6 Must Reads for Marketing Leadership
Reading with your team gives you (and them) space to take a step back from daily business and reflect. It can provide new ideas, approaches to current challenges, and, best of all, curates a culture that embraces continued learning. Good marketing isn’t just about being skilled or knowledgeable; it’s a field that champions innovation and agility. This means taking inspiration from everywhere and anywhere you can get it. So, we’ve compiled a reading list of six books that we think every marketing team lead should add to their 2023 TBRs.
1. Think Again by Adam Grant
Best for: experimenting with and brainstorming campaigns
Adam Grant’s Think Again advocates for the benefit of doubt by examining the science behind changing your mind – and persuading others to change theirs. It explores the biases and assumptions we bring to our decision-making and outlines how individuals and organizations can build a mindset of lifelong curiosity.
What does that mean? Seeing being wrong about something as a golden opportunity to learn something new. Grant argues that most of us think as a preacher, prosecutor, or politician. We hold our ideals sacred, pick apart the opposition to prove our point, and focus on how to sway others to our side. Instead, we should find a kind of joy in failure the way scientists do, with the mindset that their initial ideas will need some adjusting.
What makes it a must-read: Admitting ignorance can be a scary thing in an industry that praises expertise, but as Grant says, “Put your confidence not in your existing knowledge, but in your capacity to learn.” Be ready to re-think your ideas, strategies, and tactics— and see what happens.
2. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler, Ron McMillan
Best for: approaching hard conversations respectfully (without sounding pretentious)
On the heels of the last suggestion, let me introduce a potential pairing of Crucial Conversations.
What defines a conversation as “crucial”? It’s when:
stakes are high
parties involved have strong emotions
Listen, I know what you’re thinking— and I hear you. Books like these are a tough sell because they are often an inky mass of anecdotes covered in cheese. Yet, if you’re not willing to have hard conversations, your team will suffer, and if there’s one book I’d trust my team with— it’s this one. Crucial Conversations takes a refreshingly practical and engaging approach to the topic of conflict.
Although it’s not exactly a book to read cover-to-cover in one sitting, it’s a great resource to have on hand.
Some examples of techniques given include:
how to be persuasive but not abrasive
navigating when others blow up or clam up
how to actively take crucial conversations and follow them up with action and results