6.5 Essential Reads To Gift Your Growing Team

Looking for a team read? Find 6.5 inspiring, motivating and topical reads for getting your team in sync on your business priorities.

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Whether you’re forming a new team or growing an existing one, a key component to any organization’s success is sharing a mutual understanding of business priorities. Different teams may focus on different initiatives, but a well oiled organization keeps their eye on the same finish line.
As a leader, getting your team on that same page at the start can sometimes prove challenging. One effective method? Initiate newcomers by providing suggested reading that’s relevant to your day’s work, and to your long-term goals. Giving individual contributors the same literature can unite a team and set the tone for an organized and motivated group.
So, what reading is recommended? We asked leaders throughout Zenefits to share impactful reads they’ve given to their teams or that were recommended to them as leaders. Below you’ll find we’ve curated those suggestions into a list of 6.5 motivating reads. Whether you’re in marketing, sales, training or engineering, get your gang together, provide them with one of these reads, and get ready to launch into the days, weeks, and months ahead as a unified, unstoppable army.. Happy reading!

Recommended Reading for Cultivating Your Team

Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath
In this eye-opening read, the Heath brothers delve into what sets great ideas apart and, in turn, makes certain messages stick. If you’re leading a marketing team, this book will “transform the way you communicate ideas”, and equip your organization with a fresh mindset on approaching your subject matter.
Work Simply by Carson Tate

In our increasingly fast paced 9-to-5s, optimizing time is critical to completing neverending to-dos. However, task management itself should not be an additional tick on your list. One workaround? Identifying your work style so you can steer clear of this common pitfall. In Work Simply, Carson Tate outlines four types of working personalities –Arrangers, Prioritizers, Visualizers, and Planners –and posits that by classifying your personal work style, you’ll be more apt to capitalize on the things that contribute to you working well, and you’ll better collaborate with other types of doers. The result? Time returned and efficiency achieved.
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Too busy for lunch? Think again. Ferrazzi and Ruz delve into the way we communicate with others — and tease out the ability to make lasting personal connections as a common thread for successful people. Want to bolster a sense of community for your org? Give this read to your team, and encourage them to step away from their screens and establish tangible relationships with others they depend on to succeed.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
With a million things going on at once, finding our strengths and doing less can seem next to impossible. But, if we hone in on the essential and weed out everything else, our life’s work becomes more impactful — and our contributions become that much more valuable.  McKeown offers powerful advice to help you decipher what the right things are to get done. If you’re training a group of new managers, this read is not to be missed.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Most groups can explain how and what they do, but very few can support the why. Simon Sinek travels through history and highlights the most effective leaders and their ability to convey the why of their mission as a mechanism to motivate teams. He suggests that the why is what “inspires us and those around us” and that when we fully grasp the meaning of what we dedicate our lives to, we feel more satisfied in our work. In Sinek’s TED talk on the same subject, he probes, “why do you get out of the morning, and why should anyone care?” Use this book (or the abbreviated TED talk) to get your team thinking about their own “why”.
Grit by Angela Duckworth
In this New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth makes the compelling proposition that success in life is not due to talent, but rather the powerful combination of perseverance and passion. The combination of these two traits? Grit. When building a team, joining a new one, or assessing how you can be better in your current role, grit can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. Wondering what it takes to harness this attribute? Pick up Duckworth’s read – you won’t regret it!
Pocket Mentor Guides from Harvard Business Review
While it may seem optimistic (or even crazy!) to suggest that a team read a book cover-to-cover in 2016, there are alternatives. Luckily for us, the Harvard Business Review has published a series of Pocket Mentor guides with topics ranging from management to giving feedback that can help unite your team. Stretched for time? This list can be a great start. 
Hungry for more recommended reading? Dive into this list list of the best 73 reads for entrepreneurs in 2016. Have other suggestions that you’ve shared with your teams or received from managers? Let us know in the comments. 

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