Reading List

Middle Market Methods™ believes that useful knowledge has a brief half-life. Consequently, learning is a journey—not a destination. Clients commonly ask which books we recommend for enlightenment and insights. The growing list below is a subset reflecting those books which have provided the most influential utility for coaching our clients.



The 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B. Peterson

20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World, by Hugh Courtney

The 4 Disciplines of Execution, by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling

48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential, by John C. Maxwell

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure, by Grant Cardone

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, by John C. Maxwell

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, by John C. Maxwell

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less, by Richard Koch



Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths

The Art of Achievement: Mastering the 7 Cs of Success in Business and Life, by Tom Morris

The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu

As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand



Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy: Classic Concepts and New Perspectives, by Carl W. Stern and Michael S. Deimler

The Breakthrough Imperative: How the Best Managers Get Outstanding Results, by Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert

Bringing Out the Best in People, by Aubrey C. Daniels

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, by Donald Miller

Built to Last, by Jim Collins

Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, by John Warrilow

Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down, by John P. Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead



The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors that Transform Ordinary People into World-Class Leaders, by Tahl Raz, Kim R. Powell, and Elena L. Botelho

Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life, by Alan Deutschman

Competing for the Future, by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier

Competitive Strategy, by Michael Porter

The Courageous Follower, by Ira Chaleff

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too, by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle



David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell

Death by Meeting, by Patrick Lencioni

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh

Developing the Leader within You, by John C. Maxwell

Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture, by Kim S. Cameron and Robert E. Quinn

The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

The Discipline of Market Leaders, by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema

A Discourse on Method: Meditations on the First Philosophy: Principles of Philosophy, by René Descartes

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motives Us, by Daniel H. Pink

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, by Leonard Mlodinow



The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker

Effective Succession Planning: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent from Within (4th Edition), by William J. Rothwell

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance

Ethics, the Heart of Leadership, by Joanne B. Ciulla (Ed.)

Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact, by Phil M. Jones

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin



Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide for Starting Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, E-Mail, and Cold Calling, by Jeb Blount

The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, by Peter M. Senge

The First Billion is the Hardest, by T. Boone Pickens

First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Elements of Effective Thinking, by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird

The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, by Peter F. Drucker

The Five Temptations of a CEO, by Patrick Lencioni

Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible, by Daniel Burrus and John David Mann

Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

The Four Disciplines of Execution: The Secret of Getting Things Done, on Time, with Excellence, by Stephen R. Covey and Chris McChesney

The Four Obsessions of a CEO, by Patrick Lencioni

Future Files: A History of the Next 50 Years, by Richard Watson

Futuring: The Exploration of the Future, by Edward Cornish



The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation, by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan

A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring, by John Wooden, Don Yeager, and John Maxwell

Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers in the Workplace, by Ron Zemke, Bob Filipczak, and Claire Raines

Getting Naked, by Patrick Lencioni

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

The Goal, by Eli Goldratt

Good Boss, Bad Boss, by Robert I. Sutton

Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

The Greatest Mystery in the World, by Og Mandino

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth

Gung Ho! Turn on the People in Any Organization, by Sheldon Bowles and Ken Blanchard



The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz

The Heart of Change, by John P. Kotter

How Google Works, by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle

How to Win and Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale about Making Innovation Happen, by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, by Steven Johnson

Human Resource Management (10 Edition), by John M. Ivancevich



The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick M. Lencioni

The Indispensable Milton Friedman: Essays on Politics and Economics, by Lanny Ebenstein

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini

Innovation and Entrepreneurship, by Peter F. Drucker

Innovation X: Why a Company’s Toughest Problems are Its Greatest Advantage, by Adam Richardson

The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, by Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter Isaacson

The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth, by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor



Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls, by Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis



Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire, by Paul Smith

Lead with Luv, by Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett

Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Leadership, by Rudolph Giuliani

Leadership by the Book: Tools to Transform Your Workplace, by Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, and Phil Hodges

Leadership is an Art, by Max De Pree

The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company (2nd Edition), by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel

Leadership: Theory and Practice, by Peter Northouse

Leading Change, by John P. Kotter

Leading the Revolution, by Gary Hamel

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries

The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry, by John Feinstein

The Little Black Book of Innovation, by Scott D. Anthony

Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness, by Jeffrey Gitomer

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, by Johann Hari



Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Make It in America: The Case for Reinventing the Economy, by Andrew N. Liveris

Managerial Economics and Organizational Architecture (4th Edition), by James A. Brickley, Clifford W. Smith, Jr., and Jerold R. Zimmerman

Managers as Mentors: Building Partnerships for Learning, by Chip Bell

Managing by Values, by Ken Blanchard ad Michael O’Connor

Marketing Management (12th Edition), by Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller

Mastering the Complex Sale (2nd Edition), by Jeff Thull

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm, by Verne Harnish

Mentoring 101, by John C. Maxwell

The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas, by David Burkus



Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, by Chris Voss

New Sales. Simplified. The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development, by Mike Weinberg

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, by George Friedman

Nicomachean Ethics, by Aristotle

Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton



On Becoming a Leader, by Warren Bennis

The One Minute Manager, by Kenneth Blanchard

Organizational Theory and Design (9th Edition), by Richard L. Daft

Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration, by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman

Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World, by Adam Grant



The Partnership Charter: How to Start Out Right with Your New Business Partnership (or Fix the One You're In), by David Gage

Positive Intelligence, by Shirzad Chamine

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Servant Leadership, by Robert K. Greenleaf

Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times, by Bob Whitman, Breck England, and Stephen R. Covey

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

Profiting from Uncertainty: Strategies for Succeeding No Matter What the Future Brings, by Paul J.H. Schoemaker



Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain



Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, By Kim Scott

The Richest Man in Town, by Randall Jones

The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich August von Hayek

Rules for Radicals, by Saul D. Alinsky



The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource, by Jeffrey Gitomer

The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales, by Trish Bertuzzi

Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal, by Jeb Blount

The Scenario Planning Handbook, by Bill Ralston and Ian Wilson

Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation, by Kees Van Der Heijden

The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do, by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller

Scrum, by Jeff Sutherland

Seeing What's Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change, by Clayton M. Christensen, Erik A. Roth, and Scott D. Anthony

Self-Improvement 101, by John C. Maxwell

Serial Innovators: How Individuals Create and Deliver Breakthrough Innovations in Mature Firms, by Abbie Griffin, Raymond Price, and Bruce Vojak

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–but Some Don't, by Nate Silver

The Speed of Trust, by Steven M.R. Covey

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek

Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs, by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath



Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-class Performers from Everyone Else, by Geoff Colvin

The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People before Numbers, by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan

The Teachings of Napoleon Hill: The Law of Success, The Lost Prosperity Secrets of Napoleon Hill, The Magic Ladder to Success, by Napolean Hill

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

There is No Such Thing as Business Ethics, by John C. Maxwell

Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Three Key Lessons in Leadership: Re-train Your Leaders, Feed Your Eagles, and Trim Your Turkeys, by Dave Anderson

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, by Patrick Lencioni

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others, by Daniel H. Pink

Topgrading, by Bradford D. Smart

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman

Transparency, by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and James O’Toole

Tribal Leadership, by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright

True North, by Bill George



Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy, by Joan Magretta

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, by Michael Lewis



Value-creation in Middle Market Private Equity, by John A. Lanier

Values-Based Leadership: Rebuilding Employee Commitment, Performance, and Productivity, by Susan Smith Kuczmarski and Thomas D. Kuczmarski



The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman

Way of the Wolf--Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success, by Jordan Belfort

Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith

Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships, by Ken Blanchard

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful!, by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter

What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, by Gary Hamel

When No One Sees: The Importance of Character in an Age of Image, by Os Guinness

Who, by Jeff Smart and Randy Street

The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation, by Ron Adner

Winners Never Cheat, by Jon M. Huntsman

The Wisdom of Alexander the Great, by Lance Kurke

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World, by Randall E. Stross



Younger Next Year: A Guide to Living Like 50 Until You're 80 and Beyond, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long, by David Rock



Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters


A Discourse on Method: Meditations on the First Philosophy: Principles of Philosophy, by René Descartes

Diffusion of Innovations (5th Edition), by Everett M. Rogers