cozy nook near window with book, reading glasses, coffee mug and fall decor
In times like these, many business owners are looking for a fresh perspective and inspiration — and these books can offer just that. — Getty Images/MundusImages

As the pandemic persists, business leaders must continue to adjust to the “new normal” of both the workforce and their personal lives. In these circumstances, it’s perfectly understandable to feel uncertain, especially if COVID-19 has impacted your business. However, sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective to help motivate you and keep your company thriving. This list of 10 business books to read right now can provide a quick boost of inspiration.

“No One's Listening and It's Your Fault: Get Your Message Heard During Organizational Transformations” by Pam Marmon

COVID-19 has forced many businesses to make difficult decisions and pivot their operations. In this period of change and uncertainty, leaders may struggle to communicate clearly and truly reach their team. Marmon’s book, “No One’s Listening and It’s Your Fault,” provides leaders with a framework for getting their message across in even the most challenging of times.

“The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company” by Robert Iger

Iger’s “The Ride of a Lifetime” comes recommended by Bill Gates, and with good reason: It offers valuable, universal lessons in business and leadership. Most notably, Iger delves into the principles of true leadership, including optimism and decisiveness in the face of difficulty.

[Read: 6 Must-Read Books For Any Entrepreneur On a Mission to Change the World]

“Naked at Work: A Leader’s Guide to Fearless Authenticity” by Danessa Knaupp

In periods of uncertainty, leaders may be hesitant to admit their fears to their team (or even to themselves). However, Knaupp’s “Naked at Work” makes the case that leaders must be 100% authentic to inspire and lead their team effectively, and offers a step-by-step guide in how to do so.

“Crushing It: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence — and How You Can, Too” by Gary Vaynerchuk

The changes and challenges of the current workforce have caused many to reconsider their career paths. Some may be looking to quit their job and pursue a side hustle, while others may want to scale up their existing small business. “Crushing It” offers valuable insight for those looking to grow their brand and work on their own terms.

“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

A classic in the business world, “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” offers strategies for managing relationships and working with others. The advice in this book can help leaders and managers better connect with their teams, especially during these trying times.

[Read: 5 Small Business Owners on How COVID-19 Has Changed Customer Service]

Being a leader is never easy, and women in leadership often face additional challenges in the workplace — including balancing work and family responsibilities.

“Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg

Being a leader is never easy, and women in leadership often face additional challenges in the workplace — including balancing work and family responsibilities. This is especially true in the face of COVID-related school closures, in which parents must also juggle supporting their children through virtual or hybrid learning. The lessons in “Lean In” empower women to achieve their fullest potential, both at work and in their personal lives.

“Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity” by Charles Duhigg

In “Smarter Faster Better,” author Duhigg encourages readers to manage how they think, rather than what they think, in order to boost productivity. This is an especially important book in a time when people’s work and home lives are increasingly entangled — a phenomenon that can actually decrease productivity, even when to-do lists are looking longer than ever.

“The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers” by Ben Horowitz

The Hard Thing About Hard Things” offers valuable advice on how to establish and run a successful startup, sprinkled with Horowitz’ humor, “real talk” and rap lyrics. This book is useful for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs looking for insight on building a business, even when there are no easy answers.

[Read: 5 Small Business Owners on Finding the Silver Linings of the Pandemic]

“The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win” by Jeff Haden

The central theory in “The Motivation Myth” is “motivation is a result of process, not a cause.” Haden encourages readers to reframe their thinking regarding motivation and success and tackle their goals through a series of clear and repeatable processes. For those who are feeling unmotivated or unaccomplished in their work right now, this book is a must-read.

“Shtick to Business: What the Masters of Comedy Can Teach You About Breaking Rules, Being Fearless, and Building a Serious Career” by Peter McGraw

What do business and comedy have in common? More than you might expect, posits “Shtick to Business.” Author McGraw draws from both comedy giants and cutting-edge research to reveal universal business lessons. In addition to being educational, this book is also fun — something everyone could use a bit more of right now.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published November 10, 2020