I’m a voracious reader. I always have been. The best Christmas gift I ever received was a Kindle Unlimited Subscription. I mean, books are the cheapest, highest ROI investment you can make in your future and career. So with that in mind… here is my and Quinn's Christmas gift to you this year. Our 12 favorite books of 2022.
On the first day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
Bring Yourself: How to Harness the Power of Connection to Negotiate Fearlessly
AUTHOR: Mori Taheripour
Why you should read: I had the good fortune of spending an entire day with the author during a negotiations clinic she taught here in New Orleans as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program I just completed. Tons of great ideas in this book, but the most important comes from her work in HIV education, prevention, and outreach. As she counsels a young man, he asks how long it will take for AIDS to kill him. She tells him between 5-10 years on average, assuming that will make a big impact on him. He just shrugs and says, "Oh, that's a long time. I can walk out of my house and get shot tomorrow." Lesson: you can never hope to persuade a person until you understand them, their life, and their current situation. Without that knowledge, you can't formulate persuasive arguments.
On the second day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
People Styles at Work...And Beyond: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better
AUTHOR: Dorothy Grover Bolton AND Robert Bolton
Why you should read: Another great one I picked up in the Goldman program. My entire cohort had to self-evaluate and then classify ourselves. According to the approach, everyone falls into one of four styles: Analytical, Driver, Amiable or Expressive. I was a Driver, which I'm sure comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me. But what I really liked was how the book goes one step further to explain how your style changes when you're under stress — and not in a good way. This was completely enlightening for me and I think you'll find a few nuggets too.
On the third day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance
AUTHOR: Erica Dhawan
Why you should read: Today, roughly 70 percent of all communication among teams is virtual. We send around 306 billion emails every day, with the average person sending 30 emails daily and fielding 96. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50 percent of the time the “tone” of our emails is misinterpreted. That's the reality we live in today and this book is here to help you navigate the tricky business of minimizing the risk of misunderstanding and misinterpretation by being as clear as possible in your words and digital body language.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less
AUTHOR: Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz
Why you should read: If you've read our weekly newsletter, you've likely seen Smart Brevity in action. I fell in love with this approach the very first time I saw it. So of course, when I heard Axios, the company behind it, was releasing a book on the subject I pre-ordered immediately. Smart Brevity will make your messages clear and memorable, so everyone stays aligned and inspired. I can't recommend this one highly enough.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
The Kremlin's Vote: a spy thriller (A Jayne Robinson Thriller, Book 1)
AUTHOR: Andrew Turpin
Why you should read: All work and no spy thriller makes Tom a dull boy. I'm a sucker for a good spy thriller to help me unwind after a long day or survive yet another overloaded flight to or from some digital sales & marketing keynote speaking engagement. This Jayne Robinson series was a new one for me, thanks again Kindle Unlimited. But I quickly burned through all four in the series in short order.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
The Science of Likability: 60 Evidence-Based Methods to Radiate Charisma, Make a Powerful Impression, Win Friends, and Trigger Attraction [2019 Edition]
AUTHOR: Patrick King
Why you should read: People who see likability as completely organic and natural are sadly misguided because cultivating a feeling of likability around yourself is just like any other emotion—it can be triggered, summoned, eliminated, and ultimately engineered. In this book, Patrick King introduces you to the science, research examples, and theories to help you become more likable, more trustworthy, and ultimately, more successful in making friends and influencing others.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination
AUTHOR: Sally Hogshead
Why you should read: I first heard Sally introduce her idea of how the world sees you over a decade ago. It was fascinating, and her book picks up where her incredible keynote left off. Her science of fascination is based on a decade of research with 250,000 participants, including dozens of Fortune 500 teams, hundreds of small businesses, and over a thousand C-level executives. It's absolutely brilliant, and I can't imagine you can't find a ton of smart ideas in this book that will immediately add value to your life.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
AUTHOR: Brené Brown
Why you should read: Yes, I'm a self-professed fanboy of Brene Brown. I first picked this one up because I abhor the idea of perfection. As I tell anyone who will listen, perfection is an unattainable myth created by the devil to sow the seeds of disillusionment, sadness, anger, and feelings of ineptitude or shame. One of my favorite quotes from this book is: The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows. And that's the whole point here. According to Brown, when we lose our tolerance for discomfort, we lose joy. So give yourself the gift of Joy this holiday by buying and reading this one.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
Steal The Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life
AUTHOR: Michael Port
Why you should read: All of life is a stage and we're just lucky enough to be in the show. And that's why you need this book in your life. I love how Michael frames his recommendations. For instance, "a big idea" shows the audience the world as it is, and it shows them how much better the world could be if your idea became a reality — he's just given you the outline for your next business presentation or point-of-view memo. But he doesn't stop there. He goes on to help you actually frame that big idea with key questions to ask yourself. If you have to sell your ideas to colleagues, bosses, or clients via persuasive PowerPoint pitches, grab this book. You can thank me when you see me next.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
AUTHOR: Frank Bettger
Why you should read: This book may be 70 years old, but it has some great advice relevant to the current age. You can get anecdotes and stepwise guidelines on building the style and spirit of a successful salesperson. The author, Frank Bettger, was a major league baseball player turned salesman who failed before making changes to his situation. He reveals his personal experiences and explains the foolproof principles that he developed and perfected. He shares step-by-step guidelines on how to develop the style, spirit, and presence of a winning salesperson. A great read, especially for anyone whose job it is to sell.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
AUTHOR: Simon Sinek
Why you should read: This book is about getting things right from the start, so that your projects can develop efficiently, and over the long term. Simon Sinek insists that what matters is not what you do but the reason why you do it and the message you can communicate to make your cause advance. Start with Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way—and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Kindle gave to me:
The Invisible Sale
AUTHOR: Tom martin
Why you should read: You didn’t really think I was going to miss a chance to pimp my own book did you? But seriously, while it’s a little dated, the core concepts of the Invisible Sale, Self Educating Buyers, Propinquity and the step-by-step instructions to build a digitally powered sales & marketing machine to help you prospect, nurture, and close new leads virtually has never been more important than it is in today’s WFH, hybrid office, post-pandemic world. You can grab the Kindle version—or if you’d prefer an old-fashioned autographed copy, click here and I’ll send you one for a penny more (since it’s Christmas and all). I’ll even ship it for free.
And that’s it folks… go grab one or all of these great books here. Yes, I’m so nice I put them all on a single Amazon List to make it easy for you to grab a copy or two for your holiday reading enjoyment. Have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.