Business Books & Authors

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The average American spends 52 minutes commuting every workday. That’s nearly 4 and a half hours a week, or 225 hours a year. To put it in perspective, if you work for 45 years and have an average commute, you’ll spend 421 days (day and night) in transit from your home to your workplace. 421 days! That’s a lot of life.

Now, I’m no stranger to commutes. I’ve had very long ones (over 2 hours each way) and very short ones (15 steps from under the covers to my home office). The modes of transport I’ve used are plenty; I’ve gotten to work by car, by bus, by bike, by train, by tram, by foot, by ferry and even (briefly and awkwardly) by skateboard. Read the rest of this entry »


Except for “firing” and “layoff,” no six-letter word generates quite as much anxiety around the old water cooler as “change.”

We thrive on routine, whether it’s stopping at the same coffee shop every morning or following a specific protocol for filing reports at work. The mere mention of “change” typically invokes feelings of vulnerability, insecurity and anxiousness. Though we understand on a rational level that change is constant and unavoidable, fear of the unknown can be upsetting. How to implement change while minimizing turmoil has long been a major challenge for executives and managers.

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Job Seeker Manual



Guest Post by Sheila L. Margolis

You get offered a job where you can do the work you love. It’s a fit with your strengths, interests and abilities. Isn’t this the ideal job?

Job fit is key to having a workplace where you will thrive. But job fit alone may not give you the joy and fulfillment you seek. You must also consider the culture of the company where you will work. Is that culture also a fit? Read the rest of this entry »


For workers who want to combine a big-city paycheck with a small-town lifestyle, or maybe just hope to avoid a soul-crushing commute, the options never have been broader.

Telecommuting increasingly is an accepted mode of work, even among large employers. While the benefits of working remotely long were obvious to workers, the advantages increasingly are becoming apparent to employers, too.

Telecommuters don’t occupy expensive office space. And a flexible work arrangement can be crucial to recruiting in-demand employees.

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Many sports fans believe that paying for a ticket entitles them to verbally abuse athletes. Though players are conditioned to tune out the booing and not take it to heart, sometimes spectators cross the line and unleash highly personal attacks. This type of mentality also applies to the bottom feeders on social media who regard Internet access as a license to disparage others.

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Meetings? Get rid of them. Performance reviews? Twaddle. Manager pep talks aiming at building enthusiasm? Don’t waste your time. In his classic tome Managing Performing Living, management guru Fredmund Malik rips into all manner of standard corporate practices.

By gleefully poking holes in the conventional wisdom, Malik sounds like he’s impersonating the office crank who can’t stop griping about incompetent bosses all day long. Unlike that chronic complainer, though, Malik offers common-sense alternatives. Read the rest of this entry »


You’ve probably heard a lot about coaching. Maybe you’ve even had a coaching session or two in your lifetime. But we’re sure you’ve never had a coach like Michael Bungay Stanier, a Rhodes scholar who has worked with companies such as AstraZeneca and Xerox. His book, The Coaching Habit, is a coaching manual that will help anyone become a (better) coach. We had the opportunity to sit down with Michael and ask a few questions. Continue reading for some insights from this coaching guru. You won’t regret it!

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Guest post by Michael Bungay Stanier

How often do you sit down and try to figure out “What the heck are we really doing here?” Many of us do this a couple of times of year. I know I do, and I like to think that it’s a good way to take a deep breath and look at what’s going on outside of my everyday chaos. It works as a sort of pause button for me.

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We’ve all heard about coaching, and some of us might even think that coaching is a waste of time (gasp!). But it turns out that done right, coaching can be an incredibly effective method to improve job performance and satisfaction and it can help strengthen organizations.

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A company’s core values are the code of honor by which it lives – that is, the fundamental beliefs that guide employee behavior and company decisions. Articulating your firm’s values confers several benefits: Your employees become more productive and motivated, your workforce as a whole becomes cohesive and takes collective action toward your goals, customers appreciate what you’re striving to achieve and become more loyal to your business, and the company’s relationships with its stakeholders strengthen. Following a values-driven business policy is an investment that pays off over time.

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The winner of Oxford Dictionaries’ prestigious Word of the Year award in 2016 was “post-truth.” It’s a phrase you hear used to describe nearly everything today – the media, politics, advertising, big business. But what does it really mean? It defines a situation where the truth is less important than appeals to people’s emotions. In a post-truth world, fiction has more power than fact.

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As an editor for getAbstract, I knew instantly which abstract I wanted to share with readers when our resident blogger asked me for a recommendation list: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. Now I know the colorful language in this article may put some people off, but if you can look beyond the swearing and (hysterical) references to “bags of burritos” you’ll be rewarded with an elegant and inspiring message: Finding the courage to be forthright in the face of adversity makes life worth living. Manson inspires you to not sweat the little things and, instead, spend your energy on contributing to the world. His vision is one that would benefit many people in the sometimes-overwhelming times we live in.

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Team or no team?



In the modern business world, more work is done virtually and by widely dispersed teams than ever before. The solitary figure toiling from a home office has become the archetype of the modern knowledge economy. Yet in something of a paradox, teamwork is more important than ever.

In her book From Me to We, Janine Garner goes so far as to predict the extinction of loners. “Those unwilling to work collaboratively, who prefer to work alone [and] who are closed to outside thinking and different approaches, will slowly disappear,” she writes.

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For a growing share of affluent consumers in Europe and North America, cash is something of an inconvenient relic. Credit cards and automated bank transfers account for most spending, and ApplePay, PayPal and other alternatives are grabbing a bigger share of the transactions once conducted by cash.

Cash’s value can vanish in a careless moment, or in a fire, or in the washing machine, or to the pickpocket on the crowded street. Credit cards, on the other hand, offer insurance against such risk.

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How do millennials feel about the future? The answer depends on where they live.

Millennials often are portrayed by their elders as an undifferentiated mass of smartphone-addicted, work-shirking, trophy-collecting whippersnappers.

On closer inspection, though, young adults born after 1982 aren’t a monolithic generation. They come with the usual variety of fears and dreams, according to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte – and in that way, they’re not so different than every age cohort that came before them.

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