10 Career-Boosting Books For Your Summer Reading List - InformationWeek

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Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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10 Career-Boosting Books For Your Summer Reading List

Take some of your free summer hours to dive into one of these books written by well-known business and IT leaders, including Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and Andrew Grove, and learn their perspectives on management and success.
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(Image: Warchi/iStockphoto)

(Image: Warchi/iStockphoto)

Reading is a favorite pastime among many of history's greatest innovators and leaders, Elon Musk and Steve Jobs among them.

Unfortunately, many of us spend more time browsing the internet than we do with a book in our hands. It's more common to find someone skimming articles or scrolling though Twitter than diving into a book.

Despite the rise in global literacy rates, people are reading less deeply. Most American adults are reading less in general, and less than half are reading literature, as reported by the Harvard Business Review. This is especially true among leaders.

It's a shame, because reading poses several benefits to leaders. Reading is one of the fastest ways to absorb new information. It can provide insights from across industries that inspire innovation.

[Read: 10 big data books to give your career a boost.]

For tech professionals, there is no shortage of reading material to learn more about the growth of the technology industry, the visionaries behind it, and the skills they need to drive their careers.

Perhaps you need a good book to improve your programming skills or acquire some new leadership strategies. Maybe you hope to learn more about the lives of technology's greatest influencers and how they built their careers.

Before you're lying by the pool or lounging in a beach chair this summer, why not pick up an interesting read from one of many leaders in business and technology? Here, we spotlight books written by influencers including Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and Tony Hsieh, who share their stories and strategies for achieving success.

Have you read any of the books listed here? Are there any books by tech or business leaders that have proven helpful in your career? We'd like to keep adding to this list, so please share your recommendations in the comments.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
7/2/2016 | 10:34:01 AM
Books for Summer Reading - One you might want to add.
While not on this list; you might want to include Bill McChrystal's Team of Teams.  While we hear everyone over use and perhaps misuse the term or word "Agile"; this book is perhaps one of the better ones in truly understanding the fundamentals for incorporating an agile ability within a business.  While this book may not be totally focused on business nor written by a past or current business leader; it does have a lot of business value if one has an ability to read deeper than just the words on the page.  True Business Agility (we believe) takes a set of inherent characteristics that must be developed starting at the top and nurtured down through the organization.  True Business Agility ironically decreases the upper level management's span of responsibility while at the same time increases their span of control through the effective use of better information leading to better future business decisional control and future business responsiveness.  Developing both the capability for lower level management to quickly make tactical responsive issue decisions and the ability for upper level management to trust that effective and correct decisions are made by lower level management permits upper level management to focus more on the strategic future business decisions.  While we have always "expected" lower level management to address the "daily operational" business needs; true Agility can only occur when lower level management is permitted to make actual and / or critical business decisions at the root level of operational issues.  Upper level management must trust and support these lower level business decisions while at the same time being focused on the higher level business decisions that direct and control the future of the business.  While I believe this is one of the fundamental points in all of these books; perhaps the underlying fact is that all of these business leaders appeared to possess some ability to provide a level of agility within varying degrees within their organizations.  But perhaps part of their lessons learned is how difficult both the incorporation of lower level agile capability and upper level trust ability combined with executive management's targeted focus on the future rather than today's operational needs can be to truly possess an Agile business.  In our opinion an Agile Business isn't just one that has a set of Policies and Procedures for Agile nor a set of tools, philosophy statement, or other such "tangible objects", but a business that has incorporated and developed a set of "innate characteristics" that help comprise the root composition of the business.  Thus perhaps read this book for intra-perspective thought and the other 10 for assessing your business future.    
User Rank: Moderator
7/1/2016 | 11:59:14 AM
Focusing on big data
Great list! The more people are comfortable with understanding, leveraging and applying big data, the higher value they offer to their organizations going forward. Peter Fretty, IDG blogger for SAS big Data Forum
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