Staff Picks Rss

We are known for our business book expertise, but most of our staff started working here because of our passion for books, not business. 800-CEO-READ is a company filled with voracious readers—talented, creative individuals who know books, and who excel at getting the right books into the hands of the right people. Whenever we can, we like to do that by telling you about the books we’ve been reading.


Global Dexterity

By Michael, published March 27, 2013, at 4:23 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

While reading Andy Molinsky's new book Global Dexterity, I was reminded of an experience I had shortly after starting my first job as a working professional. I had been on the job for about a month. A colleague in my department was turning 30, so we were celebrating in a vacant office with some grocery store cake.


Why Managing Sucks (and How to Fix It)

By Michael, published March 7, 2013, at 6:35 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

In the world of professional work, there is a growing conversation about how work can be done and what is most important to a company and its staff. In 2010, we selected Rework as Business Book of the Year because if offered fresh thought on everyday business operations; it gave affirmation to the companies that were saying, "the old way is not the only way. " Pragmatic companies and their leadership teams have begun to tolerate and even embrace practices like telecommuting, choosing to focus on the results, rather than the process.

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Visual Leaders

By Michael, published February 26, 2013, at 6:22 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Leadership on its own is hard work. Leaders require many skills, but one particularly important ability successful leaders must have is vision. Despite being clichés of success, companies like Amazon and Apple are time and again exemplary largely because their leaders have been able to visualize the future and steer their followers—employees and customers—toward this vision of the future.


The Sketchnote Handbook

By Michael, published December 31, 2012, at 5:36 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

There are many ways to learn. Let's pretend, for the sake of this review, that there are two kinds of learners: those who take note and those who don't. That was fun.


Startup Communities

By Michael, published November 29, 2012, at 12:30 PM – Filed under: Narrative & Biography

In the foreward to Brad Feld's most recent book, Startup Communities, Steve Case begins: During the past three decades, startups in the United States have created 40 million American jobs, all the net job creation in the country over that period. As we recover from a deep recession, our ability to innovate, build iconic companies, put people back to work, and inspire the world will once again be determined by whether entrepreneurs continue taking chances on a dream to start a business. This point demonstrates the importance of Startup Communities.


The Outstanding Organization

By Michael, published November 5, 2012, at 12:30 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy, Management & Workplace Culture, Management & Workplace Culture

A couple weeks ago I read and reviewed Bob Pozen's Extreme Productivity, which turned my attention to some excellent concepts and strategies for streamlining day-to-day operations. It's important to give attention to the more pragmatic side of operational improvement, an area in which Pozen has demonstrated excellence. I picked up this idea of improvement at a point where Extreme Productivity leaves off, with a consideration of something author and consultant Karen Martin discusses in her recent book, The Outstanding Organization.


Extreme Productivity

By Michael, published October 19, 2012, at 5:32 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

There are few things worse than the feeling that you're getting very little done with the seemingly ample time you have. There are a handful of potential contributors to this feeling (including derangement), but most often we feel unproductive because we are in fact unproductive. In this case, what would help is a guide to increasing productivity, which is exactly what Robert Pozen has created with Extreme Productivity.



By Michael, published September 13, 2012, at 12:30 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

My 3-year-old daughter will only tolerate a certain ratio of words to pictures. Generally the pictures win the war for her attention. Looking at the popularity and apparent effectiveness of infographics, adults actually like pictures too (I certainly do).

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500 Days, Eleven Years Later

By 800-CEO-READ, published September 12, 2012, at 2:35 PM – Filed under: Current Events & Public Affairs, Leadership & Strategy

It's the morning after 9/11, eleven years later. As I sat down to write this post yesterday, I began typing up a description of four commercial airplanes hijacked by religious zealots and flown into the heart of the American establishment: two hitting a set of twin towers in the middle of the country's financial district, which when built were the tallest on Earth; another crashing into a five-sided office building—still the largest on Earth by sheer floor area—that housed the nerve center of the mightiest military the world has ever known; and one that was brought down in a field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania before it could reach it's final target, believed to be either the White House or the U. S.

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Innovation Economics

By 800-CEO-READ, published August 20, 2012, at 9:19 PM – Filed under: Current Events & Public Affairs

Politicians and the punditry across the country are making a good living discussing America's decline, but no one seems to be doing very much about it other than asking people to "vote for me" or "listen to me. " It seems like every time we turn to the news, it's the same story with a different punchline, usually dictated by what side of the political divide the speaker is coming from. Robert Atkinson and Stephen Ezell's new book, Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage, is a welcome, wonkish 440 page respite.

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Phantoms on the Bookshelves

By 800-CEO-READ, published July 30, 2012, at 7:35 PM – Filed under: Publishing Industry

People collect all manner of material goodness—cars, antiques, orchards, and art. . .


The Best Business Writing 2012

By 800-CEO-READ, published July 23, 2012, at 4:10 PM – Filed under: Current Events & Public Affairs, Management & Workplace Culture

There is nothing that excites me quite as much as the English language when beautifully crafted, burdened with a purpose, and bearing the truth. I find it in my favorite poetry and great works of fiction that expose our human core, in artfully crafted works of nonfiction that explore the human story in all its facets and fascination, and yes, even in the best that business books have to offer. But, I find it most often when I sit down with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel every day over lunch, or when I follow the thread of a story contained in the a link in an email from ProPublica, when I relax with The New Yorker, Fast Company, and Foreign Affairs at home, or when I listen to a well-crafted story on This American Life or a great interview with Charlie Rose.