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BY Joel Junker

5 Business Books Every JMO Should Read ASAP

If you are a military officer considering a career pivot, there are five business books I’d recommend every JMO should read.

One of the cornerstones of the Cameron-Brooks Development and Preparation Program© (DPP) is the professional reading program.  For those accepted into our program, our DPP provides a comprehensive list of books to help JMOs prepare for a business career. The first business book on the list includes a book written by one of our original founders and current owners, PCS to Corporate America 4th. Ed. (Cameron, Alvarez and Junker).  Business reading for a JMO who is considering a transition to the business world accomplishes three key things:  1) Helps you learn more about Corporate America and key concepts; 2) Allows the opportunity to apply these concepts while still in uniform to become a better military officer; and 3) Provides the vernacular to communicate your military accomplishments using language Corporate America understands.

Of course, we highly recommend reading PCS to Corporate America to any JMO considering a transition to business, but I wanted to write this blog post to recommend five additional business books! I believe these reads will provide value to any JMO, regardless of whether or not they decide to transition.

5 Business Books for JMOs

Good to Great (Collins). This book is considered one of the best business books ever written.  The book illustrates the story of several companies and what they did to become great.  If you want to be more than just good and become great, you will want to read this book.  While one of his “Great” companies, Circuit City, is no longer in business, Collins’ ideas still resonate.  If you have time, we also highly recommend his follow-on book, Great by Choice.

The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter (Watkins).  Transitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most agree that moving into a new role is the biggest challenge a leader will face, and the first three months are crucial towards a new leader’s success. This book was recommended to me when I was assuming a General Management role, and I thought it could be a great read for any JMO taking on a leadership position like company command, department head, etc.  This book offers proven strategies for conquering the challenges of transitions – no matter where you are in your career.

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others (Pink). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works in sales. But so do the other eight.  Whether we are pitching colleagues on a new idea, our boss or commander on a new plan, etc., we spend our days trying to move others. This book is for everyone and not just those in a sales or marketing career.  Do you want to get better at influencing your children, spouse, coworkers, suppliers, contractors, customers, boss, peers, etc.?  Read this book, study it, apply it!

Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success (Dweck).  You have powerful beliefs that affect what you want in life and whether you accomplish those things. In Mindset, Stanford psychologist and researcher Carol S. Dweck argues that your mindset can determine the course of much of your life, starting as early as your preschool years. She addresses the differences between a fixed and growth mindset, how the growth mindset can help you reach your potential, and how you can help others reach theirs.

The Advantage:  Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business (Lencioni).  We really like this book and have implemented his steps in establishing a purpose, values and behaviors.  It has really elevated our organizational effectiveness and focus.  Whether you are leading a small team, a sales territory or a large division, you can apply some or all of Lencioni’s recommendations.

Of course, there are many other great business books out there that can be applicable to you while you still wear the uniform or if you are preparing to transition.  These are just a handful that could be added to your library today.


If you’re interested in learning more about Cameron-Brooks, contact us!

You can also check out our Transition Guide on “3 Game-Changing Strategies for JMOs Making the Jump to Business” for additional transition tips.

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