The CEOs I work with often ask me what I’m reading. I, in turn, ask them the same. It’s always interesting to hear. I do read many sales books, and I recommend most of them, but the books that aren’t directly about sales are the ones that end up making me think about sales from a different perspective.
Sales revenue is on the mind of every CEO I know. The question is, what can a CEO do to make an impact. I read to keep myself ahead of the game, to get ideas for the future.
Time is Limited
I don’t have a lot of time to read, so I admit, I listen to most books. I read/listen to at least one business book per month.
The only problem with listening is it’s hard to take notes because I am usually on the go. So, I’ve gotten into the habit of listening, and if the book has lots of things I want to put into action, I buy a copy, mark it up, and make notes after listening to it. This has many great advantages.
Here is what I am reading this month. I’d love to know what you are reading, so please leave a note in the comments section.
Traction by Gino Wickman
All of the CEOs I work with use the Entrepreneurial Operating System – EOS, which this book explains. I’ve read it before, but I needed to refresh.
Indistractable by Nir Eyal
I listened to this book and it was so full of ideas I need to put into action that I purchased a copy, and I’m going through and highlighting the ones I’m going to implement.
I used to think the opposite of distraction was focus. So. when I was being distracted, I would tell myself to focus. However, the big idea in this book had never occurred to me, and I was so enamored with it that I keep repeating it to others; The opposite of distraction is TRACTION, not focus. (Which might lead you back to the first book I mentioned.)
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
One of the CEOs I work with was reading it, so I looked it up and thought, “I should read that.” I’m always striving to get to the next level and be better than I am today, but sometimes I feel stuck like something is holding me back, but I can’t put my finger on what. When feeling this way, I typically find a coach, talk to my mastermind group or read a book that might help. This book fit the bill for exactly where I am right now. Hendricks talks about operating in your Zone of Genius. I am clearly operating in my Zone of Excellence and occasionally in my Zone of Genius. I want to be there more often, and the ideas in this book will get me there.
As CEOs, when we operate in our Zone of Genius, our company thrives and is able to provide an exceptional customer experience.
Once again, I listened, and there was so much I needed to absorb that I purchased a copy to mark up.
I was surprised to find this book was from 2009; I just can’t believe I didn’t know about it and wish I would have read it in my 30s, and again in my 40s, and again in my 50s. But here I am reading it for the first time.
Gay does have a newer book that is next on my list once I’m done with these. It’s called: The Genius Zone: The Breakthrough Process to End Negative Thinking and Live in True Creativity.
How I built this by Guy Raz
I love the podcast, and I wanted to learn more about the companies he showcases. I am also getting ideas for my own podcast, Sales Talk for CEOs, which focuses on how CEOs built their sales organization. I’m sure you will get ideas for your own company, and these are short stories, so it’s easy to put down and then pick up again.
The Narrative Gym for Business by Randy Olson and Park Howell
As company leaders, we all need to tell our story better in order to share our vision internally and captivate the attention of our customers. Along with that, everyone in our organization can do a better job telling the right story to attract great candidates, sell projects to our teams, and of course, sales can learn to tell better stories to intrigue our customers to have conversations with them.
This book is a no-brainer. It’s easy to read and implement the ideas, and there is a direct correlation to increasing revenue.
Thrive: Strategies to Turn Uncertainty to Competitive Advantage
My good friend Meridith Elliott Powell wrote this book because not only does she believe that uncertainty can be a competitive advantage, but she proves it by sharing how nine companies have done it. Every idea in this book will help you steer your company to further success.