I've been reading and listening to audio books this year with renewed passion. I've learned a great deal about how to better serve customers and colleagues, how to think about business sustainability, and how to confidently make good choices about how I allocate my energy and own my time.
Here's the list of the top 10 books I've been engaged with this year, and will continue to dig into in 2020.
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- Farm Don't Hunt by Guy Nirpaz : Great perspective on keeping up regular engagement with customers and partners. They are your most accessible resource of (obviously) funding, but also ideas and energy.
- The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky : A well-stated reminder that the path to growing anything usually doesn't go how you expect it to.
- It's Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff : An awesome example of what it looks like to take bold steps as a leader.
- The Startup Way by Eric Ries : It's interesting to me to see how views on business growth change rapidly, even from a recognized expert such as the author. The same holds true in Customer Success. The field is evolving and it's great to learn lessons from peers ahead of us.
- The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, et. al. : This is an old book, but seriously important to revisit regularly. The idea of shifting from an outsider to an insider is critical in customer success.
- The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle : I'm learning about the increasing importance of transcending daily tasks to foster culture by keeping a positive attitude and engaging with colleagues in new ways.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson : For someone who cares about my customers, I was skeptical :) but of course the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. But it's not about that. It's about picking how you spend your time for things that have impact, and letting other things slide.
- Customer Success: How Innovative Companies are Reducing Churn [...] by Lincoln Murphy, et. al. : This is feeling a bit dated but is one of the books that propelled the Customer Success movement. Worth revisiting and also keeping up with what the authors are doing on social media.
- Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo : I reviewed this one and although I have some reservations, the key point constantly sticks with me and I'll work with this some more in the new year.
- The Execution Factor by Kim Perell : This,along with Figureoutable and Eric Reis' "do your f-ing job" quote in The Startup Way combine to remind me that doing hard work and constantly plugging away at it make a huge impact.
Rather than burn past these books in 2020, I plan to revisit most of these and dig into concepts I may have missed the first time.
I also read or listened to these books in 2019. Each had some interesting nuggets but will be rolling off the end of my active list after this year.
- For Better of For Work by Meg Cadoux Hirschberg : Stories of hard working entrepreneurs and family struggles to grow a business; specifically how a spouse can engage and participate int eh work. Interesting but don't feel like it requires re-reading.
- Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson : This was a book club book I chose. I learned more about an immensely productive man who led a full life. The audio book captured the essense and I got out of it what I wanted.
- The Startup of You by Hoffman, Reid, et. al. : This is a manual on how to use LinkedIn to grow your professional presence.
I'm looking for a few new suggestions. Let me know if you have one!