At LoSasso, we are passionate about professional development. From monthly lunch n’ learns and webinars to attending conferences and client-industry events. We are constantly looking for ways to inspire and motivate our teams – and ourselves.
Recently, we started a book club – completely voluntary where each quarter we’ll select a book based on business topics that individuals are particularly interested in or themes that are relevant to our agency. More specifically, we look for books that offer a communal source of inspiration – those that provoke conversation and provide opportunities to share ideas outside of normal business context. Our first book is Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. Its core message is that the real secret to individual success – personally and professionally – is the power of grit, perseverance, perspiration and determination.
When asked the question, “What books have inspired or impacted you professionally?” several LoSassins replied. Here’s a few favorited great reads:
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith. It takes a look at the behaviors you need to STOP doing in order to become a successful team leader. It even helped me earlier in my career identify some bad habits my managers at the time had. I recognized I shouldn’t take those personally (managers are humans with flaws) and learned constructive ways to suggest areas of improvement to them.
Just My Type by Simon Garfield. It details the origins of different popular typefaces while also providing a fascinating look at their designers’ personal stories. It not only gave insight to the world of typography, but it reminded me that type is designed by humans, not algorithms, giving each typeface an inherent personality. I keep this in mind every time I choose type on one of our client’s projects.
The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy by Lewis Howes. I’m about halfway through but so far it’s been great. It’s a true learning experience listening to his trials and tribulations he’s encountered as well as a few of his mentors and teachers (athletes, CEOs and those born with disabilities). The book so far has definitely been an inspiration on how to live a great life.
Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy. The book is organized as a how-to guide for the advertising professional. Ogilvy weaves in years of personal growth and success into the book and it is beautifully written- funny at times, serious at others, and engaging all the way through. It lives on my bedside table and is heavily bookmarked, especially the chapter “How to Rise to the Top of the Tree – Advice to the Young”. There’s nothing better as a young professional than learning how great people got their start.
—Maggie Mae Shelton
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. It’s an inspiring view of the user perspective on UX, website design and development. It’s not technical but answers questions of why we have the types of website designs and the user experience in today’s online world.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I stumbled across Randy’s lecture on YouTube years back while I was a high school teacher. His advice about achieving your childhood goals and dreams seemed not only applicable for my own aspirations in life, but for my students, as well. Now, as a father, I hope to implement those nuggets of wisdom and bestow them upon my children. His pancreatic cancer diagnosis inspired him to write this book and do this lecture. He died shortly after all this in mid-2008. Hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read. Favorite quote: “Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.”
Traction by Gino Wickman. This book is a major contributor to the way we operate LoSasso today. It is the most singular powerful book for running a small business that I’ve read.