As anyone who reads this column knows, I’m a huge proponent of positive thinking. However, positive thinking is delusional unless it’s based upon a clear understanding of how the business world really works.
Put another way: We can’t make the world a better place unless we can first see things as they really are. I’ve already pointed you at the “Top 10 Motivational Books of All Time” in order to help you prepare to make the world for the better.
The books on this list show you exactly what we’re up against.
1. The Dilbert Principle
Still one of the best (and certainly the funniest) business books ever written. Author and cartoonist Scott Adams looks into the very soul of the business world and captures the absurdity of much that takes place there, puncturing every bloated corporate balloon that ever floated past a cubicle.
2. The Complete Yes Minister
Based on the acclaimed BBC TV program of the 1980s, this hilarious book describes exactly how faceless, nameless bureaucrats wield the vast power of inertia to frustrate attempts by clueless “leaders” to move organizations in new directions. Read it once, read it twice, and you won’t get fooled again.
3. Poorly Made in China
According to author Paul Midler, the real story behind outsourcing to China isn’t how much cheaper it is to manufacture there; it’s how Chinese manufacturers destroy product quality and weaken brand names. Once you read this, you’ll know why just about everything you can buy in the U.S. (but made in China) feels like a second-rate replica.
4. Don’t Bring It to Work
Ever wonder why some people act childishly at work? Wonder no more. Workplaces have a tendency to reproduce the family dynamics of the people who work there, explains author Sylvia LaFair. She describes the dysfunctional types, then provides suggestions to help them evolve beyond their emotional limitations.
5. 21 Dirty Tricks at Work
In this horribly fascinating book, authors Mike Phipps and Colin Gautrey explain the most common ways that bosses, co-workers, and employees attempt to manipulate one another. More important, it provides specific advice for thwarting these attempts and getting what you want at work.
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