35 books like My Years with General Motors

By Alfred P Sloan Jr.,

Here are 35 books that My Years with General Motors fans have personally recommended if you like My Years with General Motors. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

Eric G. Flamholtz Author Of Growing Pains: Building Sustainably Successful Organizations

From my list on the stages and challenges of organizational growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Professor Emeritus at UCLA and have also been on the faculty of Columbia University and The University of Michigan, where I received my PhD degree. I founded Management Systems Consulting, which works with entrepreneurial firms in the US and globally to scale up, in 1978. I've served on the board of a firm (99 Cents Only Stores) that scaled up and was a NYSE listed firm. I've advised CEOs who have created global champion firms and been recognized as leaders in their space. I've authored or co-authored several books including Creating Family Business Champions; Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Advantage; Changing the Game; and Leading Strategic Change.

Eric's book list on the stages and challenges of organizational growth

Eric G. Flamholtz Why did Eric love this book?

This book is by the founder of a company that has successfully navigated the stages of growth from a start-up to a sustainably successful organization and become a global champion or recognized leader in its space. Accordingly, the book is from the “horse’s mouth.” Schultz and his coauthor take the reader on the journey of the development of one of the classic entrepreneurial successes of our time. He details the challenges, his thinking, and the responses that were made to create the Starbucks of today. The book provided s the reader with a rare opportunity to participate in the Starbucks journey from a vision to the reality of building a great company. 

By Howard Schultz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pour Your Heart Into It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Pour Your Heart Into It, former CEO and now chairman emeritus Howard Schultz illustrates the principles that have shaped the Starbucks phenomenon, sharing the wisdom he has gained from his quest to make great coffee part of the American experience.

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the most amazing business stories in decades. What started as a single store on Seattle's waterfront has grown into the largest coffee chain on the planet. Just as remarkable as this incredible growth is the fact that Starbucks has managed to maintain its renowned commitment to product excellence and employee…


Book cover of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

Rusty Komori Author Of Superior: Creating a Superior Culture of Excellence

From my list on building excellence in leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was the Head Coach of the Punahou School Boys Varsity Tennis Team for 22 years, and we were fortunate to win 22 consecutive State Championships. Since retiring as head coach in 2015, I felt compelled to become an author and share my system of coaching excellence which led to this unprecedented winning streak. I know there are distinct differences between great and superior which can be applied to everyone in business, sports, and life. I want to inspire everyone to maximize their potential and have peak performance as a parent, son or daughter, coach or player, leader or team member.

Rusty's book list on building excellence in leadership

Rusty Komori Why did Rusty love this book?

I loved this book because we all want to achieve greatness, and it clearly identifies practices, strategies, and habits that can take a good team and make them great. It’s a reminder for me to be disciplined as a person, control myself with disciplined thoughts, and exhibit disciplined actions.

I like how Jim Collins emphasizes strategic focus, disciplined decision-making, and the importance of sustained excellence for long-term success. His "Hedgehog Concept" is a great reminder for me to reflect on what I’m deeply passionate about, what I can be the best at, and what drives my economic engine.

By Jim Collins,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Good to Great as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

________________________________
Can a good company become a great one? If so, how?

After a five-year research project, Jim Collins concludes that good to great can and does happen. In this book, he uncovers the underlying variables that enable any type of organisation to make the leap from good to great while other organisations remain only good. Rigorously supported by evidence, his findings are surprising - at times even shocking - to the modern mind.

Good to Great achieves a rare distinction: a management book full of vital ideas that reads as well as a fast-paced novel. It is widely regarded…


Book cover of Corporate Lifecycles: How and Why Corporations Grow and Die and What to Do About It

Eric G. Flamholtz Author Of Growing Pains: Building Sustainably Successful Organizations

From my list on the stages and challenges of organizational growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Professor Emeritus at UCLA and have also been on the faculty of Columbia University and The University of Michigan, where I received my PhD degree. I founded Management Systems Consulting, which works with entrepreneurial firms in the US and globally to scale up, in 1978. I've served on the board of a firm (99 Cents Only Stores) that scaled up and was a NYSE listed firm. I've advised CEOs who have created global champion firms and been recognized as leaders in their space. I've authored or co-authored several books including Creating Family Business Champions; Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Advantage; Changing the Game; and Leading Strategic Change.

Eric's book list on the stages and challenges of organizational growth

Eric G. Flamholtz Why did Eric love this book?

The framework presented in Corporate Lifecycles deals with the same core issue of Stages and Challenges of Organizational Growth as dealt with in my own book, but from a different perspective. The author is a former academic who has developed his own framework of corporate lifecycles and his methodology of organizations working through them. The book presents a different framework of corporate life cycles and emphasizes the managerial styles that are appropriate to reach stage of the corporate lifecycle. The author has seen and worked with a large number of companies that have employed his methods. He presents his perspective and insights for this role as a participant-observer. 

By Ichak Adizes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Corporate Lifecycles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Likens corporations to living organisms and traces their developmental stages, discussing the normal, even healthy problems that lead to growth at these stages, as well as the unusual problems that can cause a company's death


Book cover of Autoworkers Under the Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream

Danny Katch Author Of Socialism....Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation

From my list on winning socialism in our lifetime.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a socialist for my entire adult life and a wise-ass for even longer. As a writer I’ve found a way to combine these two passions, using humor to introduce complex economic and political ideas to a new audience, as well as poke fun at politicians, CEOs, and even myself and my fellow activists. Not all of the books on this list use humor the way I do, but they have all helped me keep my sunny disposition by giving me inspiration that the socialist cause is more dynamic and multifaceted than ever. 

Danny's book list on winning socialism in our lifetime

Danny Katch Why did Danny love this book?

Greg Shotwell was a longtime worker at General Motors and activist in the United Auto Workers who was notorious among executives in both the company and union for his rank-and-file newsletter, Live Bait and Ammo. This book is a collection of articles from that newsletter, and it’s a bitingly funny and ultimately heartbreaking account of autoworkers’ losing fight to maintain the rights and living standards that had made the union famous. 

Unlike the other books on my list, this book is the story of a defeat, but it is also a portrait of the generation of working-class fighters who kept alive the radical shop-floor traditions that are an essential component of any socialist vision. This is the book that made me want to become a writer. 

By Gregg Shotwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Autoworkers Under the Gun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an industry under attack, a veteran autoworker offers his take on the collapse of the American dream.


Book cover of The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc

Sean Eedy Author Of Four-Color Communism: Comic Books and Contested Power in the German Democratic Republic

From my list on everyday life and politics in the Soviet Bloc.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of modern European history. But before that, my first loves were Star Wars, heavy metal, and comic books. When I started my degree, it only made sense to combine my love of popular culture with my academic interest in the Soviet Bloc states. Cultural history and the history of everyday life, examining the world through cars, comics, film, food, music, or whatever, provide us with a lens through which to see how people understood themselves and came to terms with the society around them, and for my work, to understand how those living under dictatorship resisted and carved out their own niche within a police state.

Sean's book list on everyday life and politics in the Soviet Bloc

Sean Eedy Why did Sean love this book?

I love books that explore the Soviet Bloc through its development of consumer culture. Much as they were in the West, in the East, cars were symbolic of progress and modernity. Unlike the West, production and distribution problems created a car culture focused on access. 

Still, the regimes struggled to control the excesses of consumer impulse more than they did the abuses of authority. This volume is fascinating as it asserts that the Soviet Bloc states were consumer-driven societies, given the same desires and demands as the West, despite their communist ideology.

Cars were political, and acquiring one may demand demonstrations of loyalty to the system. On the other hand, owning a car allowed for a perceived freedom from the regime, socialism, and social norms.

By Lewis H. Siegelbaum (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Socialist Car as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Across the Soviet Bloc, from the 1960s until the collapse of communism, the automobile exemplified the tension between the ideological imperatives of political authorities and the aspirations of ordinary citizens. For the latter, the automobile was the ticket to personal freedom and a piece of the imagined consumer paradise of the West. For the authorities, the personal car was a private, mobile space that challenged the most basic assumptions of the collectivity. The "socialist car"-and the car culture that built up around it-was the result of an always unstable compromise between official ideology, available resources, and the desires of an…


Book cover of Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others

John Beeson Author Of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level

From my list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent many years as a management consultant to a range of big, global corporations, smaller companies, and not-for-profits. I also headed up succession planning and management development at two major companies. I decided to go into this field based on a strong conviction, a conviction that continues today: that leadership counts. Strong leaders benefit people in their organizations and, ultimately, society itself. Having worked with many senior leaders and led organizations myself, I know the range of pressures executives face and how easy it is to fail. Companies need a supply of capable, well-equipped senior leaders, and those who aspire to top-level positions need guideposts about achieving their career aspirations. 

John's book list on advancing and succeeding at the executive level

John Beeson Why did John love this book?

One of the success factors I highlight in my book is leading innovation and change.

Simply maintaining or marginally improving the status quo isn’t enough in most organizations. Many aspiring executives find the requirement to lead innovation intimidating, since by definition it means finding solutions that are different from what they are most familiar with.

Murray illustrates that the vast majority of innovations are not “bolts out of the blue.” Rather, they are often the result of taking a new idea out of one context (for example, a different field or industry) and then building on it.

The implication for me is that the successful executive needs to adopt an external perspective, i.e., looking outside his or her own organization, and find ways to identify new ideas—even if the practical application is not immediately apparent. 

By David Kord Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Borrowing Brilliance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most of us think that outstanding success derives only from groundbreaking innovation. But we're wrong. In fact, many of the most successful business ideas of our time have come about when someone has borrowed and adapted an idea from somewhere else.

In Borrowing Brilliance, David Kord Murray explains exactly how you can do the same. He demonstrates conclusively that new business ideas are simply combinations of existing ideas, and then sets out to show how you can solve current problems and create new opportunities by learning where to look for ideas and answers. In the process, he takes you through…


Book cover of Money Illusion and Strategic Complementarity as Causes of Monetary Non-Neutrality

Helena Chytilová Author Of Economic Literacy and Money Illusion: An Experimental Perspective

From my list on economic reads about money illusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am associate professor at Prague University of Economics and Business. My passion is to discover blank spaces in the economy, for which standard mainstream economic models have not provided answers yet. I was usually fascinated by biased behavior of individuals, which might lead to substantial implications at aggregate level. This has led me to narrow my focus on behavioral macroeconomics with special emphasis on monetary theory and policy, vibrant field with a great potential. After all, experimental economics seems to be a wonderful tool to examine phenomena, which is hard to grasp or for which there is no available data, such as money illusion, coordination failure, bank runs or Modigliani-Cohn hypothesis. 

Helena's book list on economic reads about money illusion

Helena Chytilová Why did Helena love this book?

This book is more scientific, but very interesting if you like to dig more into the depth of money illusion backed by its experimental investigation.

The old concept of money illusion is updated and transformed into its modern version, which is built on the principle of strategic complementarity. In this case, even a negligible individual money illusion suffered by only few agents might multiply effects of money illusion at the aggregate level due to a well-known mainstream concept called coordination failure. Modern money illusion might be responsible for substantial effects at the aggregate level.

For me, this book is very appealing, since the non-neutrality of money in the short run is explained in an alternative way, but it does not deny standard rational expectations theory.

By Jean-Robert Tyran,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Money Illusion and Strategic Complementarity as Causes of Monetary Non-Neutrality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In principle, money illusion could explain the inertial adjustment of prices after changes of monetary policy. Hence, money illusion could provide an explanation of monetary non-neutrality. However, this explanation has been thoroughly discredited in modern economics. As a consequence, economists have ever since the 1970s searched for alternative explanations for nominal rigidity. These explanations are all based on the assumption of fully rational economic agents, holding rational expectations. This book argues that money illusion has been prematurely dismissed as an explanation of monetary non-neutrality. Methods of experimental economics are used to investigate the real aggregate effects of money illusion. It…


Book cover of The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era

George Felton Author Of Advertising: Concept and Copy

From my list on copywriters on the rise.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught writing and copywriting at Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio for thirty-seven years (retiring as an ancient-but-somehow-still-living fossil in 2014). I taught all our majors, but most of my copywriting students were advertising and design majors. During those decades I wrote nonfiction for newspapers and magazines and copy as a freelancer for ad agencies and design studios. My copywriting book emerged from my experiences in and out of the classroom. I hope I’ve given good advice on advertising: how to think about it and how to write it. But you’ll be the judge.

George's book list on copywriters on the rise

George Felton Why did George love this book?

In recent decades, as advertising has moved from one-way communication about product benefits to conversations with consumers about brands, someone needed to sum things up. Iezzi and the creatives she interviews do exactly that. As she presents it, “First of all, forget about making an ad… You’re making something to compete with every other piece of content, every other media experience that a person has during her waking hours.” The Idea Writers is an excellent primer on this new landscape. How do we create a brand’s story, one that consumers identify with and help propagate, if not create? How do we manage it, move it forward, spread it across various media, and make it viral? How can it become its own never-ending story?

By Teressa Iezzi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Idea Writers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Idea Writers guides both new and experienced copywriters through the process of creating compelling messages that sell. It shows readers what it's like to work in the fast-paced world of an agency while providing practical adviceplusdetails oncreatingaward-winning multimedia ad campaigns.


Book cover of Karaoke Capitalism: Daring to Be Different in a Copycat World

Ian Pagdin and Michelle Hardy Author Of Investment and Portfolio Management: A Practical Introduction

From my list on making finance interesting and engaging (especially if you’re not an academic).

Why am I passionate about this?

We first met about 10 years ago at Sheffield Hallam University, bonding as work colleagues over a love of enabling students to understand wealth management and finance in a way that we hoped they would find interesting and accessible. The books we chose mix our love of storytelling and making finance accessible by using real-world experiences. They do this in a unique way, challenging the reader to think about their understanding and perspective, something we try to do every day. It has been lovely to reread these books before writing the reviews, reminding us of what makes us tick. We hope they help you to find your tick too. 

Ian and Michelle's book list on making finance interesting and engaging (especially if you’re not an academic)

Ian Pagdin and Michelle Hardy Why did Ian and Michelle love this book?

I was given a free copy of this book at a conference and only read it as I had nothing else to read at that point. But, for the time, its method of communicating ideas and concepts was revolutionary and this, as well as the contents of the book, have stayed with me.

I hadn’t read it for a while, but on re-reading it to write this review, I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Once again, I am drawn to the emphasis on the individual and their ability to be creative, adaptable, and innovative. These concepts seem, in my eyes, to be lost in finance education but are fundamental to a strong real-world financial system that avoids the effects of the groupthink seen in the 2008 financial crash.

By Jonas Ridderstroale, Kjell A. Nordstrom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Karaoke Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We all know that the rules by which business is conducted have changed. But by how much? The dot.commers who threw out the playbook and tried to reinvent everything crashed and burned. Back-to-basics and execution are refrains reverberating down corporate hallways. And yet there is still a sense of unease. Jonas Ridderstroale and Kjell Nordstrom, the outspoken authors of the international bestseller, Funky Business, present a provocative analysis of the social and cultural forces that are defining the business landscape-in particular, the fundamental relationships between employers and employees and between companies and customers.

Covering a huge terrain-from the impact of…


Book cover of The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism

Dan Hill Author Of Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style

From my list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family moved to Italy when I was six, and I attended Italian first grade in a fishing village where I had to rely on reading body language as I didn’t grasp the language for a bit. Fortunately for me, Italians have lots of body language to read so I could navigate the inevitable cliques and power dynamics evident even at the elementary school level. From that experience to being taken to view the Dachau concentration camp a year later, I’ve always been sensitive to how “the other” gets treated—often unfairly—and the role leaders can play for good or evil.

Dan's book list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk

Dan Hill Why did Dan love this book?

Emotions and emotional intelligence (EQ) aren’t taught in business school, and are rarely evident in abundance in the corner offices of CEOs. And yet here’s one ready to admit to the errors of his earlier ways, and to have adjusted his leadership style at Best Buy accordingly. If it can happen in business, why not in politics, too, perhaps saving us from leaders who lack empathy.

By Hubert Joly,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Heart of Business as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Named a Financial Times top title

How to unleash "human magic" and achieve improbable results.

Hubert Joly, former CEO of Best Buy and orchestrator of the retailer's spectacular turnaround, unveils his personal playbook for achieving extraordinary outcomes by putting people and purpose at the heart of business.

Back in 2012, "Everyone thought we were going to die," says Joly. Eight years later, Best Buy was transformed as Joly and his team rebuilt the company into one of the nation's favorite employers, vastly increased customer satisfaction, and dramatically grew Best Buy's stock price. Joly and his…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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