It’s estimated that in the U.S., more than 1,000 new business books are published every month. With that massive a quantity, it’s no wonder that professionals eager to leverage the latest business insights find the task of picking the most valuable of these books a bit overwhelming.
We can help! The business bankers at Investors Community Bank are happy to share eight of their most frequently recommended books, a collection of highly regarded titles of both old and new books, and spanning a range of topics that include team building, public speaking, value propositions and more.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
By Patrick Lencioni
This book is designed to help leaders identify and quickly correct behaviors that tend to erode the effectiveness of teams. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Amazon’s #1 seller in the category of Human Resources & Personnel Management – also outlines important goals and responsibilities of those who are on the team, and on what it takes to be an effective team leader. Specifically, the author offers practical and actionable instructions for overcoming tendencies that are common among teams, such as lack of trust, fear of confrontation, absence of commitment and lack of accountability.
Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream
By Steve Van Remortel
Vanilla is thought, by comparison to more exotic flavors, to be boring and relatively nondescript ice cream flavor. The author of this book likens it to companies that lack a distinctive difference that could help them stand out from their competitors. The key to achieving a difference that’s meaningful to prospects, the author says, is in having the right talent on board, and wrapping that talent around a strategy that clearly defines your product’s value proposition. The underlying philosophy of the book can be summed up with the mantra, “Without strategy, your talent is not focused. Without talent, your strategy is not executed.”
Start With Why
By Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek’s TED Talk of the same name is the third most popular TED video of all time. And for good reason: Sinek’s practical advice, spread across five books to date, has inspired millions. In this book (his first), he starts with the question, “Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others?” And that question led Sinek to realize something powerful: that the most successful people only buy into a product (or service or movement or idea) once they understand the “why” behind it.
This very simple idea, he says, provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired.
Speak and Get Results
By Sandy Linver
There are many reasons people fear speaking in public, yet contrary to what we’ve often been told, it’s far from being #1 on the list of people’s fears. In fact, some people seem to thrive on speaking in front of audiences, and they do it with energy, confidence, and the ability to persuade. What does it take to become comfortable with sharing your thoughts and ideas with others in a live setting? The author teaches readers how to motivate an audience, how to craft an engaging open, how to use your body and voice (and how not to), and how to handle tough questions and comments.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
By Robert T. Kiyosaki
This book has been providing guidance to business people around the world for more than 20 years and tops the charts as the #1 in the category of Personal Finance. The author uses his personal experience with his father (the “poor” father) and the father of a friend (the “rich” one) to shape his own perspective on money and investing. The book dispels the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the important difference between “...working for money and having your money work for you.”
A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas
By Warren Berger
Written by an innovation expert, this book shows that one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is the simple, under-appreciated tool of questioning. He suggests that by asking the right questions, people can pinpoint and solve problems; questioning can even be the impetus for groundbreaking ideas. The author outlines how professionals can master the “art of inquiry,” asking the questions no one else is asking and, in turn, finding important answers – an approach many of today’s most successful companies are taking.
The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
By Patrick M. Lencioni
This book discusses the importance of organizational health, and how a company’s vitality is the foundation on which any success will be based. Unified management, culture and operations are all critical to a company’s health, and those that work to achieve this unity typically outperform their competition. Ensuring the company’s health, the author says, is also the best way to ensure employee retention and productivity. This book is highly readable, with stories, tips and anecdotes from the author’s experiences consulting with corporations large and not-so-large.
Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
By Bob Chapman
If creating positive morale, boosting loyalty, fostering creativity and improving business performance are important to you, read this book. The key to all these, the authors say, is to treat your employees as you’d treat your family – as individuals, each deserving of time and effort, and each of whom should be viewed as a critical component of the whole. To demonstrate his point, the author recounts how, during the Great Recession, rather than improve results by laying off employees, together they found ways to cut costs, with the result of record employee morale.
Every business owner occasionally needs inspiration and insights to help them move the needle or get through a tough challenge. The ideas captured in these eight top business books could be just what you’re looking for to help your business make the most of its people and generate “next level” revenue.
Like these authors, Investors Community Bank’s business bankers offer practical guidance to help businesses thrive. To learn more about what we can do to support your business, download 8 Ways Your Banker Can Impact Your Business.