January 24, 2016
3 Books to Add to Your 2016 Reading List

According to a recent study conducted at Emory University, becoming engrossed in a novel enhances brain connectivity and function, while flexing readers’ imaginations. These are all important aspects for today’s business leaders, who are constantly tapped to respond to market challenges and opportunities, beat out the competition through unique and innovative approaches and inspire their teams to deliver superior results.  

For me, reading a variety of books – whether they fall into the business or sci-fi genre – has been invaluable to my success as a leader. Not only have these reads exposed me to new ideas and improved my creativity, they have also helped me understand situations from multiple perspectives.

Here are my top reading suggestions for business leaders in 2016:

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahi M. Goldratt

A cross-industry novel, Goldratt’s book is a must-read for entrepreneurs and business leaders. It applies to virtually all kinds of businesses and is particularly useful when solving complex business scale issues. It’s an easy read that focuses on optimization of an assembly line while introducing a philosophy on how to identify and correct bottlenecks.

Work Rules! Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock 

You can imagine how the HR department at a company the size of Google is pretty complex. In Bock’s debut, he discusses Google’s company culture while also presenting tips on how to drive ownership, build better teams and encourage transparency within a company. This book is an informative read for any and all technology executives looking to enhance recruiting while preserving a sense of ownership as the company grows and evolves.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

The most fascinating aspect of Vance’s book is how work techniques from software startups are applied to two heavy manufacturing businesses: rockets and cars. The idea of rapidly prototyping, moving quickly and creating a dynamic environment that favors innovation is applicable to any company. There is also an undercurrent about management style (good and bad), and ideas around how having big dreams can push people beyond their limits to achieve lofty and aggressive business goals.

No matter what leaders and aspiring leaders choose to read, the most important thing is that they are reading and imbuing themselves with new ideas. There’s a wealth of knowledge and inspiration waiting to be discovered and tapped to trigger new ideas, solve complex problems or better manage teams.  

So, what are you planning to read in 2016?

Tim McKinnon is president and CEO of Sonian. Follow Sonian on Twitter: @sonian.

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