10 books every MBA should read


Even in the age of movies, TV, and podcasts, books are still a great way to learn something new. Books can inspire us, show us a new perspective, and help us overcome obstacles in our personal and professional lives… and there are books every MBA should read.

READ ALSO: Here are the books that have inspired and entertained Arizona business leaders

We consulted with members of our alumni network to find out which books have been the most influential in their lives. Using their recommendations, we’ve compiled a list of 10 books every MBA should read.

10 books every MBA should read

Influence of Robert Cialdini

“While there are many books that focus on behavioral psychology, this is one of the first to provide practical examples and use of these principles. The principles set out in this book can be used in everyday examples such as how to get the best price when buying or selling a used car and are used to shape consumer behavior when they stay in hotels or to show their support for candidates or political initiatives. Direct work applications include negotiation, obtaining management support and when additional stakeholder buy-in is needed to move projects forward. “
Shawn davis ’18 MBA, Senior Advisor and Product Owner, CVS Health

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Integrity is All You Have by Karl Eller

Written by our namesake, Karl Eller, this book chronicles the ups and downs of his career, the guiding principles that have contributed to his success, and the important lessons that managers and entrepreneurs can apply in their roles and organizations.

Recommended as one of the 10 books every MBA should read by Sylvia Muñoz ’92 BS, ’02 MA, MBA Admissions Manager, Eller College of Management

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Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

“This multifaceted biography centers on Lincoln’s mastery of men and how it shaped the most important presidency in the country’s history. Historian Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius, as the one-term congressman emerges from obscurity to defeat three talented rivals to become president. When Lincoln emerged victorious from the Republican National Convention, his rivals were dismayed. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, everyone had vigorously sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery inexorably led to civil war. What Lincoln achieved, Goodwin demonstrates, is through his extraordinary ability to put himself in other men’s shoes, to experience what they felt, to understand their motivations and desires. This is what allowed Lincoln to rally his disgruntled opponents, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and harness their talents to preserve the Union.
– Simon and Schuster

Recommended by Lisle W. Payne ’64 BSBA (Marketing) ’67 MBA, President, Payne Family Foundation

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The Secrets of Selling by Questions by Tom Freeze

“For nearly fifteen years, The Secrets of Question Based Selling has helped great salespeople live with you to achieve great results. His common sense approach has become a classic must-have tool that shows how asking the right questions at the right time accurately identifies your client’s needs.

But consumer behavior and sales techniques are changing as quickly as technology – and there are countless conflicting sales training programs that promise results. Knowing where you need to turn to be successful can be confusing. Now completely revised and updated, The Secrets of Question-Based Selling provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step program that focuses specifically on sales effectiveness – identifying strategies and techniques that will increase your chances of success. “
– Source books

Recommended by Thomas C LaMantia ’87 BSBA (MIS), CEO, Magenium Solutions

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How to lead by David M. Rubenstein

“The essential guide to leadership. Learn the principles and guiding philosophies of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey and many more through enlightening conversations about their remarkable lives and careers.

Over the past five years, David M. Rubenstein – author of The American Story, visionary co-founder of The Carlyle Group, and host of the David Rubenstein Show – has spoken to the world’s most successful leaders about who and how they are. have experienced their success. How to Lead turns those eye-opening conversations into an indispensable guide to leadership. “
– Simon and Schuster

Recommended by Walt zipperman ’69 BSBA, ’75 MBA (University of Santa Clara), Senior Managing Director, Accenture

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Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

“In this revised 10th anniversary edition, Yvon Chouinard – legendary mountaineer, businessman, environmentalist and founder of Patagonia – shares the perseverance and courage that has become the head of one of the most respected and respectful companies environment to the world.

From his youth as the son of a French-Canadian handyman to the exciting and ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for sports equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought good and great adventures to the world. heart of his professional life – a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts.
– Penguin Publishing Group

Recommended by Steve morrison ’10 MBA, Director, Full-time MBA Program, Eller College of Management

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

“Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years, as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues, Walter Isaacson has written a compelling story of the lives of Russian mountains. intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and fierce ardor have revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated films, music, telephones, tablet computing and digital publishing. The portrait of Isaacson has touched millions of readers.
– Simon and Schuster

Recommended by Jim muzzy ’63 BA (economics) ’64 MBA, co-founder, PIMCO

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The Road to Excellence by David Mattson

The Road to Excellence identifies common blind spots that can derail any business. The book offers you six powerful leadership strategies that, when followed, make it easier for you to find the answer to the crucial question: what exactly lies between my business and organizational excellence – and what should i do about it? “
– Sandler training

Recommended by Kristen garcia-hernandez ’05 MSM, CEO, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona

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Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

“In his groundbreaking bestseller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined the way we understand the world around us. Now in Blink, he’s revolutionizing the way we understand the inner world. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant – in the blink of an eye – that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently unfit? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling in error? How does our brain really work – in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often the ones you can’t explain to others? Blink reveals that great decision-makers aren’t the ones who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of “fine slicing” – filtering out the very few factors that are among a number overwhelming variables. “
– Back Bay Books

Recommended by Mike Myers ’88 BSBA, ’92 MBA (University of Southern California), Managing Director and Founder, Cross and Wild / CrowdPharm

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The Hard Thing About The Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

“While many people say how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about the difficulty of running one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the issues leaders face every day, sharing the insights gained from developing, managing, selling, buying, investing and overseeing technology companies. A lifelong rap enthusiast, he amplifies business lessons with the lyrics of his favorite songs, telling everything from dismissing friends and poaching competitors, cultivating and maintaining a CEO mentality right up to knowing the right time to cash out.
– Harper Company

Recommended by Jay hernandez ’98 BSBA (Accounting and Finance), ’04 MBA (Georgetown University), Managing Director and Sector Head of Industrial Technology Investment Banking, Raymond James

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