Mark H. McCormack's What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive, released in 1986, has gone down as one of the most influential business books of all time, and for good reason: it works.
This book isn't a traditional business guide in that it presents you with a bunch of case studies, charts and graphs. Instead, it takes the reader inside McCormack's life as a businessman, explaining key business strategies based on experience—an invaluable tool for those looking to see what works in the real world. Each anecdote in the book emphasizes a critical point, which can sometimes get lost in books like this. Because of this, there isn't a single key message; instead, the book aims to teach you everything it feels you need to know about the business world.
My only complaint about the book is that it's pretty dated in some sections; you can tell it was written in 1986 when you read sections like "Men’s Egos vs Women’s Egos.” Men and women may work differently, but their mindsets and goals are the same, and there is no real difference in how to handle male and female colleagues.
Overall, the book is a valuable tool for those looking to expand their businesses and create a framework for success based on the most valuable tool you have — experience. McCormack’s book has stood the test of time simply because it works.