Top 5 books for MBAs, employers and everyone in between


Whether you're a MBA graduate, b-school applicant, current student, campus recruiter, post-MBA C-suite executive, or career service rep -- these are five books you MUST read:

  • Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success: Why? The buzzword in the job search industry is personal brand. Amidst a sea of competition for top-level leadership jobs, setting yourself apart is key to standing out and getting noticed. Whether you're an MBA student, an alumni, or a career-service personnel, Dan Schawbel's latest book is an essential read in determining how to set yourself apart. Description: How people perceive you at work has always been vital to a successful career. Now with the internet, social media, and the unrelenting hum of 24/7 business, the ability to brand and promote yourself is more crucial than ever. Schawbel shows readers how to navigate this new environment as an employee and lays out what managers are really looking for. Unveiling exclusive new research on the modern workplace, Schawbel breaks down the outdated mores of getting ahead and lays out a practical guide for building an outstanding career in an age of economic uncertainty and constant adaptation to new technologies. Shedding light on the disconnect between Gen Y and their managers, and revealing new findings on the most important skills required for management roles, professional development at work, and social media’s role in the workplace, Promote Yourself also gives readers the most critical skill necessary today: an awareness of their unique strengths and how to differentiate themselves.
  • The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done: Why? Long considered to be the manager's manager, Peter Drucker lends his decades of wisdom and insight to this riveting read about leadership. MBA students, alumni, and especially employers would greatly benefit from Drucker's powerful "five practices essential to business effectiveness" in order to cultivate world-class leadership in themselves. Description: What makes an effective executive? The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results. Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned.
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead: Why? While the influence of women may be growing in the business world, there is still a lot of ground left to cover. Although female MBA candidates are just as capable as men to lead, men still seem to dominate many leadership positions. Sheryl Sandberg offers important insight into women and the workplace, insight beneficial for women and men alike. Description: Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.
  • The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company: Why? Entrepreneurship has become a upward trend among MBA graduates. Starting your own company can be scary, fortunately author Bob Dorf has outlined a step-by-step route to gainful self-employment. This book is an ideal read for the MBA student or alumni with a head full of dreams and a heart full of determination, but also valuable to their career service representatives and recruiters. Description: Power your startup to success with The Startup Owner's Manual. This near-encyclopedic guide unlocks the secrets to startup success - walking you, step-by-step, through the tested and proven Customer Development process created by startup expert Steve Blank. The Startup Owner's Manual lays out the best practices, lessons and tips that have swept the startup world, offering a wealth of proven advice and information for entrepreneurs of all stripes. It is the go-to resource for thousands of startups, leading universities (including Stanford, U.C. Berkeley and Columbia) and the U.S. National Science Foundation, among many others. Use it in conjunction with The Startup Owner's Manual -- Founder's Workbook, an interactive tool for tracking your progress through the Customer Development process.
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go: Why? There's a reason that this classic sees a spike in sales every spring -- it's the perfect graduation gift! This children's book is actually enlightening for any audience at every level of a career, whether they're a graduating student, new hire, or experienced CEO. This book will inspire all who read it to greatness. 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed. Description: Dr. Seuss's wonderfully wise graduation speech is the perfect send-off for children starting out in the world, be they nursery, high school, or college grads! With his trademark use of humorous verse and illustrations, Dr. Seuss addresses the the ups and downs life presents while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within them all.

Source: Links and book descriptions from




Ryan Pratt

Ryan Pratt is the Vice President of Marketing and Research at GradLeaders. During his 10+ years at GradLeaders, the network has grown to have now helped over 600,000 employers and 26,500,000 students from more than 1,000 schools around the world. Ryan graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

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