#BestBooks for Your 2016 Summer Reading List

Best Business Books for Your 2016 Reading List

Best Business Books for Your 2016 Reading List

By | Mindset and Motivation | 3 Comments

Reading is a key feature in the life of every single successful person I’ve ever met.
– Mario Batali

Continuous learning is the key to success in whatever profession and hobby you choose. It is impossible to be the best, or even get very good at something, if you remain stagnant. I can guarantee your competition will be studying and practicing, so you’d better make it a priority too.

At my company, we’ve got a lot of avid readers, myself included. In our free time, we read everything from J.K. Rowling to Gary Vaynerchuck. And lately, we’ve decided to actively make continuous learning a priority.

Each department has selected a book to read and discuss as a group. We’re investing in ourselves, looking for that payoff in a more educated team who will run a more efficient and effective business.

Summertime is great for curling up with a book on the beach or by a pool.  We polled our team to find out what everyone is reading this summer and what each employee thinks are the very #BestBooks of all time.

Favorites that showed up on multiple reading lists:

  • Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy
  • Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wichman
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  • Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg Crabtree
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses  by Eric Ries
  • Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

What is the LinkedSelling Team Reading?

askI’m currently reading…

Ryan Levesque’s AskThis is one of those books that has the potential to take your business to the next level, if you have the courage and persistence to see it through. So many business books talk at a high level and focus on the “why” and “what” without ever getting to the “how.” Ryan’s has more “how” than you can shake a stick at, and our team has already begun implementing some of the strategies from this book.

My Very Favorite Business or Self-Improvement Books Include:

  • Traction by Gino Wickman
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  • The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker,
  • Presence by Amy Cuddy,
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins,
  • Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk,
  • The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant

Ben Kniffen, COO

  • Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  • The Miracle Morning by Hal Eldrod
  • Traction by Gino Wickman

1Most Inspired by the Book…

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. This might be the most intelligent book I have ever read. Initially I thought it was going to be the typical and very general things you hear, like ‘Wake Up Early’ and ‘Eat Healthy’. But that was simply not the case. The habits were much higher level thinking than that and Covey goes into EXTREME detail on his habits, showing why they are critical to success.

The one that stood out to me was Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. Covey shows how you can’t really forge an effective path to success without seeing what the “End” of the path look like.


Eric Burr, Program Advisor

  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  • Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
  • Internet Prophets by Steve Olsher
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason

Most Inspired by the Book…2

Ken McElroy’s The Advanced Guide to Real Estate Investing. Even though the book is written as a detailed guide to Ken’s system for buying and profiting from large multi-family dwellings, it’s motivational above and beyond that. He uses a thorough, systematic approach that rests on a foundation of ideas and methodology that apply to anything you want to do effectively. It tells the story of how to go after what you want by being willing to do what others aren’t and by learning to see what others don’t.

I especially like that he details how to use better management to boost profit by finding hidden income and eliminating unnecessary costs. Sounds simple — and it is — but it’s not easy. I love Ken’s pragmatic and analytical approach to business. It isn’t a big, flashy 90 yard pass, but rather a win made by gaining yardage down by down.

Gary Korisko, Copywriter

  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger,
  • We: How to Increase Performance and Profits through Full Engagement by Rudy Karsan & Kevin Kruse
  • Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

Untitled design (7)
Most Inspired by the Book…

The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation – Some of the most groundbreaking & creative ideas come from the intersection of two or more (seemingly) unrelated disciplines. It taught me to try new things, think and experience things in a different way, make new mental connections.

Influence – The 6 universal laws of persuasion and how to apply them in an ethical way to get people to say “yes.” This book is my bible… I’ve read it a dozen times.

Geraldlyn Brady, Program Advisor

The Emotional Edge: Discover Your Inner Age, Ignite Your Hidden Strengths, and Reroute Misdirected Fear to Live Your Fullest by Crystal Andrus Morissette

Most Inspired by the Book…emotional edge

The Emotional Edge by Crystal Andrus Morissette

The book really helps with conquering your inner fear, and rerouting that misdirected fear, igniting your hidden strengths…to live life to the fullest. I liked this for personal development. Being a mom, it shows how to communicate better with our children, and not feel guilty we made the decisions that we made.

Margaret Muir, Special Events Planner

1I’m reading the Accidental Creative, which was given to me by Ben, our COO.

Most Inspired by the Book…

A recent favorite on creativity was Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She had so many great passages, but this one has really stuck with me.

In the section on persistence, she wrote “What kind of shit sandwich are you willing to eat?” – Meaning there is no easy path and there will always be struggles. Living the life of a creative comes with its own challenges, like the (unfortunately) common lack of wealth and fame. Before committing to that life, she encourages you to ask yourself “Which path has a shit sandwich that I’m willing to eat?”

Meredith Eisenberg, Digital Marketing Manager

Untitled design (1)I’m reading The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian Moran.

Most Inspired by the Book…

My favorite business book is the Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz. I think many entrepreneurs over-think and over-complicate. The Pumpkin Plan breaks down starting a successful business into tiny, sensible steps. The book shows you how to keep focused, keep serving your customers and keep making money.

Mo Hagedorn, Accounting Manager

I’m currently finishing up the boo3k, “Presence” by Amy Cuddy, as recommended reading by Josh.

Most Inspired by the Book…

“Presence”, has been extremely motivating and relevant to my workplace, and really daily life in general. I learned some techniques for relaxing, easing nerves, and focusing on the moment in stressful situations. When I’m nervous, I underperform at something I am 110% capable of doing well. The book uses research to illustrate that being nervous and worried about others’ thoughts of you actually does make you terrible at your job and tasks in general. If we let go of our thoughts about others and get into our own focused, mindset we perform our best. I’m working on integrating meditation into my daily routine. Hopefully, this will allow me to be present when it comes time for me to shine in stressful situations.

Pat Henseler, Program Director

  • Boron Letters by Gary C. Halbert and Bond Halbert
  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamotte

Most Inspired by the Book…2

#AskGaryVee – his “no excuses” approach is very motivating. Personally, I also learned the most from the way he motivates people and responds to questions. Our business requires a lot of answering students’ questions in coaching calls, emails, private mastermind groups, etc. And I think the way he approaches questions was beneficial to dissect.

Ryan Farrell, Director of Marketing

4Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wichman

Most Inspired by the Book…

The reason I like Traction so much is how clear the author makes it that no organization can run well (regardless of talent) if the organization lacks focus. As a business grows you HAVE to make an effort to simplify the systems that got you there. If you don’t… it’s pretty much impossible to pass down knowledge, feel comfortable about delegating your “previous” day-to-day work, and to scale up. Reading behind the lines it’s essentially saying that you need to set up your organization to scale up… not just based on revenue.


Sara Flowers, Program Director

  • Coaching Questions by Tony Stoltzfus
  • Supercoach by Michael Neill
  • Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  • Change Your Energy Change Your Life by Mike Kemski

Most Inspired by the Book…5

The Big Leap – The concept of “upper limiting” in the Big Leap changed my life. I noticed a pattern in my work that when I would help a client get to the next level, they would have a tendency to self-sabotage. In my quest avoid this, I found that having them read the Big Leap and encouraging them to apply what they’ve learned, it eliminates this from happening. Getting an “upper limiting partner” increases their chance of success. Plus it has several other concepts well worth the quick read.

Stacy Barz, Program Advisor

Untitled design (6)Aussie Grit: My Formula One Journey by Mark Webber

Most Inspired by the Book…

In the past I found myself being irritated or frustrated by change, which we all know is inevitable. Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life taught me how to handle change and adapt more quickly.


Steph Kelly, Community Manager

Well, I’ve fallen off the rocker a bit – I’m doing tons of interactive learning right now.Untitled design

Most Inspired by the Book (Series)…

The Harry Potter series. True story – they came out as an adult for me. I was mesmerized. I read them to my babies, until they became old enough to read themselves. As a parent, I loved watching the characters grow up and mature – I think they are possibly the best books on how to be a good parent.

Wendyann Lewis, Program Advisor

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Untitled design (5)

Most Inspired by the Book…

Stephen King’s Night Shift is a collection of short stories, and it’s one of my favorites. I read it when I was twelve years old. We were staying at our family’s cottage on a rainy weekend and I read the book in a day. Then I found some scrap paper and wrote a short story of my own. I have been writing ever since, for work and for pleasure. Stephen King leaves it all on the field when he writes, he is so vulnerable and exhilarating in his story lines. Not only is he my favorite author, he is my mentor.

How We Choose Our Next Read

We also asked the team how they choose the books they’re going to read. The number one method was by recommendations from people they trust. For some that includes industry experts, but others look to people they know personally, like coworkers, mentors, friends, and family.

The next most popular way that we find awesome books is by looking at Amazon and Goodreads reviews. You can find any book on either of these sites, see what people are rating them, read reviews, and even find books that are similar.

We had one weirdo (not naming any names) that likes to read the last pages of the book to get a feel for the author’s style before committing.

On the LinkedSelling “To Read” List

  • Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential by Greg Crabtree
  • To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink
  • Reality in Advertising by Rosser Reeves
  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger
  • Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Moral of the story – pick up a book. If it has something to do with your industry or particular skill-set, even better. I promise you won’t regret it.

What books have made a huge impact in your life? Share in the comments and help us build our “To Read” list!

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  • Eric Burr says:

    “… a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

    -Tyrion Lannister

    Yup, I’m quoting a fictional dwarf. Because he’s Tyrion.

  • Margaret Muir says:

    So many good books here! I’m going to have to check out Contagious, Presence, and The Big Leap. All sound really good

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