What is Your Favorite Business Book? - National Association of Landscape Professionals

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What is Your Favorite Business Book?

Many NALP members have experienced great growth and success in their businesses. Where do they get their best ideas to grow and manage their companies? In addition to networking with their peers and attending industry seminars and conferences, they read business books written by best-selling authors. Here, we ask NALP members: What is your favorite business book and how has it helped you?

Favorite Business Book: Shoe Dog

“It’s hard to pick just one. I just finished “Shoe Dog by Phil Knight about Nike. I found it to be an easy and enjoyable read. In fact, I probably read it faster than I’ve read any other book. Nike seems like an overnight success to people, but when you peel those layers back and see what it took them to get there, you realize every business is the same. I read it and found it very relatable.” Bill Dysert, Exscape Designs, Novelty, Ohio

Favorite Business Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People

“A book that has formed a lot of who I am today is “How to Win Friends and Influence People”by Dale Carnegie. My dad made me take the course when I was just 18 years old. I dated this girl whose father was the instructor. She took the class, too. But my dad said, “No, you have to take it separately.” He really wanted me to focus. I’ve been married to that girl 35 years now. Michael Kravitsky IV, Grasshopper Lawns, Larksville, Pennsylvania

“’How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.’ It was my first exposure to basic management best practices. I read it when I needed it most: early on in my career when it had the greatest impact and provided the most value. It really helped me change.” Craig Ruppert, CEO, Ruppert Landscape, Laytonsville, Maryland

Favorite Business Book: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

“Another book that has really influenced me is “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. I can remember being at a NALP-sponsored event, sitting on a beach in Puerto Rico reading that book. It starts off with a drawing of an old woman but if you look at it a certain way, you should also be able to see a young woman. The book tells you not to move on until you can see both. I kid you not, I sat in that beach chair for two or three hours and I could not see the young woman. But when I finally did, it changed my life in a big way. I realized there are two sides to every story.” Michael Kravitsky IV, Grasshopper Lawns, Larksville, Pennsylvania

Favorite Business Book: Good to Great

“I read so much and that makes it hard to pick just one but if I had it, it would definitely be “Good to Great.” The things talked about in that book have really become part of the business lexicon and I constantly find that book relevant and have revisited it many times.” Dean DeSantis, owner, DeSantis Landscapes, Portland, Oregon

Favorite Business Book: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“’What Got You Here Won’t Get You There’ by Marshall Goldsmith. I’ve read a lot of books on sales, business and relationships and I’ve gotten something good out of most of them. This one was different, it truly was a game changer for me. It made me take a hard look at every aspect of my personal and professional life and opened my eyes to many things that I believed were part of my success but, in reality, were part of what was holding me back. I mentally refer to this book and its principles daily and have for about seven years now.” Chris Lee, Earthworks Inc., Alvarado, Texas

Favorite Business Book: Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service

“I read dozens of books about business, and I’m always interested in those that talk about a culture of service. “Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service” is one that I particularly like. It focuses on what motivates me—the human interaction—but it also talks about having customers that want YOU. The fact is, we can’t do any work without having a happy customer and that needs to be a focus.” Bob Grover, owner of Pacific Landscape Management in Portland, Oregon

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