As soon as I graduated college, my time availability to learn the latest information began to diminish. That time and energy was replaced by minutiae of work at my first job, then soon further moved aside by more responsibility at work, marriage, children, job transitions, and networking.
This left little bandwidth for the focus and necessary time to absorb new knowledge and skills.
At the same time, it has become common knowledge that many of the greatest leaders in our nation commit to a lifetime of continued learning, applying some form of the 5-hour rule to their day-to-day lives. Shouldn’t more of us follow these habits of the greats, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Benjamin Franklin?
Further, the publishing industry has exploded, with a great plethora of academic research, alongside self-published guides to success. Then comes the blogosphere, where experts with varying degrees of credibility share their insights with the world. How do you evaluate and prioritize?
Here’s a list compiled from a set of leaders that I admire and respect – I suggest you start with this list of four resources for the summer.
[pullquote align=”normal”]If you’re not measuring it, you can’t improve it. [/pullquote]
Would you begin a weight-loss program without taking initial measurements, and weighing in on pre-planned increments of time? Of course not. The same thing goes for business activities, whether in operations or sales and marketing. Check out this book for how to effectively communicate data into actionable insights.
Variations on “solutions selling” abound, whether Sandler training, Spin selling, or any number of sales methodologies. This methodology, sourced from an exhaustive study of best practices and traits from thousands of sales professionals, provides a data-driven methodology to drive your sales forward. The approach will transform sales, whether for you as an individual, or your organization. If you want to differentiate yourself from the crowd of salesperson after salesperson, this is the book for you.
The Challenger Sale: The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers’ expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.[/one_half_last]
Back to basics:
If you are in a business in which you interact with other people (that means you), then you should consider a re-read this book every two years. Not only is it the starting point for almost every sales and leadership system that has ever been developed, it remains relevant even more than 80 years after its release.
[one_half_first][/one_half_first][one_half_last]Since its release in 1936, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
As relevant as ever before, Dale Carnegie’s principles endure, and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age.
Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.[/one_half_last]
Note: this book particularly applies to the United States, as many of the principles discussed align with the specific cultural framework in which we operate. If working overseas, I encourage you to seek resources that specifically align with the culture and best practices of that other nation.
This segment of the world is advancing faster and faster, with marketing automation, developments in AI, and greater than 400 distinct software solutions for email, segmentation, CRM, and more. Not to mention the huge array of channels now available for distribution of promotions, digital as well as traditional media. There is no one book I recommend, as the moment you read it, another advance has rendered it obsolete. Overwhelming is the name of the game.
[one_half_first][/one_half_first][one_half_last]To keep on top of the latest advances, subscribe to the Hubspot Marketing Blog. The experts at this digital company continually share best practices within the industry. This is the one blog I read every day. Go check it out![/one_half_last]