Verne Harnish, sometimes known as "the growth guy," wrote the number one best-seller in strategy & competition on Amazon.
John Mullins, associate professor of management practice, strategy and entrepreneurship, called it "pragmatic advice on how to rapidly grow your business, from one of the world's experts."
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies — Jared Diamond
Diamond's famous economic history tome aims to explain the major economic and historical forces that have created the modern world.
Elias Papaionnou, associate professor of economics said:
A thought-provoking book describing the evolution of mankind from the Neolithic Revolution till today. A beautiful economic and political history book, without much of history, but full of biology, anthropology, archaeology, and bits of economics.
Even if one disagrees with parts of the argument, Jared Diamond pushes the reader to think; like my four-year old son, you will keep saying “why?”. What more can an economics book offer?
The Life of Adam Smith — Ian Simpson Ross
Simpson Ross' biography of Enlightenment philosopher and economist Adam Smith comes highly recommended, giving insights on the history of economic thought and why it's still relevant.
Here's what Linda Yueh, adjunct professor of economics and former BBC chief business correspondent, said about it:
I realise a biography is not an obvious choice, but I would recommend this well-researched volume which gives the context for the still influential ideas of the father of economics.
The Wealth of Nations — Adam Smith
Yueh also recommended going to the man himself for the original:
Of course, I would also recommend reading "The Wealth of Nations" as the seminal work which remains relevant in the big policy debates of today, such as why manufacturing and producing things is still held in high regard. Understanding how Smith viewed the industrialisation process in Britain provides useful insights as to the current re-balancing debate, where major nations seem to want to restructure their economies in some way.
Power and Accountability — Bob Monks and Nell Minnow
Executive fellow of finance David Pitt-Watson recommends this book, which discusses the ownership and power of companies and financial markets, their responsibilities and how they can be improved:
It points out with absolute clarity the need for those in the finance industry to take seriously their responsibility as owners of companies in whom they have invested our money. The logic is clear, and the benefit profound. Imagine every company really was run for the millions of people who, through their pensions and savings own the company shares. They would be rigorous in perusing long term profitability, but only in a context which was socially responsible.
The Firm, the Market and the Law — Ronald Coase
This is another one from David Pitt-Watson, recommending economist Ronald Coase's seminal explanation of how companies operate to form a nation's economy:
[Coase] is usually associated with "free market" economics. But his work is much more profound than one school, and very critical of what we teach in financial economics. Basically the article says that we have the wrong starting point. Modern financial economics assumes away the difficult problem of how you make sure that 'transaction costs' allow people to trade in a way which is to their benefit. A bit like an engineer assuming there is no such thing as friction.
Has the U.S. Finance Industry Become Less Efficient? — Thomas Philippon
Here's Pitt-Watson's third recommendation, perhaps one of the least well-known of the recommendations. It's a paper by NYU Stern's Thomas Philippon, which contends that there has been effectively no improvement over centuries in the productivity of the financial sector:
[Philippon] suggests that there has been no improvement in productivity in financial intermediation in 130 years. So despite all our learning, financial economics alone has not improved things at all. That is both extraordinary, and perhaps crying out for the sort of radical rethink that Coase would suggest.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen R. Covey
This book, published in 1989, has sold more than 25 million copies and is one of the most popular self-help manuals ever.
Here's what Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance, had to say:
"Mr Covey has a knack of dressing up spiritual principles in pinstripes," observed one commentator. This 1990 bestseller reinvigorated the personal development market almost singlehandedly. It is my favourite book on personal leadership. It covers several major topics, not limited to but including: being the master of your own destiny, setting goals and priorities, managing your time, showing empathy towards others, thinking ‘win-win’ in relationships.