At Fargo INC!, we’ve always tried to supply you with great suggestions on books to read. However, our efforts left a little to be desired in 2020. That’s why we teamed up with the Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead to bring you their must-read books for business professionals looking to improve their businesses and themselves.
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
2. Traction by Gino Wickman
In Traction, you’ll learn the secrets of strengthening the six key components of your business. You’ll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Successful companies are applying Traction every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses—and you can too.
3. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Some of the lessons included in the book are:
- Six ways to make people like you
- 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking
- Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment
4. Get A Grip by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton
Get A Grip tells the story of how Swan Services resolves its issues by implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System®.
5. IN-N-OUT Burger by Stacy Perman
In-N-Out Burger is a keenly observed narrative that explores the evolution of a California fad that transformed into an enduring cult of popularity; it is also the story of the conflicted, secretive, and ultimately tragic Snyder family who cooked a billion burgers and hooked a zillion fans. As the story of In-N-Out Burger unfolds so too does the cultural history of America as influenced and shaped by car culture and fast food.
6. Profit First! by Mike Michalowicz
The author of cult classics The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur offers a simple, counterintuitive cash management solution that will help small businesses break out of the doom spiral and achieve instant profitability.
7. Good to Great by Jim Collins
Built to Last, the defining management study of the ’90s, showed 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.
But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?
8. Built to Last by Jim Collins
Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.
9. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment.
10. Getting Naked: A Business Fable by Patrick Lencioni
Getting Naked tells the remarkable story of a management consultant who is trying desperately to merge two firms with very different approaches to serving clients. One relies on vulnerability and complete transparency; the other focuses on proving its competence and protecting its reputation for intellectual prowess. In the process of managing the merger, the consultant is forced to learn life-changing lessons that prove to be as relevant as they are painful.
11. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Start with Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way – and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with why.
12. EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey
This book presents Dave’s playbook for creating work that matters; building an incredible group of passionate, empowered team members; and winning the race with steady momentum that will roll over any obstacle.
13. Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute
Leadership and Self-Deception uses an entertaining story about an executive facing challenges at work and at home to expose the subtle psychological processes that conceal our true motivations and intentions from us and trap us in a “box” of endless self-justification – even when we’re convinced we’re doing the right thing. Most importantly, the book shows us the way out.
14. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben 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.
15. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
16. How I Built This by Guy Raz
Based on the highly acclaimed NPR podcast How I Built This with Guy Raz, this book offers priceless insights and inspiration from the world’s top entrepreneurs on how to start, launch, and build a successful venture.
17. The Spark, The Flame, and the Torch by Lance Secretan
The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch is Lance Secretan’s masterwork, representing 35 years of intellectual property which he calls Higher Ground Leadership® developed through his research, client engagements, coaching and teaching experience.
18. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This beloved classic presents a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and practical anecdotes, Stephen R. Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
19. Change or Die by Alan Deutschman
In this inspiring, revelatory book, Deutschman helps deconstruct and demystify five age-old myths about change, including the notions that small, gradual changes are always easier to make and sustain, and that we can’t change because our brains become “hardwired” early in life.
20. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
In the book, John combines insights learned from his 30-plus years of leadership successes and mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can.
21. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The 13 Steps to Riches described in this book offer the shortest dependable philosophy of individual achievement ever presented for the benefit of the man or woman who is searching for a definite goal in life. It comes directly from the experiences of hundreds of America’s most successful men.
22. Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
Raving Fans includes startling new tips and innovative techniques that can help anyone create a revolution in any workplace–and turn their customers into raving, spending fans.
23. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
The Energy Bus, an international best seller by Jon Gordon, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward-thinking that leads to true accomplishment at work and at home.
24. Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
Raving Fans taught managers how to turn customers into full-fledged fans. Now, Gung Ho! brings the same magic to employees. Through the inspirational story of business leaders Peggy Sinclair and Andy Longclaw, Blanchard and Bowles reveal the secret of Gung Ho–a revolutionary technique to boost enthusiasm and performance and usher in astonishing results for any organization. The three principles of Gung Ho are:
- The Spirit of the Squirrel
- The Way of the Beaver
- The Gift of the Goose
25. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
The book Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss brings to our attention the fabled and legendary negotiating skills of the FBI hostage team, and how we can practically use those skills in both work and relationships.
26. Reality-Based Leadership by Cy Wakeman
In Reality-Based Leadership, expert Fast Company blogger Cy Wakeman reveals how to be the kind of leader who changes the way people think about and perceive their circumstances-one who deals with the facts, clarifies roles, gives clear and direct feedback, and insists that everyone do the same-without drama or defensiveness.
27. Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides listeners with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services.
28. The Richest Man In Babylon by George Clason
To bring your dreams and desires to fulfillment, you must be successful with money. This book shows you how to amass personal wealth by sharing the secrets of the ancient Babylonians, who were the first to discover the universal laws of prosperity.
29. The Energy Codes by Dr. Sue Morter
Bridging ancient healing practices with cutting-edge science, The Energy Codes offers a detailed road map to help you experience deep healing in your life. Grounded in practical, accessible exercises, including yoga, breathwork, meditations, and Dr. Morter’s proprietary Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST) protocol
30. Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Becoming Supernatural marries some of the most profound scientific information with ancient wisdom to show how people like you and me can experience a more mystical life.
31. Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters
Rocket Fuel details the integral roles of the Visionary and Integrator and explains how an effective relationship between the two can help your business thrive.
32. The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister
Bestselling author David Maister teams up with Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford to bring us the essential tool for all consultants, negotiators, and advisors.
33. No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from Hastings’s own career, No Rules Rules is the fascinating and untold account of the philosophy behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.
34. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community.