In a recent poll, librarians picked The Bible and To Kill A Mockingbird as the two books that have had the greatest moral impact in America.
Last year, LinkedIn did something similar. The professional networking site asked leaders in business, academia and government – people referred to as “Influencers” – to identify one book that had made a positive difference in their lives. Selections ranged from “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” to “5 Little Monkeys.”
The post proved so popular that LinkedIn repeated it – only this time instead of polling Influencers on worthy tomes, senior editor Francesca Levy solicited book suggestions from random LinkedIn members.
Some of the choices of regular folks mirrored the selections of Influencers. Others reflected a different perspective.
One book was mentioned more often than others: Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lincoln biography “Team of Rivals.”
This is what LinkedIn member Patricia Sullivan-Taylor said about it: “Rather than attempt to ignore his weaknesses, [Lincoln] chose to place people around him that were a good complement to his skills. I’ve discovered this is both a good rule for business and marriage.”
Top 10 Book Picks of LinkedIn Members
- Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life, Love and Courage, by Richard Stengel. “The book explains how Mandela saw the hidden aspirations in his people – to be equal.” (LinkedIn member Pramod Kumar Srivastava)
- 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, by Stephen R. Covey. “Often common sense is hidden in the routine, and therefore when someone like Mr. Covey brings it to the surface again, it starts making even more sense.” (Inna Stelmukh)
- The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho. “The journey of Santiago and following his personal legend has changed the way I look at my life.” (Charles Hurst)
- How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. “Understanding your customer in depth is a brilliant yet obvious and often overlooked concept.” (Barney Popkin)
- Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. “[Rand] was a bit ahead of her time, but also very much a woman of her time. There is much to admire about her, and also much to disagree with.” (Donna Greiner)
- Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. “It teaches us the importance of justice, redemption, words with actions, commitment and endurance, faithfulness and love. And it’s a great story.” (Chris Burton)
- As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen. “It’s a short, pithy read, advocating a change in thought process to change outcome. I sing its effectiveness whenever I can!” (Erika Powell-Burson)
- Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. “Nothing has changed me more. I would be grinding away in medical school if it wasn’t for Napoleon Hill.” (Terry Husayn)
- The Bible. “The proverbs are full of incredible wisdom regarding how to conduct yourself in your personal and business life.” (Sam Lee)
- Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. “Lincoln’s understanding of people, of the necessity to listen, to bring divergent opinions into the conversation and take decisive action … are all things we should learn.” (Ross Gibson)
Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 919-619-2441.