The Best Strategy Books of 2021

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When it comes to planning anything, you will need a strong strategy. But you need the best books on strategic thinking in order to help you along the way. So, what do you do?

Well, we’re going to explain to you what you need and explore learning to think strategically. That’s because strategy is going to be crucial in just about any field of business. Being able to look at different situations from a strategic point of view and with an understanding of just what you need to get the best outcome is going to be crucial for your business.

When it comes to the best business strategy books of all time, we are ready to share our favorites, a few runner ups and a couple value books that will all make it easier for you to get ahead in your business.

In this guide, we will talk about playing to win how strategy really works and more. We’ll consider strategic planning, tactics, and other methods of implementing strategy within the business realm. From our top picks, all the way through our value picks, you’ll find a great deal of information to help you along. You’ll also be able to get started in fields where strategy is going to be the most critical part of the job description.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for strategy book here.

Our Top Favorite
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life
Our Top Runner Up
Iconic Advantage®: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Our Top Value Pick
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Avoid Terrible Advice, Cognitive Biases, and Poor Decisions)
Book Title
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life
Iconic Advantage: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life
Book Title
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Iconic Advantage®: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Book Title
Iconic Advantage: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Avoid Terrible Advice, Cognitive Biases, and Poor Decisions)
Book Title
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-07-28

Our Favorites for Best Strategy Books

Let’s start with the books that we like the best and what it takes to learn the best tricks of the trade. We’re going to look at books on strategy and tactics, and we’ll consider what the best options really are within this realm. You’ll be able to build a strong business, develop advanced strategy skills, and develop an understanding of the best in the industry of strategic development. You also will learn new ways that strategy can occur and be applied within your chosen field.

The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life by Avinash K. Dixit & Barry J. Nalebuff

When it comes to learning anything, it’s hard to find a book that is interesting and informative, but The Art of Strategy definitely takes care of that. It’s designed to give you a thorough understanding of game theory that will help you learn the way of seeing the world that will allow you to be a success using strategy in all areas of your life. Game theory is a form of mathematics that evaluates what happens when one course of action is chosen comparative to another. By evaluating this process, you’ll be able to build upon your competitive advantage.

With The Art of Strategy, you’ll learn from case studies in all areas of life, including pop culture and sports as well as politics and history. You’ll learn how to apply game theory through each of these aspects, and, from there, you’ll come to a better understanding of how it can make you even more along the way. Not only that, but The Art of Strategy will help you to learn how game theory can improve your life in many different ways, including your personal life.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Applies game theory to real-life situations and areas of life
  • Easy and exciting to read, which gets you more interested in learning

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

On Sale
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life
  • W. W. Norton & Company
  • Dixit, Avinash K. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-07-28


Strategic Thinking: A Four Piece Puzzle by Bill Birnbaum

When it comes to developing the right strategy for clients, Birnbaum has definitely created a secure system. Strategic Thinking is about more than just creating a plan. It’s all about creating the right environment to start with, and that’s where Strategic Thinking comes in. With Birnbaum, you’ll learn about the four different parts of the process to actually employ this type of thinking. This includes a method of focus, markets, people, and procedure, which can be highly effective when employed correctly.

Strategic Thinking looks at the start all the way through the end goal of managing processes and making sure everything is running smoothly. You’ll learn tips and techniques that Birnbaum has been working on for the past 24 years to help his clients, and you can apply them to different areas of your life as well. You will also be able to get by without the added fluff and general content you find with other strategic texts.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Breaks strategic thinking into four simple steps
  • Walks you through strategic thinking from beginning to end

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

  • Provides a good overview so that you can start applying new concepts
  • Skips the jargon and overwhelming concepts
On Sale
Strategic Thinking: A Four Piece Puzzle
  • Birnbaum, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 214 Pages - 03/17/2004 (Publication Date) - Douglas Mountain Publishing (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-28


The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage by Daymond John

Daymond John is well-known for two things, FUBU and Shark Tank, and he managed to get to both of those places by being extremely strategic. The Power of Broke is the story of just how John was able to build his business and how anyone can use their own story to create a competitive advantage. In fact, John was completely broke when he started his first business (which wasn’t FUBU) and managed to build up his creative empire.

The Power of Broke looks at several different successful people and the way that they have been able to harness their own difficulties and ‘broke’ times into businesses. The idea of using the Power of Broke is to see not having money as a form of benefit, that forces you to think outside the box and to consider entirely different ways of making your way in life. Daymond John was able to make a multi-million dollar business and now continues to invest in even more companies because of this way of thinking.

What Makes it Unique:

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

  • Uses real-life examples of people who have succeeded after being broke
  • Shows positive examples of using your story to build success

Last update: 2021-07-28


Runner Ups for Best Strategy Books

Next up, we have some runner ups. These are books that definitely have a lot to offer and can help you in a number of ways, but they’re not quite as good as the ones we had in the last section. These are books that are going to help you learn some of the specific areas, or that might give you a little bit more of an overview of some topics. No matter what, however, they’re going to be an excellent place for you to get a bit more information. You just need to decide what strategies you’re really looking to learn.

Iconic Advantage: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old by Soon Yu & Dave Birss

Innovation has become a business buzzword, and it really does make a difference in just about every field, but it’s not the only way to go. In fact, it might not even be the best way to go. Iconic Advantage is all about learning how to use innovation in an entirely new way. Instead of innovating and changing the way that things are done, you’ll learn how to improve upon the old ways to make them better. This can actually help you save money and time in the long run because processes are already in place.

Iconic Advantage focuses on how you can create differentiation and build up relationships with customers. It’s also about learning how to turn your business or any situation around without starting over from scratch. You don’t need to throw in the towel and change things 100%. Instead, you can use the old and improve to create a much stronger and more effective outlook for your business, no matter what you might be employed in or what kind of systems you’re working with.

What Makes it Unique:

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

  • Develops methods of building customer relationships
  • Explores how you can save your business without changing too much of what’s already in place
Iconic Advantage®: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Yu, Soon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-07-28


How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell

John Maxwell has made a big impression in the field of improving and changing your way of thinking. How Successful People Think is about teaching you the strategies that these people are using to help you improve your own life. The idea is to develop eleven keys that will encourage you to develop creative potential and learn how to turn your past into actual lessons for your future. Maxwell explains what each of these keys are and how to use them for yourself.

Part of a series on successful people, How Successful People Think, tells you all about what these people are thinking and why they’re thinking it, so all you need to do is start implementing these processes in your own life. Filled with advice and practical tips, How Successful People Think is a book that any entrepreneur or anyone should add to their shelf. You will learn new skills for turning your thinking around. With the entire series, you’ll be able to learn about thinking, actions, and investing from the context of the most successful people in the world.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Learn about successful people in real life
  • Learn the ways that successful people are different from the average person

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

  • Short process, which makes it easier for those who are short on time to read and develop their process
  • Focuses on eleven keys to getting you to think like you should
On Sale
How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
  • How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
  • Hardcover Book
  • Maxwell, John C. (Author)

Last update: 2021-07-28


StrategyMan vs. The Anti-Strategy Squad: Using Strategic Thinking to Defeat Bad Strategy and Save Your Plan by Rich Horwath

Making learning and development more fun is always an excellent way to go, and StrategyMan and the Anti-Strategy Squad is all about that. You’ll learn how to create a sound foundation for strategy and how to actually employ strategic thinking into your normal life. Not only that, but you’re going to learn how to set a clear direction and lead meetings in strategic ways. All of these concepts can make you a much better manager or even just a better member of the team in general.

StrategyMan and the Anti-Strategy Squad will show you what it is that people are doing wrong and how you can turn those things around for yourself. Horwath takes what are sometimes complex topics and ideas and turns them into something that the average person can understand and implement in their own life. You’ll be able to learn and actually enjoy yourself in the process, in a way that’s entirely different from just being interested in the topic.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Makes the topic of strategy fun and intriguing so readers want to keep working on them
  • Allows even beginners to fully understand the concepts of strategy by presenting them in a simple way

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

  • Uses a comic book style to create a unique way of presenting information
  • Written by someone with personal experience in the field of strategy
On Sale
StrategyMan vs. the Anti-Strategy Squad: Using Strategic Thinking to Defeat Bad Strategy and Save Your Plan
  • Rich Horwath (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 09/11/2018 (Publication Date) - Greenleaf Book Group Press (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-28


Value Picks for Best Strategy Books

Finally, let’s take a look at some of the different value options when it comes to strategy. These are books that are designed to give you a good amount of information but not as much as you would learn in the other options. Here you’re going to learn about strategy in a little more focused way, but it’s also going to be a little less expensive for you overall as well. You’ll be able to find books that evaluate some of the different concepts that you find most important.

Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters by Gleb Tsipursky

We hear all the time that trusting your gut is the right way to go, but that’s actually not the case. Instead, Never Go With Your Gut focuses on how real people use strategy to make the right decisions for themselves and their businesses. The idea behind Tsipursky’s book is to better understand cognitive biases and best practices. By doing both of these things, it’s possible to actually train your gut to make even better decisions and to be effective.

All too often, people at the head of businesses make gut choices that result in failure or loss for the company. In Never Go With Your Gut, you’ll learn how to avoid the disasters and problems that these individuals face by learning how to change their mental patterns. In this way, you will be able to improve your business and your leadership style as a whole. This will allow you to continue building and improving within your company.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Teaches you how to create your own processes
  • Showcases stories from real leaders and organizations

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Avoid Terrible Advice, Cognitive Biases, and Poor Decisions)
  • Tsipursky PhD, Gleb (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 11/01/2019 (Publication Date) - Career Press (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-28


The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of War is a book that has been around for centuries, and there’s a reason that it’s still one of the best-known strategy books in the world. The reason? It’s good. With The Art of War, you will learn more about business tactics than you would likely learn from any other book. Sun Tzu looks at military tactics, but the techniques and skills that are discussed can be employed in nearly any area of your life. While some believe that The Art of War should only be considered as a war book, there’s a great deal more that they are missing in this instance.

With The Art of War, you’ll learn how to live a life that you will enjoy and one that will make you more successful overall. The idea behind The Art of War was to improve military strategy, but it’s also a great way to learn about living an honorable and strong life, and even though it is an ancient text, it still has a great deal to offer anyone who reads it. That’s why The Art of War has continued to be a popular strategy book throughout the last several centuries.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Ancient strategies that can be applied to modern life
  • Applicable to all areas of life, not just strategy or investing

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

  • Can be used as a sort of manual or how-to guide
  • Can be implemented quickly to start seeing results
The Art Of War
  • Sun Tzu (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 68 Pages - 11/01/2007 (Publication Date) - Filiquarian (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-28


Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors by Michael E. Porter

This one isn’t quite as inexpensive as some of the others, but it’s definitely something that deserves to be here. Competitive Strategy is a little bit older, but it’s still highly relevant and definitely high quality. You’ll find some of the simplest but most effective strategies here. In fact, the framework that Porter creates is designed to work for both small and large companies, as well as just about any field you might be in. Overall, you’ll learn how to use Competitive Strategy to change the way you think about competition in business.

The idea behind Competitive Strategy is that you need the right manner of thinking in order to be truly successful. Discipline and insight is going to make it easier for you to be strategic in all of the ways that it matters the most. Even more, Competitive Strategy shows you how to look at rivals in new ways so that you can form a quality competitor assessment and bring your business into the right frame of mind. This can allow your business to grow and outshine the competition.

What Makes it Unique:

Why Choose This Strategy Book:

  • Develops concepts for small and large scale businesses
  • Teaches the framework of what you need in any form of analysis
On Sale
Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors
  • Free Press
  • Hardcover Book
  • Porter, Michael E. (Author)

Last update: 2021-07-28


How to Choose the Best Strategy Book for You

If you’ve read through all of the books we mentioned or if you’ve read some of them and want more information, then you’ll need to know how to go about finding the right books.

Here we’re going to talk about some of the strategies that you can use to help find the right type of books to further your understanding of strategy. Each of these tips will help you get the books you need to be more successful when running your business and improving your team.

1. Easy to follow along – You want to be able to learn the different concepts and information that you’re reading about, so you want a book that will actually give you step-by-step instructions. Look for books that are intended as guides and will actually walk you through how to achieve what they say. This may include examples of real-world experiences with that strategy or simply instructions that you can implement yourself. Going through things in this manner means that you can implement the tactics much faster.

2. Real-life applications – You want to know that the strategy you’re looking at is actually going to be applicable in real life and so you want to know that it’s been proven in real life. You want to be sure that you aren’t spending a lot of time learning something that may or may not actually be possible or efficient. Instead, find out where it’s been applied and see how it’s working. If you can’t find examples of it, then you may want to look for something else.

3. Interesting to follow – If you’re not interested in the book you’re reading, you’re not going to keep reading it, or you’re not going to retain the information. Look for a strategy book that employs concepts and methods in a fun and exciting way. You want something that will keep you wanting to read and will make sure that you understand everything enough at the end to actually put those skills into practice. The comic-book style book we’ve discussed is one example of an interesting read, as is The Art of War.

4. Explores different methodologies – There are a number of different ways that you can use strategy within your business and your life. You want a book that is going to help you better understand these different methods, and that will provide you with a foundation of each of them. This will allow you to choose a method that works for you and that you can easily apply into your daily life and into your business as a whole.

5. Change your thought process – It’s not just about learning new techniques that you can employ. Strategy is about changing the way that you think entirely so that you can look at situations from an entirely different viewpoint. You want to be able to see the world in an altogether different manner so that you can actually start out from a strategic point rather than trying to look at things differently after the fact. Most strategy books are focused on helping you to have a totally new outlook by the time you are done.

6. Professional authors – Look for authors that are actually working in the field of strategy in some manner. You want someone who has actually used these methods before and knows that they actually work. Likewise, you want to be sure that they have had time to develop methods that are going to be different from what you see everywhere, and that will encourage you to think outside the box as you work on applying your strategic thinking in real life. Not only that, but you will know that you can trust these individuals.

7. Mathematical approach – Not everyone is going to do well with a mathematical approach, but for some, this is the ideal way to go. Look at it as an option and see if going at things from a mathematical mindset is going to make a difference in the way that you see different options and opportunities. You might be surprised at the overall results from this method, even if you’re not typically the type of person who looks at things from this viewpoint.

Wrapping Up the Best Strategy Books

To sum up, here are the best strategy books we looked at today:

Our Top Favorite
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life
Our Top Runner Up
Iconic Advantage®: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Our Top Value Pick
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Avoid Terrible Advice, Cognitive Biases, and Poor Decisions)
Book Title
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life
Iconic Advantage: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life
Book Title
The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Iconic Advantage®: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Book Title
Iconic Advantage: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Avoid Terrible Advice, Cognitive Biases, and Poor Decisions)
Book Title
Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-07-28

We’re at the end of the road, and it’s now time to start wrapping up. Strategic Thinking is all about breaking down strategy into four basic steps and that’s great for anyone who wants to learn a great deal in the simplest way possible. StrategyMan vs. The Anti-Strategy Squad is the best option in our runner ups because it makes learning about strategy more fun. It’s a unique look and if you’re the type who likes comic books you’ll love learning this way. Finally, The Art of War has been a top strategy for centuries for a reason and if you’re into history and the way it can apply to strategic thinking this is the book for you.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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