This is the first of a new regular feature on the Wonder Leads blog, a quarterly round-up of some of the most inspiring and positive business books we’ve been reading.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what books have been occupying our thoughts in the first three months of 2021:
I’ve heard a lot about the groundbreaking Zappos culture but listening to Tony’s story really struck a chord. A competent man who went through the highs and lows of business and realised early on that money was a poor measure of success and fulfilment. An inspiring story from someone whose mission to make others happy sadly didn’t seem enough to free him of his inner demons. RIP Tony.
The Toms founder (and Chief Shoe Giver) tells an engaging tale about building a business with purpose. The company’s ‘you buy one, we donate one’ model is exceptional in its simplicity, and it’s no surprise that people have been so happy to support it. Blake’s ideas on company structure, such as the abandonment of traditional job titles to encourage outsiders to approach everyone with the same level of respect, certainly gave me food for thought. A worthy read for anyone looking to build a business that means something more than financial reward.
One for the rebel in all of us. Derek is the unconventional founder of US giant CD Baby. This short book is full of anti-corporate sentiment and shows you that it’s possible to build a successful business without having a master plan or conforming to stereotypes. It certainly isn’t a fairytale. There’s plenty of candour about the challenges the business faced, but there’s plenty to take away. For me, the standout was how he managed to delegate responsibility for decision making in a concise space of time by just using common sense. I loved it.
This superb book from a NASA engineer had me scribbling so many notes I barely had time to draw breath. The way the author manages to interweave complex scientific principles and sound business practice is so clever and makes for compelling reading. The concept of first principles thinking is one that any business should be aware of. If you have an inquisitive mind and like insightful, articulate content; read this book – you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks must go to my LinkedIn friend, Richard Burcher, for this recommendation. Hollywood biographies are not generally my reading material of choice, but Greenlights was delightful. A no holds barred account of his life from trailer to stardom. Full of honesty, witty stories, original prose, and excellent writing, Matthew’s book is a story of someone who always searches for the positives and isn’t afraid to risk it all in the search for a fulfilling life.
My sister bought me this book because she knows how to pick a brilliant gift. The beauty of the design perfectly created complements the beauty of the content. The Patagonia founder’s story is a remarkable tale, filled with adventure, exploration, and a deep love of both the planet and the craft. We make no apologies that our 1 to 1% initiative is directly inspired by their 1% For The Planet. The company sets the standard for companies with a conscience. It’s up to us all to follow.
I may not have known about this book had it not been for a chance encounter with the author at the Business Book Awards in March. I’m glad I now do. Having run a business for the past 14 years, I know full well the crippling effects of distraction on achieving progress. The growth of technology and the immediacy of information means that finding focus is harder than ever. Rob’s book tackles the challenges of finding focus head-on. Attention! is full of honesty, real-life experiences, and simple, actionable tips that help you to ‘put success in your way’.
Congratulations to all the authors featured. We’ll be running a new round-up of top business from the second quarter of 2021 at the end of June. Until then, happy reading!
Dave Holloway is the author and founder of the award-winning business book: Wonder Leads: Remarkable lead generation for positive small businesses.