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100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (part 13)

Ciara Ferguson
07 September 2021

Welcome back to part 13 of our 100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners.

Author Edgar Allan Poe said: “Happiness is not to be found in knowledge, but in the acquisition of knowledge.” Reading provides you with not only knowledge but the tools and information needed to understand it- resulting in happiness.

Knowledge is exploring from brain around books.

This week, we are starting off with the Partner and Co-President of Mindset Wizardry, Debbie Sehulster. 

“A business book that has influenced me is Leading with Questions by Michael J. Marquardt. Questions are an underutilised leadership tool and can do a lot more than gathering information. By asking the right questions, a leader can engage individuals and teams, build better relationships, empower and coach their people and drive creativity and innovation. The author includes many helpful examples of effective questions for different situations.

After reading this book, I found that I was incorporating a lot more questions into my personal and professional conversations. It helped me not only become a better listener; it provided me with additional skills to be a better leader, coach, consultant and friend. I have always been a curious person and this book helped me hone that natural tendency and refine my questioning techniques.”

Anna Hassett, Self- employed Researcher and consultant in Anthropology, Archaeology and Heritage said the book that influenced her most was The Burnout Survival Kit by Imogen Dall.

“Even though it is technically not a business book, it helped a lot with getting through a terrible burnout I suffered last year – due to overworking and over-stressing about work – and, paradoxically, for not working as I recovered. As the book helps with developing a healthy work mindset – from learning how to say no, dealing with criticism, and maintaining a good work-life balance (which is much easier said than done!), I still refer to it constantly and am definitely conducting my work better!”

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss was what Founder and CEO of One 8 & Accountancy & QFA SEO, Craig Freemantle chose.

It’s a really clever book that gives you all the subtle skills you need to win any negotiation. It’s given me some really powerful tools which I use in my business every day.”

Fergal Toland, Co-Founder at Now DCS said a standout book for him with one of Richard Branson’s autobiographies- Losing My Virginity“The title grabs you in much the same way all of the book does.  

It’s an energy fueled, page turner, rollercoaster ride to read. I admire his audacity, tenacity and goal driven attitude – problems are incidental – he only has his eye on the prize, his vision.  

Its a window into the mind of this consummate problem solver, who applies limitless energy to his visions, attracts like minded positive people to all of his endeavours and ruthlessly cuts people out of his business and personal life who hold him back, going so far as to say ‘you cannot choose to exclude negative family members, but you can minimise the time you spend on them…!’

The book is full of tips, insights, approaches and hindsight reviews of the vast array of projects and initiatives, enterprises and businesses that this powerhouse disruptor, adventurer, explorer and innovating thrill seeker has put his hand to, mostly but not always successfully.”

And finally Damian Carr, Founder of Eyedea Medtech Consultancy mentioned… yes, it’s here again… The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey!

“Although it is as common as air (or one should so hope), it is the book that has most influenced me during my journey into the world of business. The beauty behind this book for me, is that it is applicable throughout all aspects of both work and personal life, it offers an alternate outlook on everything from our business planning to parenting, from work to play. Giving an incredible balance into working to live/living to work paradox. 

This book also throws a new dynamic and lens for how one can perceive both the world around them and the paths ahead. My business is a medtech design consultancy company and this book has truly revolutionised how I work with my clients and how I can consistently improve our offerings after every encounter. Teaching me the ability on how to blend our consultancies advancement and development with what goes above and beyond the expectations of our customers. Taking this win/win approach to business has both fast tracked the progression and reputation of the business alongside the relationships we have made with our clients. To date, we still work with every client we have ever conducted business with. Often on a weekly or at minimum a monthly basis. The ability to facilitate so many clients without burnout is also attributed to “the 7 habits of highly effective people” which has taught our business how to effectively manage present and future time, for instance, if we can design a device within a number of days as opposed to weeks or months, we may lose out on billable hours which some companies strive to accumulate, where as we open ourselves up to take on more work, working with more devices, gaining more experience with more and more customers that return for the a service evolved from the teachings found within ‘the 7 habits of highly effective people’. 

My advice to anyone looking to develop a successful mindset within the business world, would be to go out and buy this book and make it a biblical practice to read, highlight and scribble your way to a morally success driven mentality.”

Not much longer to go now until we reach 100 books- make sure you watch this space so you don’t miss an installment!