I definitely adhere to the phrase “Knowledge is power” and believe the ideal way to acquire knowledge is by keeping ourselves educated and up-to-date. Staying current requires more than just recognition of the latest insights in our ever-changing industry, but as I’ve mentioned before, an awareness of the many facets of ourselves that keep us sharp, alert, forward-moving, and motivated. I always feel a burden to read good books and I feel obligated to share with you my finds. It is incumbent upon all of you to pick at least one of these books to read by the end of the year. I know it may sound tedious, but trust me when I say I have chosen the very best and most diverse selection of books. Once you pick one and truly commit to the content, I think the read will be exhilarating, quick, and most importantly, affect your life and your business in a positive way. Additionally, these books may change the game for you as you build a very aggressive business plan for 2020. Who knows? You might even create a new habit and read a book each month! Let’s start small, and begin with one for this month.
Each one of these books has a special place in my life.
1. Awareness, by Anthony De Mello, focuses on the spiritual, but also encourages the reader to not be afraid to rise above the go-go-go mentality that so many of us are enslaved to. He motivates readers to embrace higher connections with both others and our inner selves. De Mello is a Jesuit priest who challenges everyone to WAKE UP and LIVE. His message throughout is spiritual awareness, a particular kind that integrates Christian spirituality, Buddhist parables, Hindu breathing exercises, and psychological insight. He seeks to challenge the reader to expand outside their comfort zone—to enhance and grow personally, interpersonally, and spiritually.
2. Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business, by Gino Wickman, is a step-by-step guide on how to build a business. Wickman walks you through the 6 key components of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®): a set of comprehensive processes and leadership tools to help teams overcome key business challenges and operate efficiently.
3. Trillion Dollar Coach, by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle, chronicles the life of Bill Campbell, a legendary coach and well-known business executive in Silicon Valley who passed away in 2016. He mentored Steve Jobs and the founders of Google, to name a few. The individuals he coached and mentored have gone on to produce well over 1 trillion dollars in market value. His methods were simple: your success hinges on making other people successful, which is, by definition, the methodology great coaches utilize.
4. High Output Management, by Andrew Grove, focuses quite intently on management mastery. First published in 1983, High Output Management is a management guide that remains innovative, relevant, and important to the modern management mold of today. Grove brings to the table 15 years of managerial experience and knowledge as a cofounder, president, and chief executive of Intel. His new introduction to the book underscores how both globalization and the information revolution have dramatically altered the workforce, making it more competitive than ever. This is the perfect book if your focus/strength is management, or even if this is a skill set you hope to improve!
5. Setting the Table, by Danny Meyer, is by far my favorite of the list. Meyer has found success in a vast expanse of food service, from fast food (he founded Shake Shack) to high-end restaurants. His advice on hospitality and interpersonal relationships, specifically related to customer relations, is both enlightening and practical. In his book, Meyer shares what he’s learned while fine-tuning what he calls “enlightened hospitality.” This concept revolves around the idea that hospitality begins with the people who work for you, and then, in descending order of priority, the guests, the community, the suppliers, and the investors. This method of prioritizing not only changes the game for food service innovation but also customer service best practices across every industry.
6. Zero to One, by Peter Thiel, explains how start-ups should begin their quest for success. For anyone starting their own business (which is nearly EVERYONE in our industry), starting from nothing and trying to generate anything is the most monumental step in your journey. To go from zero to one is to bring something into existence from what was once nothing. This is the essence of true innovation.
Peter Thiel offers personal experience from his time at PayPal and Palantir to offer tips and insights into starting your own business. Unlocking the power of innovation is key. I speak of innovation all the time, which is why this book deeply resonated with me.
7. Culture Code, by Daniel Coyle, is a new book from the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code. It features a truly unique concept that focuses on comparing groups and exploring the concept of tribe mentality. It emphasizes the idea that culture is something you are, not something you do.
8. Superconnector, by Scott Gerber & Ryan Paugh, is most directly relevant to our industry. The entire book preaches the importance of interpersonal relationships. It discusses how to build your business through the utilization of social capital. An important caveat (that I’ve often stressed) to note is that successful super connectors don’t just meet people to collect business connections; they understand and utilize the power of relationship-building to create mutual value.
Superconnector shows readers why it’s important to implement a Vision-Execution-Profiting approach. It enlightens us with instructive strategies from an impressive group of superconnectors, proving that systematic management within a professional community produces optimum value.
9. Principles: Life and Work, by Ray Dalio, is one of the most practical books on this list. Ray Dalio is one of the most successful hedge fund managers of our time. The book proclaims the importance of principles in every aspect of life. He shares the unconventional ways he uses said principles to help create unique results in both life and business. Dalio’s original Principles has been downloaded over 3 million times, and this is the first time they have been expanded, revised, and available in print. Do not hesitate to read this one if you are questioning which book is right for you!
I hope my summaries of these books help you select the choice most appropriate for you at your current juncture in your personal life and/or business process. I also hope some of these books inspire and streamline your business, opening your eyes to the elements you need to implement for a supremely successful 2020 and beyond. Ultimately my wish is for you to read all of these great books. In the end, none of the ideas in these books are tedious, redundant, or overlap and they all offer inspiration for success that has been tested and proven by many successful entrepreneurs.
As I always say, your destiny of success in the business world and our industry lies firmly in your hands. I can give you the tools, but I cannot implement them for you. These books are guides that peel back the curtain of many individuals’ successes. I have personally gleaned substantial inspiration, insight, and knowledge from these titans of business, and I’m confident you will too! Continue crafting your business plan. Continue growing all of your interpersonal relationships. Continue building your successful networking business and let’s not only end 2019 with a bang, but start 2020 with a boom.
As always, go team!!