Reading Matter

Here’s some reading I love, in no particular order…

Start-Up Strategy and Product Direction:

The Four Steps to the Epiphany, by Steven Blanks. Everyone in startup land should read this.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins.  Another classic. Favorite takeaways here were how important it is to adapt and to have the right people on your team. You don’t have to be the smartest, but you should hire the smartest. Humility is king.

SAAS-y Content:

SAAS Metrics: A Guide To Measuring and Improving What Matters. Great visual guide on the mechanics of a SAAS business.

Data Mining Techniques for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management, by Gordon Linoff and Michael Berry. Terrific in-depth introduction to managing the customer lifecycle. What are the hazard points? What’s important about voluntary vs. involuntary churn. How do you find out when your customers are mostly likely to leave and why?

On Building a Team and Inspirational Leadership:

The One Minute Manager, by Kenneth Blanchard. This is a classic. Plus, you can listen to the whole thing in one long visit to the gym!

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni. Another ‘management’ book told in fable form. One of the big takeaways I got from this book is how healthy teams show conflict.

Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh. Yes. This is a cheesy one, but I still really enjoyed it. It’s delightful and inspiring and you can read it on a short plane ride. It’s a truly convincing read on the power of creating a positive Tribe.  This is close to my heart because I believe so strongly in the ROI of employee morale and happiness projects.

12: The Elements of Great Managing, by Rodd Wagner and James Harter. I’m only in the middle of this, but it’s been an enjoyable read with valuable insight. A tremendous starter-book for managers. It doesn’t deep dive into specific problems, but it argues for and successfully proves essential leadership qualities.

Being the Boss, by Linda Hill and Kent Lineback. This is a very helpful book for new managers. It helps you understand the strengths you’ll need to cultivate, identifies traps, and even gives you handy self-directed quizzes.

Self-Awareness for Self-Improvement: 

Getting Things Done, by David Allen.  You have to give it up for GTD. Probably the best productivity book on the market. I love this shit. It’s probably one of the few ‘personal development’ books I actually re-read.

Conscious Business, by Fred Kofman. My current FAVORITE on leadership and why creating a mindful company culture with core values is essential for true success. Totally dug the audio version. It was like listening to an old friend.

Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, by Nancy McWilliams. Okay. This one turns a lot of people off. It’s a huge tome and the topic creates very strong emotional reactions in people. It’s no wonder. Self-identifying as a narcissist or manic-depressive sounds like you’ve got a mental health problem that needs treatment. That’s not how I use this book. I use it to identify personality trends of HIGH FUNCTIONING people, mostly myself.  If you can read it with an open mind, it will help you become self aware, catch your defensive coping strategies, and start having choice about how to respond to triggering events.

Inbox Zero. A wonderful productivity/self-awareness paradigm. Highly recommended to help you get control of your inbox and make it work with your Getting Things Done approach, instead of tempting you to context-switch all day.

Obsessions:–I curl up with this blog in bed and just ache. Can you believe she is in Seattle and I live near her shop?  My husband’s site. His current project is a novel about the Iraq war.

The Everywhereist. Big shout out to my favorite travel blog and one of my favorite writers.

Khan Academy. I’m addicted to school.

Ted. This one needs no introduction, I’m sure.