Post written by
Forbes Business Development Council
For business development professionals, a continual pursuit of education and professional development is the key to career advancement. And one of the best ways to improve your skills and knowledge is to learn from the experiences of other successful individuals who have been in your shoes before.
Many business executives have written excellent and informative books about what they’ve learned during their careers. But with so many on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth your time and investment. If you’re looking for recommendations, eight members of the Forbes Business Development Council each shared one book that made them a better business development executive.
1. Greatest Salesman in the World By Og Mandino
Although it’s not a traditional business book, it tells a story of perseverance and self-confidence, which are crucial attributes for any business development professional. To provide a quote from the book that exemplifies one of the overarching tenets of the story, “Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Tracy Avin, MBL Benefits Consulting
2. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer And Venture Capitalist By Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld
As a veteran of eight tech startups backed by venture capital firms, Venture Deals has been essential to my ability to raise millions in capital to fund and exit companies. – Michael Koenig, Lunar Wireless
3. Primal Leadership By Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
Primal Leadership is one of the best business books I’ve ever read because it showed me the power of emotional intelligence (EQ) in leading teams and creating success. This book gave me ideas for inspiring and empowering the teams around me. – Robert Macdonald, Pinterest, Inc.
4. The Lean Startup By Eric Ries
This book helped me think clearly about how to approach new markets and new business models. What questions do you need answers for, and how can you get those answers? I’m also a huge fan of the focus on “getting out of the building.” Those answers are found by meeting with customers and prospects to help test your hypotheses. – Craig Weich, Sila Nanotechnologies, Inc.
5. Never Eat Alone By Keith Ferrazi
This book demonstrates the importance of building honest, meaningful relationships based on a mutual exchange of value as a driver to successful business development. – Scott Pollack, WeWork
6. Give and Take By Adam Grant
I am currently reading Adam Grant’s Give and Take on three different types of personalities: Givers, Takers and Matchers. This has helped clarify and identify who to work with, and who to potentially avoid. – Robin Farmanfarmaian, Invicta Medical
7. Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors By Piers Paul Read
This book taught me the meaning of resilience, teamwork and leadership, and how combining these skills can empower a team to achieve the impossible under the most hostile conditions. – Diego Fiorentin, Squadability Corporation
8. Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion By Robert Cialdini
As a practitioner of NLP, I often seek out books that provide method and strategy in the realm of influence and persuasion. Influence is a book packed with experience and paths to most efficiently execute my intention where it applies to business negotiations and relationships. The narrative format is also entertaining, even though it is now a bit dated. – Dobbin Buck, GetUWired