I read a lot of non-fiction books outside the world of nonprofits and marketing. Here are 10 favorites I read in 2014 that I think you might also find value in, depending on the kind of work you do. I’ve put them in order, based on their staying power with me — the ones I found most helpful or profound are at the top of the list.
1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. Fabulous at helping you see what’s most important to you, and perhaps even more powerfully, how to jettison the rest.
2. How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do by Graham Allcott. I blogged about this one earlier. I’ve read lots of personal productivity books, but this was the most helpful to me personally, by far.
3. A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger. Since I’ve been working on my own coaching skills and practice, I am reading lots of books about powerful questioning. This is my favorite on the topic.
4. Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change by Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon. I really liked the way they talked about different types conversations, how to know which one you are in, and knowing what can be done (and not) in that stage. Sometimes we try to rush or force conversations before their time, and this book will help you sort that out.
5. On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I read a ton of Stephen King when I was in high school. I love his clear and concise style, which he talks about at length in this memoir, as well as how writing saved his life numerous times.
6. Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein. I’m very interested in intuition and insight, so I found this attempt to deconstruct how they actually work to be pretty interesting stuff.
7. Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker. This has become a bible of sorts, and you have evangelists who do not stray from this technique (and Walker warns you about the dangers of straying, just like any preacher). If you are in business online, you need to understand the method, if only so you can recognize it in others. And I definitely learned a thing or two.
8. The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Start-up into Your Organization by Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer. Helpful tips on bringing some of the “lean” concepts into an up-and-running organization.
9. Entrepreneur’s Guide To The Lean Brand: How Brand Innovation Builds Passion, Transforms Organizations and Creates Value by Jeremiah Gardner. More on using the “lean” approach, but this time related to branding and marketing specifically.
10. Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus. This is really a glorified list of hundreds of coaching questions organized in a few different ways, but it’s a handy reference.
Have you read any of these 10? What did you think?
All links are to Amazon.