You know what I used to hate growing up? Summer Reading.
Picking up a book just for fun was and is great, but like most good things, once we were forced to do it, it lost all its charm.
I have to admit though, despite the annoyance and intrusion on our summer relaxation, our teachers had good reason to assign what they did.
We learned a lot (maybe with a little help from Sparknotes) and sometimes they were even genuinely fun to read.
So, listen up, class...
Consider This Your Summer Reading List!
No matter what your occupation, it’s important to always be reading, learning, and evolving as a professional. This is something we’re firm believers in here at IMPACT.
Now, before you go hunting for the Cliff’s Notes, book on tape, or maybe even start making a spitball to hock at my head, rest assured that all of these books come with not only the IMPACT team stamp of approval, but that of several industry professionals.
Every title has been personally recommended by one of my current or former colleagues and helped shape them into the professionals they are today -- And don’t worry; there won’t be a pop quiz come September.
Check out the list below and leave us a comment about what book you’d recommend.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
A book that really inspired me was Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. The book really pushes you to think about what your purpose is in your career. WHY do you do what you do? He has a great quote in this book, "People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”. That’s something that’s always stuck with me and I really try to model my work around. It’s a great read regardless of the industry you’re in. - Joe Rinaldi, UX Specialist, IMPACT
The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon
The Art of Client Services was one of the first books I felt really understood me as an Account Strategist. I absolutely love the stories, examples, and advice Robert Solomon provides in this short read. I recommend it to anyone in the Marketing or Advertising industry that is client facing. I learned some of the most valuable tips on how to deal with client objections, feedback, and planning from this book.
Buyer Personas by Adele Revella
Also, I recently read Buyer Personas by Adele Revella and absolutely loved the actionable tips and advice she provides throughout the book. I have every chapter marked with highlights, underlines, and post-its, and find myself referring back to it anytime I'm working on a target audience, buyer persona, or messaging project with a client. I knew immediately I was going to love this book when I turned to the dedication and it read: "This book is dedicated to every marketer who questions the wisdom of making stuff up.” - Erica Dube, Head of Marketing, Glass House Real Estate Inc.
Everybody Writesby Ann Handley
One book that has shaped me into the Marketer I am today is Ann Handley'sEverybody Writes. As a Marketer, I'm always faced with the challenging task of writing content. Whether it's a blog article or tweets,Everybody Writeshas given me inspiration and techniques to become a more effective writer. I'm more confident facing new writing challenges, marketing or not, because of reading this book. -Amanda LeClair, Former Client Resource Manager, IMPACT
First, Break All the Rulesby Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
When I think of books that positively influenced the way I perform my job, I always think of First, Break All the Rules. As a Human Resources professional, I found everything to be extremely relatable and actionable. One section in the book actually influenced us to completely redo our performance evaluation process. It described the “12 characteristics of a strong workplace,” and the corresponding questions that your employees can answer to ultimately “score” your company. After reading about these questions, we took a good look at our performance review sheet, and ultimately re-structured the whole document to make it more beneficial for the employee and the agency. -Natalie Davis, VP of Talent, IMPACT
Traction by Geno Wickman
Traction was the second book I read as part of my professional development at IMPACT, and it was one of the first books I’ve ever read that definitively taught me how to focus on the future. Find out what you want first, then worry about how you’re going to achieve it. We do the same thing for our clients: we find out what their business looks like in three years, then work backwards to determine exactly what we have to do in order to hit those goals. The best part about it? It works. - Derrick Weiss, Marketing Manager, SkuNexus
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
A particular book that’s helped shape me as a designer today is a book by Stephen Covey, titled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I recommend this book to not just designers, but to everyone. It has taught me so much on how to stay conscious of what needs to get done to be the best designer and person that I can possibly be.
Reading this book has given me perspective on how to improve myself. The habits he discusses, like “being proactive” for example, are big for me. My all-time favorite is “sharpening the saw,” which basically means, always been improving yourself. This is ultimately the most important thing in my life as a designer and person. After working on and applying these 7 habits discussed in this book, I have seen a huge improvement in my productivity in design and in life overall. - Kevin Beaudry, Junior Web Designer, BrandShop Digital Commerce