Successful leaders never stop learning. DTC, Inc. CEO Steve McNamara is no different. Between running a profitable business and balancing family life, Steve finds time to challenge his mind with new ideas by listening to audio books during his commute. These three books are some of his more recent reads that he highly recommends:
The Go Giver | Bob Burg & John David Mann
“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” – Bob Burg
The Go Giver is a short book written in a story-telling format that makes for a quick and easy read. It tells the story of an ambitious, “go-getter” young man named Joe who wants to achieve success. Desperate to land a sale, he seeks out the advice of a legendary consultant known as “the Chairman,” who walks Joe through the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success by introducing him to five “go-givers.” This classic bestseller brings the “give and you shall receive” proverb to life, helping its readers find fulfillment and success in business and beyond.
Steve lists this book as his number one most recommended book. “It resonates with me because it is the opposite of corporate mentality.” He says. Steve has never been a go-with-the-flow kind of businessman. The philosophy of “give it away to keep it” has been his life philosophy for years – “it is interesting to read this philosophy from a business perspective.” This book was first recommended to Steve through the Dental Integrators Association, and Steve enjoyed it so much that there are now several copies of it being passed around the office. The Go Giver emphasizes the need to focus on giving and serving, as well as being open to receiving. “The next right thing isn’t always financially profitable,” Steve says. Business culture is heavily valued these days, and Steve is constantly looking for ways that DTC can give back to not only its clients but the community we serve.
Rising Strong | Brené Brown
“My life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.” – Brené Brown
Author and social scientist Brené Brown is popular for her TED Talks as well as multiple bestselling books. Brown’s work focuses on vulnerability, connectivity, and how being brave enough to fall to vulnerability will result in growth.
When it comes to connectivity, culture has it backwards. We put our head down at work, at the coffee shop, on the street – we avoid other people and thus avoid being vulnerable. “Rising Strong is about being vulnerable,” Steve notes. “When you allow yourself to be vulnerable is when you make your greatest strides.” Culture today is highly critical and quick to judge. Steve’s main takeaway from this book is accepting the idea that everybody is doing the best that they can. “If you had told me that ten years ago, I would’ve laughed.” Steve says. “I didn’t agree with this idea at first – it took me months to understand. But now, my expectations for people are realistic. It took a lot of pressure off to understand that you can’t control everything.”
Start With Why | Simon Sinek
“Great leaders and great organizations are good at seeing what most of us can’t see. They are good at giving us things we would never think of asking for.” – Simon Sinek
Another author that rose in popularity from his TED Talk is Simon Sinek – his TED video based on Start With Why has over 28 million views. Sinek tackles the question of why some people and organizations are more successful than others, and concludes that success starts with asking “why.”
Steve enjoys this book because of its different business concept of approaching clients and sales. Success often does not come from following the crowd but blazing your own trail and doing the opposite of what other people do. “Businesses often focus too much on problems than opportunities.” Steve states. “The model to follow isn’t to start with a solution – it’s to start by asking ‘why?’” Compared to the previous two books, Start With Why takes a more clinical approach to success in business. Steve would recommend this book to professionals whose business is growing as a tool to help think through the whole process.
Have you read any of these books? Leave us a comment with your thoughts below.