If you’re wondering how you can make your employees happier at work, this is one of the best business articles to read. Schwartz and Porath dive deep into what motivates people—and what pushes them away. Or if you’re one of those 9-to-5 employees who hates your job, this might be one of the best business articles to inspire you to take your career into your own hands.
“Think You’re Too Old to Be an Entrepreneur? Think Again”
Despite what you might have learned from “Silicon Valley” or “The Social Network,” not every entrepreneur is a 20-something male wearing a hoodie. If you’re looking for business articles that will reassure you that you’re not too young to start your own business, then you’ve found one in this infographic. Entrepreneurs are of all ages and come from all walks of life, and Anna Vital’s infographic will convince you of that.
“Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change”
“Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change,” by legendary economics scholar Clayton Christensen and business consultant Michael Overdorf, is one of the best business articles for entrepreneurs who need help getting a handle on change in their business. Growing pains are an inevitable part of any successful small business. This article helps business owners identify when their companies desperately need a change or how to handle change when it’s thrown their way.
Starting and growing your own business is one thing. Managing and leading your employees once you’ve gotten a few years of business experience under your belt can be a whole different skill set. If you need some advice on how to be a more effective leader of your small business, this is a great read. Creativity is an important trait in a business leader—a recent IBM survey of chief executives around the world shows that it’s the most sought-after trait in a leader. But as a business owner trying to run a successful company, you might put your creative, “big picture” ideas on the back burner while you work through the operations of your business. But it’s creativity and innovation that drive businesses and industries forward. So if you feel like you need to re-spark your creative spirit as an entrepreneur, “Reclaim your Creative Confidence” is one of the best business articles to read through. You can sit on a great business idea for years, weighing the pros and cons of starting it. But according to Branson, a point in time comes when you have to just do it. If you fail, you fail—and hopefully, you learned something valuable for your next business venture along the way.
“His message was very clear: It takes guts but you have to just do it. Feel the fear, but do it anyway,” says Darko Jacimovic, who says Branson’s article gave him the confidence to start his business.—WhatToBecome.com. “Over the course of the years, I have realized that this advice helped me stop overthinking and pushed me to start working. Now that I reflect on my experience, I realize how such simple advice is incredibly important for young entrepreneurs.” If you’re an entrepreneur who’s been poised to launch a small business for quite some time now, this is one of the best business articles to help you make the plunge.
four traits of the best kinds of business owners—and they’re qualities that you’ve probably never thought of before. So if you’re looking for business articles that not only help you take a step back and look at how you are as a leader but also give you tangible steps to become a better one, this piece is for you.
You don’t need a college degree to be talented
“When you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people,” Bock said.
Many businesses “require” a college degree; at Google, the word “college” isn’t even its official guide to hiring. With the rise of self-paced college courses and vocational learning, plenty of driven people can teach themselves all of the necessary skills to work at the company.
Demonstrate a skill, not an expertise
“If you take somebody who has high cognitive ability, is innately curious, willing to learn and has emergent leadership skills, and you hire them as an HR person or finance person, and they have no content knowledge, and you compare them with someone who’s been doing just one thing and is a world expert, the expert will go: ‘I’ve seen this 100 times before; here’s what you do,’” Bock said.
College degrees are, almost by definition, a certificate of expertise. A degree in journalism is a giant badge meant to tell the world that you know at least a little bit about the trade of telling stories and interviewing people.
But a degree really doesn’t say what a graduate can do. Can they present an idea in front of a crowd? Can they build a website? Can they think interestingly about problems, or did they just pass some tests?
Logic is learned, and stats are superimportant
“Humans are by nature creative beings, but not by nature logical, structured-thinking beings. Those are skills you have to learn,” Bock said. “I took statistics at business school, and it was transformative for my career. Analytical training gives you a skill set that differentiates you from most people in the labor market.”
Logical thinking goes way beyond programming. For instance, back in 2010, Facebook put up a blog post claiming that political candidates with more fans were more likely to win their race, implying that getting more Facebook fans would improve their chances. In no uncertain terms, this was a phenomenally bad argument.
Maybe candidates who were already more popular just happened to have more fans. And what about candidates with fewer fans that won their races? In these cases, why did fans not matter?
The Facebook employees who ran the statistics understood some basic logic, but they didn’t demonstrate analytical thinking. Sifting through data requires training in the latest techniques for understanding causality and creatively exploring patterns (FYI: Facebook has gotten a lot better about these types of political claims since 2010).
“It looks like the thing that separates out the capable students from the really successful ones is not so much their knowledge…but their persistence at something,” Google chairman, Eric Schmidt said.
For some people, college is just really easy. They can play 10 rounds of beer-pong until 4 a.m. and still ace an organic-chemistry exam the next day while their studious roommate is up to their eyeballs in color-coded flash cards and squeaks by with a B.
A college degree can’t tell Google whether an applicant is naturally smart or is a hard worker. Apparently, Google would rather mold someone with grit rather than someone who is a lazy high-achiever.
If you go to college, focus on skills
“My belief is not that one shouldn’t go to college … most don’t put enough thought into why they’re going and what they want to get out of it,” Block said.
Both Bock and Schmidt are adamant that most people should go to college but that skills and experience are more important than the stamp of expertise. Bock says Google is looking for the kinds of projects candidates completed or what they accomplished at an internship.
I honestly can’t remember the last time someone asked me what my major in college was. If you want a job at Google (or some other prestigious company), don’t focus so much on your major, and make sure you graduate with all the skills and experiences you need to do awesome things in the world.