It’s been four years since the printing of our book, The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. We’re still proud of the comprehensive list of books we reviewed to help you “find solutions to your business problems.” Two of the books we included in our list are The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins and More Than You Know by Michael J. Mauboussin. Both books have been Updated and Expanded for re-release. As you can tell just from the titles, these two books represent the wide spread of subject matter included in The 100 Best: practical to polydisciplinary.
One book, The First 90 Days, is extremely practical and specific. Any person who gets a new job or promotion or position, can use this book to be more effective in the first 3 months on the job. In our review of the 2003 edition, we summarized the book this way:
The average person will have five transitions–moving up or laterally on the career food chain–during his or her career, says Watkins. Being good at one job does not mean that you will naturally excel at another. But if you take too much time to adjust, or don’t adjust enough, you’ll be taking a return trip back down the ladder. Watkins has created a ten-step road map to help you in your transition. The road map has practical and instantly applicable advice summed up in directives like: promote yourself, create coalitions, and secure early wins.
This new 10th anniversary edition brings more than a new subtitle–“Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels” has become “Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter”–, it also reflects ‘a rising wave of interest on the part of the companies in talent management, onboarding of new hires, and CEO succession” as well as Watkins’ “own thinking [which] has also evolved over the past decade, and this has resulted in numerous improvements in this new edition of the book.”
The thirty-eight essays in More Than You Know were originally written under the newsletter column “The Consilient Observer” while Mauboussin worked at the Credit Suisse Group, a Swiss financial services company. Consilience–the idea that all knowledge can be unified into a single working system–has heavily influenced Mauboussin’s investing philosophy. Each essay ties an accessible metaphor to a piece of specific research and its implication for investors. Don’t be scared off by the financial angle. The essence of Mauboussin’s work is understanding how humans can make better decisions–something we can all use help with.
What’s the value of this peculiar approach to “finding financial wisdom in unconventional places”? Mauboussin explains it efficiently in the first lines of his Introduction: “More Than You Know‘s core premise is simple to explain but devilishly difficult to live: you will be a better investor, executive, parent, friend–person–if you approach problems from a multidisciplinary perspective. It’s the difference between moving into a fixer-upper home with a full set of power tools versus a simple screwdriver.” And this edition offers all the more tools for your advantage.
It is no doubt that both of these books have lasting-power and will remain popular and useful for many years to come.