Pack Your Beach Bags: Summer Reading Recommendations

With the official start of summer upon us, vacation countdowns have begun. Yet, while we look forward to time away from the office, most of us are compelled to stay tuned in to the world around us – from keeping up with email to catching up on reading. Whether you’re planning to be poolside for the weekend or heading to the beach for a week, make sure you add a few top business titles to your e-reader queue. Or for those who still can’t give up turning the page, throw a hard copy or two into your bag. While you soak up some sun, you’ll be immersed in new ways to approach business and life. Here are some suggestions from our client roster that promise to inspire thought:

Too often, we benchmark success in life against the progress we make in our careers. Renowned innovation guru and Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, along with co-authors James Allworth and Karen Dillon, encourages us to look beyond what we achieve in business and think about what is truly important in life in The New York Times best-seller How Will You Measure Your Life?(HarperCollins, May 2012). You’ll find that good theory helps steer good decisions – not just in business, but in life.

In a still-shaky economy, the old rules of strategic advantage no longer apply. Service – putting your customers first – is business’ most valued competitive tool, and must be tightly integrated into every fundamental decision. Francis Frei and Anne Morriss explain the unexpected truth behind exceptional service design in “Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business” (Harvard Business Review Press, February 2012).

Today’s personalized world requires effective leaders to play to their strengths. In his Harvard Business Review article “Leadership Development in the Age of the Algorithm” (June 2012), Marcus Buckingham expounds on the notion that leadership is not one-size-fits all and so companies’ approach to developing leaders shouldn’t be either.  Assess your strengths and learn practical ideas to help you win at work with his most recent book “StandOut” (Thomas Nelson, 2011) and leadership development tool.

What business books top your summer reading list? Share your favorites with us @sternassociates.