5) Adam Blaskey, founder and CEO of The Clubhouse “There are numerous business books worth buying, but here are two must-haves for your summer reading list. The first is Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. She’s a psychologist that takes us on a journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. “Personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that – not talent or luck – makes all the difference. “There’s also Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent. It suggests that while good bosses hit their goals and successfully lead a team, a superboss blows away those goals by building an army of new leaders. Which would you rather be? It also shows how we can emulate tactics from the likes of CEO Larry Ellison and fashion pioneer Ralph Lauren to create our own networks of extraordinary talent.” 6) Richard Stewart, founder of Untangl.co.uk “Try reading The Curve: From Freeloaders Into Superfans. Highly readable and insightful, it uses a number of case studies to illustrate an important shift in commercial strategy around digital/software businesses. “The central theme is that you need to build a loyal customer base using a low entry cost and then some will happily become valuable clients as they develop their relationship and trust with you. “For businesses looking to develop new pricing strategies, this book provides the context and background to help you find the right path. We’ve taken this advice on board in the employee benefits space, and opted for a zero-cost entry model with various upgrade options. Time will tell but, so far, we are getting encouraging feedback from clients.” 7) Antonia Taylor, director of Antonia Taylor PR “I can’t recommendShe Means Businessby Carrie Green highly enough for those interested in reading corporate-focussed books. It covers all bases from finding your why, scoping out your business plan, creating a content marketing strategy plus a whole range of resources. “I would say it’s relevant for anyone thinking about a business from the kitchen table to more established entrepreneurs. Just by following the 28 Day She Means Challenge, you’ll make a difference in your business. Yes, it’s probably for the #girlboss community but it’s a rising tide movement. 8) Nigel Vaz, CEO of Sapient “Jonathan Taplin’s latest book – Move Fast And Break Things – has caused a massive amount of stir. The book contends that a small group of libertarian entrepreneurs who in the 1990s began to hijack the original decentralised vision of the Internet, in the process creating three monopoly firms – Facebook, Amazon, and Google – that now determine the future of the music, film, television, publishing and news industries. “The book states: ‘The behemoths absorb what they cannot crush, and hide it all behind ‘a patina of social entrepreneurship’. The scale of it beggars belief. ‘The titans of the digital age frequently behave like spoiled and ignorant brats with far, far more money than sense; and their victims include many of the artists who create things of real value and who can no longer earn a living from doing so.’ “The book is representative of the widespread fear and bitterness instilled in many corporations that the future is all doom and gloom. That we will forever fall victim to the behemoths. But there is a solution to this issue, and organisations can overcome the prominence and power of these companies.” 9) Steve Butler, CEO of Punter Southall “Who says Elephants Can’t Dance? Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround is a rocky business ride from the perspective of turning around a business giant. In the early 1990s, Gerstner inherited an ‘elephant’ of a company. IBM had a conservative, slow-moving corporate culture, focused on processes rather than customers, and was failing fast, overtaken by far more agile competitors. “This is his account of how he resurrected the company, changing its strategy and culture and completely restructuring it – and it’s definitely worth reading, especially for those who need to understand the complexities of managing a business. “Another reading favourite is The Slow Pace of Fast Change: Bringing Innovation to Market in a Connected World by Bhaskar Chakravorti. I first read this book when it had just come out after the technology bubble had burst, and thought it provided real value in helping to understand managing innovation. I have recently re-read the book and feel it is just as relevant despite the significant changes in markets over the last decade.” 10) Simon Corbett, CEO of Jargon PR “In my view Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss is a must read for anyone looking to develop themselves into a successful entrepreneur. The book provides a fascinating insight into the behaviour of different billionaires, business icons and high end performers. “It provides a strong analysis into the tools, techniques and habits of some of the leading business owners in today’s global business landscape. “One of the most exciting take-away’s for me was around business reverse engineering. It helped me to look at where I want to take Jargon PR and plan every single step the business needs to take to get there. A simple analysis, but highly effective.” 11) Tom Jeffries, SEO executive at Bizdaq “My recommendation is Made to Stick by Chip Heath. Whilst not a solely business-based book, it is an absolute must-read for anyone who uses words at work. It teaches you the small (and not so small) tricks you can use to make your writing more engaging and memorable. “Putting everything into an easy to understand framework and giving you a multitude of examples throughout, it’s honestly a fun and exciting way to learn how to structure sentences simply and make people listen. Anyone with an interest in improving their written communication would greatly enjoy it!”
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