The worst business book I've ever read.

Posted April 15, 2021 in
Book Readers and Book Clubs Book Readers and Book Clubs

Stephanie Baiocchi

When there's a lot to do, do the hardest thing first

I recently finished reading Oren Klaff's book Flip the Script and it's been on my mind for days as I tried to separate the useful bits of strategy from the stories and examples that made my blood boil. (His other book, Pitch Anything, is still on my list...)

Which got me wondering a few things...
1. Have you read this book? Did you feel the same way? Is it just me?
2. What's the worst business book you've ever read and why? How about the best?

Also, anyone want to weigh in on a few other books I have on my list to read? I'm considering: 
  • Think Again (Adam Grant)
  • Game Thinking (Amy Jo Kim PhD)
  • Hooked (Nir Eyal)
  • A World Without Email (Cal Newport) 
  • Badass (Kathy Sierra)
  • Gameify (Biran Burke)
  • The Forever Transaction (this one was just delivered to my doorstep today!)
  • The Motive (Patrick Lencioni)
  • Tools and Weapons (Brad Smith) 
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Keven Ellison
Best - They Ask You Answer... Duh!
Worst - Lobster on a Cheese Plate (Mark Harari)
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Stephanie Baiocchi
HA I've never heard of Lobster on a Cheese Plate but after a quick Google search and your comment...I think I can safely pass on reading it! 

Just Work (Kim Scott's new book) is my current favorite. Though I think Think Do Say by Ron Tite is one of my all-time favorites. And of course They Ask You Answer 
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Arnie Malham
From your quality list above, I'll just say, it's hard to go wrong with Adam Grant!
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Stephanie Baiocchi
Great point! Thanks Arnie :)
Tony Paille
I haven't read Flip the Script. I'm curious what about the stories you hated so much. The worst book I've read recently is Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I've been doing a ton of reading on real estate investing and this book is the one that comes up all the time as suggested reading. It was more like Rich Dad, Out of Touch Author. It was written in a different time, but it was difficult to stomach the air of unchecked privilege.
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Stephanie Baiocchi
That's kind of how Flip the Script came off, Tony! It should've been called "here's how to sound like a pompous jerk and if you happen to be in Silicon Valley you can perpetuate the poor culture there." The tone of the book was just very...rude honestly. Plus, instead of building trust with buyers it basically was a step by step guide on how to manipulate people. He literally says at one point to just say a bunch of technical jargon words the buyer wouldn't know so you sound like an expert. :eyeroll: 

Also, unsurprisingly, all but one of his examples of CEOs and business people were men. One secretary was a woman and one OBGYN for his "beautiful wife" (unnecessary language there too). He also shamed a guy for liking food.. which hit me hard! Lol (but truly, not cool).
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Tony Paille
Yikes! I think I'll pass on that one. 
Bob Ruffolo
Steph! I don't know why you hate Oren Klaff's books so much! LOL... I'm sure I'm missing something that you're picking up. I thought those two books were great, but it's funny how two people from two different worldviews can read the same thing and get two very different things out of them. I think the message from Oren of "Stop being a pleaser, your client expects you to be a professional that's been there hundreds of times before (not your first rodeo), act like it, take control, be the guide (Stroybrand term), and lead them to success" is so important and powerful. I thought Oren delivered that in the clearest way I've seen any book deliver it. I'm sure some of his examples were extreme (probably on purpose) but he always reminded you to be very direct/in charge while also keeping it fun, because at the end of the day, it's a game.
Stephanie Baiocchi
Bob Ruffolo  if you scroll up and read my reply to Tony you can see some of my thoughts. I think your takeaways of "it's not your first rodeo so act like it, take control, etc." is great. But the way it came off to me when reading it was "be a big pompous jerk so people will think you're important" and sometimes even if you DON'T know what you're doing you can "fool them with jargon." It felt like the exact opposite of building trust with prospects and instead more like how to manipulate people into choosing you out of fear and deception.
Kayleigh Mihalko
I can recommend Hooked by Nir Eyal. I still use the hooked method when developing content, a project, or directing other people's work. 
Stephanie Baiocchi
Kayleigh Mihalko agreed! I loved that book! I ended up reading it shortly after posting this.
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