By Hannah Wallace October 31, 2010

Heidi Smith

president, Heidi Smith Communications

I’m a perfectionist, and a perfectionist wants to excel at everything and struggles to overcome any perceived weakness. The book Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., has an incredibly freeing message. Identify and amplify your strengths, which are abilities that you can “fathom yourself doing…repeatedly, happily, and successfully.” When you identify a weakness, manage around it or just stop doing it.

Dan Miller

president, BizTank LLC

The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It very simply states a practical vision for what every business owner strives for: “to work on your business, not in your business.” It’s about how to rethink your approach to organizing and running your business and the idea that process and systems are the key. E-Myth stands for the Entrepreneurial Myth of being in control of your life and the fact that most businesses are started by technicians who have an “entrepreneurial seizure.” You just have to love that!

C.J. Fishman

president, Fishman and Associates

Thoughts On Success by the Forbes Leadership Library. Instead of being one book about how to succeed, it’s a reflection of many people from the beginning of time to today. I go to it when times are challenging, whether it’s in my personal life or my business. My favorite quote is, “Character is the real foundation of all worthwhile success.”

Gayle Williams

president, Vision PR and Marketing, and co-founder, New World Collaborative

Charlene Li’s Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead is my current favorite read. Li emphasizes that trust and transparency are essential for brand success in social media. It boils down to the ability to let go of full control because that’s where your greatest power is in leading marketing. Letting go empowers everyone around you. You can’t control social media. You have to communicate your vision, be really respectful and open with staff, vendors and clients, and then have faith in the response.

Ian Black

president, Ian Black Real Estate

The Big Short by Michael Lewis chronicles the entire financial fiasco and how we got to where we are. It showed me that everybody was driven by excess and greed and that the old maxim still works: If you follow the herd, you’re going to get in trouble.

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