Strong relationships are paramount to entrepreneurs’ success. Your network, after all, accounts for most of your opportunities and word-of-mouth sales. You also gain knowledge through the people you know. Most importantly for entrepreneurs, mismanaging relationships can not only hurt your ability to lead, but also your ability to build trust with both employees and customers.
When it comes to building healthy, productive relationships with others, it can be difficult to know where to start. For some people, it seems to come naturally, but most find that a little help never hurts.
The right book can ease the burden of determining how best to manage your relationships. By getting someone else’s story and perspective, you gain a greater understanding of how best to interact with and respond to others. The books on this list range from powerful memoirs to helpful how-to guides, but all of them can provide the information you need to take your relationships to the next level.
Strong relationships are a key part of entrepreneurs’ ability to lead and succeed.
If you’re looking for a book that will bolster the connections you make, consider checking out:
1. A Journey Without A Map: Stories of Loss, Grief, and Moving Forward by John Sardella
Nothing inspires a change in perspective like tragedy. After two decades of marriage, John Sardella’s wife, Margaret, was diagnosed with cancer. Over the next seven years, John and Margaret embarked on new emotional journeys they never thought they’d need to and learned much about themselves along the way. After Margaret’s passing, John wrote A Journey Without A Map as a way of looking back on the changes he’d undergone — changes that will powerfully affect readers. I found that this book triggered deeper empathy in me, pushing me to find out what might be affecting someone else before jumping to conclusions or reacting.
2. Frictionless: Closing and Negotiating with Purpose by Tim Kintz
Tim Kintz realized there was an issue: Car salespeople weren’t connecting with their customers, and sales were plummeting as a result. He then founded The Kintz Group, one of the industry’s premier sales training organizations. Frictionless contains many of the insights Kintz has picked up in his career, showcasing the importance of looking at business relationships from a mutually beneficial angle. Kintz’s new book is one that will inspire different perspectives for anyone looking to strengthen their relationships and create advantages for everyone involved.
3. Future Ready: A Changemaker’s Guide to the Exponential Revolution by Nick Davis
When thinking about what affects your relationships, it’s often easy to forget about the impact technology can have. The advent of new communication technologies is affecting the way people connect, and it will continue to do so well into the future — particularly in the business realm. Future Ready is Nick Davis’ guide to what’s coming next, whether it’s 5G, machine learning, the next big cryptocurrency, or something else entirely. What advances in tech mean for your personal relationships isn’t always easy to anticipate, so Drake’s upcoming book is a great way to develop a deeper understanding.
4. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant
The world of business can be rough — needlessly so. Give and Take shows that one of the clearest paths to interpersonal success is through devoting time and attention to others. Adam Grant takes a deep dive into the factors that decide who rises to the top and who doesn’t, and his results often prove surprising. By forming your relationships based on what others need from you, you can actually help your own prospects down the line. This book helped me develop a two-way perspective on my relationships, both personal and professional: Are we both getting as much as we’re giving?
5. The Leadership PIN Code: Unlocking the Key to Willing and Winning Relationships by Dr. Nashater Deu Solheim
Even many of the world’s most successful business leaders can’t quite put their finger on what makes their style work. While leading others well can often feel like a shot in the dark, Nashater Deu Solheim’s book shows it’s actually not a mystery at all. The Leadership PIN Code contains a how-to guide for turning your relationships into your greatest asset as a leader without alienating people along the way. Straddling the line between assertive and aggressive can be difficult for hard-charging business leaders, but this book helps you define that line and make the most of it.
6. The Case for Culture: How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Law Firm, Grow Your Practice, and Actually Be Happy by Eric Farber
No business relationship grows in a vacuum. Your company’s culture can decide more than you know, and Eric Farber’s new book shows exactly the level of importance it really has. The Case for Culture may be written for lawyers, but its reach is far greater than the world of law. Farber gives you the tools you need to turn your office culture into a more productive, healthy atmosphere for both you and your teammates. An entrepreneurial friend of mine said that this book made him recognize some of the ways his company had taken on some “cutthroat” traits associated with law — and inspired him to change them.
7. The Candidate’s 7 Deadly Sins: Using Emotional Optics to Turn Political Vices into Virtues by Dr. Peter A. Wish
These days, it seems preposterous that anyone could learn how to build better relationships by turning to politics. The Candidate’s 7 Deadly Sins turns this idea on its head, demonstrating the qualities in political candidates that draw people to them and showing how you can use those qualities in your daily life. Dr. Wish’s book lets you gain a new perspective on what makes relationships work, focusing on all aspects of the political that translate to the personal.
8. Entreprenumbers by Spencer Sheinin
Entreprenumbers may, on the surface, not be particularly applicable to the world of relationship management. Spencer Sheinin’s new book on how entrepreneurs can take control of their business’s finances will undoubtedly benefit any small business owner looking for a comprehensible dive into accounting, but it also drives home the importance of becoming fluent in specialties beyond your sphere. Think of how many professional relationships unravel because of money issues, whether it’s cash flow or an unpaid loan. By enabling entrepreneurs to enter a space normally inhabited by quants, Sheinin shows the importance of building knowledge — and maintaining connections — beyond your typical sphere.
Sometimes, the best way to bolster your personal relationships is to get an outside perspective. By hitting the books, you can start to see your professional life in new ways that can pay off well into the future.