During my Searchfunder livestream on Due Diligence War stories a member suggested I riff off my top 5 books on due diligence (livestream link here: https://www.searchfunder.com/event/view/329).

Top 5 Books on the Due Diligence Process:

1) Buyout by Rick Rickersten: Chapter 3 - Avoiding Deal Hell - tells an amazing story of diligence related to a fancy pinky ring on the owner of a Midwest manufacturing business. You'll never forget the story.

2) The Middle Ground by Brent Beshore (pdf no longer available online. drop your email in the comments and I'll share it with you): A look at several major deal negotiations from the buyer side, the seller side , and the "middle ground".

3) How to Win Friends and Influence People: There is no business without this book in my opinion. The one lesson that resonates most is how to bring attention to (a seller/broker/lawyer's) issues indirectly to maintain the relationship

4) Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun by Reginald Lewis: I believe all guys and gals should have fun! Don't you? Reggie goes through meticulous detail on how he went through several deal processes and the pain and analysis needed to get the process right

5) Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra (HBS professor): Deepak was my favorite HBS professor because of his calm demeanor but laser sharp mind in all areas of negotiation. His first (of many) books breaks apart negotiations in a way that allows even an amateur to have an understanding. Solid read.

Now I ask you to share your top books? I'd love to be challenged and I'd love to learn of new books I should add to my bookshelf.

Here was my thinking on choosing the books I did:

I think due diligence has parts. And each part is important and to get all the critical parts right - you need several distinct skills:

- business valuation

- negotiation

- psychology / how to work with people

- deal knowledge (whether your own experience or experience others have shared and you've digested)

- luck / patience / steadfastness

Mastering these skills is how you master due diligence. I believe the valuation part is a fundamental skill and doesn't need a book. The other areas are covered specifically in the books I chose.

What do you think? (leave your thoughts in the comments)