Fall Reading List

I spend a lot of my free time at rock concerts and sporting events, or bike riding. When I’m not doing any of those things and am home in my big comfy chair with a blanket over my lap or sitting on my deck tanning, I read marketing books.

Here are my top 7 in no particular order. I wanted the list to be off the top of my head. I rattled off more than 5 but didn’t want to have to think too hard to get to 10.  It was that simple. Don’t read too much into it.

Youth Nation by Matt Britton.
The world is a very different place in more ways than one. The American dream used to be simple. Go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house, make babies. For many of our youth, it’s an entirely different game now.  Many don’t see home ownership as necessary. They see it as a time suck. They would rather spend time with friends and travel. Many don’t own a car. Why incur the expense of the car, insurance, gas and maintenance when you can walk, take public transportation or ride your bike and just rent a Zip Car for the monthly $100 trip to Target. The needs of the youth are changing. Is your business changing with the changing times?

Right when I started this blog, I read this article on LinkedIn posted by concert promoter giant Live Nation, which reiterated some of the points of the book.

Highly Recommended by Paul M Rand
The premise is extremely simple. A friend’s recommendation means more than anything written on a company’s website or any review. A (good) friend wouldn’t recommend their chiropractor, mechanic, school unless they had a good experience. The same is true in business. Would someone recommend doing business with your company? Do you respond to customers emails? Who’s watching the twitter account if a customer tweets about a good or bad experience with your organization? And how are you leveraging social media to get your brand recommended?

The Southwest Airlines Way by Jody Hoffer
Before you can work at Southwest Airlines you must train in every position (with the exception of flying the plane, of course). It’s the very reason SWA continues with their high approval ratings year after year. Their team, from check in to take down understand what each co-worker needs to do to get their job done. Service reps at check in know they need to get you checked in quickly so your bags can get to the baggage handlers quickly so the plane can be loaded in a timely fashion so there are no delays with taking off on time, getting you to your destination on time. Would your place of business provide better customer service if everyone knew what it took co-workers to get their jobs done?

The Google Story by David A Vise
What did we do before Google? We wondered about things and sometimes never got answers. We asked friends. We use encyclopedias. We read books, asked teachers. Now, when we are watching a movie wondering how old Denzel Washington is, we can simply “google” it. Think about what went in to creating Google. It’s unimaginable. The book blew me away. Yet I still don’t fully understand how boats float and planes fly. When I finished it, the only thing I could say was, “wow”.

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
I admit, I’m not a shoe girl but this story of Zappos was incredible! If you’ve ever ordered from them, it will make you appreciate them even more knowing how many times the company nearly failed. It’s a story about heartbreak, perseverance, determination and extreme loyalty.  I found myself cheering for them throughout the book.

Reality Based Leadership by Cy Wakeman
This is a quick and easy read with a fantastic message. WORK WITH THE WILLING! Sadly, we’ve all probably worked with people who we don’t want to be at work. They do the minimum. They’re negative. They’re not team players. You want to change them. You think you can get them engaged. This book looks at lost hours (translation: lost revenue) spent on these people and why they are detrimental to your company.

Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski  
Truly changed my life. Given to me by a dear friend who read it just prior to her contract renegotiation, I was feeling overworked, underpaid, frustrated and down right angry at my job.  (Note: this was years ago).  Mika’s situation was very similar and her ability to ask (and get) was she deserved was inspiring.  I must have purchased a dozen of these books since then and shared them with my girlfriends.

I’d love to hear your top 5 or 10. Or even 7.

I’m a big fan of amazon.com and their app.  If you’d like to read any of the books just discussed, click on the titles for links to Amazon. And no, I don’t get any kind of kick back.

Natalie DiPietro
Integrated Marketing Sales Manager

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