Jen’s Best Reads: Three Life-Changing Books You Need on Your Shelf

October 20, 2015

I love to read. I’ve been known to read two books in one day. Of course, those were fiction and I was sitting at the beach, but it tells you how much I appreciate a good book.

Fiction books aren’t the only ones on my shelf, though. I’ve read many business books over the years for professional development, to find inspiration, or, quite honestly…because I was forced to. You’ll find books about Customer Service, Sales, Marketing and Leadership in my collection. From the likes of recognized gurus Seth Godin and Ken Blanchard, as well as up-and-comers like Dale Partridge, my tastes and interest ranges based on my current experience and needs.


Three books sit on my shelf right now that fit into the following categories: professional development, inspiration, and forced to read. Two are older books that I’ve read, re-read, shared, and referenced over the years. One book is a new release that I’m confident will be treated the same as the other two.

Professional Development Book:

People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful, written by Dale Partridge.

I started following Dale on Facebook about a year ago, right around the same time I started my new position at Baudville. His content fit with the core of what we do here: help others with recognition and employee engagement, and with what I’ve preached over the years: take care of your people and they’ll take care of you.

In this book, you’ll discover seven core beliefs from Dale’s extensive research and his own personal experiences that are helping leaders and entrepreneurs build profitable teams by putting people, instead of profits, first. They are:

  • People Matter
  • Truth Wins
  • Transparency Frees
  • Authenticity Attracts
  • Quality Speaks
  • Generosity Returns
  • Courage Sustains

Inspirational Book:

Raving Fans, written by Ken Blanchard.

I picked up this book many years ago when I was a call center manager. I needed some inspiration to help teach my team to take customer service to a new, higher level. This book stays on my bookshelf because the lessons are still relevant today, and it provides me with a great refresher on how to build loyal customer relationships. I’ve trained teams with this book, shared it with others, and given copies as gifts. Yes, it’s THAT good!

It’s a quick and easy read: a story of a new manager starting a new job in an organization that delivers legendary customer service. He learns three keys to helping turn customers into Raving Fans:

  • Decide What You Want
  • Discover What the Customer Wants
  • Deliver Plus One

The concepts in this book have personally helped me to deliver an exceptional customer experience that eventually builds loyal, profitable relationships.

The Book I Was Forced to Read:

And I don’t regret it! Sales Coaching: Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach, written by Linda Richardson.

We were a team of 6 managers responsible for leading 100 inside sales and customer service representatives. Our leader bought a copy of the book for each of us and we started our management team book club.

This book is great for any manager, even those outside of the sales profession. If you want to strengthen your relationships with team members, improve their performance, and achieve more, then this book is for you. Linda teaches:

  • The Boss Versus Coach Mindset
  • Coaching Through Feedback
  • The Coaching Process

It should be noted that after adopting the lessons in this book, we coached our teams to being some of the most successful in the organization, earning us the nickname, The Dream Team. It’s an oldie but a goodie that I still reference today.

If you’re interested in personal or professional development, team building, training, employee engagement, and driving results, then you’ll definitely want to check out these books. They helped me become a better leader and they can help you, too!

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