Seven Audiobooks Every BA Must Listen to (And How to Get One for FREE)

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo11

Let’s say on an average you commute 2 hrs everyday (to and from work) – which I do. So, that’s 10 hours a week and roughly 520 hours a year. If an average audiobook is about 8 hours in length, then technically you can listen to 65 books in a year! 

Well, practically speaking that might be a lofty goal. You will also have to mix in music, podcasts, reading or just observing strange behaviors of your fellow-commuters. Right? 

However, what about a goal of listening to 7 books? Much more achievable, eh?

If you have never heard of audiobooks and you always thought listening was for music and radio only, think again! Your world of learning is about to change.

In this post I will share 7 must-listen audiobooks for business analysis practitioners and also introduce you to our partner audible where you can get one of these 7 books for free. So, read on to start your audiobooks journey.

The first one of the list …

1. Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.

What’s in it for a BA ?

Learn about the “Golden Circle” and how great companies work from inside out of that circle. Going from Why to What to How. Apply this in your practice to understand the “Why” of a certain area of analysis. This concept could be applied both at macro (strategy) and  micro (detailed analysis) levels in an organization.

2. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a top seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity.

What’s in it for a BA ?

For a summary of the seven habits and how this relates to your practice as a business analyst, please read my blog post ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective BA People” This was the first audiobook I listened to, and that’s how I started my audiobooks journey about 15 year ago.

3. Getting Things Done -The Art of Stress-free Productivity 

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work – and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen’s entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

What’s in it for a BA ?

If you want to master the art of getting things done, and take your personal productivity to the next level, this is a must-listen book. You can also listen to the podcast interview I did with David Allen about how he got inspired to write this book and how best to use it.

4. How To Win Friends and Influence People 

For over 60 years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this audiobook has carried thousands of now-famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

What’s in it for a BA ?

We deal with people side of analysis on a daily basis. If you want to learn how to form friendships, bonds and build trust with your stakeholders, listening to this book will help you go the extra mile.

5. Linchpin – Are You Indispensable?

Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous but they’re indispensable. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom. Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn’t reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back.

What’s in it for a BA ?

I am a big champion of Seth’s work. He is one of the inspirations behind my first book and also TheBACoach brand. My key takeaway from this book was that everyone now can be an artist. According to him:

An artist is not just some person who messes around with paint and brushes, an artist is somebody who does  “emotional work.”

Work that you put your heart and soul into. Work that matters. Work that you gladly sacrifice all other alternatives for.

Business Analysts are artists of the knowledge work, and this book will help you discover this in various ways. (To learn more download my free book – The Five Pillars of a Great BA)

6. Quiet – The power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking 

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

and according to some reviews:

This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves

What’s in it for a BA ?

The personality of a BA has a solid mix of both introversion and extroversion (in some aspects you could say business analysts have an ambivert personality – an equal mix of introversion and extroversion). Listening to this book will provide you fresh perspectives of how we think and work and also open your eyes to societal perceptions of extroversion and the “dangers” it inhabits.

7. Just Listen – Discover the Secret of Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

You’ve got a business colleague who’s hostile…a client who’s furious…a staffer who’s deeply cynical—how do you get people to do what you want in tough situations like these? In Just Listen, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals the secret to how to get through to anyone, even when productive communication seems impossible.

What’s in it for a BA ?

From the audiobook page:

“Here’s the challenge,” Mark says. “People have their own needs, desires, and agendas. They have secrets they’re hiding from you. And they’re stressed, busy, and often feeling like they’re in over their heads. To cope, they throw up barricades that make it difficult to reach them even when your goals are in sync with their own.”But the good news is that there are simple strategies that can make you compelling, and break down the walls that keep you from getting through to the people you need to buy into your ideas and goals.

Need I say more?

Get One of these for FREE

As you maybe aware we are affiliate partners with Audible (It is called “Audible Podcast Program“). You can get one free audiobook if you signup for their monthly membership. I have had the membership for nearly two years now and it has been a great experience so far. You can try it FREE for 30-days and cancel before that and still keep your free audiobook.

To signup, use the link below:

Get one of the seven audiobooks above for FREE (affiliate link)

Audible also has a top-notch iPhone (and iPad) app too, which allows you to bookmark and take notes as you are listening to the audiobook. I have found this feature to be particularly useful since I get many inspiring ideas while listening to books.

Which one of these have you listened to and/or look forward to listen to? Do you have any additional recommendations? 

Please use the comment space below to leave your comments, feedback and questions.


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Article by

Yaaqub Mohamed (Yamo), is the founder of The BA Coach community and host for the #1 ranked business analysis podcast in iTunes. He believes in adding relentless value to the BA community and advancing the practice.  He host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. He's the author of 'The Five Pillars of a Great Business Analyst', best selling 'The Ultimate CBAP-CCBA Study Guide' and the creator of the revolutionary 'Ultimate BABOK Kit'. 

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11 Responses to “Seven Audiobooks Every BA Must Listen to (And How to Get One for FREE)”

  1. Brian says:

    I have read “7 Habits” and “How to Win Friends”, They are a must for anyone that wants to be successful in life, regardless of profession.


    Lic.Brian Bravo

    • Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo says:

      For sure, Brian. Thanks for the comment. These two books have universal appeal and can help anyone interested in self advancement.

  2. Lori Polzin says:

    Great pick list!! I also commute 2 hr/day and I’ve listened to 5 of the 7 books you have listed. I agree these are valuable reads for anyone in a BA role. I would suggest an 8th book: Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson. As BAs we do run into our share of conflict among stakeholders. This book has excellent techniques for taking charge of the conversation to achieve results and resolution. Great companion to Just Listen.

    • Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo says:

      Great to see a fellow commuter agreeing to my list. I am assuming you have an audible membership too? It has been one of the best ways for me to get the audiobooks.

      Crucial Conversations sounds like a great 8th suggestion. I just added that book in my wish list; and should be getting it in my next cycle.

      Thanks again for your comments and kind words, Lori.

  3. […] 3. Seven Audiobooks Every BA Must Listen To (And How to Get One for FREE). I just have to say that the BA Coach is one of my favourite web sites. In this article, Yamo talks about the seven must have audio books for every business analyst. These resources support you in developing very important business analyst skills: communication and productivity. […]

  4. Katie Metcalfe says:

    I have really started to enjoy listening to books after years of reading books. I especially like “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. The ideas in this book can be used in your day to day job.

    I believe listening to books has sharpened my listening skills and has improved my ability to understand my customer needs and work with colleagues. I sometimes listen to a book while I cook to fit it into my day’s tasks.

    Thanks Yamo!

  5. Rohit Upadhyay says:

    Thanks Yamo for sharing this blog. I have already read ‘How to win…, ‘7 habits. .. , GTD & now keen to learn ‘Quiet -The power of introvert. .. may be I belong to this category if I would think about my core being but now being in BA profession it looks that now I changed a lot, I would say reading/listening books can bring a lot of changes in you. Now a days I listen to your archived podcasts during my drive to work again n again, every time I get different perspective from them in the context of my work. Yamo, many thanks for that. Now I look forward to read other books suggested above. Thanks for your valuable contributions to the BA community.

  6. […] 4 ->; Seven Audiobooks Every BA Must Listen to and How to Get One for FREE […]

  7. Swati Pitre says:

    Good article, Yamo.

  8. Rhodes says:

    I have listened to 4 from 7 books you have listed. These are very important books for BA role.These books really have great information.

  9. […] most watched TED talk of all-time) that distilled into a detailed manifesto in his book “Start with Why”. In an earlier post I had listed this as one of the seven books that business analysts must […]

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