A Special Gift For You: My Top 10 Books of 2017

Everything I do is because of you, constant reader, and this holiday season I’d like to not only say thank you for your continued interest and support, I’d like to share with you a list that I’m asked for at least once per week by senior leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and everyone in between.

Please consider this “Demand Creation/Profitable Growth Menu” a small token of my deepest appreciation.  As I often do, the books are listed in reverse order, with #1 being the most profound and helpful book of the year.  Also, feel free to leave a message regarding the books that YOU feel made a difference in 2017.

NOTE:  These are the books I’ve read, not necessarily those that debuted in 2017 (though many did).

Enjoy, Happy Holidays to each of you, and we’ll catch up in early January.  I wish you nothing but peace and prosperity in 2018!

“2017: The List”

  1. The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry, by John Warrillow. This one makes the list because it deftly explains what it takes to create members, not mere customers. 
  1. The Four Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, and Jim Huling. No execution, no results.  End of story.
  1. Be Obsessed or Be Average, by Grant Cardone. If you’re interested in how this blog post came to be, look no further than this book for inspiration.  If you seek business domination, obsessions beat rote core values or behaviors every time.
  1. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace.  Catmull, President of Pixar, recounts not only how to become more creative, but how to intentionally design an entire culture of creativity.
  1. the four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, by Scott Galloway. How did these goliaths materialize?  It’s not what you think.  And, there’s lessons here way beyond the tech industry.
  1. Blue Ocean Shift (Beyond Competing): Proven Steps To Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. This is the book that I thought the predecessor, Blue Ocean Strategy, would be.  An outstanding guide to breaking from sameness and “seeing what others miss.”
  1. Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. This book should be a staple in any business leader’s library – as for me, it’s become a type of bible – as its directness and profound wisdom is amazing in its simplicity.  (I broke the rule here; this is my second helping of Rework)
  1. Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, by Donald Miller. There are a gazillion books on how to tell your story in a resonant, meaningful way.  This is the one that did it for me.  Not to be missed.
  1. The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, by Chip and Dan Heath. Many leaders I know have “guest experience” as a corporate priority.  The problem is the focus is too broad.  If you want to learn how indelible moments are forged, and how to leverage them for PRG, then this book’s for you.  Said another way, do you want to “conjure more moments that matter,” and create insane customer demand?  The Heath brothers hit the mark yet again. 
  1. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build The Future, by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. “The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create.  In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.”  Remember, it is solving for the UNspoken need that drives demand.  This book shows us how.

NOTE:  Of course, if you have not yet secured your copy of Clean Slate, it’s now available on Amazon for Kindle!  Very much appreciated.



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Why leadership should trash their current business model, reject popular sales advice, operate like a startup, and leverage the new rules for prosperity to achieve explosive profitable revenue growth (PRG).