Ten top books for advice firm owners
As a business owner, it can be a real challenge finding time to read. But there are so many books that owners of advice firms would benefit from reading.
JOHN DASHFIELD runs Dashfield Coaching. Based in Kent, he provides a range of coaching programmes to growing advice businesses.
Here are ten books that John recommends all his clients read.
I appreciate that your choice of books to read is a very personal and subjective thing, but I love the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”.
It so often happens. With books, the right one can show up as if by magic and just when you need it.
So, I thought I would share my current top 10 with you and hope you find something that resonates with you.
Although I have read a fair number of the best-selling business books (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Good to Great, Emotional Intelligence, as three examples) you won’t find these kinds of books on my list.
Why? Because they make interesting reading but I’m not sure they help people much in practice. I generally prefer books that help you realise something for yourself and, consequently, elevates your consciousness, rather than something that tells you what to do.
1. The Inside-Out Revolution, by Michael Neill
I have given out many copies of this book because it brilliantly introduces you to an understanding that is genuinely life-changing. It’s not a business book as such but can help anyone in business be at their best more of the time. Available on audio too.
2. Invisible Power, by Ken Manning, Robin Charbit and Sandra Krot
This book shares the same understanding as in Michael’s book but in a different way. Again, I have given away many copies. I have also been through Ken and Robins live ‘Invisible Power’ programme three times. Highly recommended and ground-breaking material.
3. One thought changes everything, by Mara Gleason
I first met Mara Gleason in April 2012 and have been a big fan of her work ever since. She’s a superb communicator and this book is full of great stories from her work as a business consultant.
4. How to win customers and keep them for life, by Gary LeBoeuf
I usually record the date I read a book and my copy says January 2005. A fair while ago but I often return to this book because it is timeless common sense.
5. Start With No, by Jim Camp
Jim Camp is one of America’s top negotiation coaches. I like this book because it cuts right through the usual nonsense that’s so often taught about selling and negotiation. If you only read and absorbed chapter 1, ‘Your greatest weakness in negotiation’, you would get a lot from this book.
6. Influence, by Robert Cialdini
As a professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University Dr. Cialdini has devoted his professional life to the scientific study of influence. He discovered there are 6 basic principles of ethical influence. They are being used on you all the time, so for this reason alone, it is valuable to know what they are and how businesses are using them. Available on audio too.
7. Creator, by Steve Chandler
Steve is a prolific author (30+ books and counting) and amongst the world’s finest coaches. Having read over a dozen of his books I could recommend any of them. Creator is a brilliant piece of work to wake up your innate creativity and transcend the idea that many of us have that we are not creative.
8. The Trusted Advisor, by David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford
If you look at the research (one reliable source is the annual ‘Edelman trust barometer’) you’ll discover that lack of trust in businesses is a major issue. Particularly in Financial Services. Being a ‘Trusted Advisor’ is essential, isn’t it? Available on audio too.
9. Time to Think, by Nancy Kline
Listening is one of the most misunderstood behaviours of all. Most of us think we listen well, but there is a whole new level of listening we can bring to our relationships. This is one of my favourite books of all time and an absolute gem.
10. The Relationship Handbook, by George Pransky
Another book that is not strictly a business book but as relationships are so important in business it is still highly relevant. George Pransky has been called the most important psychologist of the 20th Century and this book reflects his deep understanding of how human beings work.
I urge you to pick one of the books, get yourself a copy and read it. Most people think they are too busy to read, but reading is a high-value activity. It can change your life. Not many things have this kind of potential, do they?
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