Sometimes you read books throughout your career
that change the way you work.

Crossing The Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore

Crossing the Chasm demonstrated the existence of distinct marketing challenges for each market segment in the life cycle of new technology-based products. A significant gulf, the “chasm”, exists between the market made up of early adopters, and the markets of more pragmatic buyers. To cross the chasm, a product team must identify the needs of pragmatic buyers and deliver a “whole product” that more than meets those needs.

Inside the Tornado, by Geoffrey Moore

On the other side of the chasm, product applications must be researched and modified to fit an ever growing number of market niches; Moore’s “bowling alley” metaphor. By migrating applications to new customers and by creating new applications for existing customers, niches give way like struck bowling pins until the installed customer base reaches critical mass. Then, you’re “Inside the Tornado.”

Built to Last, by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras

Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. Built to Last, is the defining management study of the nineties, showing how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

In Good to Great, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years using tough benchmarks. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world’s greatest companies including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric and Merck.

The Tipping Point, by Malcom Gladwell

“The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life,” writes Malcolm Gladwell, “is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.” Although anyone familiar with the theory of memetics will recognize this concept, Gladwell’s The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.

Jump Start Your Business Brain, by Doug Hall

Doug Hall has been called America’s #1 New Product Idea Man by Inc. Magazine, A&E Top 10 and CIO Magazine, a title earned due to his outstanding work with such industry leaders as American Express, Ford Motor Company, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, Tropicana, AT&T and Frito-Lay. After 10 years with Procter & Gamble Co., where he became that company’s first “master marketing inventor,” he now runs the Eureka Ranch, a work-hard, play-hard haven where he helps companies create breakthrough ideas for new products and services. This work, in combination with his years of consulting and researching, led directly to Jump Start Your Business Brain, the best piece of good news for business owners to appear in the last ten years.

The Innovators Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen

At the heart of The Innovator’s Dilemma is how a successful company with established products keeps from being pushed aside by newer, cheaper products that will, over time, get better and become a serious threat

Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Kim and Mauborgne’s blue ocean metaphor elegantly summarizes their vision of the kind of expanding, competitor-free markets that innovative companies can navigate. Unlike “red oceans,” which are well explored and crowded with competitors, “blue oceans” represent “untapped market space” and the “opportunity for highly profitable growth.”

Linked, by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

Information, disease, knowledge and just about everything else is disseminated through a complex series of networks made up of interconnected hubs, argues University of Notre Dame physics professor Barabasi. These networks are replicated in every facet of human life: “There is a path between any two neurons in our brain, between any two companies in the world, between any two chemicals in our body. Nothing is excluded from this highly interconnected web of life.” In accessible prose, Barabasi guides readers through the mathematical foundation of these networks.

A New Brand World, by Scott Bedbury

What does it really take to succeed in business today? In A New Brand World, Scott Bedbury, who helped make Nike and Starbucks two of the most successful brands of recent years, explains this often mysterious process by setting out the principles that helped these companies become leaders in their respective industries.

Strategic Selling, by Miller and Heiman

Strategic Selling provides valuable insight into how to set up “Win/Win” situations: it begins by identifying the different kinds of “Buyers” in every sales situation, the roles they play, and what constitutes “Value” to them. It then provides a mechanism for identifying what you do not “know” about the various Buyers, with the objective of finding the answer. It is an approach which helps paint a complete picture of the dynamics at work in a selling situation in order to operate effectively. Finally, it provides a mechanism for “keeping the sales funnel full” — a challenge with which most people operating in cyclical industries can identify.

Solution Selling, by Michael Bosworth

Solution Selling is a process to take the guesswork out of difficult-to-sell, intangible products and services. It enables sellers to make the way they sell as big an advantage as their product or service. After reading this book, salespeople and sales managers will be able to use a well-tested model that guides them through the process of selling.

Power Base Selling, by Jim Holden

Focuses on competitive selling: the range of skills that sales professionals need to reach their full potential. It offers practical, step-by-step advice that sales people can take to prevent the competition from selling their products or services, revealing the components involved in gaining full control of a sales situation. Discusses a key step in this process – the politics of selling – showing how to establish the right relationships with people who are powerful enough to give the salespeople an edge. Will help those who are already good at selling become competitive sales people capable of strengthening their position with the customer, while at the same time weakening the competition.