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Author: Ciara Ferguson

100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners (Part 2)

Welcome to part two of 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners! Reading books takes us on a journey- as Albus Dumbledore said in J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic”- and he was right. These books have inspired successful business owners so why not you?

1) Bill himself of Bill Gillespie Consulting Services said that picking his favourite business book was very hard for him. “I read everything I can get my hands on. I love studying and learning.” He ended up choosing: First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman as his favourite as it speaks to skills vs. talent. “It makes arguments for the right person in the right role vs. training someone to do a job that isn’t right for them. It speaks to fits vs. surviving. I’ve read lots of good business books, but I recommend this one to everyone.”

2) Bob Fitch, Founder and CEO of Fitch Consulting LLC said: “Choosing one book is hard – there have been many that have influenced me. I decided to single out The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge because, 30 years ago, this transformed my thinking about how organizations should work – about how to create less authoritarian, more inspiring workplaces. We now know more about employee experience and psychological safety (The Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson leaps to mind) but my purpose – changing organizations for good – can be traced back to Senge’s ground-breaking work. His understanding that “there are powerful forces at work in organizations that tend to make the intelligence of the team less than, not greater than, the intelligence of individual team members” drives much of our work on organizational design.”

3) CEO of Diabetes & Endocrine Treatment Specialists and Founder & Chief Infusioist at TannenBombers Tannen Ellis-Graham loves reading and simply couldn’t choose just one book so gave us her top three! Start with WHY by Simon Sinek: “When starting any new project, I ask this question WHY am I doing this. And even more important, WHY would any customer want this product.” Give and Take by Adam M. Grant: “Again this focuses me on the mission and not my own needs.” And finally, GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth: “Taking on anything outside of the box, forging a new business or product, managing others to see your vision – takes Grit (a lot of it every day)”.

4) CEO & Co-founder of trukl, Robin Hunt, was originally reluctant to choose Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki because he thought that many people would say it but in fact- he was the first and so far, the only one! “It was the first book I read before I started my own business in 1999. It shaped the way I thought about money, work and business. I re-read it in 2018 and realized how much of it had helped shape some of the choices I had made in business.”

5) Founder of Ghozt Infinitum Limited, Ghozt Lechner chose The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy: “This book outlines the secret to repeatable success. It discusses the importance of developing a lifestyle of daily habits that all take incremental steps towards achieving a goal. The author talks about the progressive success this method delivers vs attempting to reach that goal “all in one try”.”

That’s it for part two! Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for part three- if you’ve missed the first part, check it out here: 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners – MeasMedia

100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners (Part 1)

Reading is exercise for the brain. It sharpens your mind, increases your vocabulary, improves your memory and focus, and increases your imagination. Roald Dahl put it very simply: “If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books.”  

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Because reading has so many benefits- we asked 100 successful business owners to choose a book that has influenced them in their life and why.

We’re going to be releasing 5 books per week and at the end, we will share a PDF containing a list of the 100 books together which will be free for you to download and hopefully give you some ideas of books to read that will inspire you both personally and professionally.  

Why don't men read books by women?

1) The Book of Tea by Kazuko Okakura. Chief Product Officer at Vote Frenzy, Frank Ramirez said: This brief book maybe too qualitative/romantic for the current modern age that quantifies and digitizes everything and glorifies the accumulation of wealth. It is not a book for people seeking a task list for financial/ social success- rather this book encourages people to look beyond the superficial to find beauty, hope, and meaning in simplicity. It demonstrates the value of close observation, selfless empathy, and humility. It helps the reader discover greatness in small things in others and themselves. In this way it drives innovation because it trains you to see opportunity and find value where others do not.”    

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2) The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance by K. Anders Ericsson, Robert R. Hoffman, Aaron Kozbelt and A. Mark Williams was the book that influenced Owner of DJWB & Co Business Advisors, David J W Bailey. There are so many “pundits” in the space of personal development. Everyone quotes Ray Dalio, or Malcolm Gladwell, yet few put in the hard miles to find out what really creates expertise. Perhaps more should. This is hard going, but deep and rich. More importantly, it gives quantitative as well as quantitative measures, enabling one to assess costs and risks as well as benefits. This is not a “how to” book, this is a book for those who want to “do” rather than talk around the coffee machine. If the thought of tackling 920 or so pages is daunting, I recommend taking a gentle run up with Daniel Coyle’s “Talent Code” first.”

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3) For the Founder and CEO of Marketing Fundamentals Ltd., Mike Pitt- it was Good to Great by Jim Collins that stood out for him. This seminal book introduced me to two new concepts: Level 5 leadership and the Hedgehog Concept. These have informed my life in business ever since. I aspire to be a Level 5 Leader and my business is based on an activity in the middle of the three circles of the Hedgehog Concept i.e. what are you deeply passionate about, what can you be best in the world at, what drives your economic engine.”


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4) CEO of Blueshift Memory, Audrey Stone said a book that has influenced her would have to be Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. “It explains is such a logical and comprehensive manner how different our personalities can be and that determines our needs too. It is great to use it both in private and business interactions with others.”

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5) Founder/ Director of Cidrosoft Antony Kancidrowski said that Winning the Professional Services Sale by Michael W McLaughlin was the book that influenced him: “McLaughlin is extremely insightful and explains how to win professional services sales. By following Michael’s advice, you will start tipping the table towards your offering, systematically increasing your chances of success.”

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And that’s it for part one of the 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owner’s series. Watch this space for the next instalment!


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