10 Business Books to Read this Summer

Browse this list of books on topics including measuring objective key results (OKRs), the debate between being a specialist vs. a generalist, and how to keep your focus on your customers.

There are a lot of opinions out there on which is the best business book of all time, but, let’s face it, no one book can cover everything an ISV needs to know to start and run a successful business. Books that take deeper dives into specific business topics may be the answer to finding the information and guidance you need.

Thriftbooks compiled a list of books for ISVs to read this summer that runs the gamut from negotiating and investing to brand building and customer experience. Browse this list of 10 books, and you may find a read for the airplane or the beach that could be the beginning of positive changes in your business.

1The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni

Pat Lencioni has written over a dozen books on leadership, and all of them are worth reading. In The Ideal Team Player, Pat Lencioni digs in deep on the characteristics that make a “team player.” These team players are known by many names (A-Players, Rock Stars, 10x-ers, etc.), and every organization wants more of them. If you are going to be doing any hiring at all in the near future, this book will help you to define the characteristics that make for a great team player in your organization so that you can identify these attributes in your candidates and build an all-star team.

2Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change by Kerry Patterson

Kerry Patterson’s Influencer gets to the heart of how you can begin to cultivate the changes you want to see in your organization. In this book, you learn how leadership is at its core influence and the subtle yet major difference between influence and persuasion. Becoming an expert in influence rather than persuasion can help you truly cultivate change.

3Measure What Matters : How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

OKRs are objective key results and one of the keys to any business’s success. In an organization, from tech giants to humble startups, having measurable goals is the key to growth. In Measure What Matters John Doerr examines how the goal-setting systems used by companies like Intel and Google were the key to success, and how to apply the system to any company and help it to thrive.

4Beating the Odds : Eddie Brown’s Investing and Life Strategies by Eddie Brown

Eddie C. Brown is the founder and president of Brown Capital Management, an investment firm handling over 8 billion dollars in investments. Beating the Odds is his story of overcoming adversity to become one of the world’s foremost investors. Born to a 13-year old mother during the time of Jim Crow laws of the south, Eddie had to use his intellect to build a better life for himself. He details how he kept his firm afloat through the dot-com bust and the great recession, and with his detailed stories of perseverance is an inspiration to anyone trying to build a business or a new life.

5The Execution Factor by Kim Perell

The Execution Factor is for anyone who is looking for that special something that will help turn their dream into a reality. Kim Perell details what she thinks that driving factor is between success and failure: the ability to execute. Perell suggests that it isn’t genius, talent, or even a great idea that makes a business, but the ability to make things happen. This book can help you go from a thinker to a doer, from a dreamer to builder.

6Would You Do That To Your Mother by Jeanne Bliss

This book details what Jeanne Bliss calls the “Make Mom Proud Standard,” and how companies that follow that principle see success follow soon after. No business would be complete without its customers, and customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss has a detailed and simple way to make sure you keep them happy. Combined with a fun, tongue-in-cheek tone, Would You Do That To Your Mother is easy reading that will help you keep the customer at the forefront of all of your decisions. In 5-steps, this book will help you make mom proud!

7Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by Debbie Milman

In a world where you are often competing with dozens, if not hundreds, of brands, Brand Thinking by Debbie Milman is your first stop to finding how to create a niche of your own and stand out from the crowd. This book contains 20 interviews with top designers and marketers who specialize in branding, and their ideas can help you to build your company or personal brand up into something unique. The book also focuses on why it is important, and why we all have such attachments to brands.

8The New IT: How Technology Leaders Are Enabling Business Strategy in the Digital Age by Jill Dyché (technology)

Jill Dyche is a blogger, speaker, software executive, and best-selling author with expertise in business-IT alignment. In The New IT, she explains how in this age of cloud solutions, customer data integration, and tech-savvy consumers, IT must be integrated with any business to keep things successful. She emphasizes the importance of aligning IT with your business objectives and ensuring the unseen sides of the business are running just as smoothly and toward business goals and the customer-facing sides. She explains how you can be sure to integrate and strengthen the role of IT in your company and why that is so valuable.

9Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

In Range, David Epstein details how with creativity and versatility, generalists can build a career in a world that celebrates specialists. Using examples like sports, Epstein shows how while the world might celebrate highly regarded specialists (like athletes) the business world and the world of employment is not professional sports, and diverse skills will make you able to move between roles and gain knowledge that is valuable to a diverse range of organizations.

10Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

From entry-level to executive, negotiating is a skill that is needed in all aspects of business, almost all of the time. In Never Split the Difference, celebrated FBI veteran Chris Voss details nine effective principles for becoming more convincing and persuasive. Whether you are scoring a better salary, buying a car, hiring a new supplier, etc. life is a series of negotiations, so the skill is invaluable. As a former hostage negotiator for the FBI, Voss has the skills and experience to effectively help you in any scenario.

Bernadette Wilson

Bernadette Wilson, a DevPro Journal contributor, has 19 years of experience as a journalist, writer, editor, and B2B marketer.

Bernadette Wilson, a DevPro Journal contributor, has 19 years of experience as a journalist, writer, editor, and B2B marketer.