Last year, I offered up 12 awesome books that I felt anyone in my industry should read (you still should!). This year I’m adding six additional books to my must read list. Those of you who are connected with me on Facebook or Twitter may already have seen me posting about several of these titles. So without further introduction, here are the 6 books you must read in 2013.
What is the difference between a trademark, logo, and symbol? Is your brand what you say it is, or what they say it is? “Brand management is the management of differences, not as they exist on data sheets, but as they exist in the minds of people.” Right on Marty. If you’re serious about going beyond “marketing/advertising speak” and actually getting into the nitty-gritty of results – you can’t miss this one. Although… maybe you don’t mind if your company’s product becomes a commodity?
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
by Daniel Pink
Chapter 3 (From Buyer Beware to Seller Beware) alone is worth reading several times over. Plus you’ll not only help increase sales but sound really smart at parties when you learn the importance of limiting asymmetrical information for today’s buyer. Pink shows that everyone is in sales and is trying to “move others to take specific action.” Despite the deep content of this book, Pink’s style allows for a relatively quick and easy read without limiting his insight.
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service
by The Disney Institute
Who else would you trust to deliver not just an exceptional customer experience – but also one infused with joy? Disney delivers the secret to their success in this newly revised and updated book. It also includes highlights of how other companies have incorporated the lessons learned from the Disney Institute over the years. Lots of real world examples to be inspired by.
No other author has had a larger impact in how I understand “typical” human behavior than Dan Ariely. It also provides TONS of scientific evidence that proves the value of a brand (perfect for those engineering types who think everything your department does is a waste of resources). The next time you scratch your head and wonder why humans don’t seem to make logical decisions – open this book up and you’ll soon understand. This book is a true joy to read and will leave you with limitless ways to take action and improve your results.
Wow. I’m still shocked at how this book hasn’t gained the same praise and awareness of Jim’s classic “Good to Great.” Each and every concept introduced in this book will be lessons you will want to keep at your fingertips for the rest of your professional career. Everyone talks about how the world is changing faster than ever before, and is unstable and unpredictable. Jim shows that with the right set of management tools, you can become (and remain) great.
EPIC Change: How to Lead Change in the Global Age
by Timothy Clark
“The basic role of any leader is to maintain competitive advantage, not the status quo – that means leading change.” This book may simply be the right book at the right time for me, but I think it much more. Timothy describes the challenges that leaders face when embarking on change in a way no one else has ever done. It is real and raw – but 1000% right. Most importantly, it shows how as a leader you can tap into different sources of energy to counter the added stress and work that change often requires (Here’s a sneak preview).
Now it’s your turn. Which books are at the top of your list this year? Have you read any of the above books? Even more amazing would be to hear how you borrowed something from a book recently and took action on it… Your turn to share!