A few years ago, we pulled together a summer reading list for chamber professionals and we’re back with new books for chamber professionals, some updates that are especially relevant to moving forward from the last two years, and the addition of podcasts we think you’ll love.
First, these books aren’t just for chamber professionals. They provide a lot of innovative ideas for business people in general, so these could also become part of a chamber chamber book club or suggestions for your members.
If you are not a reader, you may want to see if these book titles are available in Blinkist. Blinkist offers a free and paid service that allows you to get summaries and core insights from 4,500 non-fiction books in a number of genres. Think of it as Cliffs Notes for grown-ups. Plus many of these titles are available in audiobook format as well.
Most of the books are hyperlinked to the book description on Amazon just to make it easier for you to find out more. But we highly encourage purchasing the book at your local bookstore. If you share this list with your members, consider replacing the hyperlinks with that of your local businesses.
A Winter Reading List: Books for Chamber Professionals
Want to understand the value behind remaining intellectually curious?
Adam Grant uses a mix of storytelling and research to show us the power behind knowing what you don’t know. He’s also the author of Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success and Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World (all great reads for the chamber pro).
The author poses the idea that there are two ways to think: one is fast and emotional, the other is slower and more logical.
Kahneman “takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.”
You may also enjoy his more recent book, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment about why people make bad decisions and how to make better ones.
Wouldn’t it be great to anticipate problems before they happen?
That way you could be proactive in your response instead of reactive. Heath draws from insights from “hundreds of interviews of unconventional problem solvers.”
Row the Boat: A Never Give-up Approach to Lead with Enthusiasm and Optimism and Improve Your Team and Culture by Jon Gordon
From Amazon: “In Row the Boat, Minnesota Golden Gophers Head Coach P.J. Fleck and bestselling author Jon Gordon deliver an inspiring message about what you can achieve when you approach life with a never-give-up philosophy. The book shows you how to choose enthusiasm and optimism as your guiding lights instead of being defined by circumstances and events outside of your control.”
Ever wonder what determines success in the top 10%?
Is it innate skill or determination? Angela Duckworth presents her answers derived through research and observation.
2020 and 2021 are two very good reasons to read this book.
Reset was written by the CEO and President of SHRM who says it’s time to transform how we select, retain, and train our employees.
The premise of this book is to “free yourself from the cult of overwork.”
What chamber professional couldn’t benefit from this bible of self care?
Alien Thinking: The Unconventional Path to Breakthrough Ideas by Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux, & Michael Wade
This book studies inventors, scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, and artists to find “alien thinkers.”
They know how to “free the imagination to detect hard-to-observe patterns. They practice deliberate ways to retreat from the world in order to see the big picture underlying a problem. And they approach ideas in systematic ways that reflect the constraints of reality.”
Things move quickly these days and this book helps you adapt to the “speed of change.”
This book is “based on the life and leadership of the late Mike McLaran, the Oregon business leader who dedicated his career to building great teams and promoting excellence in education.”
You may also enjoy Kyle’s other book Remembership: New Strategies for Remarkable Membership Organizations.
Curious about the history of the chamber industry?
Then check out this deeply researched book about the history behind chambers and how they contributed to the growth of our country.
Have an idea that something has to change at your chamber and you’re not sure what?
Take a look at these ideas from Frank Kenny. (Free download.) You may also enjoy The 7 Secret Laws of Society (also free).
Networking on Purpose: A Five-Part Success Plan to Build a Powerful and Profitable Business Network by Beth Bridges
This book presents a deliberate and intentional networking strategy that will help your members get much more from their time spent networking.
It will also help you, the chamber professional, have better networking events and build more connected audiences, attendees, and members simply by creating better networkers within your chamber.
From Relevant to Essential: Five Key Insights for Chambers of Commerce by Casey Steinbacher
Books not your thing? Then take a listen to these podcasts available on your favorite downloads store.
Perfect Podcasts for Chamber Professionals
- The Indicator by Planet Money is a “quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else.”
- The BizChix: Female Entrepreneurs. The podcast speaks to the challenges of female entrepreneurs and teaches “how to master your mindset, grow as a leader, refine your strategies, build your team and gain visibility in your industry.”
- The Gary Vee Audioexperience. Get ready for some gritty marketing and more advice in this “best of” collection from Gary Vaynerchuk.
- Startup Stories. You know how stories help get your point across and they’re something that people remember? The content from podcasts that tell stories are a great way to add a little spice to your presentations and conversations. Startup Stories is a good start.
- Worklife with Adam Grant: A TED original podcast. This podcast has a huge audience partly because of the interesting subjects. Prepare to discover keys to better work.
- Spark & Fire: Epic Creative Stories. Excellent stories (again with the storytelling, great content). Success is rarely a straight line. This podcast captures all the beauty along the thorny path to amazing.
- W.A.C.E’s Chamber Leadership podcast. This podcast by W.A.C.E’s own Dave Kilby aims to inspire chamber professionals through best practices and interviews with industry leaders. Recent topics include: “Making a Difference and Shaping the Future” and the “Importance of Investing in People.”
- Chamber Chat Podcast by Brandon Burton. It’s a place for Chamber Professionals to get ideas and to learn from industry leaders.