Top Business Books

This month I’m deep in wrapping up the manuscript for the book I’m writing with my friend and colleague Hendre Coetzee. We are expecting that ShiftAbility: The Mindset and Skillset You Need to Excel in Sales Today will be launching in a couple of months – stay tuned for more news on that!

Throughout the development and writing of this book I have thought a lot about and referenced many books that have had a profound effect on me, both professionally and personally. I started compiling a list and I’m sharing it here with you, in no particular order. As I reviewed this list some common themes emerged…purpose and intention, leading by serving, taking control and moving where you need to go, creating value while anchored in values, and ultimately, making a difference.

For all these authors, some of whom I’m privileged to call friends, I am grateful – grateful for the difference they have made for me.

Which of these books have you read?  What books are on your most influential list? Share your favorite titles in the comments.

Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

How To Win Friends And Influence People
Dale Carnegie
How to truly get along with and influence the people in your world. Timeless and still as relevant today as when it was published in 1937.

Inside The Tornado
Geoffrey Moore
The development of hyper growth markets and the implications for strategy

The Servant: A Simple Story About The True Essence Of Leadership
James Hunter
A modern parable that shows how  “the true foundation of leadership is not power, but authority, which is built upon relationships, love, service, and sacrifice.”

Fearless: Creating The Courage To Change The Things You Can
Steve Chandler
Steve has written tons of books – this is my favorite.

The Secrets of Question-Based Selling 
Tom Freese
How to have great 2-way conversations that matter. QBS is an important part of our sales training.

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control Of The Customer Conversation
Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon
Groundbreaking research into sales from CEB – also a central part of our sales training and process.

Principle-Centered Leadership
Stephen Covey
How to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing environment.

Lead with Luv
Ken Blanchard
Servant leadership at work in the real world.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Daniel Pink
Autonomy, mastery and purpose – key ingredients for motivation. This has been influential for building our successful non-commissioned sales force.

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Idea
Bob Burg
Another modern day parable that shows how changing our focus from getting to giving, to putting others’ needs first, ultimately leads to unexpected returns.

Built To Last: Successful Habits Of Visionary Companies
Jim Collins
What makes truly exceptional companies different and what common practices do these great companies follow?

Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap And Others Don’t
Jim Collins
Following on Built to Last, Jim asks if a good company can become a great company, and how, and then outlines a roadmap to excellence.

Walk the Talk
Eric Harvey and Al Lucia
How to adopt value-driven behaviors that lead to success in your personal and business life.

Purpose: The Starting Point Of Great Companies
Nikos Mourkogiannis
How the best companies are driven by a higher calling than profits.

Start with NO
Jim Camp
Why win-win is an ineffective and often disastrous negotiating strategy.

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life 
Martin Seligman
A case for optimism, you can learn it, you can measure it, you can teach it.

Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Life
Spencer Johnson M.D.
How to adjust our attitudes about change in our lives, especially at work.