4 Spanking New Business Books for Retailers

If you’re in the market for a business-boosting read this spring, consider one of these new big-picture tomes.

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant

Adam Grant, Wharton’s youngest tenured professor, delves into the three main types of workers out there—takers, matchers, and givers—and gives anecdotal evidence showing that takers and matchers typically rise in the ranks of business, while givers tend to work themselves to burnout. Anecdotes include how a basketball executive transformed a losing franchise into a mini dynasty. The book also breaks down the elements of effective networking, collaboration, influence, and negotiation.

  • Why it’s a good read for retailers: Give and Take introduces a business approach that claims to transform entire organizations, not just its leaders. The tips could potentially help retailers identify the types of employees they have—and shed new light on their personal work/management style.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Two macro-thinking authors take on the subject of how to make better decisions in Decisive, a book that lays out a four-step process claiming to debunk most of the decision-making literature in the world. The tome also strives to answer the questions: How can we stop the cycle of second-guessing our decisions? How can group decision-making become more effective (and less destructive)? What strategies and tools can help us make better choices?

  • Why it’s a good read for retailers: Fine jewelry retailers know better than anyone how influential big decisions (or lack thereof) can be on a small business. Decisive will, at the very least, have you mulling over the manner in which you come to the most important decisions for your store. 

Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Create Extraordinary Products for Tomorrow’s Customers by Jan Chipchase and Simon Steinhardt

This book-long think piece strives to illuminate what drives consumers to make the choices they do through anecdotes illustrating how all businesses can capitalize on what’s hidden in plain sight. Chipchase, the executive creative director of an award-winning global design and innovation company, urges business owners to see the ordinary in a revolutionary new way—and illustrates how everyday scenarios and objects present opportunities to meet the unmet needs of customers.

  • Why it’s a good read for retailers: Retailers see the same four walls, merchandise, and employees every day, so it’s easy to fall into rote patterns of perception. Exploring ways to shake up the way you view, well, everything, is always a good thing.

Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons by Lewis Schiff

In Business Brilliant, Lewis Schiff, the executive director of Inc. Business Owners Council, discusses how iconic entrepreneurs—Richard Branson, Suze Orman, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet—have found success by bucking the stability-obsessed priorities the U.S. middle class holds dear. He identifies seven distinct principles practiced by these tycoons and reveals how they successfully built teams, viewed risk management, and developed leaders in their organizations. 

  • Why it’s a good read for retailers: Schiff provides a four-step program for aspiring millionaires that includes pinpointing skills to focus on in your career. And, really, what can’t we learn from these titans of industry?

JCK Magazine Editor