The days are getting shorter, geese are flying in formation, and the fall seasonal microbrews are on tap. It's back-to-school time, and as children head back to the classroom and young adults set off for university, I would challenge us all to get in the spirit with a fall reading list.
I have always been a veracious reader and encourage OtterBox employees to do the same by keeping a library of the books that have most influenced the direction of the company in my office. Many of the theories, ideas, and aspirations that have helped my company maintain a high rate of growth have come from the top authorities in business philosophy.
The foundations these great minds have laid can be leveraged into great things. As a reminder of their influence, we've named our conference rooms at the headquarters facility after a few of them. Below are my top recommendations:
1. Michael Gerber, The E-Myth
Maybe more than any other book, E-Myth had a tremendous impact on how OtterBox developed and grew. It shed light on the reason my previous entrepreneurial ventures, and there were many, didn't experience success beyond a certain point. It really came down to me, which was great because that was something I could change.
2. Jim Collins, Good to Great
Growing a company with the right people in the right roles is essential to building for lasting growth. At OtterBox, we have a multilayered interview process that includes a cultural interview and team interviews to ensure that we have the right people on the bus.
3. Dennis Deaton, The Book on Mind Management
Most companies have a vision, but can that actually come to fruition? Dennis Deaton discusses how to harness mental imagery to create the future rather than just dream of it.
4. Peter Drucker, The Essential Drucker
You could dedicate years to reading the works of Peter Drucker. A consultant to General Electric, Coca-Cola, IBM, and many other leading corporations, Drucker provided groundbreaking insight on company structure, change within organizations, and the central role of the customer. This book is a compilation of some of his most lasting theories.
This list only scratches the surface of books that have shaped me as an entrepreneur and leader, but it is enough to fill several months' worth of quality reading time.