By: Stephen Quesinberry

Reading should be a significant component of your military transition and there are many reasons why. It’s imperative to build and sustain daily or weekly habits of improving oneself through reading and introspection. Those that stop learning will become stagnant in other areas of their lives. How do you expect to push your limits past your uncomfortable boundaries into success without persistence, discipline, and determination?

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” Jiddu Krishnamurti


I often get asked about books in reference to a military transition. What books should I read to gain a better understanding of business concepts before transitioning? Here is a list of every book I read during my transition. While not an end-all list, it’s a good start that helped me develop my business acumen.

Tier 1: Start Here

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie
  2. Five Dysfunctions of a Team- Patrick Lencioni
  3. The Executive and the Elephant: A Leader’s Guide for Building Inner Excellence- Richard Daft
  4. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement- Eliyahu Goldratt
  5. What the CEO Wants You to Know: How Your Company Really Works- Ram Charan
  6. PCS to Corporate America- Roger Cameron
  7. Empowering Yourself: The Organizational Game Revealed 2nd Edition- Harvey J. Coleman
  8. Good to Great- Jim Collins

Tier 2

  1. The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter- Michael D. Watkins
  2. First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently- Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
  3. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High- Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
  4. Integrity Selling for the 21st Century- Ron Willingham
  5. Reengineering the Corporation- James Champy and Michael Hammer
  6. Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World Class Performers from Everybody Else- Geoff Colvin
  7. What is Six Sigma? – Pete Pande and Larry Holpp
  8. Great by Choice- Jim Collins
  9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change- Stephen Covey
  10. Lean Thinking- Daniel Jones, James Womack
  11. Fundamentals of Project Management- James P. Lewis
  12. Nine Minutes on a Monday- James Robbins
  13. Financial Intelligence- Karen Berman and Joe Knight
  14. The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business- Peter Coughter

Tier 3

  1. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership-John Maxwell
  2. Today Matters- John Maxwell
  3. 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth- John Maxwell
  4. Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed- Anthony Medley
  5. The Four Hour Workweek-Tim Ferriss
  6. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable- Tim S. Grover
  7. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence-Daniel Goleman
  8. Lincoln on Leadership- Donald T. Phillips
  9. 12 The Elements of Great Managing- James Harter and Rodd Wagner

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

Author - Stephen Quesinberry

Stephen Quesinberry is the Co-Editor in Chief of the Veterati Transition Center. Former U.S Army Artillery Officer with three years’ active duty experience, and MBA/BBA in Business/Finance. Stephen is currently in the very first CoreLogic Leader Development program cohort. For more on Stephen schedule a call on Veterati or reach out via LinkedIn!