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3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read

Rieva Lesonsky
books small business owners should read

There is so much small business owners need to know to operate at peak performance. Luckily we live in the Information Age with plentiful resources. To help you sift through some of the data, every week we’re going to look at three business books and the lessons you can learn from reading them.

Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders ($20)

By Peter F. Drucker, Frances Hesselbein, Joan Snyder Kuhl

Peter Drucker (known as the father of modern management) wrote his first book in 1939 and his last in 2002 (Drucker died in 2005), yet his advice is still as relevant today as it ever was. This “special edition” of Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions is filled not only with Drucker’s wisdom, but also with that of 20 contributors who share their own perspectives.

You need to read this book so you can answer Drucker’s five questions:

  1. What is our mission?
  2. Who is our customer?
  3. What does the customer value?
  4. What are our results?
  5. What is our plan?

Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach ($32)

By Martin Reeves, Knut Haanæs (Karen, that’s not a typo) and Janmejaya Sinha

The authors, all senior partners at The Boston Consulting Group, contend, “Today’s business landscape has never been more volatile.” They also note there’s an “ever-widening gap between the most and least stable industries.”

Compounding the problem is that when is comes to developing strategy, too many companies take the traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach, such as making long-term plans in industries where it’s impossible to predict what will happen in five weeks, never mind five years.

The solution? Pick the strategic approach that’s best suited to your specific challenge—the authors identify the five basic kinds of business environments. The book presents a new way to think about strategy (the authors say you need a “strategy palette”), then spotlights companies that do it well and how you can learn from them.

Wired for Authenticity: Seven Practices to Inspire, Adapt & Lead ($17.95)

By Henna Inam

What type of leader are you? Henna Inam, an entrepreneur, executive coach and speaker, says today’s “constantly restructuring, always-on work environment,” which is creating an overwhelmed work force, calls for a new type of leader.

Inman believes that if you want to build a successful business you need to be authentic. Only then can you drive engagement and innovation, and ensure your customers have great experiences with your company.

Wired for Authenticity contains proven strategies and practical tools to help you transform into the type of authentic leader that’s needed to scale successful businesses today.

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Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.