Randy’s Six Rules for Selecting Business Books – (with insight from the book Simple Rules by Sull & Eisenhardt)


We all need some rules to follow. Simple rules – easy to remember, easy to follow. Not too complex; not too many. Like this simple rule about healthy eating from Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”   

Simple RulesHere is some advice from the helpful book Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt. 

First, they are limited to a handful. Capping the number of rules makes them easy to remember and maintains a focus on what matters most.
Second, simple rules are tailored to the person or organization using them.
Third, simple rules apply to a well-defined activity or decision, such as prioritizing injured soldiers for medical care.
Finally, simple rules provide clear guidance while conferring the latitude to exercise discretion.

So, I thought about this concept of coming up with simple rules, and I realized that I have developed my own rules for choosing books to present at the First Friday Book Synopsis. Here are my six rules:

• Randy’s Six Rules of Business Book Selections:

#1 – A best-seller (or, a chance to be a best-seller).
#2 – A book that is useful – i.e., helpful in the pursuit of doing work better.
#3 – A book that has “buzz,” or reflects the “Zeitgeist.”
#4 – A book published by a major publisher.
#5 – A book that I like, and want to read.
#6 – And, these days, a book that is available on the Kindle App.

And one more thing. The book says that simple rules need to always be tweaked and improved upon. So, it took me a while (maybe a few years) to arrive at these six rules, and I suspect my rules will change, hopefully for the better, as time goes on…

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