The Business Week Best-Seller List

The bookstores call it ''self-help.'' But the genre's avalanche of advice testifies to the large number of folks eager to lend you a hand.

Consider Nos. 7 and 13 on this month's hardback list: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader and The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Author John C. Maxwell is a Christian minister who heads several nonprofit and for-profit leadership-training outfits. From his INJOY Web site, you can get newsletters, enroll in conferences and forums, and purchase audio tapes and more than 20 books.

But are Maxwell's maxims anything new? His 21 ''laws'' will seem familiar to aficionados of the genre. Leaders know how to communicate, for example, and they find a way to win. Moreover, axioms are highlighted by anecdotes featuring many of the same coaches, military figures, and business executives that populate other such books.

Maxwell's somewhat overlapping ''qualities'' include character, communication, and vision. While some of his formulations are crafty (''charisma'' gives instruction on how to make a good first impression), most encourage readers to develop desirable traits through self-examination.

If you need reminders that ''trust is the foundation of leadership'' or want character-building drills that teach you to ''face the music,'' both books can be helpful. But please--don't get too inspired. America has enough self-help helpers already.



1 WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. (Putnam $19.95) Learning to accept change.

2 THE NUDIST ON THE LATE SHIFT by Po Bronson (Random House $25) Silicon Valley's curious ways.

3 THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Suze Orman (Crown $23) Practical and ''spiritual'' steps for managing money.

4 BUSINESS @ THE SPEED OF THOUGHT by Bill Gates with Collins Hemingway (Warner $30) A detailed guide to the fast-emerging e-business age.

5 THE COURAGE TO BE RICH by Suze Orman (Riverhead $24.95) The rites of passage--and their financial consequences.

6 THE SILICON BOYS by David A. Kaplan (Morrow $27) The superrich are different from you and me.

7 THE 21 INDISPENSABLE QUALITIES OF A LEADER by John C. Maxwell (Thomas Nelson $14.99) Transforming yourself ''from the inside out.''

8 FIRST, BREAK ALL THE RULES by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman (Simon & Schuster $25) A Gallup investigation into managerial success.

9 THE ROARING 2000s by Harry S. Dent Jr. (Simon & Schuster $25) Why the good times won't go away.

10 WHY WE BUY by Paco Underhill (Simon & Schuster $25) An anthropologist offers a ''science of shopping.''

11 THE LEXUS AND THE OLIVE TREE by Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux $27.50) How globalization is transforming the world, by The New York Times's foreign-affairs columnist.

12 PERMISSION MARKETING by Seth Godin (Simon & Schuster $24) Give customers an incentive to hear your message, says a Yahoo! executive.

13 THE 21 IRREFUTABLE LAWS OF LEADERSHIP by John C. Maxwell (Thomas Nelson $17.99) A minister's codification.

14 HIDE YOUR ASSETS AND DISAPPEAR by Edmund J. Pankau (HarperCollins $22) Get lost--and shake your creditors, says a private eye.

15 SELLING THE INVISIBLE by Harry Beckwith (Warner $17) A collection of bite-size lessons on marketing.


1 THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, and William D. Danko, PhD (Pocket Books $14) The simple ways of the wealthy among us.

2 THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Stephen R. Covey (Fireside $14) Habitually popular.

3 RICH DAD, POOR DAD by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter, C.P.A. (TechPress $15.95) Teaching your kids the rules of money that the rich play by.

4 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING MONEY AND INVESTING by Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel (Fireside $15.95) Concise explanations enriched with graphics.

5 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT GUIDE by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $13) The online duo puts it on paper.

6 THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER by Kenneth Blanchard, PhD, and Spencer Johnson, M.D. (Berkley $12.95) Three management techniques, conveyed in brief story form.

7 BARRON'S DICTIONARY OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT TERMS by John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman (Barron's $13.95) What is an oligopsony, anyway?

8 THE 1999 WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? by Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press $16.95) The enduring job-search bible.

9 GETTING TO YES by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin $12.95) A Harvard team's step-by-step guide to conflict resolution.

10 PERSONAL FINANCE FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson (IDG Books $19.99) Lighthearted primer.

11 HOME BUYING FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown (IDG Books $16.99) Getting your dream house.

12 THE E MYTH REVISITED by Michael E. Gerber (HarperBusiness $15) Starting and maintaining a small business.

13 DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF AT WORK by Richard Carlson, PhD (Hyperion $11.95) Methods for minimizing stress and conflict.

14 THE GOAL by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox (North River Press $19.95) Bringing company strategies in line with your No. 1 purpose: making money.

15 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT WORKBOOK by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $13) ''So where do I find stocks?'' and other queries, asked and answered.

BUSINESS WEEK's Best-Seller List is based on a survey of chain and independent booksellers that carry a broad selection of books on economics, management, sales and marketing, small business, investing, personal finance, and careers. Well over 1,000 retail outlets nationwide are represented. Current rankings are based on a weighted analysis of unit sales in August.

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