Business books are valuable, but only if you know how to read them

To understand success, it’s natural to study successful people and organizations. Thousands of business books are published each year, claiming to have done this very thing, and distilled success into a set of practical principles.

These books almost always contain an empowering message, whether explicitly or implicitly: that anyone can be successful if they just understand what it takes, and follow the key steps. The problem is, this message is highly misleading. Understanding success is much harder than most of these popular accounts suggest. Attempts to demystify high performance may often end up perpetuating a number of harmful misconceptions about what it means to achieve success.

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