Member Benefit - Book
Each year, the book ordering period opens in May and runs through July, with several reminders throughout the period. In May, we'll update this page with the new selections for 2017, and announce the opening of the book selection/ordering period then. The 2016 ordering period is closed. We appreciate your patience until the new book selections are announced for ordering in May.
Book 1 — The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
By Ben Horowitz
President's Note: This book tackles the reality of building and running a business without the fluff and appropriateness that you find in an academic setting or more traditional business books. It's gritty and it's good and it's applicable. Whether you have or plan to start a business, are running a department, or are finding your place in the business world for the first time, you will gain something from this read. Note: this book contains profanity.
Ben Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn't cover, based on his popular ben's blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he's gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things draws upon Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.
Book 2 — #GIRLBOSS
By Sophia Amoruso
President's Note: If there is one thing I like, it's strong, adventurous women in business who don't take themselves too seriously. And if there's one thing I believe, it's that you don't have to fit into a mold in order to be a woman in business. This author embodies all of those traits. She believes in working hard and achieving success by harnessing who you are and going for it. Plus, she gives real advice for working in the real world, without sugar coating things.
Sophia Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school—a job she'd taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. Flash forward ten years to today, and she's the founder and executive chairman of Nasty Gal, a $250-million-plus fashion retailer with more than four hundred employees. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she's written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers. #GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn't about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It's about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.
Book 3 — Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
By Greg McKeown
President's Note: I read this book after it was recommended to me by an OWA member whom I respect and look up to very much. Whether you are trying to find a balance between family and work, or just constantly find yourself overwhelmed and over-tasked in the office, this book will help you isolate what's important and let go of the things that aren't so that you can be a happier, more productive person.
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people's agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.
The Way of the Essentialist isn't about getting more done in less time. It's about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. By forcing us to apply more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy — instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing — it's a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn how to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
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