What are your top three business books and why?

Daniel Nestle

VP, Marketing and Communications/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - AdvisoryCloudTM

Is it just me, or is finding the right business book a lot like ordering dessert from the sampler? In small doses every morsel is sweet or savory and delivers on expectations, but when the full order comes you can take more than a few mouthfuls?

That's what it's like for me. So I look for a few qualities when I read and evaluate books for my business needs:

Relevance: Seems like a no-brainer but is the book relevant to my problems, issues, or concerns? Is it connnected my business now, or to my own personal goals? 

Accessibility: Is the book readable at my level, with my knowledge set, or do I need to learn a whole new vocabulary? Is it too technical or just right? Is it an inviting narrative, or a sleep-inducing textbook?

Practicality: Does the book offer solutions I can implement right away?

Style: Maybe this overlaps with Accessibility, but fundamentally, is the book fun to read? Is it engaging? Do I want to hang out with the author over a few beers?

With these general ideas in mind, it's hard to find a book that I read cover to cover. But here are a few that made it through my own internal gauntlet:

1. The New Rules of Marketing and PR, by David Meerman Scott: I read this book in 2006 and revisited it again in 2011; I'm about due to read the latest edition. This one hits all four of the points above, and was a seminal book in my development as an integrated marketer.

2. Disrupt, by Luke Williams: Engaging, interesting, and just the kind of book I needed to kick my creative mind into high gear.

3. Marketing Rebellion, by Mark Schaefer: the newest entry on this list, Marketing Rebellion reads like a dream, or a nightmare if you're a marketer who's been left behind by our customers' long march toward empowerment. Inspiring, eye opening, and exactly what I needed (and still need) to help me formulate my overall marketing strategy at work.

In truth it's hard to nail down three favorites, and I'm sure this list will change. But all of these books have helped me AND have been fun to read.