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At the beginning of the year, we were each tasked with finding a book that resonated with us and would help us grow personally and professionally. So, what better way to spend time together (virtually) during a pandemic than a book club? Our team came together to share what we read and what we learned from our books.

From the power of influence and how the words we use matter, to digital trends and creating social epidemics, one thing is for sure…we learned a ton!

Here are the 16 books we read, including a brief overview of each book:

1. “The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy Better” by Chris Bailey

This book is filled with lessons and insights on how to become more productive not only at work, but in everyday life. Chris Bailey interviewed the world’s top productivity experts and performed productivity experiments on himself to provide readers with best practices to live their most productive life.

2. “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek

More than 28 million people have been touched by Simon Sinek’s TED talk based on his novel “Start With Why.” The book looks to solve fundamental questions like why are some people or organizations more innovative, successful or profitable than others? It shows readers that the world’s greatest leaders got where they are by focusing on the why.

3. “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” by Annie Duke

In this book, Poker champion and business expert Annie Duke teaches readers how to make smarter decisions even during times of uncertainty. Duke explains the role luck plays in every decision we make and encourages readers to shift their thinking from a need for certainty to a need to better assess a situation to enhance decision making.

4. “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis

If you find yourself getting wrapped up in negative self-talk, this one is for you! In this book, Hollis exposes 20 lies and misconceptions that can hold you back from living your best life. Not only does the book point out negative lies we all tell ourselves, it also reveals practical strategies for moving past them.

5. “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are” by Seth Stephenson-Davidowitz

The Internet allows us to no longer rely on the information people tell us. This book argues that much of what we have thought about people turns out to be false, simply because people lie. By analyzing the data goldmine that is the Internet, we can finally learn the truth about who people really are.

6. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

This book reveals a step by step process for living with fairness, dignity, service and integrity. Covey argues these principles give us the security to accept and adapt to change and the wisdom to take advantage of the opportunities change presents.

7. “Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy” by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

As communicators, we can’t underappreciate the effect words can have. Newberg and Waldman have discovered a valuable strategy called Compassionate Communication. By utilizing Compassionate Communication, readers can create a deep bond with anyone they communicate with.

8. “Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins” by Mark Schaefer

Highly empowered consumers are ruling the business and marketing world, and it can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. This book teaches readers how to stay ahead of the curve by re-imagining the high paced marketing world.

9. “Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong” by Jessica Bacal

The author interviews 25 successful women about their toughest on-the-job moments. This is a very compelling and must-read book!

10. “Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” by Brene Brown

One of the most incredible learning tools! Brown walks readers through her research conducted with change makers and culture leaders to learn the fundamentals of great leadership.

11. “Words that Change Minds: 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence” by Shelle Rose Chavret

This book helps readers learn how to master influencing language and using the right words with the right people to get through the “communication wall.”

12. “Brands and Bulls**t: Excel at the Former and Avoid the Latter. A Branding Prime” by Bernhard Schroder

The morals of this book focus on millennial marketers and entrepreneurs so they can purposefully create a digital brand. It looks at the feelings a brand should give customers with lots of how-to’s, tips and tricks along the way.

13. “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. This widely acclaimed best seller walks readers through the tipping point and frames how people think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

14. “Social Media Crisis Communications – Preparing for, Preventing and Surviving a Public Relations Fail” by Ann Marie Van den Hurk

Crises are unavoidable, and social media makes them happen more often and accelerate faster. This book is a great tool for prepping your crisis communications plan.

15. “Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming your worst qualities into your best assets” by Judy Smith

This is another great crisis read that recaps the secrets to overcoming a personal crisis, getting stronger and recovering.

16. “The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness” by Deepak Chopra

We all strive to be better leaders. This awesome book goes through how to be a leader with a vision and make that vision real.

Bonus Item – Podcast No Ego with Cy Wakeman

This podcast provides tools on leadership and how to avoid drama and drive big results in your workplace.

What books do you recommend for communications professionals? Let us know on social (Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Instagram)!