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Friday, May. 4, 2007 at 5:18 am

What Books are Floating Around Your Office?

By Howard Kaplan
May 4th, 2007

It’s not only preschoolers who enjoy a good game of you show me yours, I’ll show you mine ;)

While randomly strolling through the Future Now offices, there’s a vast array of books teammates are currently ensconced in. Here’s five:

  1. Made to Stick, by the brothers Heath. We know a thing or two about getting two very bright, very opinionated brothers together to crank out a few hundred pages. It’s not always easy, but it seems it’s almost always worth the effort. This book is sweeping through the office like wildfire. Easily the book most widely read and applauded within these halls since Freakonomics.
  2. How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders, by Cat Seda. The sheer fact that Cat was wise enough to put the goal of influencing spiders AFTER influencing people makes her a big hit in our book. Then again, she already was a big hit, writing one of our collectively favorite blogs.
  3. Crucial Conversations, by Patterson, et. al. The quote I got was “Excellent for consultants… Even more excellent for anyone in a relationship!” Double points!
  4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini. You may have heard, we’ve been busy hiring (interested?). With hiring, naturally comes training. Can’t train Persuasion Architects without the godfather of persuasion!
  5. Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, by Orson Scott Card. With as eclectic a group as we have, be thankful it’s only this last offering that’s off the beaten path. (Bonus points if you can guess who’s reading it–and for the seventh time, I might add.)

Btw, another fun fact about Future Now: the average teammate actively reads 3.4 books at a time. Imagine that, from a collection of pretty high P’s ;)

Anyone care to share their upcoming reading list?

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Comments (20)

  1. I liked Pastwatch so much that I read it twice. So it isn’t me ;-)

  2. Hmmm….I read Ender’s Game and enjoyed it, but haven’t read Pastwatch yet. Who knew there were so many OSC fans in the office?

    Does that mean you guys are also secrectly hording your copies of Gail Sheehy’s “Sex and the Seasoned Woman”?

  3. I’m currently reading four books, one “manual” and a ebook.

    1) Deception point, novel
    2) People’s History of the United States, historical/political
    3) Guerrilla Marketing
    4) How to Win Friends and Influence People
    5) Conversion Experts Workbook
    6) Professional’s Guide to Link Building

    As for what’s up and coming:

    Cluetrain Manifesto
    Leadership, Rudy Giuliani
    Quantum Learning
    Guerrilla Marketing Attack
    Value of Keyowrd research ebook
    Contact me or submit ebook

    That’s just my stack at the office. I’ve got another stack of novels, political books, and leadership books waiting to be read at home.

  4. [...] What Books are Floating Around Your Office? – There may be a few here we need to be reading! [...]

  5. On my nightstand, in various stages of reading:

    1) Firms of Endearment – David Wolfe
    2) Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins – Amanda Vaill
    3) Power of the Actor – Ivana Chubbuck
    4) The Roosevelt Women – Betty Boyd Caroli
    5) Starfish & The Spider – Brafman & Beckstrom

    … and that certainly doesn’t count the pile of fiction next to the bed – The Plot Against America, The Lay of the Land, Saving Fish from Drowning, Shadow of the Wind, and the shooting script from “Stranger Than Fiction”… :-)

  6. I keep MarketingSherpa’s “Search Marketing Guide 2007″ close–all of those stats are delicious!

  7. Howard,

    I knew there was something else we liked about working with you; we have a reading culture here too! Here’s what we have circulating around the office:

    1. Call to Action, the newer paperback edition, by your bosses extraordinaire (our primer for getting up to speed with the basics of your system).

    2. Good to Great, by Jim Collins (it may have been written in 2001 but what a fantastic analysis of companies who choose greatness).

    3. Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, by Perry Marshall (there’s a reason this book has a nearly perfect ‘five stars’ from the 37 folks who have reviewed it on Amazon.com–much more than a ‘how-to’ book on AdWords.

    4. Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath (we too, love this book and have given it as gifts to friends and business associates).

    Funny about your read “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, we had just ordered this yesterday morning after hearing a strong recommendation for it.

  8. Pastwatch… I’ve read that one three times, myself. I fascinated by Orson Scott Card… but that aside.

    I’ve been rereading Seth Godin’s Unleash the Ideavirus
    Because we also hired, I’ve been whizzing through the Patrick Lencioni library for second time- most recently: Death by Meeting, and Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive

    Also, Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Church, which says nothing about my religious leanings, but he’s got a very clear model for building community.

    And, finally, Mother Theresa by Kathryn Spink. Not only is it incredibly inspiring and moving, but I grew tired of learning about business and marketing from business people- I wondered what someone like Mother Theresa could teach me about building a global brand while maintaining humility and integrity. There are some big teachings in there, for those with ears that hear…

    :)

  9. I can’t say I’m surprised our audience has such a diverse array of interests, both professionally and personally. A few reactions:

    Stoney- given your eclectic mix of classics, I’m wondering, where’s Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) and Getting to Yes (Fisher). If there not in your collection… I’d remedy that.

    Michele- I’ll expect a full review of Starfish once you finish it. I just pulled it out of my latest Amazon order in favor of another Lencioni book, b/c I find his stuff sooo easy to digest quickly.

    Cat- We love Anne’s stuff too, but surely you have something else by your bedside also?!

    Tim- Cialdini is a MUST read, you’ll love it! Haven’t checked out Perry Marshall’s book, but will soon after your recommendation. Surely you have a few copies of Andrew Goodman’s Winning Results with Google Adwords around the office, right?

    Mark- Great point about learning from a wide variety of sources, and applying the patterns you recognize. Roy Williams calls it Business Problem Topology.

  10. I sure do, Howard. :-) Although I haven’t read the book, I’ve watched “The Secret” several times–love it. My mind is often like that crazy hamster running on the wheel. I want to scream “Stop this ride, I want to get off!” The “The Secret” reminds me to stop running.

    My sister just sent me “Turning the Mind into an Ally.” Anyone read it? Hmm…it’s been a while since I’ve read “No Ordinary Moments” and perhaps I need to open it again because I remember liking it.

  11. Thanks Howard, that will be remedied soon. Both have been added to my Amazon wish list. Now a question for you guys… after you finish your books do they usually stay on the shelf unused or do you give them out or sell them? I find that some books stay on the shelf to be referenced again but most will be added to my bookins trade list so someone else can get some use out of them.

  12. I highly recommend Bob Prosen’s “Kiss Theory Good Bye” which is up by the way for a Foreword magazine award, Ben Franklin award and an Ethan Award finalist.

    Also – Lois Kelly’s – “Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing” – fantastic read.

  13. I’m reading a book titled:

    “Getting Business To Come To You”
    Second Edition by Paul & Sarah Edwards.
    A very interesting read.

    A few others include:
    - Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”
    - “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

  14. My tastes are strangely ecclectic, also.

    The Children of Hurin- JRR Tolkien

    Somebody’s Gotta Say It- Neil Boortz

    Citizen Marketers- McConnell/Huba

    Please Understand Me- Keirsey/ Bates

    Get in the Game- Cal Ripken Jr.

    Screwtape Letters- C.S. Lewis

    Mindset- Carol Dweck

  15. The sad truth – On a train ride home from a business meeting, I’m reading “Your Marketing Sucks” by Mark Stevens. About 2/3 thru and I already identified 2 projects my upper management is pushing… apparently falling under the ‘suck’ category. Sad part is, I thought so too when they were first assigned – but at least now I feel validated.

    But for me – it was a good reminder of some common sense / ROI considerations I (we?) unfortunately loose sight of – which is sometimes easy to do when everyone else around you already “drank the cool-aid” (my internal analogy)

    Another favorite of mine is “The Brand Gap.” A quick and to the point read. I got this last year and one quote will now stay on my office wall forever: “When people talk to themselves – it’s called insanity. When companies do – it’s called Marketing… It’s not about what you say it is – It’s what THEY say it is”

    Last but not least – Gonzo Marketing by Chris Locke (but not for the squeamish)

    And thanks for the numerous reminders – I need to dust off Think and Grow Rich

  16. Thanks, Howard. As much as I love the game of business, sometimes I just get sick of the same old stories… :) It helps me engage more deeply with life to learn from many places. Roy Williams, eh? I’ll have to check him out.

  17. Stoney- another P answer for you: both! I definitely keep them in my personal bookcases, because I tend to read books rather quickly and absorb their principles, which means I often have to go back to the source when quoting or sharing with colleagues. However, I LOVE lending them out to people when they come up in conversation so they don’t have to make the purchase decision until after they’ve made the learning decision ;)

    Ann- you were officially the tipping point for Beyond Buzz. I’ve heard too many good things to go on without having checked it out. ty.

    Kamran- Please Understand Me is great… but I’ve run into a whole slew of people who find his work to be too academic to really understand (how ironic). The book I’ve recommended to several, and is very plain spoken (and thus, very educational!) is What Type Am I (Renee Baron)- best explained book on type I’ve ever seen, and trust me, we’ve seem a LOT. Also, check out Jonathan Niednagel’s about Brain Type, as told through the metaphor of sports.

  18. Howie … how about books that are slinging schlock? Seems a lot of the most prolific authors keep rewarming the same old hash or something a bit more pungent. What’s your list of WARNING – reading this book may be hazardous to your brain?

  19. I’m reading a fascinating book at the moment called The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, which demonstrates that the poorest of the poor can be a large and viable market–but not by approaching them in the traditional up-market ways.

    I’ll be reviewing this book in Tuesday’s Positive Power of Principled Profit.

    Like the Eisenbergs, I’m always reading several books at once Among others at the moment: Think Two Products Ahead by Ben Mack, Can We Do That by Peter Shankman, Rebel Bookseller by Andrew Laties, and several others.

    And I hope a lot of people are reading my just-released Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers.

  20. Howard– Enjoyed meeting you at Internet Retailer. Look forward to discussing your Japanese initiatives– and promise to have “Call to Action” read by next week!

    But the REAL reason for the comment is the “Pastwatch” reference. One of my favorites… every bit as good as Card’s better known works IMHO…

    Read On! KH

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