Everyone has that favorite summer book that they love to sit back and relax with at the beach. But, this summer – ditch it. While you could definitely re-read Harry Potter for the 14th time, do yourself a favor – check out some books that are enjoyable AND will help develop your professional skill set. Need a recommendation? Read on for some Team TMG suggestions that may just help you #WinEverything both in and out of the workplace. 

Lee Moak – Founder & CEO

Life is unpredictable, uncertain. Many people can be derailed by that- humans often search for simplistic answers to complicated events. This has come to be known as the black swan theory.  Author Nassim Taleb describes it as, “our blindness with respect to randomness, particularly large deviations.” The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable has been a fantastic tool to help me understand that to be successful in life, you have to learn how to engage with these events, learn from them, and use them as building blocks in your journey. I recommend it to all who are looking for insights on how to plan for the future or grow a business in an increasingly unpredictable world.

Michael Robbins – Founder & COO

A book that I found to be very helpful and strongly recommend is titled Networking is Not Working by my friend, Derek Coburn. I dislike most traditional “networking” events. I am an introvert by nature, so sometimes I find myself uncomfortable in unstructured events, which I often to find to be not particularly useful for making connections anyway. Derek’s book teaches new methods to build business relationships with clients and prospective clients in ways that produce far more meaningful (and fulfilling) results than traditional “networking.”

Sarah Heine – Vice President

As a young manager at a new and growing company, Ed Catmull’s story about starting Pixar and his advice on how to manage a growing company and create a strong team really resonated with me. In Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, Catmull explains how promoting creativity, building an honest and constructive dialogue amongst colleagues, and creating a functional organizational structure established the foundation that allowed Pixar to become the phenomenon that it is today. This book has provided me with invaluable insights and guidance as I’ve worked to support TMG’s growth.

Boyd Bailey – Vice President

My summer read suggestion is the best-known book on the fundamental principles of dealing with people: How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Written by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1937, the book is one of the most practical, helpful, and insightful books on human nature with life principles that can still be applied today.  Carnegie brings insight on top of telling you what to do, including the importance of remembering names, speaking with others about their interests, and asking questions instead of giving orders.  It’s an easy summer read and should be on everybody’s bookshelf!

Rebecca McTear – Digital Strategist

Being able to produce a creative piece is more than just having an idea and willing it into existence. In The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, Twyla Tharp, the famous choreographer known for her Tony award-winning Musical Movin’ Out, provides thirty-two exercises that will help anyone in the creative field. To be clear, I am in no way a dancer. Instead of focusing on choreography, her book focuses on the creative mind. From her text, I learned the importance of setting creative habits, including daily rituals, scratching out ideas, and building from past failures. It is a must-read for those in the creative field!

Ellen Huber – Communications Strategist

A few years ago, a mentor of mine gifted me with the book Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader by J. Keith Murninghan. That gesture gifted me with a guiding principle that’s helped me tremendously in the early years of my career. It taught me to work against the natural tendency to micromanage if you want to be a great leader (at any level) that inspires great results. When you allow the people supporting you to take ownership of their work, you set the stage for them to rise to the occasion and make everyone’s jobs easier. The book provides tangible advice on leadership, and I highly recommend it.

Jody Greene – Digital Associate

One book that has impacted my work ethic substantially is Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. Eating your Frog refers to accomplishing your most important tasks during the day, rather than trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list. As a serial procrastinator, changing my mindset to accomplish the most challenging tasks first in order to get them out of the way allowed my days to become more organized and productive. The book is both concise and powerful, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to up their productivity. 

Rebecca Hendrickson – Fellow

Not only a book to help you in the business world, but also one to help you in real life, my summer book recommendation is You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. A youthful spin on a self-help book, You Are a Badass covers small changes you can make every day to get rid of negativity and become a more confident person through practices like living in the present, showing more gratitude, and positive thinking. Whether it’s for work or life, You Are a Badass should be on everyone’s to-read list this summer. 

Julie Cinner- Intern

Notorious RBG, The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is the inspiring story about the life of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Growing up in Brooklyn as the child of Jewish immigrant parents, RBG has worked tirelessly to pave the way for women to live and work in a country where they are treated equally.  The life of RGB is one of inspiration and determination. This book describes the struggles of women in the workforce and how to combat them. RBG is an incredible example of strong female leadership, and how following your dreams is possible despite the odds you may face, especially as a woman.

Mads Reineke – Intern

While this book isn’t for the faint of heart, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a story of persistence in the face of adversity and fear. Until her untimely death, Michelle McNamara worked tirelessly to bring justice for the victims and families of the crimes perpetrated by the Golden State Killer. The killer was finally apprehended—after nearly 50 years without consequence—after McNamara’s tragic passing and her book’s publication, making this thrilling and emotional story proof of the mark that your work—no matter how difficult or menial or unnoticed it may seem—can shape the world even after you’re gone.

Happy reading!

Jody Greene

Jody Greene

Digital Associate at The Moak Group
Jody Greene is a recent graduate of The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. She brings a unique set of creative skills to The Moak Group, helping clients standout in the ever-changing digital field.
Jody Greene

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