The following is an overview of a few of my favorite books as of late. It is by no means a comprehensive list of my recent reads, but rather a “best of” summary. Please note that the commentary for each book is by no means my own language, but rather summaries and reviews of others.
Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher
I’ve reinvented my career, my interests, my life, many times over the past twenty years. This is the book I wish I had at the beginning of that long and often volatile journey. And now the entire world: technology, governments, the shifting landscapes of opportunity and success, are all turning upside down, forcing us to reinvent as individuals and as a culture. Along my own journey, I have read and encountered dozens of other successful leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, and mentors who I have learned the art of reinvention from. The journey has been intense. The obstacles were hard-fought. And the adventures that led to me now finally sharing it all in this book has been both painful and exhilarating. I describe specific techniques, share stories, tell the stories of others, and give the ultimate guide to not only how but why it is critical for people to master the skills of reinvention.
Contagious by Jonah Berger
What makes things popular? Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.
Learn Better by Ulrich Boser
For centuries, experts have argued that learning was about memorizing information: You’re supposed to study facts, dates, and details; burn them into your memory; and then apply that knowledge at opportune times. But this approach to learning isn’t nearly enough for the world that we live in today, and in Learn Better journalist and education researcher Ulrich Boser demonstrates that how we learn can matter just as much as what we learn. In this brilliantly researched book, Boser maps out the new science of learning, showing how simple techniques like comprehension check-ins and making material personally relatable can help people gain expertise in dramatically better ways. He covers six key steps to help you “learn how to learn,” all illuminated with fascinating stories like how Jackson Pollock developed his unique painting style and why an ancient Japanese counting device allows kids to do math at superhuman speeds. Boser’s witty, engaging writing makes this book feel like a guilty pleasure, not homework.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry
For the first time ever in a book, TalentSmart’s revolutionary program helps people identify their EQ skills, build these skills into strengths, and enjoy consistent performance in the pursuit of important life objectives. The book contains proven strategies from a decade-long effort to accurately measure and increase emotional intelligence. Trusted by upper-echelon leaders inside companies worldwide, these strategies will enable you to capitalize on the skills responsible for 58% of performance in all types of jobs.
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now-famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. As relevant as ever before, Dale Carnegie’s principles endure and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age.
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace applies the love language concept to the workplace. This book helps supervisors and managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout. Ideal for both the profit and non-profit sectors, the principles presented in this book have a proven history of success in businesses, schools, medical offices, churches, and industry.
Move Your Bus by Ron Clark
New York Times bestselling author and award-winning educator Ron Clark applies his successful leadership principles to the business world in this effective and accessible guidebook, perfect for any manager looking to inspire and motivate his or her team. Includes a foreword by bestselling author and Franklin Covey executive Sean Covey. Teamwork is crucial to the success of any business, and as acclaimed author and speaker Ron Clark illustrates, the members of any team are the key to unlocking success. Imagine a company as a bus filled with people who either help or hinder a team’s ability to move it forward: drivers (who steer the organization), runners (who consistently go above and beyond for the good of the organization), joggers (who do their jobs without pushing themselves), walkers (who are just getting pulled along), and riders (who hinder success and drag the team down). It’s the team leader’s job to recognize how members fall into these categories, encourage them to keep the “bus” moving by working together, and know when it’s time to kick the riders off.
Built to Last by Jim Collins
“This is not a book about charismatic visionary leaders. It is not about visionary product concepts or visionary products or visionary market insights. Nor is it about just having a corporate vision. This is a book about something far more important, enduring, and substantial. This is a book about visionary companies.” So write Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in this groundbreaking book that shatters myths, provides new insights and gives practical guidance to those who would like to build landmark companies that stand the test of time. Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Collins and Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies — they have an average age of nearly one hundred years and have outperformed the general stock market by a factor of fifteen since 1926 — and studied each company in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day — as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: “What makes the truly exceptional companies different from other companies?”
Good to Great by Jim Collins
To find the keys to greatness, Collins’s 21-person research team read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. The findings will surprise many readers and, quite frankly, upset others. The Challenge: Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning. But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
Great by Choice by Jim Collins
The new question: Ten years after the worldwide bestseller “Good to Great,” Jim Collins returns to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? In “Great by Choice,” Collins and his colleague, Morten T. Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times. The new study: “Great by Choice” distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.
Principles: Life & Work by Ray Dalio
In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.”
It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio-who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood-that he believes are the reason behind his success. In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.
He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way, he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
Originals by Adam Grant
In Originals, Adam Grant addresses the challenge of improving the world from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all? Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday
You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me. I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs–as much as anyone person can. In today’s culture…
- Blogs like “Gawker,” “Buzzfeed” and the “Huffington Post” drive the media agenda.
- Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines.
- Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see and watch–online and off.
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings, he seems made of flesh rather than of marble. In bestselling author Walter Isaacson’s vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin seems to turn to us from history’s stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. By bringing Franklin to life, Isaacson shows how he helped to define both his own time and ours. He was, during his 84-year life, America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, and business strategist, and he was also one of its most practical-though not most profound-political thinkers.
He proved by flying a kite that lightning was electricity, and he invented a rod to tame it; he sought practical ways to make stoves less smoky and commonwealths less corrupt; he organized neighborhood constabularies and international alliances, local lending libraries, and national legislatures; and he combined two types of lenses to create bifocals and two concepts of representation to foster the nation’s federal compromise. He was the only man who shaped all the founding documents of America: the Albany Plan of Union, the Declaration of Independence, the treaty of alliance with France, the peace treaty with England, and the Constitution. And he helped invent America’s unique style of homespun humor, democratic values, and philosophical pragmatism. But the most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself. America’s first great publicist, he was, in his life and in his writings, consciously trying to create a new American archetype. In the process, he carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities-and also the faults and biases-of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation-each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives-and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Thinking, Fast and Slow will transform the way you think about thinking.
Ask. by Ryan Levesque
Ask is based on the compelling premise that you should NEVER have to guess what your prospects and customers are thinking. The Ask Formula revealed in this book has been used to help build multi-million dollar businesses in 23 different industries, generating over $100 million dollars in sales in the process. You ‘ll discover why the Ask Formula is arguably THE most powerful way to discover EXACTLY what people want to buy and how to give it to them – and in a way that makes people fall in love with you and your company. In this tell-all book, expert online marketer Ryan Levesque (featured in CNBC, Yahoo Finance, The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mass Market Retailer, Bloomberg Businessweek and more) turns everything you know about customer surveys on its head.
Disrupted by Dan Lyons
For twenty-five years Dan Lyons was a magazine writer at the top of his profession–until one Friday morning when he received a phone call: Poof. His job no longer existed. “I think they just want to hire younger people,” his boss at Newsweek told him. Fifty years old and with a wife and two young kids, Dan was, in a word, screwed. Then an idea hit. Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the tech explosion. Why not join it? HubSpot, a Boston start-up, was flush with $100 million in venture capital. They offered Dan a pile of stock options for the vague role of “marketing fellow.” What could go wrong? HubSpotters were true believers: They were making the world a better place … by selling email spam. The office vibe was frat house meets cult compound: The party began at 4:30 on Friday and lasted well into the night; “shower pods” became hook-up dens; a push-up club met at noon in the lobby, while nearby, in the “content factory,” Nerf gun fights raged. Groups went on “walking meetings,” and Dan’s absentee boss sent cryptic emails about employees who had “graduated” (read: been fired). In the middle of all this was Dan, exactly twice the age of the average HubSpot employee, and literally old enough to be the father of most of his co-workers, sitting at his desk on his bouncy-ball “chair.”
Sensemaking by Christian Madsbjerg
Humans have become subservient to algorithms. Every day brings a new Moneyball fix–a math whiz who will crack open an industry with clean fact-based analysis rather than human intuition and experience. As a result, we have stopped thinking. Machines do it for us. Christian Madsbjerg argues that our fixation with data often masks stunning deficiencies, and the risks for humankind are enormous. Blind devotion to number crunching imperils our businesses, our educations, our governments, and our life savings.
Too many companies have lost touch with the humanity of their customers while marginalizing workers with liberal arts-based skills. Contrary to popular thinking, Madsbjerg shows how many of today’s biggest success stories stem not from “quant” thinking but from deep, nuanced engagement with culture, language, and history. He calls his method sensemaking. In this landmark book, Madsbjerg lays out five principles for how business leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals can use it to solve their thorniest problems. He profiles companies using sensemaking to connect with new customers and takes readers inside the work process of sensemaking “connoisseurs” like investor George Soros, architect Bjarke Ingels, and others. Both practical and philosophical, Sensemaking is a powerful rejoinder to corporate groupthink and an indispensable resource for leaders and innovators who want to stand out from the pack.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. By forcing us to apply a more selective criterion for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t. Drawing on research from around the world, Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment–and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that’s already here.
To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works in sales. Every day more than fifteen million people earn their keep by persuading someone else to make a purchase. But dig deeper and a startling truth emerges: Yes, one in nine Americans works in sales. But so do the other eight. Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.
To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds. Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book–one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.
Platform by Cynthia Johnson
In the modern world, influence is everything and personal branding equals influence. Platform is the why-to, how-to handbook by top expert Cynthia Johnson for everyone who wants to develop and manage a personal brand. In Platform, Johnson explains the process of going from unknown to influencer by achieving personal proof, social proof, recognition, and association. Johnson herself went from an on-staff social media manager to social media influencer, entrepreneur, and marketing thought-leader in just three years using her process of accelerated brand development, continuous brand management, and strategic growth. Fans of #GirlBoss and #AskGaryVee, who wonder how their favorite influencers found their voices and built their audiences, will find the answers here and discover that the process is technical, creative, tactical, and much easier than they might have expected.
Dryer’s English by Benjamin Dryer
We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help. As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike-not to mention his followers on social media-for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.
As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and non-rules of grammar, including why it’s OK to begin a sentence with “And” or “But” and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including “very,” “rather,” “of course,” and the dreaded “actually.” Dreyer will let you know whether “alright” is all right (sometimes) and even help you brush up on your spelling-though, as he notes, “The problem with mnemonic devices is that I can never remember them.”
Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, this book will prove to be invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and-perhaps best of all-an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
When The Fountainhead was first published, Ayn Rand”s daringly original literary vision and her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism, won immediate worldwide interest and acclaim. This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him. This edition contains a special afterword by Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Peikoff, which includes excerpts from Ayn Rand’s own notes on the making of The Fountainhead. As fresh today as it was then, here is a novel about a hero-and about those who try to destroy him.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart–and her journal–to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy. Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B. We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.
The Revenge of Analog by David Sax
A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We’ve begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, records, and stationery have become cool again. Behold the Revenge of Analog. David Sax has uncovered story after story of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who’ve found a market selling not apps or virtual solutions but real, tangible things. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music allegedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade. Even the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on pen and paper to drive their brightest ideas. Sax’s work reveals a deep truth about how humans shop, interact and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with first-rate reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life-and the robust future of the real world outside it.
KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age by Mark W. Schaefer
In today’s world, there is a permanent advantage to becoming known in your field. Those who are known get the customers, the better jobs, and the invitations to exclusive opportunities. But can anybody become known? In this path-finding book, author Mark Schaefer provides a step-by-step plan followed by the most successful people in diverse careers like banking, education, real estate, construction, fashion, and more. With amazing case studies, dozens of exercises, and inspiring stories, KNOWN is the first book its kind, providing a path to personal business success in the digital age.
Find Your Why by Simon Sinek
With Start With Why, Simon Sinek inspired a movement to build a world in which the vast majority of us can feel safe while we are at work and fulfilled when we go home at night. However, many people have had trouble bringing the book’s message into their own career and company. Now, along with two of his colleagues, Peter Docker and David Mead, he has created a guide to the most important step any business can take: finding your why. This easy-to-follow guide starts with the search for your personal why and then expands to helping your colleagues find your organization’s why. With detailed instructions on every stage in the process, the book also answers common concerns, such as: What if my why sounds like my competitor’s? Can you have more than one why? And, if my work doesn’t match my why, what do I do? Whether you’re entry-level or a CEO, whether your team is run by the founder or a recent hire, these simple steps will lead you on a path to a more fulfilling life and long-term success for you and your colleagues.
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek is an optimist, a visionary thinker, and a leader of the cultural revolution of WHY. His second book is the natural extension of Start with Why, expanding his ideas at the organizational level. Determining a company’s WHY is crucial, but only the beginning. The next step is how do you get people on board with your WHY? How do you inspire deep trust and commitment to the company and one another? He cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives because they know others would do the same for them. It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what. Drawing on powerful and inspiring stories, Sinek shows how to sustain an organization’s WHY while continually adding people to the mix.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way — and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY. Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not money or profit– those are always results. WHY does your organization exist? WHY does it do the things it does? WHY do customers really buy from one company or another? WHY are people loyal to some leaders, but not others? Starting with WHY works in big business and small business, in the nonprofit world and in politics. Those who start with WHY never manipulate, they inspire. And the people who follow them don’t do so because they have to; they follow because they want to. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.
Together is Better by Simon Sinek
This unique and delightful little book makes the point that together is better in a quite unexpected way. Simon Sinek, bestselling author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last, blends the wisdom he has gathered from around the world with a heartwarming, richly illustrated original fable.
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler
Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments. Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber. Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policymakers are both profound and entertaining.
Hit Makers by Derek Thompson
Drawing on ancient history and modern headlines-from vampire lore and the Mickey Mouse watch to Facebook and Games of Thrones-Thompson offers practical lessons for how anybody can make a hit and become a smarter consumer of culture. In doing so, he shows how the universe of attention is connected. An investigation into the science of pop music uncovers the secrets of JFK and Obama’s speechwriters. An exclusive new history of Fifty Shades of Grey reveals why “going viral” is a myth. HIT MAKERS not only investigates the cultural phenomena that make up headlines. It reveals the desires that make us all human. Hits enchant us, but they also hold up a mirror to our nature. We are living through an industrial revolution in attention. We used to simply play the hits. Now the hits play us back. Film, music, and media companies are using new tools to learn what makes their consumers tick. Hit Makers pulls back the curtain on this new world order to make all of us smarter about what people want and how things catch fire. From the dawn of Impressionist art to the future of Snapchat, from small-scale Etsy entrepreneurs to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens-and where genius lives.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinber
Smart entrepreneurs know that the key to success isn’t the originality of your offering, the brilliance of your team, or how much money you raise. It’s how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers (or, for a free service, users). That’s called traction, and it makes everything else easier-fund-raising, hiring, press, partnerships, acquisitions. Talk is cheap, but traction is hard evidence that you’re on the right path. Traction will teach you the nineteen channels you can use to build a customer base, and how to pick the right ones for your business. It draws on inter-views with more than forty successful founders, including Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (reddit), Paul English (Kayak), and Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot). You’ll learn, for example, how to:
- Find and use offline ads and other channels your competitors probably aren’t using
- Get targeted media coverage that will help you reach more customer
- Boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns by automating staggered sets of prompts and updates
- Improve your search engine rankings and advertising through online tools and research
Weinberg and Mares know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; every startup faces unique challenges and will benefit from a blend of these nineteen traction channels. They offer a three-step framework (called Bullseye) to figure out which ones will work best for your business. But no matter how you apply them, the lessons and examples in Traction will help you create and sustain the growth your business desperately needs.
The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth by James Altucher
We are living in an epic period of change, danger, and opportunity. The economy is crashing and booming every few years. People are getting fired and replaced by computers and Chinese workers. The stock market crashes with regularity. Every “fix” from the government makes things worse. The Old World has been demolished… and people are desperate for answers.
Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff
How did salesforce.com grow from a start up in a rented apartment into the world’s fastest growing software company in less than a decade? For the first time, Marc Benioff, the visionary founder, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how salesforce.com not only survived the dotcom implosion of 2001, but went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a $46-billion dollar industry, Benioff’s story will help business leaders and entrepreneurs stand out, innovate better, and grow faster in any economic climate.
Trailblazer by Marc Benioff
In Trailblazer, Benioff gives readers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of one of the world’s most admired companies. He reveals how Salesforce’s core values—trust, customer success, innovation, and equality—and commitment to giving back have become the company’s greatest competitive advantage and the most powerful engine of its success. Because no matter what business you’re in, Benioff says, values are the bedrock of a resilient company culture that inspires all employees, at every level, to do the best work of their lives. Along the way, he shares insights and best practices for anyone who wants to cultivate a company culture positioned to thrive in the face of the inevitable disruption ahead.
Influencer by Brittany Hennessy
As nightlife blogger, then social media strategist, and now Senior Director of Influencer Strategy and Talent Partnerships at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, Brittany Hennessy has seen the role of influencers evolve and expand into something that few could have imagined when social media first emerged. She has unrivaled insight into where the branded content industry was, where it is, and where it’s going. In this book she’ll reveal how to:
- Build an audience and keep them engaged
- Package your brand and pitch your favorite companies
- Monetize your influence and figure out how much to charge
Hook Point by Brendan Kane
Hook Point: How to Stand Out in a 3-Second World, by out of the box thinker Brendan Kane, breaks down the most effective strategies to generate new opportunities, innovate and scale your business, and create a compelling brand—both online and off—so you can thrive in the new micro-attention world in which we live.
Breaking the Social Media Prism by Chris Bail
In an era of increasing social isolation, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are among the most important tools we have to understand each other. We use social media as a mirror to decipher our place in society but, as Chris Bail explains, it functions more like a prism that distorts our identities, empowers status-seeking extremists, and renders moderates all but invisible. Breaking the Social Media Prism challenges common myths about echo chambers, foreign misinformation campaigns, and radicalizing algorithms, revealing that the solution to political tribalism lies deep inside ourselves.
The Content Trap by Bharat Anand
Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount
Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina
Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Growing Your Business Can Be As Fun & Easy As Giving Candy to Strangers by Stan Holden
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki