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Summer Reading List: Books We've Read and Recommend

summer_reading_listToday is Memorial Day. A day to remember those who have given their lives for us, and a day to be with friends and family. To celebrate togetherness, and (hopefully) eat something fresh of the barbecue.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. The weather is warmer, and if you're anything like us, you find yourself winding down outside instead of in front of the television.

But what should you read? I asked my colleagues about the best business book they've read in the last year. Here's what they had to say. 

Jim Hopes, Chief Executive Officer

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

The premise of the book is that the most successful communicators are those who are adept at telling stories.  The business environment is replete with facts and figures thrust upon us by seemingly un-ending Power Point slides and voluminous presentations.  But research indicates the most effective way to connect, persuade, and to gain genuine interest in other people is to be an effective story teller.  Don’t tell me why I should do something, rather illustrate the impact of what you have to sell has on real people in real situations.  Tell me about how you changed a life or solved a pressing problem for someone.  People want to hear your story, not your data.

Dani Buckley, Inbound Marketing Consultant

The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential...in Business and in Life

You can be much more effective professionally (and personally) when you learn how to break goals down into manageable tasks and to be more focused when you work. I’ve learned some great new ways to do this, as well as some tried and true tips on how to create and maintain new habits. It’s an easy read and very applicable!

Emily Estey, VP/Senior Consultant

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

The book is about a lot of things, but mostly about vulnerability. Vulnerability is where innovation and creation begin.


John Henley, Chief Operating Officer

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change

This book is the result of a research project focused on influence. Specifically, looking at what those leaders who are effectively leading people and organizations in the direction they want are doing. The key finding of the book is that success relies on the capacity to systematically create rapid, profound, and sustainable changes in a handful of key behaviors. Not one, and not seven or eight behaviors, but a handful. The book breaks down the keys to influence into these three keys to influence:

  1. Focus and measure
  2. Find vital behaviors
  3. Engage all six sources of influence

Demrie Henry, Performance Consultant

The Pause Principle

This book teaches, defines and exemplifies the power of "stepping back to lean forward". Often times in business (and in life) we feel compelled to react instantaneously. And while there is need and great purpose for quick reactions, in business it's often best to pause, withdraw and reflect on the specific challenges and outcomes we're seeking before exercising swift reaction. This book is a quick easy read that will make you want to take a deep breath in the midst of complex, uncertain and challenging situations. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a process to grow professionally and/or personally!

Janie Worch, Senior Coach Online Trainer

Leaders Eat Last

This book was about building trust in a team and how if you can establish “a circle of trust”, you team will move mountains for you. It was very insightful.

Greg Giersch, VP Client Experience

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

Most have heard the ancient myth about Icarus, and how we shouldn’t get cocky and assume we can fly near the sun. We might even be familiar with the warning not to fly too low. But the big death scene is from flying too high, so most of us spend our careers flying low, feeling deceptively safe. Sure we don’t crash into the sea, but we never speak up, we never challenge, we never soar. Seth’s solution to avoid this conformity of flying low begins with taking the risk to create your art, and stand out.

Tina Rice, Course Keeper, Online Learning

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

We talk a lot about talent here at The Center for Sales Strategy, but what’s the true definition of talent? Talent has to co-exist within a pattern of behavior that allows that talent to surface. This book recounts various experiments in public and private schools, and goes deep into one chess coach’s teaching techniques. There’s definitely some good information here for trainers and sales coaches to extrapolate into their own coaching situations.

Mike Anderson, VP Consumer Insights and Communication

How to Deliver a TED Talk

This book encourages the presenter to boil an idea down to the bare essentials, and provide inspiring insight with an economy of words. And it helps any presenter accomplish in minutes what should not have cost the audience an hour.

What's on your summer reading list?

The Art of Asking Questions

Topics: Management, inbound marketing