I finally got around to reading the classic High Output Management by Andy Grove, Intel's former CEO. When I saw it was available as an audiobook and after hearing about it from so many people within a short period of time (including in The Great CEO Within), I immediately jumped on the opportunity to read it.
I now understand why it's such a classic. This is the book that defined so many of the "best practices" that are taken for granted at top performing companies (OKRs, 1:1s, etc.). It was really helpful to hear the original/founding definitions of many important concepts like managerial leverage and task relevant maturity. I also learned a lot about how Grove recommended handling training (and why it's so important for managers to do), performance reviews, interviewing, running effective meetings. I also loved the idea of improving management like optimizing a factory.
Below are some of my notes and takeaways. I highly recommend this book to anyone leading a team or who wants to understand the reasoning behind so many of the management best practices in tech companies today.
The second book our sales coach assigned us as "required reading" was Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz. I really enjoyed reading it and learned a ton. I had taken negotiations classes before and read other classic books on the subject like Getting to Yes and Getting More (and other related ones like The Art of Asking).
This one took a different perspective and one that was very refreshing because it was based on reality and real-world experiences in very difficult, high-stakes negotiations (with hostage takers). I really enjoyed the riveting stories and accounts of both the successes and failures. I liked the techniques mentioned like the "Late Night FM DJ Voice," mirroring, labeling, asking calibrated questions, and the Ackerman Bargaining Method.
I read it on Kindle and ended up highlighting 242 things (i.e., I learned a lot!). You can read some of those here. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve in negotiations of any sort.
We're working with an awesome sales coach who assigned us to read the book The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. I really enjoyed reading it and learned a ton. Sales is not something I have a lot of formal training in, and this book taught me several new things that I didn't think of as sales before and which are very effective.
At a high level, the authors did a bunch of research and analysis and figured out the type of salesperson/behavior that is most effective. It boils down to three core behaviors: teaching unique insights, tailoring the conversation to multiple stakeholders, and taking control of the conversation and process. The teaching part was the newest to me and the most interesting. I enjoyed reading the case studies and examples and can totally see how teaching your customers unique insights can be super effective.
I read it on Kindle and ended up highlighting 276 things (i.e., I learned a lot!). You can read some of those here. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve in sales or learn about "commercial teaching."