May 31, 2021 By SmartBiz Team

The esteemed literary giant Dr. Seuss had these words to say about reading:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Well, the places we go during the 2020/2021 pandemic were reduced. Much of the country switched to remote work and remote learning, a move that has created a new normal. You might want to escape into a fiction book (or binge streaming shows) but this can be a valuable time to explore personal and business development.

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The right book won’t just calm your nerves, it can help you grow as well. This list contains books offering insight into business operations and how yours can thrive during…and as the economic impact improves.

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria

This book encourages readers to think beyond the current coronavirus reality. Zakaria writes that it’s all about, “the world that is coming into being as a result of the pandemic and — more importantly — our responses to it.” The book is formatted with 10 lessons exploring the political, technological and economic implications of a post-pandemic world, from the quality of government to the rise of digital life.

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

The author offers the observation that innovative ideas come from a collection of existing ideas stitched together to form something new. Johnson outlines the seven patterns of genuine innovation and outlines the most interesting business breakthroughs. If you need to spark ideas to pivot to a post-pandemic world, Johnson asserts that the secret is “to build information networks that allow hunches to persist and disperse and recombine.”

The Connector Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent — and Others Don’t by Jaime Roca and Sari Wilde

There are four main types of business managers. Which are you? The authors outline the four types. The big reveal? A Gartner multiyear study of thousands of employees, managers and senior leaders from around the world found Connector managers — who boost performance by 26% — to be the star performers. Read how they distinguish themselves from other management types and how you can learn to make a more positive impact on employee performance.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

The author lays out seven habits that enable the most successful and entrepreneurial people to achieve their goals. Used on a daily basis, they can help craft a happy, well-balanced and successful life. It’s a well put together, simple, and easy to read book. The ideas are clear and the concepts presented are both profound and straightforward. If you’re not practicing these 7 habits, taking time during the pandemic to put them in place is a great strategy.

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The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage By Daymond John

Broke is a word that may resonate with small business owners who are facing revenue drop off. But FUBU founder and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John has been practicing the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. With a $40 budget, Daymond had to strategize out-of-the-box ways to promote his products. He hatched an idea for a creative campaign that eventually launched the FUBU brand into a $6 billion dollar global phenomenon.

Daymond shows that, far from being a liability, broke can actually be your greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur because it forces you to think more creatively, use resources more efficiently, and connect with customers. The Power of Broke is available on Daymond’s website which is chock full of other helpful information.

The Ride of a Lifetime By Robert Iger

This memoir gives an inside look at his experience as CEO of The Walt Disney Company from 2005 to 2020. He shares the lessons he's learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees--taking big risks in the face of historic disruption; inspiring the people who work for you; leading with fairness and communicating principles clearly.

His four leadership principles — optimism, courage, decisiveness, and fairness — apply to even the smallest businesses. And anecdotes about his friendship with Steve Jobs and his Star Wars obsession are interesting and enlightening. According to Bill Gates, it's "one of the best business books I've read in several years.

ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever By Jason Fried

Changing the way we work is the hot topic this year. Those coming of age during the pandemic will likely not be satisfied with sitting in a cube for 8 hours and dealing with a brutal commute. For those in search of a faster, better, and more natural way to succeed, ReWork is the book for you, outlining why business owners you do not need to be a workaholic to be successful. It encourages readers to believe in actions - not plans – and to rethink everything you thought you knew about strategy, customers, and getting things done. What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. You'll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more inspiring counterintuitive ideas.

No One's Listening and It's Your Fault: Get Your Message Heard During Organizational Transformations by Pam Marmon

Your team is looking to you for next steps if you’re rebuilding your small business. This book helps entrepreneurs stay effective, keep their messaging clear, and keep their voices heard in even the most difficult of crises. Keep communication open and effective during this time

Shtick to Business: What the Masters of Comedy Can Teach You about Breaking Rules, Being Fearless, and Building a Serious Career by Peter McGraw

Did you know there is a correlation between comedy and commerce? Entrepreneurs can take lessons from the likes of Groucho Marx and Amy Poehler. If you’re looking for an easy-to-digest read, this book has the takeaways to make it worthwhile.

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