The 8 Best Books to Read in 2020 for Innovation And Growth

With the onslaught of content from every angle – we need to pick and choose how we digest it. TikTok, anyone? For me, books are still the best way to absorb information. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good podcast – especially this one. Yet – when I’m ready to learn, I pick up a book. All my visual learners, put your hands up! This list is a compilation of how-to’s, innovation tales and new tools for you to master. I believe these are the eight insightful and inspiring books to read in 2020 – or in any other year. Eight because I loathe impossibly long lists and these are what I’m going to read to make myself a better marketer and a better employee this year. Are you ready?

1. Radical Candor

I’m totally leading with a leadership book and I hate leadership books. Yet, here we are. I know that being a good manager and creating a bomb work culture is super important and we can all be better at that. So I’m picking this one up this year. Kim has led teams at Apple and Google and knows a thing or two about creating better relationships in the workplace. I think this is a great read for ANY manager or anyone desiring to lead at the office.

2. Atomic Habits

Do you have a habit that you’d like to break? Or one you’d like to start? Yeah, me too. Atomic Habits dives into all that and more. You learn the psychology behind what it takes to really form and break a habit. It’s totally engrossing and makes you think about all the innovative things you could do if you would just start practicing a routine. He also inspired me to put a bowl full of apples on the counter. Let me know when you get to that part.

3. This is Marketing

Did I just hear you roll your eyes? You’re not in marketing. That’s cool. But we ALL are marketing something at some point. Here at CIL – we’re a small team, so every time we share something, talk with a client, or put something out into the world – we’re MARKETING. Wouldn’t you like to do it effectively? I would. And Seth Godin is the man to go to for that. He offers up a ton in this book from how to understand consumer’s emotions to finding a niche that you have a passion for. Read it and grow, friends.

4. Range

Do we have to specialize in order to succeed? Maybe not. Epstein explores this in his book Range, he studies the jugglers, the dabblers and the ones that don’t find out what they want to do until later in life. What interests me is how this pertains to growth at work and growth in roles. Do we offer a more generalized role as an employee starts out to only increase their expertise once they’ve found their specialty? I am 1000% a generalist and I can’t wait to read this to understand the psychology behind it.

5. Business Model Generation

This one was brought to me by one of our podcast episodes. If you are looking to build a business or grow a business or change a business, this one’s for you. Osterwalder helps you look at your entire company and dig deeper to better understand your customers, your goals, your vision for the future and how in the heck you’re going to make money. Money is important and so is having a clear and concise plan. Let’s go light the world on
fire.

6. Loonshots

Another recommendation from a podcast guest. These guys are full of good ideas. I’m super excited about this one – but I haven’t read it yet. It’s about the structure (rather than the culture) of an organization and how that leads to breakthroughs and innovation. How can we change the world? Can we change how our group reacts to things? How can we have our team embrace new ideas instead of rejecting them? So many questions and only one book with the answers!

7. The Glamour of Grammer

Writing is essential. It is how we convey messages to the world and shout from the rooftops about who we are and what we do and why it is so important. Being a good writer is a huge part of that. I set out to become a better writer this year and so should you. Understanding how to write is just as important as knowing what to write (okay, maybe not AS important, but close!) However, if you are growing a business – content is key and being able to structure that effectively is double key. Let’s do this.

8. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Always be selling. Isn’t that the motto? Carnegie wrote this book back in 1936 – but it is still supremely relevant. We are all selling something – therefore, we need to learn to be likable, to get people to trust us and understand how to influence without it feeling scammy or unnatural. Personally, I’m the worst salesperson so I could probably use a few tips in this book if only to gain some new friends out of the deal. Hey – they might like my taste in books?

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