The 5 Best Books I Read in 2017

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I read a lot of great books this year, and it was tough to narrow it down to the five best. But those listed below are the ones I just didn’t want to put down. In no particular order, they are…

  • Give and Take by Adam Grant – This book is a few years old, and I just got around to it in 2017. I’m glad I did! It makes a compelling case that self-focused, me-first personality is NOT the way to get ahead and stay ahead in today’s business world. Anybody who is a true “giver” will want the validation and affirmation that this book will provide.
  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – This self-told story of the creation and history of Nike is both inspiring and engaging. You will feel like you truly know the company’s founder, and you will like his humble, “level 5” leadership style. And you will feel compelled to turn page after page in order to learn how he found his way through challenge after challenge.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – The behavioral psychologist and Nobel prize winning author leads readers through a fascinating journey of discovery into cognitive bias and the tricks it plays on our minds. Based on countless experiments and real life events, Kahneman’s findings are eye-opening and hard to dismiss. You will have a whole new perspective on the quick judgments your brain leads you to after reading this book.
  • Flash Boys by Michael Lewis – Lewis tells the story of high frequency securities traders and how the system they built has quietly generated billions and billions in profits to the detriment of average investors. And the story follows a small group of technology and trading experts who figured out the system and built a solution that would run parallel to allow the market to avoid the high costs being paid to the secretive high frequency traders. It’s a modern day version of the Wild West played out via stock exchange computers. A fascinating tale that should have received much bigger news headlines than it ever did.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – Don’t worry – I did not just discover this one. This is a book I make a point to re-read every single year. Perhaps I am remedial in this area, but I just can’t be reminded often enough of the amazing lessons that Carnegie teaches in this book. I receive particular value from Part IV, Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment. There is a reason why this one is on all lists of the most important books for managers and leaders to read.

I hope that at least one book I have mentioned will make your top list for 2018.

I will also leave you with one more suggestion for 2018. My new book, The Retail Leadership Profile, is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, and it will soon be available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes in audio version. This book is a guide to hiring, developing, and becoming top retail talent. It combines strategic, theoretical concepts with extremely practical and structured processes. Tools to support the processes are available via download. Check it out, and please give me your feedback! I really hope this one hits your top five list for 2018!


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