You ever go to a conference and hear about some books that you must read? They sound amazing! So write the name down. And never buy them.
Me, too. So here’s a book list (in no particular order) in case you’ve misplaced yours:
Chamber Of Commerce Book Recommendations
- Chamber Champions by Dave Kilby – I love that these lessons for chamber executives are bite-sized. I can pick up this book at anytime, flip to any page, and learn a quick takeaway.
- Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game: How to Break the Cycle of Frustrating Relationships and Benefit from Fully Engaged Boards by Hardy Smith – “Why don’t board members do what they’re supposed to do?”
- Horseshoes vs. Chess: A Practical Guide for Chamber of Commerce Leaders by David Adkisson – published in 2021, this new addition is a must for every chamber bookshelf.
- Advocacy Basics for Chambers of Commerce: The ABC’s of Government Relations by Kyle Jacobson
- 13 Ways to Kill Your Community by Doug Griffiths – “Every Small Town Politician, Business entrepreneurs, concerned Citizens and Community Leaders should read this book to learn why some Communities continue to grow while others fail,” said Rob Staffen.
- A chamber membership pro, anything by Kyle Sexton
- Chamberology by Diane Probst – a self-proclaimed “all-in-one guide to maximizing your own and your chamber’s potential.”
- The Post-Boomer Chamber: Attracting Gen X and Millennial Leaders – Honestly it’s mostly survey answers, but a good insight to what potential & current member think about membership.
- The Magicians of Main Street. America and its Chambers of Commerce, 1768- 1945 by Chris Mead – “This original history tells how pickup teams of American business people changed their communities and sometimes their nation and the world.”
- Executive Director Essentials: A Guide to Success for Every Exec by Dot Miller, CAE & Sam Miller
- The End of Membership as we know it by Sarah Sladek – Membership isn’t dead – just stale.
- Relevant to Essential – While it’s currently only available on Kindle, it’s definitely worth the read!
- Also see [hear] Chamber Chat Podcast Episode 106: Relevant to Essential
- Making Your Chamber Make a Difference by Mick Fleming – Download the PDF from ACCE or other organizations (try this link)
- I See Stupid People: and They are Getting on My Last Nerve! by Cheryl Caldwell – because sometimes all you can do is laugh.
- Townies: The negative effects of small town politics and generational bigotry by Layla Cruz – “written by a Chamber director that dealt with unimaginable treatment, to the point of being falsely arrested. If you have ever been discriminated against, dealt with small town politics, worked for a Board of Directors, or served on one, this book is for you.”
- The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand – this is actually a romance novel, but I’m told a central character is a chamber exec, so that’s interesting.
- In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the midst of a national workforce crisis. What some don’t realize is that it was predicted decades ago. Some relevant reads include Workforce Crisis, The Coming Generational Storm, and When the Boomers Bail.
- The 8 Dimensions of Leadership has been my favorite leadership focused book by far. The quiz does a really accurate job of categorizing your style, which then gives specific ways to grow yourself.
- Any book by ACCE & IOM Speaker Justin Patton. He’s inspirational & practical, and wants to help you get out of your own way.
- Arsonist in the Office by Pete Havel – prevent fires & protect yourself, from destructive coworkers to corrosive cultures.
- QBQ! The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller – I’m obligated to list this book because I received it from a leadership class and assumed I would hate it, but it was surprisingly interesting & insightful.
- The Power of Moments by Chip & Dan Heath – because you want to create powerful memories for others in both your professional & personal life.
- New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World – and How to Make it Work for You by Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans – many found this inspiring for wanting to make change.
- Leadership is Language by L. David Marquet – real-world issues & exercises to rework the way you converse.
- Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John C Maxwell – practical advice for leaders to change for the better.
- Making Remarkable by Adam Legge – How to deliver purpose, inspire people and build a platform for exceptional results.
- Success Simplified – a compilation of thought provoking & practical strategies for business (and nonprofits) and life.
- A Leader’s Gift: How to Earn the Right to be Followed by Barry Banther – is filled with engaging stories to reinvigorate a compassionate leadership style.
- Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels – if you prefer shorter reads, the thought-provoking short chapters can read on their own.
- Intentional Living by John C. Maxwell – personal stories & insights to inspire you to make a difference in others’ lives.
- Simon Sinek’s most popular book is Start with Why
- Daniel Pink has a few books available, but Drive was recommended to me
As a chamber of commerce, your members/clients/customers/investors are businesses. If you want them to come for you for advice, then I recommend these books to become a better business resource.
- Fix This Next by Mike Michalowicz
- His other popular books include Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The tell-it-like-it-is guide to cleaning up in business, even if you are at the end of your roll., The Pumpkin Plan, and Profit First, but I think this is most applicable for any organization and had several ah-ha moments.
- Networking on Purpose by Beth Bridges
- Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
Other Personal Growth Books I liked
- The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton, Chairman of Gallup – while it may not be as timely now that it’s here, I found this book to be really interesting as I didn’t previously understand how jobs affect our country’s GDP, and just how vital small businesses are for creating local jobs.
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin – a powerful letter to help you understand the history & culture of black individuals in the 60s.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki – a staple in the financial industry, I think it’s so popular because he was able to do a good job of sharing great life advice while still telling a story.
- Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier – Frankly, retirement books will likely start to sound repetitive the more you read them, but this one just really resonated with me.
- 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran & Michael Lennington
- Stress Free Retirement – Patrick Kelly