One key to beating the competition is to adopt a strategy that sets your business apart. It\u2019s important, now more than ever, that business people be aware of how competitors are marketing, hiring, protecting their intellectual property, leveraging the social media wave, deploying leadership techniques and the full complement of techniques it takes to be successful in a highly competitive business landscape. When browsing the business books at the bookstore, online, or even at the local public library, I look for titles that not only catch my eye, but will resonate with CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs and their need to succeed. Below are 10 strategy books published in the past year. These are books that while they may not have strategy in their titles, are what businesses need in the 21st century to round out all aspects of growing a business. 10 Strategy Books to Beat the Competition "Hiring For Attitude" by Mark Murphy. Nearly half (46%) of all new hires, according to the book, fail within 18 months. An overwhelming majority of those failed hires do so because of attitude -- not skills or talent. Attitude sets your company apart from the competition. Employers need to make every hire count for maximum productivity and profit. Why this book is important: This book will show you how to hire right. Don\u2019t think for a minute that because the unemployment rate remains high in the United States it\u2019s easy to find the right employees. It isn\u2019t. The marketplace is highly competitive when it comes to finding, hiring and retaining great employees that fit with your company\u2019s culture, mission and goals. "The Rebel Entrepreneur" by Jonathan Moules. The rules of business have changed. We do business in an age when it\u2019s critical to rethink your business often in order to stay on track and ahead of the competition. Yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. Why this book is important: This book tells you how to start a business but more importantly, how to succeed. People never go into business with the intention of going out of business\u2014yet that is what happens to most. "Breaking The Fear Barrier" by Tom Rieger. \u201cA company\u2019s worst enemy is not always the competition. Sometimes it\u2019s the fear that lives within its own walls.\u201d The Great Recession may be over, but the uncertain economy, divided politics in Washington, and the rapid rate of change in our personal and work lives only leads to more fear. That\u2019s why it is necessary to identify and remove the fear that exists in your company. Why this book is important: Fear is a barrier to success. Remove the fear and transform your business. This is one of the most important business lessons you can ever read. "Harvesting Intangible Assets" by Andrew J. Sherman. In today\u2019s economy, every company wants to maximize profit. That means being able to recognize and act upon the wealth of revenue-producing opportunities hiding just below the strategic surface\u2014intangible assets. Why this book is important: Also referred to as intellectual property management, companies need to make the most of everything they have to offer in order to remain competitive. It can make all the difference in the bottom line. "High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service" by Micah Solomon. If you\u2019ve been in business for any length of time, meaning pre-2008, then you know that the way you\u2019ve always served your customers may not be working as effectively as it once did. Why this book is important: Social media, self-service technologies and the rise of mobile smartphones is disrupting traditional customer service for many companies. Customers are becoming more and more socially empowered. This book shows you how to maintain your company\u2019s customer service edge against the competition and create loyal customer advocates. "Likeable Business" by Dave Kerpen. In today\u2019s socially-oriented business world, it pays to be likeable. In fact, it\u2019s essential to be a \u201clikeable leader of a likeable business.\u201d Customers deserve a \u201clikeable\u201d experience every time they interact with your company. Why this book is important: This book presents 11 strategies for organizations of all sizes on how to be likeable. Is there a return on investment for being likeable? Yes. Think: growth, profits and success. A win-win for everyone. "The Plugged-In Manager" by Terri L. Griffith. This book isn\u2019t just for business people with the word "manager" in their job title. The book is for CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs too. Today, to be successful in business, you must be \u201cplugged in\u201d on all levels within your company. Why this book is important: Being \u201cplugged in\u201d means being able to swiftly adapt when you see new opportunities and beat the competition to the next great business idea. You can only do that with a committed team, and for that you must understand your people, and what drives employees in the 21st century. Showing they are valued and respected can count for more than pay, and help you build a stronger organization. "Lead From The Heart" by Mark C. Crowley. Business is changing. Work is changing. Leadership is changing. More than half of all workers hate their jobs. The heart is the driving force of human achievement\u2014and it will drive extraordinary performance from employees. Why this book is important: The book shows you how to seek authentic employee engagement by recognizing the human being that exists in every person you work with. Lead From the Heart is about developing, honoring and valuing people individually, and making people feel connected to work and the company mission. "Successful LinkedIn Marketing" by Viveka von Rosen. A step-by-step guide to everything you ever wanted to know about LinkedIn. For CEOs and business owners it is essential to be on LinkedIn with an up-to-date profile page and company page -- and more. LinkedIn, especially for those in B2B businesses, is no longer an option for business people who want to be successful. Why this book is important: \u00a0This book guides you through LinkedIn so you and your company can stand out in the crowd. "Return On Influence" by Mark W. Schaefer. As the author of the book states: \u201cWe are on the cusp of a marketing revolution. And it\u2019s being led by YOU.\u201d This quote really sums it up. How you do business is changing. How you market your business is changing. Today it\u2019s about influence\u2014being recognized as an influencer and marketing with influence. Is your company on board and an active participant in the marketing revolution? Why this book is important: Social media and social business strategies are here to stay, and your competitors are using them or thinking about using them. Don\u2019t let yourself or your company get left behind in these changing business times. \u00a0Social business strategies are part of the bigger picture -- the broader strategy a company sets. \u00a0When a company creates positive engagement from the top on down customers become advocates of your products and services; and your employees\u00a0and the business will\u00a0thrive. Conclusion When developing your business strategy, take into account all aspects of growing and running a successful business -- that's what it takes to stay at least two steps ahead of the competition at all times. Now you may think these books are about marketing, hiring, leadership, social media and the like. \u00a0But they really are \u00a0strategy books that will show you how to survive and profit in today\u2019s competitive business environment.