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Influence

Cialdini

A bit academic, but full of great stories that lay the foundation for how and why we have influence over others.  You need to know these six principles.

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Thinking Fast & Slow

Kahneman

This book is a twofer. A book about how our brains process information that influences how we make decisions, AND a book about why stories are so powerful.

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Undoing Project

Lewis

A tale about Daniel Kahneman’s work and life and why he and Amos Tversky taught us all to think differently.

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Mindset

Dweck

A dive into two different mindsets that we routinely adopt. This book provides a great overview of how those two mindsets affect many different situations in which we find ourselves.

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Story

McKee

Start here. McKee captures the essence of great stories in a way that will help you craft them.

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Made To Stick

Heath

A more functional book that will help you both appreciate stories and shape them in ways that make you more memorable.

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The Story Factor

Simmons

I love Simmons’s “the six stories you need to know how to tell.” Know them. Tell them.

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Six Word Memoirs

Smith & Fershleiser

Clever, fun and surprisingly insightful. Shows how much you can do if you are concise.

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The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Campbell

Very dense, but spells out the Hero’s Journey. This book will change the way you watch movies and read novels…you will ‘see’ the 12 step hero’s journey as it unfurls.

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The Writer’s Journey

Vogler

This is as much a book about how to tell a story as it is about writing. You get a twofer here.

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Metaphors We Live By

Lakoff

Dense and academic, but helps you understand both the frequency and power of metaphor. You will start seeing them everywhere.

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What’s Your Story?

Wortmann

My favorite! Capture, distill and tell the right stories at the right time for the right reasons.

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Crucial Conversations

Patterson et al

For me, this is the definitive work on how to handle tough conversations, and does you as much good as home as it does at work.

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A More Beautiful Question

Berger

This will help you build this most important skill/discipline; the ability to ask better, more powerful questions.

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Writing That Works

Roman & Raphaelson

A little dated (especially in the latter chapters), but timeless advice on how to write for clarity and impact.

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Writing Down The Bones

Goldberg

A philosophical look at writing that sneaks up on you (in a good way). Can be powerfully read in 5 minute snippets.

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On Writing

King

A master storyteller talking about the craft of writing, and who isn’t afraid to kick your ass.

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I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like

Grothe

A giant list of metaphors that will make your writing and speaking more memorable.

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The Elements of Style

Strunk & White

A must. If you write in the English language, you need to read this foundational book.

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The Idea Writers

Iezzi

A writer who understands sales. Full of great context about how writing is changing (and not changing).

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The Checklist Manifesto

Gawande

A surgeon who writes a classic about how to get stuff done well (and ranked one of The Economist’s great business books of the year). Who knew?

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The Power of Habit

Duhigg

A quick, easy look at how habits are made (and unmade). Will get you working on better habits.

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Getting Things Done

Allen

Recognized as the classic in this space. Tips and techniques for making yourself more efficient and effective.

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The First 90 Days

Watkins

Classic work on how to ramp up into a company and become quickly indispensable.

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The Trusted Advisor

Maister

Another classic work that shows how strong relationships are built. If you are going into consulting (or life), this should be in your hands or on your ears at all times.

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Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Bradberry

This will help you understand how to be more aware of your emotions and not let them get the best of you.

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Never Eat Alone

Ferrazzi

Just a simple push to be more disciplined in how we think about spending our time.

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Give and Take

Grant

Grant’s recent classic on how we must look for ways to go above and beyond. Really, a book about networking hiding in a book about social science research.

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Modern Etiquette for a Better Life

Gottsman

Like Strunk & White’s “The Elements of Style” but for your life.

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Compelling People

Neffinger & Kohut

A great, easy way to think about how you are ‘showing up’ and ‘standing out’ in any room you are in.

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Slideology

Duarte

A set of helpful guidelines on how to create better visuals.

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Resonate

Duarte

Let’s us in on some of the secrets to some of the best stories we know.

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Talk Like TED

Gallo

Unlocks the skills and disciplines of the most popular speakers and presentations.

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Presence

Cuddy

This book does a great job putting concrete-ness around something that is often hard to define.

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This I Believe

Gediman & Allison

Helps you understand you, in a way that you should take into all of the ways you show up in the world.

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#AskGaryVee

VayNerChuk

Crazy book from a crazy guy, but packed full of insights into the dos and don’ts of social.

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To Sell Is Human

Pink

We are all selling more than we think we are. In this book, Pink looks at what makes people magnetic and resilient. He offers some great ways of thinking about selling and how we “show up” in many situations.

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The New Yorker Magazine

Weekly

Superb, long-form journalism. Edgy writing that will increase your vocabulary.

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Economist Magazine

Weekly

Crisp, articulate writing wrapped around the news of the week. Obits and book reviews are especially good.

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Moonwalking With Einstein

Foer

Funny and well-written, this book is about memory, and exerting discipline to train your brain to remember large amounts of information.

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The Happiness Hypothesis

Haidt

This book offers some fresh and interesting looks at ways we create meaning and happiness.

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The Power of Now

Tolle

Learn how to live in the moment. If you really dig into this book, it will change your life.

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Sapiens

Harari

A great look at the sweep of history and the major forces that have operated on humans, animals and our planet. This is not just another history book. It’s a fresh take on the impact, good and bad, that we are having and where our work may take in the future.

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The Right- And Wrong- Stuff: How Brilliant Careers are Made and Unmade

Carter Cast 

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