Matt Heinz Top 10 Reading List of Business Books 2016
Matt's annual, "What he read in the year" episode is here. This is a great place for a filtered reading list. Some familiar authors in this list and some you may not have had a chance to read. I love the One True Barbecue and how it applies to business. Have recommendations? Add them in the comments.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
Anything on the science of influence is absolutely fascinating to me – whether it’s about influencing fans, customers or myself. Cialdini’s book Influence is a classic, and this sequel/prequel is a must-read to understand how your sales team (and marketing/content teams) can set the conditions for influence and conversion better in 2017.
The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino
If it weren’t for all the other great sales books on the market (this year and in recent years), I’d say the title of this book is 100% the truth. Anthony is one of the very best sales bloggers and speakers working today, and this book summarizes much of his very best advice. I highly recommend expanding your sales library, but if there is just one book on the shelf, this should probably be it.
The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute by Zac Bissonnette
A fascinating and fast read, with numerous business lessons included. What differentiates a trend from a fad? How can you tell you have something sustainable and repeatable? The story of the rise and fall (both fast & dramatic) of the Beanie Baby craze is chronicled with a great combination of business advice and juicy insider stories. A fun read with value.
The most important, eternal, fundamental sales skill is prospecting. Whether you’re working ice-cold leads or warm inquiries from your marketing team, you’re still prospecting. Activity and volume isn’t enough. This book features new trends and research, plus a proven framework of habits to accelerate your sales pipeline-building results in 2017.
Every one of Jill’s books have been fanastic, but this might be her best yet. She’s previously covered how to work with crazy-busy buyers, now she addresses the problem every single sales rep I know has – how to make best use of their time to increase active selling time, external impact and results.
I’ll give away the punchline – according to Rein, the only “true” barbecue is 1) whole hog, 2) cooked over wood in 3) a masonry pit. A difficult combination for amateur BBQ enthusiasts to replicate, but this amazing book covers the history of whole-hog BBQ while simultaneously covering the history and anthropology of the Carolinas. If you like BBQ or history or good story-telling, you’ll like this book.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
What separates this book from so many other business autobiographies is its focus, candor and detail. It’s not an ego-driven puff piece, nor does it sugar-coat what growing a business is like. The book starts with Phil’s inspiration to start the business, and ends before the IPO. In between, he highlights the numerous times Nike almost didn’t make it, almost ran out of money, almost went out of business – yet somehow figured out (or stumbled into) how to keep moving forward. It's a story of humility and gratitude. One of the best books I’ve read on the real story of entrepreneurship in a long time.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eli Goldratt
This book was originally written in 1984, but I re-read it earlier this year to reinforce Eli’s Theory of Constraints. Think about your business today – what’s the #1 constraint keeping you from growing, that when alleviated would help everything else work more efficiently? This book is a great example of business fiction (if you’ve read Five Disfunctions of a Team, you know the format).
This book is a differentiator. It covers what all too often is a lost art of habits, manners, mannerisms and more that get noticed, differentiate you as someone special, and can material help you win more business. Maybe not on your “mainstream” business reading list but it should be.
Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens
Published as a set of letters to a struggling and fellow former SEAL, this book pulls deeply from ancient literature and lessons on what resilience means, how it applies to our lives, and how to apply it to make ourselves better – personally, professionally and in all points between. This is the last book I read this year and might be my favorite of the bunch.
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