At Series Next Solutions, we are entrepreneurs in the business of serving other entrepreneurs. We can relate to the unique demands of growing a business and wearing all the hats in a nascent organization. As founders ourselves, we approach the challenge of developing skills outside our core competency by poring through as many books as we can on a wide variety of subjects. The team enjoys sharing book recommendations and bandying about new phrases that speak to what we are trying to achieve as a company. If you enjoy reading as much as we do and are looking for impactful additions to your Goodreads queue, we have compiled a list of our favorite business-related books from the past year:
Building an Organization
Perhaps the most frequently quoted book we have read this year, Good To Great by Jim Collins made “Flywheel”, “Hedgehog Concept”, “Level 5 leadership”, and “Stockdale Paradox” concepts that we reference almost daily as we chart our company’s course.
We originally chose John Warrillow’s Built To Sell to learn more about hurdles our clients face when the founder decides to exit. But we immediately saw parallels with Good to Great in tips like “don’t generalize, specialize” and “don’t become synonymous with your company”. Both books emphasize an approach to leadership that builds an enduring organization that thrives during the founder’s tenure and beyond.
This past year we reexamined the framework we use to connect with our prospective clients and partners. Building A Storybrand by Donald Miller was a revelation for us. Miller explains that the most effective and authentic marketing tells a clear and concise story focused on your client as the hero.
Winning the award for most dog-eared reading selection of the year, The Accidental Salesperson by Chris Lytle arms the reader with a process and paradigm for successful business development. Like Miller, Lytle encourages readers to keep the focus on solving the problems of the clients they are serving.
Soft Skill Fundamentals
This seemed like the perfect year to revisit Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People In A Digital Age. Carnegie’s timeless wisdom on effective communication and building positive professional and personal relationships seemed even more relevant after a year of global anxiety and discord. Video conferencing and platforms like LinkedIn have allowed us to maintain connections outside our individual pandemic bubbles. Carnegie’s ideas extoll using an amplified voice constructively to create and sustain that human connection.