It's impossible to check out every new book, and that can mean missing out on new ideas and perspectives that can improve your business--and sometimes you, too.
That's why I love this list of books from Mareo McCracken, the revenue leader at Movemedical. (Consider following him on LinkedIn--he often takes an unusual approach to overcoming challenges most of us face.)
Two I've read. The rest I haven't--yet.
This year I did something I hope no one else has to suffer through. I read 103 books. One hundred and three. Way too many for my current situation, and I love reading. (Also, I attained Diamond Status on Delta. Which means I wasn't home with my family enough this year. Which is a lesson/regret/story for another post.)
My goal this year was to read 100 books. I accomplished that goal; it makes me proud to say it.
It makes me foolish for doing it.
So what are the two things that are better than reading? I don't think I am any smarter or better off than when I only read 50 books a year. I just spent more time reading and less time "pondering." I spent less time than I should have "doing". I am not going to let that happen again.
Why I read has changed. I used to read for myself. Now I read for others.
I used to read to escape reality. Now I read to really live better.
I read to help others. I read for my wife. I read for my kids. I read for my colleagues.
Pondering (deep thinking) and doing are both more important than reading.
For the past few years, I published my list of the top 10 nonfiction books that had the biggest impact on me. This year, creating this list was much harder, because I had almost twice as many books to choose from as normal. These books were not necessarily new in 2016 (some were), but they were new to me and caused me to me think differently or change my actions in some way. These are books to "ponder" and books to help you "do." They helped me; I hope they can help you as well.
In alphabetical order, here are the 10 books that had the largest impact on me last year:
1. The Seventh Sense by Joshua Cooper Ramo
This book paints an accurate and timely picture of the world we live in and how it is changing. The book also gives us ways to succeed in the network era.
2. American Nations by Colin Woodard
You will understand American culture, history, politics, and people much deeper than ever before. Should be required reading for all high school students.
3. The Art of People by Dave Kerpen
A modern day Dale Carnegie, this book will help you professionally and personally.
4. The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris
Solid, real frameworks that help counter the root cause of fear. Read this book, apply it, and live with confidence.
5. Guts by Sam Bracken
We all need to live our true selves. This book gives us motivation and actionable insights do to just that.
6. Mental Toughness for Women Leaders by LaRae Quy
Not just for women! This book from a former FBI agent gives you tools to help you develop your emotional intelligence and overcome mental barriers.
7. The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino
If your full-time job is sales, you must read this book. You will use it forever. You will need it to become better.
8. The Outward Mindset by The Arbinger Institute
Stop blaming others. Once I learned and applied the teachings of this book, almost all of my personal and professional problems got better. If you only read one book on this list, read this one.
9. Power Relationships by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas
You can never build too strong of relationships. Usually we don't build them enough. This book helps everyone overcome personal obstacles in relationship creation.
10. The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld
Neuroscience and behavioral science is applied to the sales profession in a compelling manner. A must-read for all sales executives and leaders.
Honorable Mentions (I really wanted to put these in, couldn't fit 'em, though):
11. Beyond the Sales Process by Steve Andersen and Dave Stein
12. The Challenger Customer by Nick Toman, Pat Spenner, Brent Adamson, and Matthew Dixon
13. Chief Marketing Officers at Work by Josh Steimle
14. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
15. Heavy Hitter IT Sales Strategy by Steve W. Martin
While this is just a short list, there are so many more incredible books that I am excited to read in 2017!
As Jim Rohn said:
"The book you don't read won't help."