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Our 8 Favorite Books to Jump Start Your 2019 Reading List

McKenna Michel

January 11, 2019

The energy of the new year is a great time to reflect, set goals and think about how we can do what we do even better next year.

For some members of Savoya’s team, that means being more empathetic, becoming a better coach, being a better problem-solver or finding new ways to sustain excellence. And since our team is a big bunch of readers who love to learn, we invited them to share the books that have had the greatest impact on their professional development.

No matter what career goals you’ve set for yourself—whether you want to get promoted in 2019 or become recognized as a Power Assistant within your organization—we hope you’ll find their recommendations useful as you jump start your 2019 reading list.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Author: Susan Cain

Selected quote:
“Introversion…is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.  Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are.  Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform… But we make a grave mistake to embrace the Extrovert ideal so unthinkingly.  Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions… came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune in to their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there.”

Why you should read it:
This is a long-overdue call to reconsider what Susan Cain calls the “Extrovert Ideal” and to recognize the power and value of introversion. She confronts the reader with the fact that the majority of the world’s workforce is healthily introverted, and that productivity and value are actually impaired by forcing them into an extroverted ideal. I would recommend this book as both an affirmation for introversion and a tool for helping extroverted leaders effectively empower the majority of their employees.

--Joshua W.


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Author: Charles Duhigg

Selected quote:
“Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”

Why you should read it:
I read this book about two years ago, and I still apply the lessons that it's taught me both in my personal life and work life. It pretty much demonstrates how everything we do and how we think is out of habits that we build up through our lives. It has some great ideas about how to empower good habits and get rid of bad habits.

-- Brad F.


Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity

Author: Kim Scott

Selected quote:
“At Apple, as at Google, a boss’s ability to achieve results had a lot more to do with listening and seeking to understand than it did with telling people what to do; more to do with debating than directing; more to do with pushing people to decide than with being the decider; more to do with persuading than with giving orders; more to do with learning than with knowing.”

Why you should read it:
As a company with a core value of Transparency, this book is a must read. Even if you don’t directly lead a team, you can start by leading yourself well. Feedback from the top-down and bottom-up is crucial to any company’s success, and Radical Candor provides a narrative of how to handle hard conversations.

--Caroline D.


The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy

Author: Jon Gordon

Selected quote:
“Positive energy and positive people create positive results. There is certainly a lot of negativity in the world and choosing positive energy helps us deal with the negative people and negative situations that can knock us off course.”

Why you should read it:
Over the years, I have read many sales and sales management books and the one that has helped me the most is The Energy Bus. It is really short and kind of goofy at times, but it's easy reading and it is relative to every aspect of life—professionally and personally. In sales, and really anywhere in life, we have to deal with rejection and failure on a daily basis. This book really puts things in perspective and gives you a mindset to get up and keep going, no matter what.

--Whitney M.


Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Author: Brene Brown

Selected quote:
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

Why you should read it:
Daring Greatly rocked my previous concept of what it meant to be a woman in the workplace; I had always tried to shut down emotions at work and, as a perfectionist, felt that any failure would be unacceptable, including not working the longest and hardest.  Unfortunately this made my style at work somewhat akin to a hard working robot (hah!).

Daring Greatly encouraged me to fully feel my emotions, to embrace my failures as much as my successes, and, most importantly, to share them and my learnings more openly with others, creating more authentic relationships with my co-workers and team.

--Robyn S.


How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority

Author: Clay Scroggins

Selected quote:
“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does on a day-to-day basis to lead himself.”

Why you should read it:
Several points in the book stood out, one of which was the overarching theme that being a leader isn’t about your title or role as much as it is about how you influence others in your current role. It was incredibly helpful in evaluating areas for improvement in my leadership skills. It taught me that I can implement good leadership habits now so I’m ready whenever a promotion comes. I would recommend to anyone who wants to maximize their leadership even if they aren’t in an official leadership position.

--TraeAnn S.


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

Author: Michael Bungay Stanier

Selected quote:
“Winston Churchill said that “we shape our buildings; and thereafter they shape us.” We live within our habits. So shape the way you want to lead, and build the right coaching habits.”

Why you should read it:
If you have ever wanted to know how to take your conversations with your team to the next level and discuss the things that really matter, The Coaching Habit is the book to follow. Michael Stanier’s book provides managers with a philosophy and practical questions to transform your one on one conversations with the team members that report to you. This book was transformational for me and I cannot more highly recommend it to any manager.

--Jon H.


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

Author: Jim Collins

Selected quote:
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

Why you should read it:
This book does a great job of highlighting the things that good companies get trapped into doing, and conversely it does great job teasing out the things that great companies did to move from good to great. If I had to summarize this book in a few words, it would be that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Strategy is important, but culture will remove the glass ceiling and allow a company to become legendary.

--Brandon W.


Have a great business book to add to our list? Leave a note in the comments below sharing the book that’s had the biggest impact on you.

McKenna Michel
McKenna Michel

As an industry expert, Ms. Michel writes on company news and on the broader business impact of travel trends on various stakeholders.