5 Business Books You Need to Read
Industry experts on the books to have close by when issues arise

You may have a handle on how to run the jobsite, but advice and resources for handling all the other aspects of running a construction business can often be difficult to find. The CBO team is always on the hunt for business articles and books that provide answers to the questions that plague business owners like you every day. We asked our editorial advisory board to tell us their go-to books for business knowledge. See their answers below.  

1. Breaking the Fear Barrier: Don’t Let Fear Prevent Success in Your Company

By Tom Rieger

Tom Rieger’s book is one every CEO, president and/or business owner should read. Fear holds businesspeople, and the company they lead and work for, back from greater success and profit. It is a business subject that needs to be discussed so fear can be recognized and dealt with it effectively just as with any other business problem or issue. The book, written during the economic recovery of the Great Depression, contains timeless information.

This quote from the book sums it up: "A company’s worst enemy is not always the competition. Sometimes it’s the fear that lives within its own walls." 

Howard Lewinter, Business Strategist and Advisor to CEOs, Presidents and Business Owners, talkbusinesswithhoward.com


2. The Journey: How to Achieve Against the Odds

By Debra Searle

I’m sure this is an unusual selection, but I heard Debra speak at a conference and wanted to read more of her story. One of Debra’s many accomplishments is that she rowed a boat—solo—across the Atlantic Ocean for 3 months.

In the book, Debra tells of her many daily challenges and speaks of the way her attitude and mindset got her through them, as well as how attitude impacts everything we do in life.

It's a great reminder that we cannot always change our circumstances, but we can alter how they impact us and how we deal with challenges.

Brian Barksdale, CPA Partner, Carr Riggs & Ingram LLC


3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

By David Allen


As a business owner, there is never enough time in the day. There is always a problem that needs to be taken care of or an employee that needs help. I am constantly pulled into different directions—whether it is marketing, operations or employee management.

Getting things done is a productivity system that helps to manage the daily, weekly and monthly tasks of running a business. It helps organize the various tasks that must be completed by their importance and deadline, so that I can focus on the most important tasks in running my business.

Rick Alaniz, Partner, Cruickshank & Alaniz


4. First Things First 

By Steven Covey, A. Roger Merrell, and Rebecca R. Merrell


An unofficial sequel to the famous 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the subtitle of First Things First declares "To live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy." This book spoke to me about the importance of working with a purpose in my career beyond the job itself. 

First Things First helped me learn how to balance the competing demands of my personal and professional lives. This book helped me conquer—or at least tame—my urgency addiction. It helped me learn how to organize my work to enable me to be successful in keeping my attention, energy and skills focused on putting first things first. 

Cal Beyer, Director of Risk Management, Lakeside Industries Inc.


5. Up the Organization

By Robert Townsend

This book is designed to take in daily snippets of 5 to 10 minutes, reading only 3 to 5 pages. The author takes an honest perspective on how to navigate organizations to empower people and maximize profits. Robert’s concepts are still revolutionary in today’s business environment, even though his book was written in the 1960s.

This book opened my eyes to concepts that people empowered are people who are successful. An organization is only as powerful as the contribution of its people, and that idea is why this book is still changing the game in business. This has changed the way I lead my organization.

Scott A. Arias, President, ACE Consulting Company

Hungry for more? Here's three more picks from our editorial team that may help you run your business better in 2019: 

1. Principles: Life and Work 

By Ray Dalio 

2. 2 Second Lean 

(How to Grow People and Build a Fun Lean Culture at Work & at Home)
By Paul A. Akers

3. Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate

By Roger Fisher