Business Books to Add to Your Reading List

Summer reading lists aren’t just for those in school. Taking the time to read books on business, and even books on other topics can help with both your personal and professional growth. Check out summer reading recommendations from other landscape pros.

For Mason Shaffer, senior garden designer with Blanchford Landscape Group, has been a game-changer. He says he’s always listening to books while driving to jobsites.

“The idea that I can continually progress is important to me,” Shaffer says. “Maybe it’s just being able to appreciate other peoples’ perspectives. There are so many ways to grow both personally and professionally through books. I believe personal and professional development are often bridged through continuing education.”

Some of his top picks include The Magic of Thinking Big by David. J. Schwartz, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Start with Why by Simon Sinek and Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

Mark Hopkins, regional vice president of LandCare, says he encourages book clubs at the branches he leads. He often reads three or four books a month so some of his favorites include People Love You by Jeb Blount, The Four Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney and  What You Do is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz.

Here are some other titles NALP members have enjoyed reading.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

“My favorite book is How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.

It’s not necessarily even all business-related but is very apropos for business owners. It’s hard to find balance in life. For me, a takeaway was to be more in touch with myself and to get to the root of what’s bothering me when something is wrong. And then you really do need to stop worrying about the things you can’t change. That may be cliché but it’s so true. Honestly, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You usually learn that what you spend time worrying about is 10 times worse than what actually happens. And even when the ‘worst’ does happen, it’s usually not as bad as we imagine it.” – Scott Fullerton, Fullerton Grounds Maintenance

Option B

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. This book is my life. Having a life-altering event pushed me in a totally unforeseen direction.” – H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina, Gachina Landscape Management

Necessary Endings

“It’s probably Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud. I really enjoy that book and think there are many lessons to be taken from it.” – Brigitte Orrick, The Davey Tree Expert Co.

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of USS Jeanette

“Right now, it’s In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of USS Jeanette, which is not a business book at all and yet I have gained so many business principles from it. It’s about a true polar exploration — a journey to the North Pole that was tragic and did not go at all as planned. Why I think of this as a business book is because it’s about human perseverance, grit, leadership and surviving terrible trials and tribulations.

As a former small business owner and operator and now as a start-up operator, I feel like what we’re doing is hard. So, I think I took inspiration from this book in terms of how to be resourceful. It made me think about being driven to carry out objectives of a mission. I read a ton of business books, of course, and there are many great formulas out there on how to be successful in business. But sometimes it’s a nonfiction story like this that teaches me the most.” – Lisa Fiore, LandscapeHub

Jill Odom

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