Recommended Reading List

From Matt Bilsky

This is a work in progress... I am filling in the descriptions of the books as I get spare time

I'm a huge fan of listening to books while traveling (I spend a decent amount of time in the car with all my adventures). Below is a list of books I've listened to and highly recommend.

They have been broken down by category and include a description of the book and why I thought it was worth the time to listen to.

If I didn't think it was worth your time, I didn't include it in the list!

Enjoy and please feel free to reach out with any recommendations!

If you plan on joining Audible, your first 2 books will be free if you use the following link (and I get a small kickback. Why not?)

Audible banner 071918.jpeg

(the links below are also affiliate links which means they give me a small amount of money if you buy the book but don't charge you any more)

Business and Entrepreneurial Mindset

Book Title Description
I stumbled upon this book after my dad shared a Wall Street Journal article about how doing less can help lead to success at work. This book was written by the co-author of Great by Choice, the sequel to Good to Great (both listed below).

I found the concept of doing less then obsessing to be one of the key take-aways and is something I have been working hard to implement myself. They also introduce the use of flipped-classroom as a way to increase efficiency which I have been implemented both in the classroom and with my research in general (lookup my YouTube channel for examples). Overall a good read (listen) that should offer advice to those at all stages in their careers.

This book does an excellent job of balancing an autobiography with a business book that gives actionable guidelines. I found many of his principles to be aligned with my own. Specifically: Radical Truth and Radical Honesty. I have always tried to embody these in both my business and work life. It was nice to have a well-articulated manner to describe them.

Coincidentally, I had met a Dean of another engineering university at a conference. Later, at the "after-party," we were discussing our approaches to leadership and education and I had mentioned having just finished this book. He responded: There is currently only one book on my desk to read right now, and it is Principles.

I was not initially sure what to expect from this book, but it turned out to be an enjoyable listen. The notion of startups collaborating with large companies largely parallels my work in startups collaborating with universities (see my work on EMDs - Entrepreneurially Minded Dissertations). While I would not say there was anything too profound in the book, if you have made it through the other books on this list and are in need of something, I'd recommend giving it a go.
While working at Lehigh I was tasked with envisioning an Experiential Learning program for the college of engineering. I had always been fascinated by Bell Labs having heard of the technological marvels that had come out of there in numerous other books. This book did a great job of describing the unique culture cultivated there by the leaders throughout the years. A very interesting read if you are into the history of the digital age.
We are constantly faced with negotiations in our lives both professional and personal. This very enjoyable book strikes a great balance of stories from the field along with actionable lessons and exercises. A friend of mine who was a lead salesman for a food company was forced to read it by his boss. The advice is sound and he finally closed a contract that no one else could.
This book is another great read in the series of business case study books from Jim Collins and his team. While causality and coincidence are not the same thing, the lessons identified are important for all companies to keep in mind.
Good to Great is one of the classic business books. It is a favorite of Jeff Bezos and other Silicon Valley and business greats. The principles, especially the hedgehog concept are universally applicable in life and business. I have since integrated them into my talks on engineering skillset and entrepreneurial mindset towards creating T-Shaped people.
This book was recommended to me by a friend who works at Ernst and Young. It outlines the transition that businesses need to make from rewarding performers (the top sales person) to produces (those who generate the most value for the company) if they want to retain T-Shaped people in the 21st century workforce. I believe the concept strongly applies in other sectors, especially academia. I gave a talk with this as one of the core principles that is posted on YouTube here: The Mindset of T-Shaped Systems Thinkers That Amplifies Their Skillset


Book Title Description

The Mind and Social Psychology

Book Title Description

Everything Else

Book Title Description