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Best business books 2022: The best books for getting ahead of the competition

We reveal the books from the brightest business minds that you need to read to get ahead of the competition.

While books have been an escape for many during the pandemic, the best business books represent an excellent opportunity to put your spare time to good use and develop powerful business ideas.

One way that business success can be achieved is by learning from the insight and experience of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and economists, and applying it to the issues we face today. Developing the right skills and strategies to tackle the year ahead is imperative, so our picks for the business books you need to read focus on the challenges we are likely to face, and the ideas you need to overcome them.

Encompassing ideas across leadership, marketing, branding, economics and ethics, our pick for the best business books should equip you with everything you need for the year ahead.

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Where to buy business books from?

All our picks for the best business books are listed on Amazon, but generally are available from any good book shop or online book retailer.

Some books are also available as audiobooks CDs or on Kindle.

The best business books you can buy in 2022

1. Value(s) by Mark Carney: Best for big-picture economics

Price: £24 (Hardcover) | Buy now from Amazon

From one of the most noteworthy economists in the world, Carney’s deep dive into how economic and social values became blurred uses his front-row experience of the financial world to establish a framework for an achievable, better future.

A must-read for anyone looking for lessons in how global economics can invoke change, Carney’s insight on the climate, Covid and community offers invaluable lessons for 2022, and is sure to become a go-to guide on the post-Covid world.

Key specs – Title and author: Value(s) by Mark Carney; Length: 608 pages; Publisher: William Colins; Released: 18 Mar 2021; Other digital formats: Kindle (£15)

2. The Age of Influence by Neal Schaffer: Best for influencer marketing

Price: £13 (Paperback) | Buy now on Amazon

Influencer marketing has quickly become a pivotal aspect for businesses looking to engage digitally. Here, Neal Schaffer, renowned social media marketing expert, teaches us how to leverage digital relationships to share messages, generate attention and develop a social media presence.

Schaffer’s concepts and methodology are rooted in his practice of influencer marketing, providing the reader with proven and actionable insights. An area that is sure to continue growing, now may be the best time to learn from the expert.

Key specs – Title and author: The Age of Influence: The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand by Neal Schaffer; Length: 272 pages; Publisher: AMACOM; Released: 16 April 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£10); Audio CD (£21)

3. Unleashed by Frances Frei & Anne Morriss: Best for empowered leadership

Price: £18 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

If direct, actionable, and insightful is your cup of tea, then this is the book for you. Calling upon their experiences of working with global brands, Frei and Morriss’ indispensable guide on leadership discusses the importance of empowering others. In doing so, teams can be made stronger, more trustworthy, and more successful – the hallmarks of ideal leadership.

Their case is compelling and will provide you with a totally refreshed outlook on what it means to be a leader.

Key specs – Title and author: Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You by Frances Frei & Anne Morriss; Length: 240 pages; Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Released: 16 June 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£17)

4. What’s Wrong With Economics? by Robert Skidelsky: Best for modern financial theory

Price: £15 (Hardcover) £9 (Paperback) | Buy now on Amazon

Even if economic theory is beyond your typical bedtime reading, Skidelsky’s exposure of economics’ shortcomings is bound to get you thinking. A call to action against economic models that do not include the human aspect, the book traces the historical and political consequences of when economics goes wrong and outlines the fundamental changes that need to be made.

Key specs – Title and author: What’s Wrong With Economics? A Primer for the Perplexed by Robert Skidelsky; Length: 248 pages; Publisher: Yale University Press; Released: 10 Mar 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£9)

5. The Power of Ethics by Susan Liautaud: Best for ethical decision making

Price: £13 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

Follow Liautuard’s guidance and you will make better, more ethical decisions, both in business and your everyday life. Not already convinced? Well, Liautuard uses her 20 years of experience in providing advice to companies to build a framework for ethical decision making, providing you with the tools you need to be an actor, not a spectator, on ethical issues.

By exploring timely issues across society, Liautuard presents a compelling guide on how to approach life with a clear point of view. A joy to read, with even more joyous lessons.

Key specs – Title and author: The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World by Susan Liautaud; Length: 304 pages; Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK; Released: 7 Jan 2021; Other digital formats: Kindle (£10)

6. How To Avoid A Climate Disaster by Bill Gates: Best for sustainable business and technology

Price: £14 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

With sustainability being the hot topic of business right now, it goes without saying that it is hugely important to understand the issues at hand and the problems that need solutions. That is exactly what Gates’ book does – it is a crash course in the steps that technological innovation needs to make to solve the climate crisis. Outlined in a practical, actionable plan, this book is ideal for business leaders and innovators wanting to tackle climate change head on.

Key specs – Title and author: How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have And The Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates; Length: 272 pages; Publisher: Allen Lane; Released: 16 Feb 2021; Other digital formats: Kindle (£10)

7. Identity Designed by David Airey: Best for visual brand creation

Price: £20 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

Making a visual impression is hugely important in creating a brand, whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned business leader. Airey’s exploration of some of the world’s most talented designers is supplemented by a robust manual, teaching you how to conduct research, outline strategy, generate ideas, utilise a style guide, and future-proof your designs.

If you want to know how integral good design can be to a business, from a book that is as beautiful as it gets, then this is a must read.

Key specs – Title and author: Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding by David Airey; Length: 240 pages; Publisher: Rockport Publishers; Released: 3 Jan 2019; Other digital formats: Kindle (£19)

8. The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving In the 21st Century by Adam Davidson: Best for modern start-ups

Price: £24 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

A wonderful storyteller, Davidson weaves together stories of modern business owners, and in doing so, paints a picture of those who have turned their passion into a career.

An upbeat take on the gig-economy, the book is ripe with inspiration for business owners, entrepreneurs, or anyone with a vague interest in the changing world around them. With lessons in marketing, branding, management and more, it’s a fantastic resource for finding inspiration and will help you to learn the steps it takes to turn it into reality.

Key specs – Title and author: The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving In the 21st Century by Adam Davidson; Length: 336 pages; Publisher: Penguin Random House USA; Released: 1 Dec 2020; Other digital formats: None

9. Conscious Leadership by John Mackey, Steve McIntosh and Carter Phillips: Best for principled business management

Price: £16 (Hardcover) £12 (Paperback) | Buy now on Amazon

Grounded in the experience and insight of Whole Foods founder John Mackey, this book turns convention on its head, exploring how leaders should look beyond profits and margins and instead aim to elevate people through a business. Outlining a path for value driven, virtuous leadership, the book is a seminal look at what it means to be a leader in the 21st century.

Littered with anecdotes and case studies, this book is rife with wisdom for those who want to do leadership a little bit differently.

Key specs – Title and author: Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business by John Mackey, Steve McIntosh and Carter Phillips; Length: 272 pages; Publisher: Portfolio; Released: 15 Sept 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£11)

10. Money And Power: Best for economic and political history

Price: £15 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

A cross section of politics, governance and finance, Money and Power maps out 250 years of economic history through the lens of 16 global leaders, offering a vivid analysis of the successes and failures of politics and money changing the world.

For anyone who wants to understand Britain’s place in the global economic landscape, this book is exactly what you need.

Key specs – Title and author: Money And Power: The World Leaders Who Changed Economics by Vince Cable; Length: 400 pages; Publisher: Atlantic Books; Released: 4 Feb 2021; Other digital formats: Kindle (£8)

11. Post Corona by Scott Galloway: Best for a post-Covid world

Price: £15 (Hardcover) £10 (Paperback) | Buy now on Amazon

A wonderfully witty and humorous book that is also rife with sharp, astute business insights, Galloway’s exploration of Covid-19 as an agent of change is fast becoming the go-to handbook for understanding the world we may be moving towards.

In exploring topics such as the roll-out of technology, the power of big tech, and societal division, Galloway has mapped out a prospective world shaped by the pandemic, complete with opportunities, hardships and change.

Key specs – Title and author: Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway; Length: 256 pages; Publisher: Bantam Press; Released: 26 Nov 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£10)

12. Obsessed by Emily Heyward: Best for start-up branding

Price: £17 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

Heyward is clear in her mission; to help you embed branding into your start-up from day one, and to reap the success it can help bring. The old rules no longer apply, as this book has rewritten them.

By outlining the principles of what some of the world’s most successful start-ups have done, the book provides a formula for what it really means to make and launch a brand, and perhaps turn it into a runaway success.

Key specs – Title and author: Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love From Day One by Emily Heyward; Length: 224 pages; Publisher: Portfolio; Released: 11 Jun 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£11)

13. How to Think More Effectively by The School of Life: Best for implementing business ideas

Price: £8 (Paperback) | Buy now on Amazon

Understanding how we make decisions is vitally important in business, even more so when the world is changing so rapidly.

An eloquent and lucid series of essays, this book can teach you how to turn your ideas into reality through a broad scope of simple exercises. If lockdown has taken its toll on your creativity and productivity, then this book may be just what you need to get back on track.

Key specs – Title and author: How to Think More Effectively: A guide to greater productivity, insight and creativity by The School of Life; Length: 160 pages; Publisher: The School of Life Press; Released: 23 Jan 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£5)

14. The Catalyst by Jonah Berger: Best for overcoming barriers in business

Price: £9 (Paperback) | Buy now on Amazon

A duality of practical steps and research-based insight, Berger’s mission is clear: to create more change. His book explores how this change can occur without frustration, pestering or barriers – and indeed, without force.

Whether you’re trying to invoke change on an individual or organisational level, the steps outlined in the book are primed, ready to be utilised by those in sales or marketing, or simply by anyone looking to invoke genuine, long lasting change.

Key specs – Title and author: The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger Length: 288 pages; Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK; Released: 10 Mar 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£8)

15. Toxic by Clive Lewis: Best for workplace relationships and team building

Price: £18 (Hardcover) | Buy now on Amazon

Entrenched discrimination is something that is increasingly prevalent, and understanding how to handle and remove it from the workplace is the maxim of Lewis’ book. A practical guide for business leaders that draws on the author’s experience of mediation, the book is rife with ideas on how to improve cohesion on an individual and organisational level.

Key specs – Title and author: Toxic: A Guide to Rebuilding Respect and Tolerance In a Hostile Workplace by Clive Lewis; Length: 288 pages; Publisher: Bloomsbury Business; Released: 18 Feb 2020; Other digital formats: Kindle (£12)

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