of libertarian entrepreneurs began in the 1990s to hijack the original decentralized vision of the Internet, in the process creating three monopoly firms—Facebook, Amazon and Google—that now determine the future of the music, film, television, publishing, and news industries.

Taplin offers a succinct and powerful history of how online life began to be shaped around the values of the men who founded these companies, including Peter Thiel and Larry Page: tolerating piracy of books, music, and film while at the same time promoting opaque business practices and subordinating privacy of individual users to create the surveillance marketing monoculture in which we now live.

The enormous profits that have come with this concentration of power tell their own story. Since 2001, newspaper and music revenues have fallen by 70%, book publishing, film, and television profits have also fallen dramatically. Revenues at Google in this same period grew from $400 million to $74.5 billion. Google's YouTube today controls 60% of the streaming audio business and pays only 11% of the streaming audio revenues. More creative content is being consumed that ever before, but less revenue is flowing to creators and owners of the content.

With the reallocation of money to monopoly platforms comes a shift in power. Google, Facebook and Amazon now enjoy political power on par with Big Oil and Big Pharma, which in part explains how such a tremendous shift in revenues from artists to platforms could have been achieved and why it has gone unchallenged for so long.

The stakes in this story go far beyond the livelihood of any one musician or journalist. As Taplin observes, the fact that more and more Americans receive their news, music and other forms of entertainment from a small group of companies poses a real threat to democracy. Move Fast and Break Things offers a vital, forward-thinking prescription for how artists can reclaim their audiences using knowledge of the past and a determination to work together. Using his own half century career as a music and film producer and early pioneer of streaming video online, Taplin offers new ways to think about the design of the World Wide Web and specifically the way we live with the firms that dominate it.

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein, Simon & Schuster

A Washington Post reporter’s intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin—Paul Ryan’s hometown—and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.

This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up.

Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America’s biggest political issues human. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class.

For this is not just a Janesville story or a Midwestern story. It’s an American story.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant, Knopf

From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.

Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere… and to rediscover joy.

Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.

We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.

The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald, Harper Business

A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm.

With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Co. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School.

Harvard University occupies a singular place in the public’s imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as The New York Times proclaimed in 1978, “the golden passport to life in the upper class.” Those holding Harvard MBA's are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office.

Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores those dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS’s enormous success, it has proven an equally enormous failure at the stated goal of its founders: “the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways.” While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, but that is rarely the doing of good.

In addition to showing the inner workings of this exclusive, if not necessarily “secret” club, McDonald explores two hugely important questions: Has the School failed at reaching the goals it set for itself? And is HBS therefore complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of enormous economic disparity and political unrest, this hard hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.

The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career by Alexandra Cavoulacos & Kathryn Minshew, Crown Business

From the founders of TheMuse.com (4 million unique visitors a month) comes a definitive guide to navigating the changing modern workplace and vast new frontier of career options, offering today’s professionals the tools to choose the perfect career path, find the right companies and jobs, and wake up feeling excited to go to work.

Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavoulacos, 29-year-old founders of The Muse, show job seekers how to find not just the perfect job but the perfect “fit”—in terms of values, work environment, personality, impact, and all the other “soft” factors that are becoming increasingly important to the rising generation of professionals. Having grown up “digital natives,” they know that the rules of work are changing. Old guard career books are fine for people who know exactly the position they want, what job they are qualified to get, and what company they want to work for, but in a world where technology has opened doors to so many career options that never before existed, today’s job seekers need a modern career guide to help them navigate this brave new world.

Taking TheMuse.com, an innovative online community and hub for career advice, to the next level, they offer original content readers can’t get on the website, and workbook-like features that allow readers to individualize their experience. The New Rules of Work is full of practical nuts-and-bolts advice and useful and specific exercises, tips, and techniques to help readers figure out exactly what kind of job they want, where to find it, how to land it, and finally, how to thrive in it.

Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently by Beau Lotto, Hachette Books

Beau Lotto, the world-renowned neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and two-time TED speaker, takes us on a tour of how we perceive the world, and how disrupting it leads us to create and innovate.

Perception is the foundation of human experience, but few of us understand why we see what we do, much less how. By revealing the startling truths about the brain and its perceptions, Beau Lotto shows that the next big innovation is not a new technology: it is a new way of seeing.

In his first major book, Lotto draws on over two decades of pioneering research to explain that our brain didn't evolve to see the world accurately. It can't! Visually stunning, with entertaining illustrations and optical illusions throughout, and with clear and comprehensive explanations of the science behind how our perceptions operate, Deviate will revolutionize the way you see yourself, others, and the world.

With this new understanding of how the brain functions, Deviate is not just an illuminating account of the neuroscience of thought, behavior, and creativity: it is a call to action, enlisting readers in their own journey of self-discovery.