What's on your sales summer reading list?

Hot Books on My Summer Reading List: NAVY SEALS, Negotiation, Fire Eating, Influence, and Obituaries

I love stacking up my summer reading list. Whether it’s an audiobook I listen to while driving or a good old paperback page-turner that gets covered with sea salt and sand, I’m planning my list as Memorial Day and Summer is right around the corner.

What’s on this year’s list? A mix of business, skill and concept books, and some surprises . . .

Extreme Ownership – How US Navy SEALS Lead and Win, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Oh, it’s only been mentioned about a half dozen times on The SellOut Show by our guests this past year. Finally getting my hands on this book to increase my own personal accountability but also to see what lessons I can help bring to my clients and their sales organizations.
What’s it about? Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership―at every level―is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment.

The Electric Woman – A Memoir in Death Defying Acts, Tessa Fontaine
This memoir piqued my interest because I think we all have that little wonder about what it would be like to “run away and join the circus.” Tessa did it for real and learned how to ignore her fear to accomplish amazing human feats – “The trick is there is no trick. To eat fire, you eat fire.”
What’s it about?
Tessa Fontaine’s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman, follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery―through her time on the road with the last travelling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother.

Impossible to Ignore – Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions, Carmen Simon, PhD
Full disclosure: I’ve listened to this book on Audible previously. I’m so in awe of the lessons that I had to get a physical copy to use a reference from all the notes I’ve taken and all the insights I want to employ in my practice and my clients’ practices.
What’s it about?
This practical guide is filled with case studies, examples, and a checklist to help you put the power of cognitive science to work for your business. Whether you’re giving a presentation, conducting a meeting, delivering training, making a sales pitch, or creating a marketing campaign, these field-tested techniques will help you develop content that speaks to people’s hearts, stays in their heads, and influences their decisions. It’s not just memorable―it’s Impossible to Ignore.

Never Split the Difference – Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, Chris Voss
Another great recommendation from my partner in crime, er, Co-host of The Sellout Show and several of our guests. Negotiation is a constant training topic in sales for sellers that want to improve. Myself included.
What’s it about? A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.  Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

Find the Good – Unexpected Life Lessons From a Small-Town Obituary Writer, Heather Lende
Why? Exploring what makes someone “well rounded” – I came across this book and thought a small town obituary writer might have some keen insights into what makes for interesting lives.
What’s it about?
As the obituary writer in a spectacularly beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska, Heather Lende knows something about last words and lives well lived. Now she’s distilled what she’s learned about how to live a more exhilarating and meaningful life into three words: find the good. It’s that simple–and that hard.  Find the Good offers up short chapters that help us unlearn the habit–and it is a habit–of seeing only the negatives. Lende reminds us that we can choose to see any event–starting a new job or being laid off from an old one, getting married or getting divorced–as an opportunity to find the good. As she says, “We are all writing our own obituary every day by how we live. The best news is that there’s still time for additions and revisions before it goes to press.”

Can’t wait to dig into these reads and extract insights to share with my clients, colleagues, and family.

What’s on YOUR reading list?

Share in the comments!

Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!


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Straightforward, practical and perhaps slightly cheeky, Shawn Karol Sandy's innate gift is helping people find new ways to solve old problems, unique ways to approach new problems and helping businesses re-invent themselves and their sales strategies. With Bold and Brave thought leadership and Clear Action Plans, her impact on business is Measurable and Meaningful and will lead your sales revolution to growth and revenue goals.

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