HBR’s 10 Must Reads: A Series Review

As a young professional still trying to find my way in the often unforgiving business world, I firmly believe in the constant gathering of knowledge and focus on personal development.  I am always on the lookout for new books to read, Ted Talks to watch, or articles to check out.  Anything that provides valuable information in terms of business, leadership, or personal development will peak my interest.  Having gone through and graduated from the MBA program at my undergrad alma mater, I was more than familiar with the Harvard Business Review (HBR) and the wealth of knowledge they put forth in all of their articles.  Whether it was a class on marketing, cost management, or general strategy HBR articles were always readily available and widely used for instruction.  So after college when I came upon the series of books titled “HBR 10 Must Reads” I knew I had to check some of them out.

Essentially, the “HBR 10 Must Reads” series creates a compilation of articles based on a specific topic regarding business or personal development.  The articles came from previous editions of the HBR and came from various authors who represented the most brilliant minds in their respective fields.  The articles often spanned several years as well, providing the reader with a wide breadth of knowledge and comprehensive view of the given topic.  For example, the “On Communication” collection will include articles on persuasion and creating narratives, but it also includes articles on how leaders must communicate with employees and how people can pitch their own ideas effectively.  Likewise, the collection “On Change Management” includes articles that view change programs from the point of view of employees, leaders, and the programs themselves.  In general, each collection provides many unique perspectives and a truly comprehensive look at the subject matter.

Thus far I have read five of these compilations and I can absolutely say that I’ve enjoyed each one.  Below I have included a list of the collections I’ve read with the titles of some of my favorite articles from each one.

  • On Change Management –
    • Leading Change: by John Kotter
    • Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Change; by Michael Beer, Russell Eisenstat, Bert Spector
  • On Leadership –
    • What Leaders Really Do: by John Kotter
    • Why Should Anyone be Led by You? By: Robert Goffee, Garth Jones
  • On Emotional Intelligence –
    • How Resilience Works by: Diane Coutu
    • Fear of Feedback by: Jay Jackman, Myra Strober
  • On Communication –
    • Telling Tales by: Stephen Denning
    • Taking the Stress out of Stressful Conversations by: Holly Weeks
  • On Strategic Marketing –
    • The Brand Report Card by: Kevin Keller
    • The One Number You Need to Grow by: Frederick Reichheld

In addition to these titles I also have a couple more on my list that I have yet to read, including “On Making Smart Decisions”, “On Mental Toughness”, and “On Managing People.”  I would absolutely recommend these compilations to anyone who is looking to expand their knowledge on particular business and personal development subjects, especially young professionals who are looking for ways to improve knowledge quickly and gain well rounded views to help them improve in the workplace.

I truly hope that you decide to check out some of these books if you are interested.  I’m sure you’ll find that the information they provide is both insightful and purposeful, and that it will help you reach your future goals.


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