Best Practices | Read Time: 4 Minutes

6 Business and Leadership Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

August 15, 2019

Applied Systems logo By: Applied Communications

Man reading book outdoorsSummer is a time when many of us devote extra time for reading, diving into fascinating stories or learning important life lessons. The benefits of reading go beyond just entertainment: research shows it can help fight depression, and make you more confident, empathetic and a better decision maker.

To get you started, here are four books from Amazon’s list of Best Books of 2019 (so far). Plus, two additional books that are personal favorites of our new CEO Taylor Rhodes. These must-reads in business and leadership will help you to end the summer feeling more motivated and resilient.
  • The Making of a Manager book cover
    The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You

    By Julie Zhuo

    In “The Making of a Manager,” Julie Zhuo, the former vice president of product design at Facebook, shares her own recollections as to how woefully unprepared she was to tackle her first managerial role and explores what new managers can do in their first three months and beyond to ensure their team gets excellent results. From meetings to recruitment and managing a growing team, Zhou provides insight on the opportunities and pitfalls that all new managers face, and reveals that great managers are made, not born.

  • Raise Your Game book cover
    Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets From the Best of the Best

    By Alan Stein Jr. and Jon Sternfeld

    In “Raise Your Game,” co-authors Alan Stein Jr. and Jon Sternfeld address three common problems faced by decision-makers today: ineffective leadership, team dysfunction and low performance. Performance coach Stein Jr. shares the secret principles used by world-class performers that will help you improve your productivity and achieve higher levels of success.

  • Be Fearless book cover
    Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose

    By Jean Case

    When National Geographic Chairman Jean Case set out to investigate the core qualities of great change makers, past and present, from inventors to revolutionaries, she found five surprising traits they all had in common. It wasn’t wealth, privilege, or even genius. It was that all of these exceptional men and women chose to take bold risks, learn from their failures, reach beyond their bubbles and let urgency conquer fear. Weaving together storytelling, practical tips and inspiration, “Be Fearless” will teach you how to put the five fearless principles to work so that you too can spark the sorts of remarkable breakthroughs that change the world.

  • Scaling Leadership book cover
    Scaling Leadership: Building Organizational Capability and Capacity to Create Outcomes that Matter Most

    By Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams

    Drawing upon decades of solid research and experience enhancing individual capability and collective leadership effectiveness with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, Anderson and Adams provide a proven framework for magnifying agile and scalable leadership in your organization. “Scaling Leadership” provides effective techniques, real-world examples and expert guidance for organizations seeking to improve performance, align and execute strategies, and transform their business with scalable leadership capability.

  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things book cover
    The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

    By Ben Horowitz

    In “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup. Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in and supervising technology companies. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures.

  • Leaders Eat Last book cover
    Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

    By Simon Sinek

    “Leaders Eat Last” is the highly anticipated follow-up to Simon Sinek’s global bestseller “Start with Why.” In this sequel, Sinek expands upon his ideas, addressing how to get people on board with your ‘why’ and how to inspire deep trust and commitment to the company and one another. He cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them. Drawing on powerful and inspiring stories, Sinek shows how to sustain an organization’s ‘why’ while continually adding people to the mix.

So there you have it! Grab a cold drink and a shady spot and get reading. You’ll be refreshed and inspired to share and implement some of these tips and ideas when it’s time to get back to work. Happy reading!

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Applied Communications

For more than 35 years, Applied Systems has led an industry we helped to create with a mission to continuously improve the business of insurance. Insurance agencies and brokerages have faced new challenges and demands on their businesses over time, and we have been there to guide them. Since 1983, Applied has been at the forefront of insurance technology, leading the way through innovation. As the insurance industry becomes increasingly global, we are delivering new technology and expanded multinational capabilities for this changing marketplace.