At Iceberg, we love to read about ways to do business better, whether marketing, sales, content writing, development, and design, or being part of a team that does all of the above. We even have a book club where we read and discuss a book that will hopefully help us grow together.
This benefits our business because it gives us a common language to use when communicating essential principles. One recent example from the book “The Power of a Positive Team” by Jon Gordon is “We—not me.” When we begin to think as a team, rather than about how something benefits the individual, we gain momentum in our projects and the way we interact with one another.
Because this has been so beneficial, we thought we would share some of the books we have read and learned from. It is an eclectic list thanks to the variety of personalities and roles we each bring to our team. Hopefully, you will find something on it that interests you!
Shane recommends “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh. In Delivering Happiness, Zappos’s CEO shares unconventional wisdom and how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to success.
Kari, an avid reader, chose something besides a book. She says that the best thing you can do to see how your skills can benefit your team is by doing the CliftonStrengths Finder. This is something our entire team does upon being hired.
Jessi says, “AH! Nathan Ingram’s book! ‘Dealing with Problem Clients: Fencing in the Friendly Monsters.’ I have read very few books specifically about web design agencies, but this has impacted our team.
Mike Michalowicz has two really good books that have impacted me, and both tell some anecdotes of companies “in our niche” – “Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine,” and “The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field.”
The business book that has impacted me personally the most is “Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You,” by John Warrillow. Close second, “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael Gerber.
And “The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” by Timothy Ferris is one that I pulled a lot of life inspiration from.
Hattie believes that marketing is very tied to psychology and history. “I like to read books by Malcolm Gladwell and others that look into what drives people in their decision making. A historical favorite includes “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History,” by Kurt Anderson. It dives into American History from the beginning and how humans are relatively predictable.
Mariann recommends “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business” by Erin Meyer and “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships” by Marshall Rosenberg PhD
She says they “were both recommended at Word Camp as books everyone in business in a global economy should read. I agree with Jessi; all the books I’ve read are about business/teams, not about Web Development/Design specifically.” She also recommends “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni.
Kyle says, “Oh, ya, there are a couple that I like.” His favorite books about business are: “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries. Also, “Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares, and “Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster” by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz.
Kyle also shares a few of his favorite programming books: “The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master” by Andrew Hund & David Thomas, “Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship” by Robert C Marin, and “The Self-Taught Programmer: The Definitive Guide to Programming Professionally” by Cory Althoff.
Jessie is our customer service representative, so she fulfills support requests from customers. Jessie says, “The HTML class I took from Codecademy was helpful.” Jessie’s favorite books are “The Power of Positive Praying” by John R. Bisagno and “Angels Among Us: Extraordinary Encounters with Heavenly Beings” by Wanda Rosseland.
As a content writer, my tastes run the gamut. Ironically, one of my favorite books is “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport. I think that the digital age has benefited us much, but we need to guard our time to enjoy our analog lives. I also appreciated his books, “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” and “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.”
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