Totterdells Blogs

New Year - New Reading

 It’s that time of year and there are many New Year resolutions being made. To get healthy, lose weight, travel more, make the work life balance better and a hugely popular one is to read more. Not only is it a great way to relax with a bit of escapism, it gets you away from screens of all types. It also creates the opportunity to improve your business skills or provides you with some thought provoking insights. Therefore reading some of the great business books of 2016 is an excellent way to start the year and to get yourself into the habit of reading.

Here are the top 5 business books of 2016 as voted for by the Totterdells team.


Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Dr. Robert Cialdini

If you’ve never read anything by Dr. Robert Cialdini then you’re in for a treat. Already the author of the hugely successful ‘influence’, this book was full of fantastic nuggets to help you understand how to persuade people, what makes them tick and why the methods he suggests will work. Cialdini does this using research and practical examples. It’s these examples that help you see every day uses for the techniques and to test them out in your work and home life.  There’s also a good dollop of humour in the book, so it’s an easy read. If I was going to persuade you to read one of our recommendations it would be this!! J


Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observation Skills by Jim Gilmore

How well do you observe every day occurrences? Why do some people see opportunity while the rest of us see nothing unusual?  Jim Gilmore’s latest book (he is the co-author of the excellent, The Experience Economy) takes us on a journey as to why some of the most successful people in the world seem to see things differently. When reading this book you’ll suddenly realise what a great skill observing is and that it takes a great deal of concentration, not only for seeking out new opportunities but also for understanding your customers or your colleagues. Observing is a skill worth working on.


'Smarter Faster Better' by Charles Duhigg

Duhigg is a prize winning journalist working for the New York Times. After the success four years ago of his bestseller "The Power of Habit," this time Duhigg deconstructs productivity and creativity into skills that anyone can develop. He does this using some great and varied examples from the business world such as Google and Disney. Is there a systematic way to develop creativity and increase productivity? Duhigg certainly puts a strong case for it and shows tangible results from the examples he provides. It’s time to get creative and embrace the power of new perspectives!


'Shoe Dog' by Phil Knight

We could just have said it’s worth buying just for the title. It’s not one that leaves your memory! Hard to believe, but once upon a time Nike was a running shoe business run by Phil Knight from his parents garage. Phil Knight has now retired as the chairman of the company he created and takes us on a wonderful journey of how the business has become the biggest sports/athletics company in the world worth $88 billion. He provides some great insights into his thinking, his ability to hire great people and how he managed to keep this company as the ‘cool’ must have brand for more than 40 years. It's a remarkably story and very well written. You’ll find yourself admiring the success but also learning, as Phil did, about the emotional rollercoaster that is owning your own business and how you grow as a person as the business grows. We loved this book, it captivates both on a human level and on the business front.


Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built, by Duncan Clark

This is a biography of Jack Ma, the man behind the hugely successful online Chinese retailer Alibaba. This is the story of becoming China’s most successful online business and its ever increasing reach into all markets in the far-east and beyond. Ma is fascinating and Duncan Clark, having known Ma for nearly 20 years, gives you a real insight into the man. What makes him tick, how he started the business, the obstacles he had to overcome to work online in the highly regulated and often web wary China. It’s a compelling guide to the country’s new economy and indeed has been shortlisted for the FT/McKinsey award.


So there you have it, our recommendations. Pick one and get the reading bug, or alternatively let us know what business books you would recommend. I’d love to get a list of customer recommendations together and share them. We can all learn from each other. Email me on with any book recommendations you have.


Gary Berney

Think you know Totterdells? The history behind this family run, Irish success story may be more surprising than you think.

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