12 Business Books Read By Brisbane Bosses

12 Business Books Read By Brisbane Bosses

A library of lessons learnt…

By Candice Jackson | 19th August 2015

Are you looking to beef up your reading list? If you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner or established business professional, we think there’s something in this list for you.

We spoke with 12 Brisbane bosses and they gave us their picks of the books that have inspired or guided their careers, business direction and attitudes.

Here are 12 Brisbane bosses who have offered to share inspiring or informative business books they have read, and what they gained from them:

1. Beginning Boutique owner - Sarah Timmerman
(Style + Substance Panellist)

The Hard Thing About The Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

“Reading this book let me know I wasn't alone and that what I was going through wasn't weird - in fact the struggles we were going through as a company were normal. It was a great read that I couldn't put down!”


2. Style Magazines co-owner – Paul Johnston
(Style + Substance Panellist)

Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch by Michael Wolff

“I like books where people are backed against the wall and are hell bent on working through their challenges and succeeding. Life’s not easy sometimes, but if you think things through and are continually open to learning, it helps.”


3. Illustrator - Kerrie Hess (Style + Substance Panellist)

Daring and Disruptive by Lisa Messenger

“I loved that this business book is all about breaking the rules and trusting your instinct.  I feel like I have personally learnt about my own industry through trial and error and making a lot of mistakes along the way. This book celebrates the idea of taking a leap, failing fast and using all of it to figure out your most successful path…”


4. JosephMark owner – Ben Johnston (Style + Substance Panellist)

Massive Change by Bruce Mau

“I read it like 10 years ago, but it's stuck with me because it's still relevant today. It actually influenced a lot of the thinking behind the bigger picture and long term vision we had for JM."


5. Molten Store owner – Jessy Cameron

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

“The book that has marked me the most in terms of business inspiration isn't a business book at all. I know this might seem like a curious choice, but hear me out... the tale introduces an old fisherman who hasn't caught a fish for more than eighty days. He is worn out and starving, but takes care to keep all his fishing lines in the exact depth they need to be in preparation for the perfect catch.

"I keep (my fishing lines) with precision. Only I have no luck anymore. But who knows? Maybe today. Everyday is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready."

"This passage, above, really left a mark on me. Reaching the pinnacle of your dreams is possible, as long as you are prepared to seize opportunity the moment it presents itself.”


6. Jetts Fitness founder – Brendon Levenso

Marketing Without Money by John Lyons

“John’s book taught me about the importance of having a strong purpose as the foundation of your brand. It was fundamental in creating the blue print for Jetts.”


7. Riverlife owner – John Sharpe

Strategy Rules by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano

“The book goes into detail about five timeless lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove and Steve Jobs. It’s a pretty easy read with great advice for anyone working on a ‘Start-up’ or just wanting to improve their current business.”


8. RSPCA Senior Media Advisor – Michael Beatty

Life on Air by David Attenborough

“This book really inspired me. As a former television reporter and documentary maker myself, to read of the hurdles and the triumphs that David, or Sir David as he is now, went through was fascinating. I was particularly thrilled to be able to go to Komodo Island myself while filming Wild Life in the 90s. He was one of the first westerners to see and photograph and film the Komodo Dragon in the late fifties. I share his love of nature and can only hope to emulate his passion for our natural environment and the creatures that live in it.”


9. Cancer Council Queensland CEO – Professor Jeff Dunn AO

Other Men’s Flowers annotated by Field-Marshal Lord Wavell

“In May 1994 I purchased a copy of ‘Other Men’s Flowers’, an anthology of English poetry selected and annotated by Field-Marshal, Lord Wavell, and I keep it close.  First published in 1944 and in print ever since, this book and the verse it contains reminds me that in each of us, even warrior Generals, resides a yearning for gentle things of the heart and the soul.”


10. Australian Skin Clinics founder and managing director  –  Deb Farnworth-Wood

Who Moved My Cheese? An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life by Spencer Johnson MD

“This book gave me insight into the way people think and the way humans deal with change. Further providing me tools to anticipate when change is needed and then allowing me to enjoy the changes made. Evolution or change in any business is essential for growth and prosperity.”


11. Pyjama Foundation founder and executive director – Bronwyn Sheehan

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R.Covey

“I apply all seven principles to the philosophies of The Pyjama Foundation and try to adapt them to my daily life.”


12. Fonebox CEO – Jordan Grives

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

“Jobs' biography has inspired my professional growth, and thus the growth of Fonebox. The work is a catalogue of Jobs' rollercoaster rise to success, to cementing his place amongst the great minds of our time."

"Jobs has achieved my intent for both myself and Fonebox – demonstrating the importance of perseverance and drive. Further, it affirmed my philosophy of managing user experience – central to Jobs’ philosophy and vision for Apple, and central to my philosophy and vision for Fonebox."

"To highlighting the effect of Jobs’ biography on my professional development, hanging in my office is a framed quote: ‘I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.’- Steve Jobs”



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Article by Candice Jackson

Candice Jackson is a former Journalist of Style Magazines. She has an uncontrollable sweet tooth, an irrational fear of birds and a love of travel. Candice believes in the Yes Man Philosophy.


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