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Summer Reading List for Business Owners
Leaders are readers, at least we know that they read more books than is typical. For some of us summer is a time for some vacation and extra leisure time so it's a good time to pick up a few books and get some of that reading done. If that you too, we've put together a list of books that might tickle your summer fancy! Some are lighter, some take more work; some are newer, some are classics. But whichever you choose you're sure to get something out of it!
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
We've never been a big fan of Lencioni's books. I don't like parable books -- I'd rather you come right at me. But The Advantage is different. First, it's not a parable book, it's a straight up handbook for how to build a terrific company. Really, if I were to write a business book I hope I would write a book as good as this one!
Lencioni describes why organizational health is identified as having a cohesive leadership team, clear goals and communication, and great meetings that reinforce that clarity and communication is more important to your organization's success than any other single factor. Why? Because organizational health magnifies the effectiveness of every player on your team and builds an environment where everyone can do their best work.
Ctrl-Alt-Del by Mitch Joel
This is a brand new book by someone who's been thinking about digital media and it's effect on business and culture for his whole career. What is his conclusion? There are massive shifts in business and culture that mean we cannot continue on with business as usual. Instead it's time to reboot your business, your career and your life in light of these changes. In this book Joel will open your mind up and get you thinking about how to put all this change to work for you instead of fearing that it will work against you.
Big thoughts like this are perfect for a day at the beach or at the lake where the wide expanse of blue water can help put your mind into a place where you can look at all the possibilities, and come home with a new perspective.
The Predictors by Thomas Bass
This book is left over from last year's summer reading list, but what kind of summer reading list would this be if I didn't include a good thriller? The Predictors tells the story of the first people to try to use computers to predict the stock market. They weren't stock analysts, and they weren't computer nerds, they were physicists at Los Alamos Labs in New Mexico!
The story is important because you get to see a small team struggle with a truly revolutionary idea. But as difficult as their technical problems are, the real reason the project almost gets derailed is 100% human. If you've ever been part of a tight knit team working really hard to achieve a great goal then you will recognize the drama in this story. Either way you'll learn some new things that will cause you to lead your team differently.
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
This is a book that will make you a better leader, a better spouse and a better parent! Patterson outlines really practical and actionable strategies for doing a better job communicating when the stakes are high. This book has significantly influenced the way that I talk with clients and team members, but it has also made communication with other people in my life better. I go into more details about it in my Crucial Conversations review.
If you are taking a long car ride with your family this summer, or spending a week with the in-laws, read this book first!
That's my list. What would you add? What are you looking forward to reading this summer?
About the Author
Brad is the founder of EnMast, a community of business owners committed to being better leaders and growing better businesses. He is also principal advisor of Anchor Advisors. Through his work with over 100 Chicago area small businesses he has experience in guiding business owners through the pitfalls and joys of growing their business. When not working Brad enjoys cycling, cooking and the NFL. Connect with him on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.
June 24th, 2013