Eight of my favorite books from 2013

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I joke that I typically read three types of books – those about business, parenting and baseball. Of all the books I read this year, the below eight are my favorites. Four about business, one each about parenting and baseball, and two other gems I really enjoyed.

Pick Up The Damn Phone: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal by Joanne Black
I loved this book, which may be surprising coming from a reasonably tech-savvy guy who actively leverage digital and social strategies to build sales pipelines. But read Joanne’s book and you’ll realize she’s not anti-technology, but instead wants to remind us that it’s not about the tools, it’s about the relationship. And there still is no remote relationship-building tool quite as valuable as the telephone. It’s a quick read, but worth picking up for your next long flight.

Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success by Dan Waldschmidt
Dan is a sales coach & go to market consultant, but he’s much more than that. He’s a cross between Zig Ziglar, Gary Vaynerchuk and your favorite motivational speaker. He talks about sales but really talks about life. His blog is required reading, and his new book is just as good. Highly recommended.

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Motivating Others by Daniel Pink
If you wonder what all the fuss about The Challenger Sale is all about but aren’t in sales, read this book first. At the end of the day (as Joanne & Dan would agree), sales is about relationships. It’s about trust and developing credibility. It’s built on the fundamental psychology of human relationships that have existed for a very long time. Daniel showcases that through a series of stories that are fast to read and will stick with you for a long time.

Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management Is Over & Collaboration Is In by Peter Shankman
This book validated my assumption (and hope) that successful, fast-growth and profitable companies could be fun by good people with good cultures. We all know of several examples of companies and executives who suck. I don’t want to run or grow a company like that, and have benefited significantly from the stories and best practices in this book that have implications for companies big and small.

Siblings Without Rivalry: How To Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Too by Adele Faber
The most important and valuable parenting book I’ve read this year speaks specifically to the reasons why siblings fight, and how to change that behavior almost immediately. Lots of great research and anecdotes here that will sound very, very familiar if you have or have had young kids.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Foods by Michael Pollan
I’m addicted to this man’s content, and if you read just one of his books I’d recommend this one. Great summary of how food gets to our table, including how organic might not mean what you think it means. Worth reading at minimum to shed light on what’s happening and what you can do to make marginal improvements to your food that can make a big different to your health and the economy overall.

Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live by Doug Hill
Much has been written about the past 35+ years of this show, but this book stands out for me based not only on its depth of content but also the fact that it was published in the mid 1980?s. Tons of detail on how the program came to be (and almost didn’t) as well as the first 3-4 years of its existence. If you’re an SNL fan, it’s a must read.

The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game by Edward Achorn
A whole book about the 1883 baseball season, which the author argues is exactly the year when baseball converted from an interesting but still questionable sport into the beginnings of its place as the national pastime.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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