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Business Books That Have Influenced Us the Most:

In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies

Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman

Our contracting company (Instant Replay) was built on the lessons from the worlds best companies. Wanna know what the best firms all had in common? A commitment to good manners. Starting with a “good morning” from the receptionist. As they studied these companies certain other traits stood out, like doing things right the first time. Like fixing problems immediately no matter the cost. It’s called integrity, which is something else the best companies had in common.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covey

If you want to change the world, change yourself. This book shows how perceptions really command our worldview. This is a life-changing book and it is one that key people in an organization need to review. Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right.

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman

Milton Friedman’s treatise on how the marketplace really works. This University of Chicago economist makes understanding the economy easy and even motivational.

Creating Wealth: Retire in Ten Years Using Allen’s Seven Principles of Wealth

Robert G. Allen

This book focuses on buying real estate with little or no money down. Start with buying your own home. If you own a business, buy the building you are in. It also tells you to save first. For instance, most people put savings away at the end of the month; big mistake, as there is usually nothing left.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter

Wanna know what will be your single biggest cost in this lifetime? Taxes. Best to way minimize them is to own your own business. Read the book for the rest of the details.

Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country

William Greider

William Greider is a terrific reporter and this book describes the inner workings of the Federal Reserve Bank. Think they are a federal agency? Think again. Their mission is not to ensure citizens are well cared for, they are in charge of the BANKS and making sure they are secure. Sometimes the two needs are incompatible. Guess where the Fed comes down?

Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard

A very short book with a very powerful message about dealing with change. The only thing inevitable is change and learning how to deal with it is critical to managing a business. A Chinese friend told me their word for crisis is opportunity. Business can teach one a lot about the rhythms of the world, the ups and downs and the change required to sustain them. This book helps the individuals inside that cocoon of change learn how to understand and work with it.


Eiji Yoshikawa

This autobiography of Japan’s greatest Samurai Warrior is a must read for those running sales departments. Why do some people win and others lose? Musashi traveled Japan in the 1600’s and took on the best Samurai Warriors. He beat them all. Lesson: The will to win trumps all.

The One Minute Manager

Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

We like this book for its simplicity. It basically teaches managers to make sure to recognize each person in your company/department/team for at least one minute a day. That is all most people need. Recognition motivates people and brings out high performance and it is a very kind, human thing to do.

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

Roger Lowenstein

Wow, talk about a cool and groovy guy. Did you know he was highly involved in newspaper publishing? He even had a bicycle route as a kid. As an adult he helped Katherine Graham turn around the finances of the Washington Post Company. But it wasGeico Insurance that became his true cash cow.PS: We also love Business Week

We asked some business people around town what business books have inspired them over the years. We also wanted to know what they are reading over the summer.

Arthur J. Antin

Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President, Veterinary Corporation of America (VCA) and former Board Chair for New Roads School.

I just got back from a two-week trip to Prague and Croatia. I spent most of my spare time reading Time magazine, Newsweek, the Economist and when I could, the international newspapers. I also listened to The World Is Flat on audiobooks/iPod. (The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century is an international bestseller book by Thomas L. Friedman)

Michael Rich

Executive Vice President, Rand Corporation

My favorite business book is my father’s autobiography, Skunk Works: A personal memoir of my years at Lockheed by Ben Rich.

I’m reading two books now: “Paris 1919” and “How States Got Their Shapes.”

Lamont Ewell

City Manager, City of Santa Monica

There are two books that continue to inspire and educate me: Profiles in Courage by JFK and Good to Great by Steve Collins.

My planned summer reading includes In the Shadow of Slavery: African American’s in New York. I actually picked up this book after having learned that the area in which Wall Street exists is also said to have been a trading market and a burial ground for slaves.

Chris Harding

Land Use Attorney, Harding Larmore Mullen Jakle Kutcher & Kozal, LLP.

My favorites in recent years are Tom Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree and The World Is Flat. I am currently reading Furet on The French Revolution.

Babette Heimbuch

Chairwoman and CEO, First Federal Bank

I never read business books; I don’t find them very interesting. This summer I am reading Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut.

Ed Moosbrugger

Business writer

I liked In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters. At this stage of my life, I was inspired by The Virtues of Aging by Jimmy Carter. A key point is that people can accomplish a lot after they are “retired.” Just finished The Biblical World. An Illustrated Atlas, a National Geographic book written by Jean-Pierre Isbouts, who is a parishioner at St. Monica Catholic Church. Have begun Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. Also have been reading fiction by Jeffrey Deaver.

Michael Edlen

Real Estate Professional

Some books I have read of a business sort this year: From Good To Great, The One Minute Manager, High Trust Selling, The 8th Habit. I am in the process of reading several books concurrently now, a variety of metaphysical, Toltec, practical, and business.

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