Summer Reading Recommendations

Performance Matters:
Summer Reading Recommendations

Business strategy. Social purpose. Productivity and motivation. Innovation.

These are some of the big challenges that organizations everywhere are facing—and they represent a big opportunity for growth and perspective.

We’re sharing a few of our best book suggestions to help spark some conversations and insights this summer. And we’ve added our favorite beverage pairings to keep you refreshed while you are reading or discussing the authors’ insights in the summer sun.

We’d love to hear your favorite book and beverage pairings. Let us know on social media.
A person is reading a book on the beach with two drinks. He/she is enjoying his/her book and beverage pairing.

The Book & Beverage Pairings

Your Brain at Work by David Rock (304 pages)

Every day at work we’re asked to process vast amounts of information. If you want to feel accomplished and energized at the end of the work day, this is the book for you.

Per Ryan Meyer, sip an ice-cold glass of pomegranate green tea to up your antioxidants and L-theanine, promoting healthy brain function.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (320 pages)

All about being vulnerable in how we lead, love, work, parent, and educate. (Also, we seem to have a professional crush on Brené—other favorites include Rising Strong and Braving the Wilderness.)

While we have lots of options for upping the empathy, a mug of lavender Earl Grey provides the perfect complement for ending your day with one of Brené’s reads.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (160 pages)

Drawing from ancient Toltec wisdom, this book provides a new way of living and believing that can transform our lives and help us experience freedom, joy, and love.

Joe Bobbey suggests savoring each page of this book with a sip of green tea.

Taking People with You by David Novak (256 pages)

Get an inside look at the step-by-step guide that Yum! Brands uses to coach thousands of managers on how to make big things happen by getting people on their side.

Terence Andre recommends grabbing your favorite hot chocolate and enjoying it with this fun read.

Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie (224 pages)

An oldie but a goodie that shows how the “giant hairball” of rules, traditions, and systems can get in the way of organizational leaders awakening and fostering their creative genius.

Danyele Harris-Thompson suggests rekindling your uncritical, childhood creativity with a milkshake, complete with whipped cream and sprinkles.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (416 pages)

This book shares scientific discoveries to explain why habits exist—and how they can be changed to transform our organizations and our lives.

Janine Moore recommends that readers of this book are best fueled by a habitual morning latte.

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey (240 pages)

This collection of meaningful conversations between Oprah and some of today’s most-admired thought-leaders delivers aha moments of inspiration and soul-expanding insight.

Rachel Brecht recommends a delicious alternative to the mimosa for this one. Pair it with a refreshing Bellini for a Sunday morning read or brunch conversation.

A Force for Good by Daniel Goleman (272 pages)

This work draws upon the Dalai Lama’s vision for the world to explain how to act upon our compassionate energy and transform the world in practical, positive ways.

Brandee Abel recommends a personal favorite, Make Juice Not War Green Juice. She swears it cures a headache, an oncoming cold, a bad mood and just about whatever else that ails ya!

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (175 pages)

An accompaniment to the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment, this book is loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths.

This suggestion by Terry Faber can be fueled with a rich, creamy nitro cold brew coffee, providing high energy for applying those strengths.

Lead with a Story by Paul Smith (288 pages)

Designed for a wide variety of business challenges, this practical resource offers ready-to-use narratives and how-to guidance to help you craft the right story any time you need to convince, explain, inspire, or get people to remember something important.

Liz Rosenau is a big fan of the local coffee scene. She recommends that you jump start your day with this book and a cup of good coffee, roasted and served at your favorite neighborhood café.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (499 pages)

Renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics guides readers on a groundbreaking tour of the mind as he explains the two systems that drive the way we think.

Enjoy this book one chapter at-a-time along with a brain-boosting green smoothie, shares Molly Fried.

Mindset by Carol Dweck (320 pages)

Drawing upon decades of research to illustrate that how we think about our talents and abilities can dramatically impact our success in pretty much every area of human endeavor.

Katie Frey recommends pairing this book with Divergent Sour Ale by Rivertown Brewery. Representing the reclamation of a dream, this beer is filtered to be brilliant—just like individuals with a growth mindset.

An Everyone Culture by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (336 pages)

This book dives deep into the practices of three companies that are leading a breakthrough approach of building a developmental culture to activate their business strategy.

Dustin Shell recommends this book in audio format for the morning commute. Pair it with an Aeropress Americano to get your day started.

Presence by Amy Cuddy (352 pages)

A collection of stories of people learning to flourish during stressful times—and how we can use the same simple techniques to overcome fear, perform at our best, and inspire others to do the same.

Victoria Rodgers recommends enjoying this book with a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. The citrus & tropical notes make this very light and refreshing wine a perfect pairing with the stories & insights from Amy on Presence.

Organization Horsepower by Harrison Withers (152 pages)

Written by our very own Harrison, this book draws parallels between motorcycle racing and performance improvement for a thoroughly fascinating, fun ride.

In honor of Harrison’s beverage of choice while writing this book, we recommend pairing it with a Bell’s Two Hearted IPA.

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp (376 pages)

Distilling the wisdom of decades of work from CEOs and other leaders into 15 commitments that can change how you lead teams and organizations.

Per Tom Rausch, pair this read with pure water, poured into a glass with gratitude and consumed with appreciation for this life-sustaining liquid.

Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock (416 pages)

A compelling and fun manifesto on striking the balance between creativity and structure to build a better company from within (rather than from above).

Spark your own creativity by pairing this book with a deliciously refreshing Thai iced tea.

Influence by Robert Cialdini (336 pages)

This classic book teaches the six universal principles of persuasion and how they can be used to move toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

Scarlett Meadows suggests sipping an Eagle Rare bourbon, neat with this book (but an Old Fashioned or Kentucky Mule are strong contenders, too.)