One simple strategy to deal with this paradox is to embrace the concept of the “University of the Automobile.” Here’s how it works. Assume the average person commutes to work an hour a day over a 40-year work life. Do the math — that’s 10,000 hours spent in the car, even more if you use your car during the workday or for business travel.
That is more time than you would spend in class, studying, and doing assignments to earn both a BS and MBA degree. Most current business books are available free from your public library in CD format or for downloading to your phone or iPod.
A regular feature of my company’s website is the BookShelf section, where I list business-related books and CDs that I’ve found useful and interesting. What follows is a quick summary of some recent listings, almost all of which I have listened to in the car. Visit my website for more details on these titles.
“Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders – The Three Essential Principles You Need To Become An Extraordinary Leader,” Rajeev Peshawaria, Tantor Media Inc., 2011.
“The Entrepreneur Equation – Evaluating The Realities, Risks and Rewards Of Having Your Own Business,” Carol Roth, Blackstone Audio Inc., 2011.
The 100 Best Business Books of All Time – What They Say, Why They Matter and How They Can Help You,” Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten, 2009, The Penguin Group, New York.
“The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,” Malcolm Gladwell, Time Warner Audiobooks, 2005.
“David and Goliath – Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants,” Malcolm Gladwell, Hachette Audio, 2013.
“Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell, Time Warner Audiobooks, 2005.
“Outliers, the Story of Success,” Malcolm Gladwell, Hachette Audio, 2008.
“What the Dog Saw,” Malcolm Gladwell, Hachette Audio, 2008.
“Great By Choice,” Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen, HarperCollins NY, 2011.
“Built to Last – successful habits of visionary companies,” Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, 1994, Recorded Books LLC, 2001.
“How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In,” Jim Collins Harper Collins Publishers, 2009
“Good to Great – Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t,” Jim Collins, read by author, Harper Collins NY, 2001, Harper Audio 2009.
“The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World, Harvey Mackay, Brilliance Audio, 2011.
“Drive – the Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” by Daniel H. Pink, Penguin Group, New York, 2009.
“The Most Successful Small Business In The World,” Michael E. Gerber, 2010.
“Five Keys to High Performance – Juggle Your Way to Success,” Michael J. Gelb, 2009.
“How the Best Leaders Lead,” Brian Tracy, 2010.
“The Unwritten Laws of Business,” W. J. King and James Skakoon, 2007.
“Now, Build a Great Business – 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in any Market,” Brian Tracy and Mark Thompson, 2011.
“Get Connected: the Social Networking Toolkit for Business,” Starr Hall and Chadd Rosenberg, Entrepreneur Press, 2009.
Let’s turn this article into a dialogue. Send me your favorite business book titles, and I’ll list them in future Connections articles.
So, commit yourself to lifelong learning by harnessing the power of the University of the Automobile. And asking someone, “Read any good books lately?” is a great conversation starter at networking events. Happy listening and learning.
Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, where he empowers business leaders to communicate confidently. A popular trainer and executive coach on workplace communications and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty at the University of Phoenix and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. He can be reached at (440) 449-0356.