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15 Best Business Acumen Books: Increase Your Business Acumen

The most acknowledged non-fiction bestsellers to strengthen your entrepreneurial muscle

Business thinking and attitude is a skill that can be mastered. And even if you are an experienced business owner, new details and secrets of the big game appear all the time.

However, where should you start with boosting your business skills? This list of the 15 best business acumen books is the answer! Every single title has already gained the praise and trust of thousands of readers worldwide.

Ready to become an Olympic champion at business? Go on reading!

1. Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy by Patrick Bet-David

In many ways, building a business and its processes is like playing chess. This straightforward analogy can significantly help both future and experienced entrepreneurs. It does not mean that before starting a new project, you need to get a grandmaster title. It will be enough to read Patrick Beth-David’s book Your Next Five Moves.

It not only describes the essential skills every entrepreneur should have in their kit. The author backs up his theories with good advice on how to master them. Your Next Five Moves will also clearly explain to you why an entrepreneur should always think several steps ahead and strategize the game of doing business correctly. Checkmate.

2. Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation by Debra Kaye and Karen Kelly

We doubt that the collection of business acumen books would be complete without this title. After all, every project starts with an outstanding idea. That’s the first step to building a striving and lucrative business. But what to do if all your concepts are outdated? Is it even possible to learn to generate fresh and unique ideas?

If you’ve been asking these questions for quite some time now, Debra Kaye with Karen Kelly’s book Red Thread Thinking is the right choice for you! It will expose you to all the tips and techniques that will make all your future business ideas truly stand out.

3. Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy, Create a Mass of Raving Fans, and Take Any Business to the Next Level by Ryan Levesque

Every prosperous company and brand care about making their customers enjoy the product. And unsurprisingly, they succeed in it. How? They know how important it is to ask what people need.

The next title from the best business acumen books will tell you everything about it. In Ask, Ryan Levesque, an author and CEO of The ASK Method Company, discusses why it is beneficial for any company to get valuable information from its buyers and how to collect and use this data in the best way possible.

4. How to Win at the Sport of Business by Mark Cuban

In many ways, sports and business are very similar in their rules and strategies. And if you want to get proof of this fact, don’t delay diving into this read by Mark Cuban!

How to Win at the Sport of Business may fall under the category of the beginner business acumen books, as it’s perfect for every entrepreneur in the making! Mark Cuban’s true success story can hardly leave anyone uninspired. What’s also great about this title is that it’s not a regular autobiography. Instead, every real-life case combines with actionable advice that the author came up with during his journey to the top.

5. Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn

If you are at the start of your entrepreneurial journey, this title is a must-read for you. We would say that it belongs to basic business acumen books. But don’t get us wrong. Here basic is all about getting fundamental knowledge that will help you build a successful business.

And these basics start with a straightforward question, Will It Fly? Pat Flynn, a serial entrepreneur, knows everything about business ideas that take off right away and those not destined ever to spread their wings. Undoubtedly, this book will help you understand if your first steps in the business game are actually in the right direction.

6. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

It is easier than ever to get noticed with all the social media and modern technologies in today’s world. However, all this also makes it difficult to stand out like never before as everybody around does the same thing. So how can you actually make your business pop?
Well, the answer is hidden in this winner of ‘how to develop business acumen books’ nomination. Platform by Michael Hyatt will teach you how to make your unique voice be heard, get a bigger audience, and beat even the most experienced competitors. Hear me roar!

7. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

Not all stories have a happy ending, and those from the business field are not an exception. But why do some businesses turn out to be competitive while others fail? After all, the information available on the matter is the same for everyone.

Well, that’s a great question, and Michael E. Gerber definitely has the answer to it. The E-Myth Revisited has already become one of the best business acumen books, and it’s well-deserved. In many ways, that’s because it contains an accurate and actionable guide for every entrepreneur who is not ready to give up on his way to the business of dreams! If you are one of them, then it’s time to crack the code to success.

8. Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business by John Mackey, Steve McIntosh, and Carter Phipps

There is hardly a business that can survive without a good leader. But becoming and remaining one for your team is not the easiest. So far gone are the times of caricature bosses. Nowadays, people will follow only those who contribute to the company and, most importantly, the world.

Conscious Leadership is one of the bestselling business acumen books out there. For many CEOs worldwide, this title has turned out to be a real manual on making any business successful through genuine and impactful leadership.

9. Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

Whether you like the game of poker or not, one thing is undeniable — it can give you some of the most precious insights on decision making. Yes, that’s true!

It often happens that uncertainty and fear of the outcome hold us back from making the final decision. Yet, Annie Duke, an ex- poker champion, remains completely balanced in such situations. That’s because there is always hidden information in poker, yet you still have to make the next move. All the similarities between this game and how we settle with something are described in Thinking in Bets — another worthy title on our list of business acumen books.

10. Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great by Jim Collins

The concept explained in this book is truly groundbreaking. After mastering it, there is no chance for your business to fail! After all, it supports one of the best business acumen books out there, Good to Great.

It may seem that every book written by Jim Collins is destined to become a bestseller in the business literature genre. And you are not wrong! After all, every single title from him is equally beneficial to both beginners and seasoned entrepreneurs.

11. How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz

This book has been voted # 1 in the best business acumen books by several prominent publishings. Impressive and intriguing, isn’t it?

The explanation for this success is quite simple. In 2016, Guy Raz, the author of How I Built This, launched a self-titled podcast featuring the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. In it, they shared their path to the top, valuable insights, and lessons learned from their own experience. Those were these valuable ideas that eventually became an international bestseller. If you are looking for inspiration or want to learn firsthand how to repeat the triumph of eminent business people, then How I Built This is what you need!

12. Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs by Tom Golisano

At times, it might seem like the success of famous entrepreneurs came about as if by magic. But, of course, this is not the case. Behind all the laurels and fame lies a long journey with many obstacles, falls, and ups.

Tom Golisano, a self-made American billionaire and founder of Paychex, tells in his book how to withstand trials and continue to move towards your goal. At Built, Not Born, he shared all the knowledge that helped him build a thriving company. From properly evaluating a business idea to the rules of effective recruiting, this provides valuable insights even for the most seasoned professionals. Any doubts it’s one of the essential financial business acumen books?

13. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

Getting things done. Lately, we tend to stumble on this phrase more often. It is not surprising because it is this focus that leads the company to success! And this approach works best when an entrepreneur (a.k.a. leader) shows by example how to apply this idea in practice. But despite all the brevity of the wording, its meaning seems incredibly broad and global. Where do you start?

Step-by-step instructions with clear steps are what you will find in Peter Drucker’s book The Effective Executive. Among them is the already familiar skill of time management, the ability to correctly prioritize, and the skill to make effective decisions. All these pieces add up to Getting things done – a value that has already clearly shown its contribution to achieving the goal. If you’ve been looking for one of the best business acumen books, then your search is over.

14. Principles: Life and Work by Raymond Dalio

This bestseller deserves to become almost every entrepreneur’s table book. Of course, we are talking about Principles by Raymond Dalio. This successful entrepreneur is included in Time’s 100 most influential people and Forbes’ 100 richest people in the world.

Throughout his life and career, he has formed unique principles. They are based on the lessons that Ray Dalio has learned from his own mistakes. But, according to him, it was their implementation in practice that led to success. To help others achieve their goals, the American financier shared his ideas in the book Principles, which has already gained legendary status. If you have not read it yet, it will be a true crime to delay adding it to your to-read list of business acumen books!

15. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

Another representative of beginner business acumen books is Measure What Matters. When you start your path, it’s always a good idea to research how big names in the industry made it. Do they have any peculiarities in their corporate culture? What’s unique about how processes work inside the team? What are OKRs that everybody is talking about?

You guessed it! John Doerr shared insights into how the companies we all know about have become such big players. But that’s not all. Being a successful business coach, the Measure What Matters author came up with the working formula. It describes the ways to use OKRs that will lead to excellent results.

After reading these 15 bestselling business acumen books, you will be fully equipped to deal with any obstacles on your way to outstanding success. So give it a shot and witness your amazing results!

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