If the events of the past almost two years proved anything, it’s that the business world is unpredictable. Who could have foreseen that a year and a half after rampant layoffs, companies would be struggling to hire employees? Or that the pandemic-spawned supply chain disruptions of spring 2020 would have gotten worse, not better, by 2022?
It’s enough to make you wonder how companies can hope to gain a competitive edge in such an uncertain business landscape. You might think the answer is to play it safe, but the authors of these five thought-provoking books beg to differ, offering bold prescriptions for achieving success in 2022 and beyond.
1. The Hawke Method by Erik Huberman
I’ve worked with Erik Huberman, the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, in the past and I have always respected his methodology. In The Hawke Method, Huberman shares real-world examples of working with over 3,000 different brands and the strategies that worked the best.
The Hawke Method shares the secrets behind funnel engagement, the best advertising channels, effective pitching, press relations, increased sales conversions and customer ROI. Use its proven marketing wisdom to DIY on your own campaigns or better manage the relationship with your current marketing resources.
2. Rare Breed: A Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous, and Different by Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger
None of the authors on this list kick play-it-safe strategies further to the curb than Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger, co-founders of Motto. As a leadership and brand consultancy, Motto has worked with Google, Microsoft, the NFL, and others to identify and build their next-gen leaders.
And who are these leaders? In Bonnell and Hansberger’s view, they’re the “Rare Breeds.” These are the employees who have been historically sidelined for their most powerful traits; they’re hot-blooded, audacious, obsessed, rebellious, weird, hypnotic and emotional.
Far from being handicaps, they argue in Rare Breed, it’s these characteristics that make such team members invaluable. Unleashing the Rare Breed traits in your team — and yourself — is a crucial step toward innovation, building positive brand perception and dismantling business as usual.
3. The Lucky Formula by Mark Lachance
As an entrepreneur, I’ve always intuitively felt there were things I could do to increase my chances of success — ways to make my own luck, as it were. But before meeting Mark Lachance this year, I couldn’t have given you a precise formula. Fortunately, he can. In The Lucky Formula, Lachance turns luck into a science that anyone can replicate.
After a disastrous business deal left him near-bankrupt, Lachance turned his luck around to become founder and leader of several ventures, including marketing agency Maxy Media. He explains the formula that drove this turnaround as: Right Conditions + Right Actions = Lucky.
The Lucky Formula tells you how to establish the right conditions in your life through everything from improved nutrition to detailed visualization. By putting these conditions in place, your hard work — right actions — can bear fruit.
4. The Trap of Success by Gene Hammett
Trapped by success? You might be thinking, “I should be so lucky.” But as former Inc.com columnist Gene Hammett argues persuasively in this book, success can be a bigger trap than failure.
After a multimillion-dollar deal blew up in his face, leaving him with no money and thousands of unhappy clients, he realized that his business wasn’t fulfilling him. Hammett had been conventionally successful but lacked purpose. Forced out of his comfort zone, he reconceived his career and reclaimed his sense of mission.
In The Trap of Success, Hammett shows you how to break out of the stifling comfort of success to achieve goals that matter. Applying his lessons, you can restart your growth and realize a career of significance.
5. Brands Don’t Win by Stan Bernard
In the early days of Starbucks, the company leaned heavily on branding to sell its product and opened an average of one new shop annually. Fast-forward 16 years and Starbucks was opening 1,350 shops per year. That’s because they ditched their reliance on traditional branding and embraced the agenda of becoming customers’ “third place.”
This agenda-setting is what Stan Bernard identifies as the Transcender System — a new approach to business that ditches traditional branding for something that will help companies triumph. Likening the approach to a political campaign, Brands Don’t Win will show you how to change the game — and trounce all comers.
We were supposed to be “post-pandemic” by now, but the business world will remain uncertain for years to come. These five books will help you gain a competitive edge no matter what the future holds.