World Book Day is an annual event that has been celebrated since 1995 - promoting reading, publishing, and copyright. As professionals, or just as people looking to better themselves, reading can offer incredible insight into new ways of thinking. At Blue Signal, we are constantly looking for ways to sharpen our services, better connect with others, and build ourselves as individuals and as a company. The best way, in our opinion, is through continuous learning. Several of our team members have shared their secrets to success through some of their favorite books. Read below for some of Blue Signal’s recommendations!
Jason Parker’s Recommendation
Shackleton’s Way, by Margot Morrell
Shackleton’s Way is a book about the trials of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s efforts to save 27 men stranded with him in the Antarctic for almost two years. Through his own words as well as diaries of his crew members, this book discusses how Shackleton’s leadership and crisis management skills can be applied to the business world.
“It’s a true story of survival and success and someone who leads by example. I couldn’t put the book down!” says Jason Parker, Senior Executive Recruiter. “Not only was it a true story, but after every chapter it broke down the individual lessons to look back on and how it helps you grow. It’s one of the most action packed, danger driven, survival mode books I’ve ever read. They were considered explorers and heroes of their time in an era where there wasn’t much more.”
Jeff Williamson’s Recommendations
Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, by Bill Aulet
In the book Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, Bill Aulet teaches people with great products how to turn their innovative idea into a successful business venture through a 24-step framework. It covers common obstacles, focus being the key to success, and strategy on how to stand out.
“This book is a must read for any entrepreneur. Bill Aulet is the Dean of Entrepreneurship at MIT, the most successful university for spitting out noteworthy entrepreneurs and businesses. This book is a step by step playbook to the big picture of setting up a company. Must read and read again,” suggests Jeff Williamson, Senior Executive Recruiter at Blue Signal Search.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth, by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
Pulling from the author’s own experiences, Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth teaches readers how they can build the right customer base for their business. Compiled with interviews from over 40 successful company founders, this book helps entrepreneurs with ads, targeted media, email marketing, and SEO knowledge to help them find the marketing mix that best supports their goals.
Jeff calls this a “great read for evaluating different marketing channels and selecting then testing your marketing channel.” He suggests entrepreneurs “stay focused in that channel before migrating to a different one.”
Lacey Walters’ Recommendation
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers explains how many successful people have reached their goals. Leveraged by proven studies from musicians, athletes, to business owners, Gladwell denotes that success is a matter of practice and hard work. Natural talent is a mere bonus.
“The reason I picked this book up to begin with was because I’d been hearing about the 10,000 hour rule,” says Lacey Walters, Director of Marketing. “The rule says to become world-class at anything, you have to put in 10,000 hours of practice, which equates to about 5 years of uninterrupted 40-hour work weeks’ worth of practice.” For Lacey, Outliers taught her “the importance of practical intelligence, or knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for maximum effect. This is a huge component to becoming successful. More so than just looking at IQs."
Brent Stokes’ Recommendations
Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson
A popular pick among Blue Signal’s team, Who Moved My Cheese helps readers better anticipate, acknowledge, and accept change, helping them in all aspects of life. “While this book has been around for some time, it is one of the most timely and appropriate books for what is happening in our world today.” says Brent. “Your business does not and WILL NOT look the same. This book helps you cut the hemming and hawing and get to what is important – finding your cheese!”
The Five Disfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
The Five Disfunctions of a Team outlines the causes of dysfunction on teams ranging from the workplace to social groups - and gives readers tips on how to overcome them. The author explains that creating a functional team requires courage and discipline.
“This book is a MUST for any leader,” Brent states. “It is extremely digestible since it is actually written as a parable/story. This book exemplifies the challenges every team faces and offers a practical framework for developing cohesive and trusting teams.”
Atomic Habits, by James Clear
James Clear is one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation. In his book, Atomic Habits, he discusses strategies on how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master tiny behaviors that over time will develop into significant results. These tips help change the way you see progress and success when seeking to achieve any goal.
Brent Stokes, Senior Executive Recruiter, says, “This was the single best book I read last year. It is great research, science, and it is broken into extremely practical/digestible bits! After reading this book, not only did my results at work go up, but also in my personal life. I decided to go from sitting on the couch to running a half marathon in 6 months.” As a testament to how he reached his own success, Brent states, “This book will change your outlook, shift your perspective, and give you a lifetime of value.”
You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, by David H. Sandler
Breaking the rules of conventional selling, You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar gives tried and true advice on tackling the highly competitive landscape of sales. Brentagrees, saying “This is the hands-down best book on Sales that I have ever read. The Sandler Method gets beyond transactional sales and vendor relationships, and it moves you to a role of a Trusted Advisor. You will cease to see your role in the sales equation as a middleman, and you will start to see yourself as the physician who is essential to the healing of your customers’ pain points.”
Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller
Building a StoryBrand teaches readers the seven universal story points all consumers resonate with, the real reasoning behind consumer purchasing, how to simplify brand messaging for better audience understanding, and more. This book supplies a major tool for improving brand and customer connections.
“Your image matters. Whether professionally or personally, you have a brand, and people know you by it,” Brent learned. “This book helps you get crystal clear in very practical ways on how to own your storybrand. This book even comes with access to a portal and ancillary materials to help you get to the deepest parts of your values, what you do, and how you do it. Be prepared to have an elevated personal and professional brand when finished with this book.”
Kelsey Campion’s Recommendations
The Lombardi Rules, by Vince Lombardi
Author Vince Lombardi is considered by many to be the greatest NFL coach of all time. His book, The Lombardi Rules, examines strategies and methods that led Lombardi to his record 7 NFL titles. Applicable to today’s business world, these tips help readers become leaders in their own domains. Kelsey recommends this book, “because it is all about mental toughness, how to hold accountability for yourself, and how to be a motivator.”
The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz
The Magic of Thinking Big is a motivational book, providing useful methods for thinking and behaving in ways that help readers attain satisfaction and success in all aspects of their lives. One of Kelsey’s favorites, she states that it, “reminds you to be human and to live without those that have your best interest at heart. It helped teach me that if you can think successfully, you can eventually be successful. It reiterates that success doesn’t happen overnight, but will if you keep pushing forward.”
Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins
Written by a national leader in the science of peak performance, Tony Robbins’ Awaken The Giant Within reviews strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, body, relationships, finances, and life. Kelsey recommends this motivational book for a way to, “help take control of your own life. It teaches you how to be successful.”
Third Circle Theory, by Pejman Ghadmimi
The Third Circle Theory helps break down the stages of an entrepreneurial journey. This book is full of advice on how to view the world, understand people's motivations, and discover the difference between confidence and arrogance when it comes to building success. Kelsey says, “The Third Circle Theory helps you discover your purpose in life. It’s a great book for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit.”
Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh
Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, shares in his book Delivering Happiness the lessons he learned throughout his life, leading up to his successful sale of Zappos to Amazon in a $1.2B deal. It discusses how the corporate culture can be a large indicator of success through happiness. Kelsey suggests this book is, “also great for entrepreneurs. It helps teach you that if you create a happy environment for those around you, it will make you more successful.”
Matt Walsh’s Recommendations
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
- Good to Great, by Jim Collins
- Predictable Success, by Les McKeown
- The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber