- Getting Shit Done
- General Interest
- Current Favorites
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.
Thinking Fast & Slow
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.
A tale about Daniel Kahneman’s work and life and why he and Amos Tversky taught us all to think differently.
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.
Start here. McKee captures the essence of great stories in a way that will help you craft them.
Made To Stick
A more functional book that will help you both appreciate stories and shape them in ways that make you more memorable.
The Story Factor
I love Simmons’s “the six stories you need to know how to tell.” Know them. Tell them.
Six Word Memoirs
Smith & Fershleiser
Clever, fun and surprisingly insightful. Shows how much you can do if you are concise.
The Hero With A Thousand Faces
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.
The Writer’s Journey
This is as much a book about how to tell a story as it is about writing. You get a twofer here.
Metaphors We Live By
Dense and academic, but helps you understand both the frequency and power of metaphor. You will start seeing them everywhere.
What’s Your Story?
My favorite! Capture, distill and tell the right stories at the right time for the right reasons.
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.
A More Beautiful Question
This will help you build this most important skill/discipline; the ability to ask better, more powerful questions.
Writing That Works
Roman & Raphaelson
A little dated (especially in the latter chapters), but timeless advice on how to write for clarity and impact.
Writing Down The Bones
A philosophical look at writing that sneaks up on you (in a good way). Can be powerfully read in 5 minute snippets.
A master storyteller talking about the craft of writing, and who isn’t afraid to kick your ass.
I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like
A giant list of metaphors that will make your writing and speaking more memorable.
The Elements of Style
Strunk & White
A must. If you write in the English language, you need to read this foundational book.
The Idea Writers
A writer who understands sales. Full of great context about how writing is changing (and not changing).
The Checklist Manifesto
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?
The Power of Habit
A quick, easy look at how habits are made (and unmade). Will get you working on better habits.
Getting Things Done
Recognized as the classic in this space. Tips and techniques for making yourself more efficient and effective.
The First 90 Days
Classic work on how to ramp up into a company and become quickly indispensable.
The Trusted Advisor
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.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0
This will help you understand how to be more aware of your emotions and not let them get the best of you.
Never Eat Alone
Just a simple push to be more disciplined in how we think about spending our time.
Give and Take
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.
Modern Etiquette for a Better Life
Like Strunk & White’s “The Elements of Style” but for your life.
Neffinger & Kohut
A great, easy way to think about how you are ‘showing up’ and ‘standing out’ in any room you are in.
A set of helpful guidelines on how to create better visuals.
Let’s us in on some of the secrets to some of the best stories we know.
Talk Like TED
Unlocks the skills and disciplines of the most popular speakers and presentations.
This book does a great job putting concrete-ness around something that is often hard to define.
To Sell Is Human
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.
The New Yorker Magazine
Superb, long-form journalism. Edgy writing that will increase your vocabulary.
Crisp, articulate writing wrapped around the news of the week. Obits and book reviews are especially good.
Moonwalking With Einstein
Funny and well-written, this book is about memory, and exerting discipline to train your brain to remember large amounts of information.
The Happiness Hypothesis
This book offers some fresh and interesting looks at ways we create meaning and happiness.
The Power of Now
Learn how to live in the moment. If you really dig into this book, it will change your life.
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.