The 9+ Best Recommended Books for Consultants

December 17, 2018
open-book-table

If you’re reading this you already understand that, along with top-notch skills, knowledge is key to a successful consultancy career.

If top CEOs read on average one book a week and consultancy firms welcome their rookies with books to read, it must be for a good reason right?


But the number of resources available is huge and as time management is a vital skill for a consultant, we did the research for you.

To save you some precious time, we went through a dozen serious websites (see sources) listing the best books that every consultant should read and rounded up the 9 most recommended books.  

The following books, ranked by number of recommendations will help you build a broad knowledge in fundamental areas such as management, finances and communication.

Time to build (or level-up) your consulting game!

 

 

The McKinsey Way – Ethan M. Rasiel

(Recommended 12 Times) | Find it on Amazon

 

the-mckinsey-way-bookWe won’t insult you by introducing McKinsey.

Written by a former McKinsey associate, this 200-page book should be the first read for anyone aspiring to become a management consultant and those curious about this peculiar world.

While covering a broad range of topics, the author made the choice not to go too much into detail. He keeps it simple and fun to read, in order to offer the reader a better picture of how life is and works in one of the most regarded consulting firms in the world.

The McKinsey Way will give you a useful overview on how McKinsey-ites approach Fortune 100 companies’ problems with a solution and successfully sell it to their clients.

 

 

Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used – Peter Block

(Recommended 5 Times) | Find it on Amazon

flawless-consulting-book-peter-blockWhen the first edition of Flawless Consulting was published in 1986, it rapidly became known as a consulting bible. This third edition is an updated version that deals with the new challenges brought by the digitalisation of our world.

A good consultant is a people person and in this book, Peter Block explains how to communicate effectively through the 5 phases of the consulting process.

Thanks to his experience, he teaches us how to understand clients, how to deal with resistance and ultimately how to build a successful relationship with these clients.

A great book, not only for new consultants, but also for anyone who wants to master the art of communication.

 

 

Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies – McKinsey & Company

(Recommended 5 Times) | Find it on Amazon

valuation-book-coverThis book, written by three McKinsey partners, has been the reference for corporate valuation since its first edition, and this 6th edition is no exception.

Mastering corporate valuation is extremely important in order to make value-creating decisions and this book will allow you to understand this concept at a deeper level. It covers many valuation techniques and provides real world examples.

However, unlike the two previous books, Valuation is more of a technical and finance oriented book, making it difficult to understand for the complete beginner.

 

 

 

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures – Dan Roam

(Recommended 5 Times) | Find it on Amazon

the-back-of-the-napkin-book-coverAre you familiar with visual thinking?

In his book, Dan Roam communicates his ideas through two simple concepts “keep it simple” and “one picture is worth a thousand words”.

He teaches us that simple drawings can be a more a powerful tool for solving and selling business ideas than softwares such as Powerpoint. Drawing your ideas allow you to think things through, to think outside the box and to find solutions you may not have thought about. But “live” drawings will also allow you to express your ideas easier and keep your audience’s attention.

And there’s no need to be a skilled artist, the author also provides guidelines and a framework on how to draw simple and effective pictures.

 

Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting – Victor Cheng

(Recommended 5 Times) | Find it on Amazon

case-interview-secrets-book-coverYes, another book involving McKinsey.

The title is pretty much self explanatory, this book is a great starting point to nail the dreaded case interview from big consulting firms.

Cheng provides very useful information on what to expect from the interviewers, how to make them happy and the main mistakes to avoid.

Note that this book doesn’t include practical cases, but focuses on giving step-by-step instructions on how to build yourself with the right mindset to solve these cases.

This means that you will need to get yourself some good case preparation books to complete the recommended 100 hours training. We’ve got you covered, have a look at the next book.

 

Case in Point 10: Complete Case Interview Preparation – Marc P. Cosentino

(Recommended 4 Times) | Find it on Amazon

case-in-point-book-coverTalking about a good book to prepare your case interview, Case in Point has been the bestselling case interview book on the planet… 13 years in a row.

In the 10th edition of what experts call the “MBA Bible”, Cosentino reduces the amount of cases and focuses on the 27 most relevant. The author wants us to understand that there is not only one good answer to a case and encourages us to develop our analytical problem solving skills.

The methodology used in Case in Point will challenge your creativity and allow you to come up with original solutions that will make you stand out from other candidates.

Along with “Case Interview Secrets”, these two books will definitely make you confident to nail even the most difficult case interview.

 

 

The Trusted Advisor – David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, Robert M. Galford

(Recommended 4 Times) | Find it on Amazon

the-trusted-advisor-book-coverHow do you keep a friend? By building a strong relationship based on trust and confidence.

The same applies to business.

The authors claim that even though knowledge and skills are highly important, the key to success is trustworthiness. This book will teach you how to build long lasting relationships with your clients despite our fast-paced economy.

Curious about how to gain your clients’ trust and how to be a successful advisor? The Trusted Advisor is a perfect resource, not only for consultants, but for anybody interested in building healthy and trusting professional relationships.

 

 

 

Key Management Models: The 60+ Models Every Manager Needs to Know – Financial Times Series

(Recommended 3 Times) | Find it on Amazon

key-management-models-book-coverManagement models. Designed to improve and ease business performance, you’ve heard of them, studied some and will keep hearing of them.

That’s why Key Management Models is so useful and deserves a prime spot on your shelf.

The authors keep things simple but still manages to give you all the information you need to know about the 61 featured management models. In only a few well structured pages, they define a model and tell when and how to use it.

Don’t underestimate this book, you will probably need it more than you think.

 

 

 

 

The Management Consultant: Mastering the Art of Consultancy – Richard Newton

(Recommended 3 Times) | Find it on Amazon

the-management-consultant-book-coverAnother book every beginner consultant (not only in management) should read.

Richard Newton provides a great introduction to management consulting as he covers the main topics to launch your consulting career. As a new consultant, you will learn the rules on how to get clients, how to keep them and how to actually be consultative.

Newton is a consulting master and he has a very client-centric vision. Throughout his book, he will guide you through the process of developing skills to understand client needs and deliver real value to them.

  

 

 

 

Who said good things must end? If you are over these books, no doubt you already feel like (and certainly are) a better consultant, but there is always space for another book on your shelf.

Here are some other amazing books that you should consider:

 

Sources:

  • Harvard Extension School Blog
  • The Muse
  • WallStreetMojo Blog
  • Sussex Business School
  • The Balance Small Business
  • Consultants 500 Blog
  • TalentEgg
  • Wall Street Oasis
  • MBA Crystal Ball Blog
  • TapChief Blog
  • Steve Shu Blog
  • Management Consulted Blog
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