10 Inspiring Books Everyone Who Wants To Succeed Should Read

10 Inspiring Books Everyone Who Wants To Succeed Should Read

By Lifestyles | The Trent on January 26, 2019
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Reading is a powerful daily habit that can mean the difference between success and mediocrity. It’s a discipline that helps winning individuals push harder, further, and faster than those around them. Not only does reading bring enlightenment through exposure to the opinions, learnings, and stories of others; it’s also exercise for the mind. If you read daily–or want to–here are two dozen ideas about titles to get your hands on next.

1. Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch

“A key quote from this book that has stuck with me throughout my career is: ‘I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.’ As I’ve encountered challenges throughout my career, I’ve learned to think of them as lessons, taking into consideration what went wrong and how I can improve as I continue to grow as a professional. Some of my own personal and professional growth, as well as that of our company, has come as a result of mistakes and losses. Once the pain has subsided, real creativity, fight, improvement, and growth have resulted.”

–Kurt Heikkinen, president and CEO of Montage, a recruiting technology provider used by 100 of the Fortune 500 companies

2. Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard

“This book focuses on authentic, servant-oriented managerial leadership. Ken Blanchard presented these concepts to my leadership team at Microsoft and it transformed how we planned, operated, and encouraged staff to build skills and continually improve performance. It provides a strong set of leadership principles and managerial methods to create truly high-performing organizations. Every leader can benefit from reading this one.”

–Dustin Grosse, chief marketing and strategy officer at Nintex, a provider of process management and automation with more than 8,000 customers in more than 90 countries

3. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

“Not only is this a great history lesson on the founding of the U.S., but also an example of how leaders can build a lasting legacy. Alexander Hamilton’s life shows that no matter how humble your upbringing is, with curiosity, hard work, and perseverance you can succeed. Hamilton survived a troubled upbringing, hurricane, and war, and then went on to build longstanding institutions like the Treasury, the Coast Guard, the Navy, and many of today’s tax policies. His life is a reminder that you can overcome any obstacle and become stronger because of it. It’s also enjoyable to read and compare to the musical.”

–Jeff VonDeylen, CEO of Ensono, a global hybrid IT services provider with more than 2,000 employees in six countries and a 100 percent client referral rating

4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

“In reading the book–and periodically coming back to it–I have found it invaluable as a way of bringing to consciousness the situations in which I’m likely to fall prey to biases using the two systems of thought posed by Kahneman: System 1 being the mostly intuitive, unconscious way we navigate the world and make quick decisions; and System 2 being the more analytical mode that is slower and more focused. As I consider the daily flow of business decisions, I’ve been able to catch myself making irrational decisions precisely because of those biases, which has helped me course-correct. It’s also allowed me to recognize similar patterns of thinking in others, and to challenge and coach people’s thinking by making them aware of our common, and uncommonly stubborn, patterns of irrational thought.”

–Adrian Slobin, CEO of the Nerdery, a digital business consultancy serving nearly 200 businesses across industries

5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

“Why is a comic science fiction series my go-to recommendation for insights on how to be successful in business? Two words: ‘Don’t panic.’ Throughout my career, from working in global technology organizations to founding multiple technology startups, there have been countless situations where panicking would’ve been a natural response. But when you panic, you are unable to make sound decisions. As a software entrepreneur, you learn that this ride isn’t a straight line up and to the right. It’s a rollercoaster. When you’re riding the rollercoaster and your head is upside down … you should not panic. As a bonus, this book is an absolutely entertaining read that continues to inspire both my creativity and my curiosity.”

–Doron Gordon, founder and CEO of Samanage, an award-winning, cloud-based service-management platform that automates and streamlines service delivery across more than 2,000 organizations worldwide

6. The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly

“With unemployment holding steady at 3.9 percent, everyone is concerned about the war for talent. The Dream Manager is a great book for any manager fighting this war. The book explains how helping employees meet their own personal goals can dramatically increase retention in your company. After reading it, it inspired me to sit down with my own team and talk with them about their personal dreams and how we could work together to achieve them. And in the process, I learned some tips for resetting my own dreams and goals, reigniting my passion for them. The book is a quick and easy read where the core concepts are told through a fable, followed by actionable steps you can take to make dreams a part of your company’s core curriculum.”

–Mike Santoro, president and partner at Walker Sands Communications, a six-time honoree of the Inc. 5000 list

7. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

“I consistently return to this book because it not only helps drive memory, but helps to distill the important aspects of a meeting or conversation so the team can focus on what is truly important and the direction is clear. ‘Our memories weren’t built for the modern world. Like our vision, our capacity for language, our ability to walk upright, and every other biological faculty, our memories evolved through a process of natural selection in an environment that was quite different from the one we live in today.’ In a world where we are inundated with information, emails, activities, and meetings, our memories of tasks are fighting for the last storage location in our minds. This book makes it clear that memories are derived from understanding the outcome and goal. That ability to understand what is important allows us to retain the details. Getting a first person’s story of evolving their memory capabilities was extremely helpful in overcoming the doubts that this is just another Jedi mind trick. Just like a word map, make the important aspects as large and exciting as possible so you can’t forget them and the details will fill in around it.”

–Dan Neiweem, co-founder and principal of Avionos, which designs and implements digital commerce and marketing solutions for clients including Kellogg’s, Sysco, and Ulta Beauty, and was ranked on Crain’s 2018 Best Places to Work

8. Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship With Those Above You by Rosanne Badowski and Roger Gittines

“[This book] gives a very real and relatable interpretation on what it means to facilitate success for those above you, and in turn, secure your own professional success. While other business books will teach you how to move up to escape the grind, [this one] teaches you how to embrace doing the ‘grunt work’ and how seemingly menial tasks are the backbone to any successful business initiative. The ability to lead those above you is a necessary skill for anyone who works in a fast-moving and collaborative environment, and [this book] really breaks down the dynamics of how to manage your boss and establish a healthy working relationship. We believe in the book so much, we’ve implemented an agency-wide initiative for all new team members to read it.”

–Catriona Harris, CEO of Uproar PR, a full-service public relations, digital, and creative agency that experienced year-over-year growth since its founding in 2012 and secured a place on the Inc. 5000 list for three consecutive years

9. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t by Jim C. Collins

“This is a great book on companies who have transitioned from being good companies to great companies, and how most fail to make the transition.”

–Wilson McDowell, director/principal of Cite Partners, a commercial real estate firm located in Orlando which has closed over 700 deals in four years

10. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

“Voss’s book … provides clear and actionable advice. Once applied, it can have an immediate and profound impact on your ability to drive change. The core of being a great marketer, salesperson, and real estate agent is your ability to communicate the value you add to your prospects, clients, and team. Communication is one of those undeveloped skills (like management and interviewing) that we just assume we’re good at because nobody tells us otherwise. Voss applies his experience as a former FBI lead hostage negotiator to everyday interactions.”

–Jimmy Mackin, co-founder of Curaytor, a digital marketing and sales coaching company serving more than 800 businesses, has a recurring revenue of over $12 million, and was ranked number 303 on last year’s Inc. 5000 list

Read more at Inc


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