Stocking Stuffers: the Best Business Books

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Here’s my list of the best business books – books that can make a difference, for your career, your company or your causes.  These are the story tellers who have made a difference for me – a list of influencers and authors I really respect.

Running the Gauntlet by Jeffrey Hayzlett

You may think that I am listing Jeffrey Hayzlett just because he wrote the foreword to The NEW Elevator Pitch. While that’s true, that’s not the whole story. Running the Gauntlet is the de-facto guidebook to leading through change. Building on the foundation of The Mirror Test, this book made a difference for me (in more ways than one).

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

The biggest challenge facing companies and individuals today is the ability to Start with Why. As an entrepreneur, I suffer from entrepreneur-itis: I focus on the how (operations) and the what (marketing), but the thing that customers want to know is Why. Why you, why this, why now? Some great answers can be found in Simon’s book; a real difference-maker for me and my clients.

The One Thing You Need to Know by Marcus Buckingham

Marcus BuckinghamBuckingham’s career would really take off if only he were better looking (see photo) J.  This Gallup-trained researcher delivers a message that’s compelling (What is the one thing I need to know? Tell me more, now!) and timely. Absolutely required reading for any business leader. Spoiler alert: there’s really more than one thing you need to know… but that’s why it’s not a pamphlet.

Supercoach by Michael Neill

Not exactly a business book, but a title that deals concisely with personal effectiveness – and how to create results for the people that matter to you. Neill is a friend and often-quoted resource; not to mention an expert in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and a damn good online radio host.

Guy Kawasaki and Chris WestfallThe Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Got funding? Kawasaki’s no-bullsh^t style always makes me say, “What the Plus?” and fills me with Enchantment. A must read for anyone who’s thinking of getting their next idea off the ground.  Influential in a number of ways, this book helped me with the foundation of how to pitch to angel investors.

The Entrepreneur Equation by Carol Roth

Again, here’s someone who cuts to the chase and tells it like it is. You can find Carol on your favorite national news show, providing a calm voice of reason and tough love, in the midst of the chaos. Not unlike Jeffrey Hayzlett, she brings a welcome and knowing perspective to her audience. Her message always resonates.

Of course, no list of resources would be complete without mentioning and

The most fantastic list-based blog can be found at, under the leadership of Peg Fitzpatrick and Paul Biedermann. And the always-engaging Ted Coine and Shawn Murphy have created a unique and powerful insight into the world of leadership, change and company effectiveness.

Finally, my compliments to Annette Simmons, author of Whoever Tells the Best Story, Wins.   A great read on how to create powerful communication – if you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy today.  Highly recommended.

So there’s my list – what authors and storytellers do you admire, and why?

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