describe the imageDid you make a New Year’s resolution to start reading more? Maybe your resolution was to get more serious about your personal and leadership development? Wouldn’t it be helpful if I were to recommend to you my top 10 business books? You could order them up and start fulfilling your resolution. Sorry, it’s not going to happen, and here’s why.

I have never seen a business book list where I agreed with even half of the recommendations. You see, reading interest is just like our taste in food, music or entertainment. It is highly personal. We’ve all experienced a social discussion, where we start comparing our favorite restaurants, musicians or movies with an acquaintance. Just when it looks like we share all of the same passions, they throw out a real dud, leaving you to wonder how a person who seemed so similar could favor something so obviously lame. I share a similar interest in movies to my son-in-law. Last week I highly recommended that he take my daughter to see the outstanding new movie version of Les Misérables. He took my recommendation (and my free ticket voucher), but was sorely disappointed because, as he said, “just when it would start getting good, they would break into song.” Seems like we are not as in sync as I thought.

So, rather than give you a list of book recommendations (give a man a fish), I will give you some book advice (teach a man to fish). Start by doing an internet search of the top leadership books. You will see my point proven by the diverse lists that you will find at every link you follow. Choose ten titles that catch your attention. Then, go to your local book store, find as many as you have time for, and invest a few minutes for each book. Scan the table of contents to see if the chapter titles appeal to you. Randomly crack the book open and read a page. Repeat this process 2 to 3 times. If you like what you’ve read, buy the book. If you don’t, put it back and go to the next. My experience is that you will leave with at least three books.

You do this, and I will share my top five leadership books with you in my next blog.