Books take us into another world, help us see a different perspective, and improve our lives if we allow it. It’s cliche but true… we never stop learning. And loving to learn is a gift. Here is our Bear Fox list of top business books, paper or audiobook.
Chris Boehlke’s Favorite Book – “Winning With People” by John Maxwell
This is the very first book I read on leadership and business, back in 2007 – Winning with People by John Maxwell. I’ve read the book several times and I still revert back to it often.
To me the foundation of any long term success in business (and in life) is learning how to succeed with people. The book teaches that the first step is to understand and evaluate ourselves. From there, we learn how to listen and appreciate others, work to understand them, communicate efficiently, and lift them up. It’s amazing what we can do when we authentically want others to succeed.
I’ve tried to apply the principles in this book in leading teams and as I’ve done so, I’ve found an ability to accomplish amazing things. For example, I had the chance to mentor and develop leaders in other organizations and train sales teams with a focus on improving self and bring out the best in others. This is a business book that can help give you the edge on helping people succeed and in building long-term beneficial relationships.
A few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“All you can do is make yourself the kind of person others want to know and with whom they can build a relationship.”
“Even more important than choosing our experiences is deciding what our attitudes will be about the experiences we have”
“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
“there is a theory of human behavior that says people subconsciously retard their own intellectual growth. They come to rely on cliches and habits. Once they reach the age of their own personal comfort with the world, they stop learning and their mind runs idle the rest of their days. They may progress organizationally, they may be ambitious and eager, and they may even work night and day. But they learn no more.”
“People are interested in the person who is interested in them. You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Stephen Heath’s Favorite Book – “100 Things Designers Should Know About People” by Dr. Susan Weinschenk
How do you get people to read, respond, and interact with your website? In “100 Things Designers Should Know About People,” Dr. Susan Weinschenk goes beyond the pixels to provide a closer look at how our brains work and what motivates people to act.
Rooted in human psychology and research, 100 Things provides a blueprint to designers for delivering digital products, websites, and printed material that engages audiences and inspires them to take action.
Glen Moore’s Favorite Book – “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller
This book should be required reading for business owners or anyone making marketing decisions within a company. It’s required reading for each of our employees here at Bear Fox.
Good branding is powerful. But it’s not just for large household names we’re all aware off… it’s for companies large and small. The best brands, brands that customers love and stick with, create a story into which their customers can insert themselves. Just like any good story, there is a villain and a hero, challenges and frustrations, but at the end the hero (the customer) comes out on top. We all love a good story. This book lays out how companies can create their own powerful brand story in an easy-to-understand way, and ultimately in a way that will help their customers identify with them and purchase!
I find the book refreshing for many reasons, but I love how it emphasizes customer-centric marketing. This means the central figure of their story is their customer, not the company. The company’s role is the mentor, just as Obi-Wan Kenobi was mentor to Luke Skywalker. When companies brand their products and services this way, it creates strong brand affinity, conversion and loyalty.
Isaac Ware’s Favorite Book – “The One-Page Marketing Plan” by Allan Dib
For someone dipping their toe into marketing this book can be a godsend! For some new business owners developing a marketing plan can be an overwhelming task. This book breaks down your marketing strategy into bite-sized pieces that are easy to digest and implement. While it doesn’t dive too much into the details, it can be invaluable for someone building out their marketing plan step-by-step.
Bear Newman’s Favorite Book – “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown
There are so many options today pulling at our attention. You may be at home with the family or trying to grow your business and facing dozens, if not hundreds, of things you could be doing. Greg McKeown focuses on living your life like an Essentialist – Living your life by design, not by default.
The way of the Essentialist is about knowing what priority is to be focused on and while other things in life can be important, we must always remember not to sacrifice the ‘best’ in life for merely what is ‘good’. Greg McKeown brings to the forefront of life and work that realization that ‘your boat’ can have all the horsepower in the world, but without a ‘rudder’ you won’t go anywhere significant or even worthwhile.
A few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“There are so many options today pulling at our attention. You may be at home with the family or trying to grow your business and facing dozens, if not hundreds, of things you could be doing. Greg McKeown focuses on living your life like an Essentialist – Living your life by design, not by default.”
“What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?”
“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.”
“Only when we admit we have made a mistake in committing to something can we make a mistake a part of our past. When we remain in denial, on the other hand, we continue to circle pointlessly. There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake; after all, we really are only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.”
Like this list? Have a favorite of your own? Feel free to share! We’re always looking for another good read. And if you’re curious, take a look at The Bear Fox Principle, by co-founders Bear Newman and Glen Moore.
If you’re looking to drive your business growth through online marketing, Bear Fox Marketing offers a free discovery call. And if you mention this article, we’ll toss in a free copy of the book. To reserve your spot, click here.