“Salvation is certainly among the reasons I read. Reading and writing have always pulled me out of the darkest experiences in my life. Stories have given me a place in which to lose myself. They have allowed me to remember. They have allowed me to forget. They have allowed me to imagine different endings and better possible worlds.”
Roxane Gay in Bad Feminist
The following are just some of my favorite business/psychology books. I highly recommend these and that you make reading new books a part of your established routine. There is nothing more helpful than remaining a life-long learner so you have more to bring to every conversation and additional ideas to all you seek to accomplish. I hope you enjoy this book list and I commit to add new books periodically.
Getting Naked by Patrick Lencione
Of all the great business books I have read, this is one of my top favorites (and, no this book is not about hot-tubbing!) In it, Lencione describes a value-based approach for doing business in which you immediately jump in with a prospect as if you are already their service provider, while being real with them about what you know and don’t know. Using a clever story, Lencione illustrates how it’s possible to charge premium prices because providing copious value is evident immediately to your clients in the style and volume of service you offer them from the moment you meet them.
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
This book is one of my favorites on workplace culture. In it CEO Tony Hsieh outlines many of the practical ways he and his team at Zappos have implemented changes to reflect their mission to “create a wow experience through service.”
Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together by Christine Comaford
This book is very much aligned with our work. It is about how we unconsciously scare one another in ways that cause disconnection and diminish our ability to access our individual and collective wisdom. When we undo this pattern, we have brilliant teams.
The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
This is one way for people to begin to understand some of the main concepts of Alfred Adler’s psychology model and their value in today’s world. LifeWork Systems’ culture transformation framework is applied Adlerian psychology so I appreciate that this book provides some insight. The authors share in the forward of this book that Adler was at least 100 years ahead of his time; something I’ve been saying since the mid 1980s. That means that his psychology is just now becoming relevant today.
The Go-Giver by Bob Berg and John David Mann
This book is a parable that emphasizes the importance of providing real value to your customers. The more value you provide, the greater the return. The principles in this book have become core principles in my business and life.
100 Things Every presenter Needs to Know About People By Susan Weinschenk: As a speaker, I am always trying to get a little better each time and this book helped.
The Purple Cow by Seth Godin
I am a fan of this book because it emphasizes the importance of uniqueness and how honoring it in yourself and the customers you serve can make a world of difference.
A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink
This book contains great lessons for anybody that consults or has clients. Specifically, the value of becoming completely open and honest with your clients, and the power this has in forming deep bonds and long lasting business relationships. After reading this, I began to understand the value of right-brain creativity in today’s business world.
Work The System by Sam Carpenter
This book is the reason I changed my company’s name from Expanding Human Potential to LifeWork Systems. On a personal level, the book helped me apply systems to the operations of my business in a way other books have not. Taking the systems mindset has helped me increase the efficiency of my business by eliminating recurring problems that took up way more time than needed. The book is a must read for business owners who are tired of spending their days putting out fires.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive, he can achieve.” Same is true to whatever the mind of a woman can conceive too. This book made an impression on me because he promotes the power of our minds and how to use them in service to our highest visions.
Megatrends by John Naisbitt
Even though this book is 30 years old, it has some of the most profound information about business and societal trends that are especially true today. Megatrends helps me understand the WHY behind the trends and to discover the many ways America is restructuring, to understand how the pieces fit together and to try to see what the new information society looks like.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
This is a story of two different dads and the way they viewed the business world. The book really opened my mind to think differently about business and ways of viewing pursuing it. This book helped me to step out and take risks that expand my limits.
Failing Forward by John Maxwell: This is a book that helps me see that failing is not a bad thing; it is just a stepping stone if you use it correctly.
The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
I enjoy learning new ways to set up and run a business, including looking closely at the systems and roles needed.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris: This book shifts paradigms by reframing the belief many have that to be successful, we must work hard, for long hours.
The Strengths Finder and First Break All the Rules by Gallup
These books demonstrate how using your strengths and being connected to employees generates higher revenues and results in lower staff turnover.
The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
I recommend this book to many business leaders as a book to share with staff. If every person would live by the suggestions within this short but very wise book, it would be a very different world. The four agreements are 1. Be impeccable with your word 2. Don’t make assumptions 3. Don’t take things personally and 4. Always do your best.
The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod
This book may include many practices people have already heard of as individual strategies but don’t necessarily incorporate into their lives. After reading it, I was inspired to take a small amount of time each day to use the systems in the book and make them priority practices until I form a new habit.
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much–just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work–to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in a trance of unworthiness is a first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully. I found this book to be helpful in getting back on track internally so that we can live effectively in our life and work.
Daring Greatly, The Gifts of Imperfection and Rising Strong (all) by Brene Brown
Not only do I greatly benefit from Brene Brown’s books, but also her YouTube clips and TED talks. Brown is a smart, innovative change agent who understands how people trip themselves up socially and emotionally because of double binds they encounter when fear and courage go to war within each person. I highly recommend her books because they allow each person to consider old programming we can let go of to live “whole-heartedly.”
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey (and 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey)
These books are two I read many years ago. I used the teen book extensively with high school students in large, comprehensive school reform projects we conducted because the information within them are timeless, highly practical and support personal responsibility and values that help bring about success and trust in the lives of people. I still remember the 7 habits and use them regularly years after reading these books.