How to Win Friends and Influence People
I picked this up with low expectations during a particularly long print job at Kinko's and read it halfway through. When I got back to the office I immediately ordered a new copy from Amazon. Stunningly practical advice written in a concise, and down-to-earth style. Not bad for a book first published in 1937. This is the foundation. Everyone should read this book.
Art of the Start
Guy Kawasaki also writes (and speaks) with an immediate and concrete delivery. I blazed through this book and practically never set it down. I work at a start-up company, and while I was reading I suddenly understood a lot of things that we had done. I wish I would have read this book four years earlier.
Perhaps I was particularly fond of this one because it's focused around customer service, which I do. But really, whatever you do, you should understand customer service if you want to do it well. I actually took notes while reading this book, which is unusual for me, but there were just so many great ideas to capture!
Good to Great
I am just finishing the audio version of this one now, and it's, well... pretty great! What I like about this is that it's not just a bunch of opinions or even personal anecdotes. No, they took a ton of raw data and did science to it. The result is reality-tested case studies on building an enduring organization.
- I haven't got around to reading any of Seth Godin's books, but his daily blog is a great brain-starter. Read it with your morning coffee.
- Set Higher Standards: I used to read this for the business parts and skim the running stuff, but now I can use it all!
- I have Penelope Trunk's book, Brazen Careerist, but I prefer her blog where she is able to be more candid. I love this woman.