As the New Year approaches, conversations usually turn to setting goals and making resolutions. Whether you are looking at 2015 from a business or personal perspective, searching for inspiration and guidance to keep you focused on your dreams can be overwhelming. To help you hit the ground running next year, I’ve put together a list of seven books that should be on your required reading list. The books below, listed in no particular order, provide great advice and ready-to-use tools to help you create your own road map for success.
1. Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office – This incredible story of Bill McDermott’s journey from a working-class neighborhood on Long Island to his current role as CEO of SAP, the largest business software company in the world, will inspire you to get from where you are now to where you want to be in business and life. He writes at length about the importance of having five key values in business: success, accountability, professionalism, teamwork and passion. He also stresses the importance of having a strong, consistent work ethic and never losing hope, regardless of your situation.
2. Human to Human: H2H – A quick and easy approach to social media marketing, Bryan Kramer’s book reminds us that even in the complex world of business and technology, we are all humans craving the need to be seen and understood through authentic communication. As Marketers, and as humans, our challenge is to find, understand and explain the complex in its most simplistic form.
3. Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags – Resolutions are all about achieving your dreams and Linda Rottenberg’s book provides unique insights into making those dreams a reality. Whether you are just starting out or you want to take your business to the next level, Rottenberg guides you through your journey with stories, ideas and techniques to help you be a catalyst for change in whatever you wish to do.
4. Raising Capital: Get the Money You Need to Grow Your Business – You might have the best business idea or product on the market, but without money to support business growth, the future can look dim. Andrew Sherman’s title covers every phase of the growth cycle and provides accessible tools for building business plans, preparing loan proposals, drafting offering materials and much more.
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Considered one of the greatest, if not the most unique, authors of contemporary fiction, Stephen King steps away from the supernatural and offers us a peek into his creative process, allowing the reader a glimpse of how he achieved his fame, the ups and downs of trying to make it in the writing world, and useful tips for anyone interested in exploring their own creative writing career. This is must-read material for all communicators in business.
6. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Given to me by my friend and colleague, Jenny Mirmelstein, Brené Brown’s book supports anyone looking to live a life of integrity. In Brown’s opening line of the book, she writes “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” Whether in business or in personal life, when you live your life from a place of worthiness, when you let go of what you think you should be or do and just follow your heart, the possibilities are endless. With ten easy-to-understand “guideposts,” Brown’s research and guidance is sure to inspire you as the New Year unfolds.
7. Broken Open – As co-founder of the Omega Institute, the world’s largest center for spiritual retreat and personal growth, Elizabeth Lesser has witnessed firsthand the ways in which people weather change and transition. In an inspirational blend of memoir, practical guidance, and humorous insight, Lesser offers support to anyone looking to find their way through challenging situations. When faced with challenges, will we let our struggle define and defeat us, or will we rise from the ashes and break open to a new way of living?
I hope that some, if not all, of these books find their way onto your weekend reading schedule in 2015. All the best to you and everyone on your team as you continue the journey toward success.