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The Top Five Books I’ve Read During Work From Home

3 min readJune 16, 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID shutdown period, I’ve read 33 business books.

Reading is part of my job. I interview a ton of authors on my podcast “Sales Enablement with Andy Paul.” And, unlike most podcast hosts, I pay my guests (and listeners) the respect of actually reading their books, cover to cover, before we record a conversation.

I’ve also read 20 novels in the past 90 days. Mostly of the mystery & thriller genre. There’s only so much you can Netflix. Or Hulu. Before your brain turns to mush and starts draining out your ears.

Here are my top 5 COVID WFH books.

Disrupt Yourself. Master Relentless Change and Speed Up Your Learning Curve by Whitney Johnson

In her excellent book, Whitney applies the tenets of disruption spelled out by the late Clayton Christensen in his class book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, and applies them to the psychology of learnings change and personal disruption.

Sample quote: “We can natter all day about being agents of disruption, but to effect real change, we need to be the subject of disruption. Innovation starts as an inside game.”

The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever. By Michael Bungay Stanier.

Anybody who follows me knows that I’m a huge fan of Michael’s previous book, The Coaching Habit. Both The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap, which is sort of an implementation guide for The Coaching Habit, should be required reading for all sales manager and sales leaders.

Sample quote: “As soon as someone starts talking, our plan to be curious goes out the door and our Advice Monster looms out of our subconscious, rubbing its hands and declaring “I’m about to add some value to this conversation! Yes. I. Am!”

The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave by Robbie Kellman Baxter.

For companies that operate on a subscription-based revenue model, Robbie goes into details about the attitude and behavior transformations they need to make in order to retain and optimize the lifetime value of their customers.

Sample quote: “It’s about orchestrating the moment when customers remove their “consumer hats” and don “member hats,” commit to your organization for the long term, and stop considering alternatives.”

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger.

Despite the title, this excellent book is as much about learning how to engage with other people in ways that don’t erect barriers to making a change.

Sample quote: “Behavioral scientist Kurt Lewin once noted, “If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.” But the reverse is also true. To truly change something, you need to understand it.”

Moving from Models to Mindset: Rethinking the Sales Conversation by John Reid.

You can read the books of the “big-name” sales authors. However, this one is better than most of those.

Sample quote: “The biggest challenge, as I have pointed out, is that it is difficult to teach (sales) people something they believe they are good at. They are classically judging themselves on their intentions and not their actions.”

Disrupt yourself. Start with these books!

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