Category: The Bookshelf

This post is part of a quarterly series stemming from our team’s love of growth and learning. Here we share some worthwhile reads for any clients, partners and friends who are passionate about personal development too!

We’re in the final stretch of the year, which means it’s time for our last roundup of good reads! This lineup is chock-full of inspirational stories and practices that will help you close the year out strong.

The Fred Factor  by Mark Sanborn

The nutshell: This little book is based on the true story of Fred, a mail carrier who chose to go above and beyond in his work each day. Sanborn shares the way anyone can follow Fred’s example and take what is ordinary and make it extraordinary.

Why we love it: It can be easy to dismiss our current circumstances as mundane or not enough. This easy read offers a welcome reminder to see the opportunity waiting in each and every moment.

Who it’s for: If you feel that your work is dull or insignificant, pick up this book! It’ll help breathe new life into whatever you do and inspire you to live with greater passion and care.


Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

The nutshell: After the devastating and unexpected death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, needed to find a way to move forward with life having lost her ideal “Option A.” This book is the product of her journey and shares stories of people who have dealt with a traumatizing event and moved forward with resilience.

Why we love it: Life is filled with challenges and traumas — be that unexpected loss or something else. This book accepts the reality of loss and brokenness while also equipping you to move forward in the face of adversity.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to cultivate a spirit of great resilience can benefit from this one. Whether you need help navigating your own personal struggles or want to be a greater support to someone else, this book is valuable.


The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander

The nutshell: This book is all about noticing and re-thinking the assumptions we all carry with us — assumptions that have major impacts in our daily lives. It’s guides you to look at all of life through a lens of possibility instead of defaulting to a narrative of struggle (more common in our culture).

Why we love it: It’s an incredibly unique read that awakens creativity and compassion. The husband and wife duo brings quite an interesting perspective, pairing his background as a musical conductor with her leadership development experience.

Who it’s for: If you feel as though life is all about the struggle and grind, this one has powerful insights for you. If you’re truly open to looking at the world differently, this book has much to offer!


7 Levels of Communication  by Michael J. Maher

The nutshell: In this book, Maher, a highly-referred real estate agent, shares powerful strategies to develop relationships that increase referrals. He drives his points home through a parable about a real estate agent looking to build his business in a down market.

Why we love it: This book is a total gem for those in sales and business. The principles Maher shares are spot on. He shows you how to move from relationships to referrals in practical and powerful ways.

Who it’s for: Given that the book is written by and about a real estate agent, it’s of course great for those in the industry. And, applications for other fields are plentiful too. Anyone building a business, who wants to learn to connect better with others, will get much out of this one.


Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service  by Performance Research Associates, Inc.

The nutshell: This one provides a solid overview of customer service — walking through the fundamentals and how-to’s of providing exceptional service.

Why we love it: Customer service is, of course, a huge aspect of our company. We’re constantly learning and growing, and this book continually serves as a key resource for our team’s development.

Who it’s for: Anyone who plays a role in serving customers in any way can benefit from this book. It’s broken into easily-digestible sections, so you can consume at your pace and apply to your work — whatever that may be!

This post is part of a quarterly series stemming from our team’s love of growth and learning. Here we share some worthwhile reads for any clients, partners and friends who are passionate about personal development too! It’s that time — the school year is revving back up. Does anyone else get slightly nostalgic during this season? That longing for a fresh stack of books and school supplies can be quite real. Well, for all you fellow bookworms out there, we’ve rounded up a few more favorites. (And, if you didn’t catch ‘em before, check out previous picks here and here.) Hopefully getting your hands on a copy of one of these can help satisfy the nostalgic cravings in some way, shape or form. As far as the rest of the school supplies though, you’re on your own 😉  


What Happy People Know by Dan Baker

The nutshell: You know that saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?” That definitely applies here. Though the cover screams cheesy self-help, looks are deceiving. This is a book rooted in solid psychology that challenges you to reassess your understanding of what it means to be happy.

Why we love it: It’s accessible. It’s not heavy science nor is it total fluff. And, most importantly, the concepts discussed have real power to change your life.

Who it’s for: This is the perfect read for anyone who is struggling to understand what will bring them happiness in life.  


Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, Halee Fischer-Wright and John King

The nutshell: How can you up the ante in an organization’s culture? This book’s assertion is — leverage the power of tribes. Tribal Leadership outlines an understanding of natural human groups that can help you improve your organization’s effectiveness, engagement and overall success.

Why we love it: Shifting an organization’s culture ain’t easy. This book recognizes that fact and gives you tangible tactics to create real change.

Who it’s for: Are you a leader? Are you working to create change within an organization or among a group of people? This one may be for you!  


Originals by Adam Grant

The nutshell: How can you speak up without getting fired? How can you speak the truth, instead of going along with the majority? This book reveals the secret, asserting that non-conformist doesn’t have to be a bad word.

Why we love it: It’s about not playing the yes-man or yes-woman. It’s about learning to be brutally honest in a non-brutal way.

Who it’s for:With applications in both personal and professional life, this book is appropriate for anyone who wants to learn to step into that powerful role of speaking the truth.  


Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia

The nutshell: This book offers an approach to leadership that’s led by the belief that everyone matters. Chapman and Sisodia assert that truly taking this belief to heart dramatically improves business performance.

Why we love it: It’s a book filled to the brim with inspiration. The central story is of a company that made it through the Great Depression when the entire team banded together as a “family.” The bond they made through the tragedies and the triumphs was unbreakable, and the way each was treated truly did demonstrate living a life where Everybody Matters.

Who it’s for:This is especially suited for those who choose to be leaders — whether by title or choice. It’s easy to say “everybody matters,” but do we really live that each and every day? Most of us can learn from this book how to truly take this belief to heart.  


Thrive by Arianna Huffington

The nutshell: This book presents a refreshing take on how to measure success in life. Arianna presents four key pillars that compose the book — well being, wisdom, wonder and giving — offering these in contrast to the common metrics of money and power.

Why we love it: She weaves her personal story together with journalistic evidence to shape this worthwhile perspective on what contributes to a successful life.

Who it’s for:It can be tough to step beyond those measures of money and power so dominant in our culture. This book offers encouragement to do just that and a reminder that you’re not alone in that journey!

This post is part of a quarterly series stemming from our team’s love of growth and learning. Here we share some worthwhile reads for any clients, partners and friends who are passionate about personal development too!

We’re continuing the personal growth momentum with a few more favorites. Check ‘em out below. And, if you missed the first round of picks head here.  


The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

The nutshell: Shawn’s big premise is — The lens through which your brain views the world shapes your reality. When your mind is in a positive state, it performs better. You boost your intelligence, creativity, energy and every single business outcome.

Why we love it: This book shows that there’s real power in choosing to focus your mind on the good stuff. It’s truly incredibly what a difference that makes! It’s astounding how a positive perspective can open new doors in performance and well being.

Who it’s for: Anyone who needs a solid reminder to pay attention to what they fix their mind on can benefit from this one. If you’re intrigued by the power your personal narrative has on your life, give this one a go.  


Linchpin by Seth Godin

The nutshell: Linchpin is a call to move beyond routine to make a difference in whatever field you choose. Seth tackles how to overcome fear and become “indispensable” in the workplace by creating art instead of mindless, replicable work.

Why we love it: His direct writing style is incredibly compelling. He puts a fire under you, offering the right mix of encouragement (without coddling), to inspire you to challenge the status quo.

Who it’s for: If you’re driven to excellence and are looking to leave a more remarkable mark through your work — whatever that may be — this one is great. Seth will challenge you to level up.  


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

The nutshell: As a researcher, Brene studied vulnerability for more than a decade and this book is a product of that. She outlines ten guideposts of what she calls a “wholehearted” life — a way of engaging the world from a place of worthiness. As part of that exploration, the book tackles topics like authenticity, self-compassion, resilience and joy.

Why we love it: It’s a small book, but boy, is this one impactful! There’s a delicate balance of personal vulnerability and researched legitimacy, as backed by her extensive interviews.

Who it’s for: If you want to learn how to better embrace imperfection and vulnerability in your life, this is a powerful read. Get ready to dive deep!  


Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell

The nutshell: How do you know when you have connected with others? Look for the signs in others including: going the extra mile, showing unsolicited appreciation, unguarded openness, increased communication, emotional bonding, positive energy, unconditional love and more.

Why we love it: John Maxwell is such a pro. He simplifies effective ways to immediately identify with people and relate in a way that increases your influence with them.

Who it’s for: Anyone! We all want to be successful and everyday we interact with others. To be at your absolute best in every interaction with others, you must learn to connect.  


Turning Pro by Stephen Pressfield

The nutshell: Through unconventional storytelling, Stephen illuminates a choice we have in the way we approach our work. We can wade through life as an “amateur” or we can choose to “turn pro.” He paints a picture of the differences between these mindsets, ultimately urging us to choose the path of the “professional.”

Why we love it: We love the unexpected way this one is written. It isn’t formulaic. It’s a creative piece of work that delivers a real punch.

Who it’s for: You’re more likely to hear about this one in creative circles than the business world. Still, we think it’s relevant and engaging read for anyone who wants to make a meaningful contribution (project, goal, piece of work), but is hitting some internal resistance. You’ll be challenged to move beyond fear and procrastination and get to work.

This post is part of a quarterly series stemming from our team’s love of growth and learning. Here we share some worthwhile reads for any clients, partners and friends who are passionate about personal development too!

Have you ever had a book really light a fire under you? What have you read that has challenged you or moved you to deeper personal growth?

Time and time again, we find ourselves discussing good reads within our team and with our partners and our colleagues in the industry. We simply can’t help ourselves — growth and learning are part of our DNA as a company. Since more and more folks keep coming to us for recommendations of books and resources, we thought it’d be valuable to share a glimpse of that conversation here too.

If you’re game for some personal growth in your own life, our hope is that you’ll find something intriguing within the pages of one of these picks from our team. So without further adieu, here are five books to kick us off.


Love Is The Killer App by Tim Sanders

The nutshell: Be a lovecat. That’s the central call in this book. Tim encourages you to take up a posture of openness in your approach to work. He walks through the power of sharing your knowledge, your network and your compassion.

Why we love it: This book frees you to show and share kindness and compassion at work. It encourages you to view the business world through a lens of abundance instead of scarcity — bearing a spirit of love towards your colleagues and even your competitors.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to build a stronger network and grow their personal and professional community can benefit from this one!


15 Laws of Invaluable Growth by John Maxwell

The nutshell: “Working hard doesn’t guarantee success. And hope isn’t a strategy.” John Maxwell asserts that you need to have a plan for your personal growth, and this book walks you through 15 laws that help you shape that plan.

Why we love it: This one has something in it for everyone. There’s always some facet of your life that you can grow in, and this book can meet you where you are in that growth journey.

Who it’s for: If you thrive on a sense of structure and want a clear game plan with action items for personal growth, this book is great for you.


StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

The nutshell: The StrengthsFinder assessment answers the question — where do you have the greatest potential to develop strengths? It provides a common language of the 34 most common innate talents and helps you identify your top five themes of talent.

Why we love it: StrengthsFinder is all about focusing the conversation on what’s right in people. It helps give us the words to talk about the amazing qualities present in each of us and bring our best to every arena of life.

Who it’s for: If you need a little help identifying what your superpowers are, this one’s for you. To be able to walk into any conversation — whether it be a team meeting, a job interview or personal chat — with a better understanding of the value you can bring to others, can be so powerful.


Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

The nutshell: As the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh shares tales of creating the revolutionary company that keep you on the edge of your seat and help you rethink the way you look at life and business.

Why we love it: The company is known for its stellar customer service practices, and we’ve taken a ton of notes on how to deliver top-notch service to our homeowners.

Who it’s for: If you’re intrigued by first-hand accounts of successful businesses or want to learn more about running a company and taking care of customers, this book has plenty to offer.


Start With Why by Simon Sinek

The nutshell: This book tackles the question — why do some leaders and organizations inspire while others don’t? Simon Sinek asserts that a clear sense of WHY or purpose makes all the difference. “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

Why we love it: Few people and organizations know why they do what they do. We love the way this book calls you toward that deeper conversation at the core of any life or business.

Who it’s for: If you want to become more effective in the way you inspire people — be that personally or as a company — this book can be great. It helps you move beyond the typical “what” and “how” conversations.