THE FIVE READS: Essential Summer Reading List (Part 2).

A few weeks ago, we profiled some of our favorite inspirational and informative business books of the last decade. Today, we’d like to highlight five more business books all of which have been recently published, and definitely warrant being on your essential summer reading list. 

First up is Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen.

Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not?.

Based on nine years of research and analysis with a team of more than twenty researchers, business guru Jim Collins partnered with Morten Hansen to enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times. The book is infused with engaging stories in the style of his previous books, Good to Great, Built to Last and Why the Mighty Fall

Next on the essential summer reading list is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by The New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg. For anyone interested in understanding human behavior—in both business and everyday life, this is a fantastic read.

“In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.”

Next is Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant by David Aaker. If you have studied marketing and brands at all, no doubt you have heard of the legendary David Aaker. And, there’s little doubt that this brand guru knows how to eliminate the competition and help brands become leaders.

In his latest book he defines the concept of brand relevance using dozens of case studies-Prius, Whole Foods, Westin, iPad and more-and explains how brand relevance drives market dynamics, which generates opportunities for your brand and threats for the competition. Aaker reveals how these companies have made other brands in their categories irrelevant. Key points: When managing a new category of product, treat it as if it were a brand; By failing to produce what customers want or losing momentum and visibility, your brand becomes irrelevant; and create barriers to competitors by supporting innovation at every level of the organization.

We advise you Look at More: A Proven Approach to Innovation, Growth, and Change. 

Author Andy Stefanovich is chief curator and provocateur at Prophet, has spent the past twenty years helping the world's leading companies drive innovation from the inside out. His book “Look At More” teaches how to harness inspiration by thinking differently—and to encourage others to do the same. Designed to be an individual and organizational hands-on guide, Look At More focuses on the front end of the Inspiration–Creativity–Innovation continuum. Using Stefanovich's proven LAMSTAIH approach (Look At More Stuff, Think About It Harder), leaders and employees can develop the practical skills, leadership behavior, and cultural mindset to consistently create ideas and drive innovation.

And finally, is Chip Conley's latest book: Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success

We are big fans of Chip Conley, who built an amazing hotel business driven by high moral standards and a belief in people—employees and customers alike. We’re also a fan of Chip for his writings. “Peak” is one of our favorite books, but “Emotional Equations” is our latest love.

Emotional Equations offers an immediately understandable means of identifying the elements in our lives that we can change, those we can’t, and how they interact to create the emotions that define us and can help or hurt our progress through life. Equations like “Despair = Suffering – Meaning” and “Happiness = Wanting What You Have/Having What You Want” (Which Chip presented at the prestigious TED conference) have been reviewed for mathematical and psychological accuracy by experts. Conley shows how to solve them through life examples and stories of inspiring people and role models who have worked them through in their own lives. In these turbulent times, when so many are trying to become “superhuman” to deal with our own and the world’s problems, Emotional Equations arms readers with effective formulas for becoming super human beings.

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