BooksBeryl’s Book Recommendations for Corporate Executives and Agency Professionals

Our clients often ask if we know of books that would complement the learning that takes place in our workshops and coaching. We’re happy to recommend the following great reads:

Slide:ology: The Art & Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte – A game-changer for all presenters. This must-read book will challenge you to present ideas not slides. Both inspirational and a step-by-step how to!
Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform by Nancy Duarte – Another must-read by one of the most visionary experts on how we communicate. Savor and learn from every page (and the way each page is designed). Even the best communicators will benefit from the insights, quotes, tips and visuals!
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink – Move over traditional “carrot and stick” ideas about motivation.  In Drive, author Daniel Pink suggests that there are three elements of true motivation, especially for individuals in professional service firms and creative businesses: 1) autonomy; 2) mastery; and 3) purpose.
Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath – Picking up on the concept of “stickiness” first introduced by Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, the Heath brothers suggest ways to communicate so that our ideas will be heard and remembered: 1) keep your message simple, 2) surprise with the unexpected, 3) speak in concrete terms, 4) remember the audience’s need to believe, 5) go for emotion, and 6) master the art of storytelling.  One of today’s hot business books with strategies, fun-to-read stories and “clinics” that help the reader apply the authors’ tips.

Perform Like A Rock Star and Still Have Time for Lunch by Orna Drawas – There’s no shortage of books about time management and performance, yet this book instantly became an best-selling business book, a favorite of bloggers, and required reading for college courses. Filled with behavior-changing tips and memorable anecdotes this is a must-read (and a fun read) for anyone working too hard and accomplishing too little. (Author Orna Drawas is a Loeb Group trainer.)

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler – Discover stories about the guinea worm in Asia and Africa, the HIV epidemic in Thailand and career criminals in San Francisco that describe how to better influence change in your business. The authors share powerful anecdotes that will help you: 1) identify high leverage behaviors; 2) apply strategies for changing thoughts and actions; and 3) apply a six-source model to problems you’re facing. Very readable, memorable and immediately applicable! An added bonus – the challenges described in this book will definitely put your problems in perspective.

Samurai Selling by Chuck Laughlin and Karen Sage – This short book and easy read drives home messages for communicators about 1) honing your confidence, 2) the importance of preparation, and 3) ways to create urgency. Drawing lessons from the ancient samurai, the authors wrote this book for salesmen, but it’s invaluable for anyone looking to engage an audience. How’s your “ki?”
Clients for Life by Jagdish Sheth and Andrew Sobel – While the entire book is worthwhile for anyone in professional service, the two must-read chapters are “Hidden Cues: Becoming Empathetic” and “The Big Picture: Cultivating Powers of Synthesis.”
Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford – The first few chapters of this book outline four levels of client relationships: 1) service-based; 2) needs-based; 3) relationship-based; and 4) trust-based. This book describes the different skills and attitudes needed to transition from back-room analyst to client advisor.
Artful Persuasion by Harry Mills – This book’s sub-title is, “How to Command Attention, Change Minds, and Influence People.” While you can read this book cover-to-cover, it’s also an excellent resource when you just want to read a quick chapter on creating first impressions, or “power talk,” or 20th century “icons of influence.” In addition to all the success strategies and quick tips, the book is jam-packed with stories about Churchill, JFK, Bill and Hillary Clinton.
In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions…When It Counts by Jerry Weissman – Jerry Weissman’s earlier book, Presenting to Win, takes a broad look at presentation skills. This shorter volume focuses on handling tough questions and incorporates political examples (Bill Clinton, George Bush, George W. Bush, Colin Powell, John Kerry, Norman Schwarzkopf, among others) to drive home his key points about 1) listening, 2) control and 3) the importance of preparation.

What kind of books would be most helpful for you to read to boost your skills?  Let us know and we’d be happy to recommend some good reads.