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Announcing the Best Business Books of 2021

December 14, 2021

It’s that time of year again, when we compile the results of our annual survey and announce the books that MarksNelson’s partners and managers have selected as the Best Business Books of 2021.

These titles have inspired us as professionals to do better and to be better. We hope that you’ll find some wisdom in their pages. You may even recognize a few from last year’s winners. Whether you read one or all, you’re sure to find some useful approaches to modern business thinking that can guide your journey toward success.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Translated into over 20 languages, Radical Candor is a multiple New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. In the book, Kim Scott walks the reader through creating better relationships in the workplace.

As a framework for demonstrating how to be both a better boss and a better colleague, Radical Candor is the magical result of combining "Care Personally" and "Challenge Directly.” The book is succinct and honest, helping managers understand how important it is to have hard conversations and to expose the truth about what needs to happen in an organization.

If you’re interested in how to improve the culture at your workplace, this book is a must-read that will change the way you build and manage teams.

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey

Not to be confused with his father’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything is authored by Stephen M.R. Covey, former CEO of Covey Leadership Center.

In this book, Covey takes a deep dive into what we know about trust in the new economy. He breaks down how harnessing its power can lead to substantial improvements not only in business but in one’s personal life too. He gives examples on how to create a culture of trust and shows how companies that foster a trusting environment are more efficient and productive.

We think you’ll find it interesting how Covey’s research depicts trust as an economic driver—a measurable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable, and relationships more energizing.

Good to Great by Jim Collins

This might be the oldest book on the list, but the lessons are just as useful now as when it was first published in 2001. An expert in management strategy and practice, Jim Collins writes about what gives certain companies longevity and the ability to sustain in Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap and Others Don’t.

Through research, Collins identifies a set of highly successful companies that made the leap to great results and held their successful positions for at least fifteen years. He outlines what makes a company go from simply mediocre to good or even to great.

Collins’ writing is accessible and uses research to give insight on critical business practices: building teams, setting strategic goals, creating culture, establishing discipline, and more.

The team at MarksNelson is committed to continuous learning and improvement. Our partners and managers recommend these books to help your organization take things to the next level. Each of the three books is focused on a different area: effectively managing people, organizational strategy, and creating a culture that leads to greater productivity. Together, they can help you move your business forward in powerful ways.  

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