Best business books: What are you reading?

Best business books: What are you reading?

Communication, work-life balance among the top themes.

February 2, 2017

The best business books in 2016 explored a variety of subjects, according to strategy & business, including technology, economics, marketing, leadership, strategy and management.

We recently asked some credit union leaders to share their book suggestions. Here’s what they recommend:

The Red Notebook

This is flat out one of the best books I've ever read.

When you read it you'll probably wonder what in the world it has to do with business. 

This is it: Throughout my career I've noticed the best leaders are those who have a very balanced life with lots of fascinating things going on in both their professional and personal lives.

Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and I recently came upon this gem.

Evan Clark is CEO of the Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High

What was most valuable to me was the concept of not telling myself a story about what someone is thinking or doing.

Instead, use a conversation that uncovers the other person's story and allows greater dialogue.

I have begun to use the tools in the book and have experienced some positive results in more open dialogue and greater accountability.

I am planning to bring in a third party to train a layer of managers on the concepts in the book in 2017.

Matt Kershaw is president/CEO of Clark County Credit Union in Las Vegas.

Angel Customers & Demon Customers

"Angel Customers & Demon Customers" takes a deeper look at the transactional world and provides insight and cases where seemingly identical sales and service opportunities can in fact have vastly different impacts on the profitability of a company.

Within the credit union world, I see many of our long held "sacred cows" being challenged by changing perceptions by our members and realities about the business environment that we're slow to want to recognize.

The book created a thought jungle for me that provided a basis to assess our business practices with a 360-degree perspective.

Bruce Six is CEO of NSWC Federal Credit Union in Dahlgren, Va.

The Curse of Cash

The Curse of Cash is one of the Bloomberg’s best books of the year.

The looming demise of cash theory has been around for decades but this book shows how cash, large denomination paper money in particular, has a truly evil side to its very existence.

Large bills are favored for illegal transactions and at the same time create significant issues for monetary policy implementation and execution.

The book (I’m not finished with it yet) is making the case that large-denomination bills should be eliminated in favor of electronic forms of payments, not just because of the convenience but for far more technical reasons.

In the author’s view, eliminating all but small-denomination cash (he keeps coins also) will be a big step toward solving some of these problems.

It’s not a light read but it’s engaging enough to keep my attention.

Bruce Six is CEO of NSWC Federal Credit Union in Dahlgren, Va.