Social Media MBA – The Reading List

Social Media MBA – The Reading List

I am not an accredited learning institution. However, I have spent the last (HIGH NUMBER HERE) years working in social media. We used to call it “community building.” And I am in no way qualified as an expert. BUT… (you new it was coming)

I have a shortlist of the most important books in my business education (I got an English degree, so I’m not from the business realm either. Sorry.) And since you have found your way here to my blog, chances are you open to learning more about social media and business practices. So this is for you… (Amazon affiliate links for easy inclusion. I’ve never made a penny on them.)

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, by Seth Godin
The bottom line: we need YOU to LEAD! The world needs you to lead!

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Folktale by Gordon MacKenzie
A great guide to surviving and thriving in a large corporate environment.

Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
A matrix-type organization is prone to silos as one individual might be serving several different agendas via the dotted lines… Building on his classic The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (a great read) this book digs into the matrix. Good stuff to learn. We’re all in a matrix of some sort.

Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun
Berkun is almost philosophical. This is not a PM book, it’s a guide book for leadership. (Previously called the Art of Project Management. A great book.

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers by Scott Rosenberg
An amazing exposé of programming challenges and highs.

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Usability  by Steve Krug
Great intro text to get what’s simple about user-centered design. KISS.

Click: The Forces Behind How We Fully Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do by Ori and Rom Brofman
Anonymous user data is a myth. These guys show how Hitwise (Now owned by Experian, the credit reference company) and the Amazon/Google user data can draw a profile of you sharp enough to know what pair of shoes you are wearing and what shoes you will buy next.

Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger
Why taxonomy and web design architecture is becoming more and more irrelevant as we tag and Google everything. There is no more navigation, everything is miscellaneous.

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed  by Charlene Li
All that Forrester has to say on the subject of social media, as of 2008. The blog is fairly good as well. (One of my former mentors is a main character in this book. Great stuff.

Designing Business: Multiple Media, Multiple Disciplines by Clement Mok
An oldie but an incredibly insightful book about design, branding, and structuring information. Yes, design can be a strategic advantage, as Mok would know, he spent years as an Apple designer.

What the CEO Wants You to Know : How Your Company Really Works by Ram Charan
Quick read and great advice if you are presenting to or working with executive-level leaders.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
GTD for the project lead. Inspiring and hardcore at the same time. It’s nothing if you can’t execute. Both of these gentlemen know their stuff and really cut to the chase of leadership and team leadership.

And on the subscription front: I subscribe to Wired and pick up Fast Company when the topics on the cover entice me.


@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hi John, 

    Thank you for the list. I have only read a few of these books. I also have a degree in English, couldn’t get a job, went back for a CS degree, hated it, went back for a Biz degree….third time lucky.I just tweeted this to the three Twitter accounts I maintain. Thanks again!James Snider

    1. Thanks James. I am adding the 2nd Lincioni Dysfunctions book. It’s my favorite. Reading lists are good. Libraries are really good.

  2. HI John: I have four books which I’ve found useful to refer to, in the past decade and more of running our web design and marketing business. Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad talks about the fundamentals of managing money and what is really called a business (being self-employed is often mistaken for being an entrepreneur). If you can, try playing his Cashflow 101 game after you’ve read his book. It makes the ideas a lot more concrete. The second book is definitely Michael Gerber’s E-Myth series which talks about the myths of being an entrepreneur and how to systemize your business, taking it from being a one-man (or one-woman) show to one that can run without you. Third is a book called How To Get Rich by Englishman Felix Dennis – a funny tongue-in-cheek read about how he became rich, his life lessons and why you should never be afraid to pay taxes (it means you’re making money and he pays millions of pounds in taxes). The fourth book would be Donald Trump’s Think Big and Kick Ass. Not many people enjoy the brash and often loud-mouthed Trump but you can’t help but be in awe how he bounced back after his near bankruptcy. It’s all in the mind and never be afraid to think big. 

    1. Krista, thanks for your addition to the Social Media MBA reading list. I love E-Myth as well. I have not read the others.

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