If you’re planning that summer getaway, consider adding some titles to your Kindle or carry-on to jump start your work come fall.

How do you want to grow? What skills do you wish to improve? How can you help your team achieve success? There are so many choices that it’s hard to know where to start.

If you’re looking for a little inspiration, here are some ideas from Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) library.

“The Ownership Quotient: Putting the Service Profit Chain to Work for Unbeatable Competitive Advantage,” by James Heskett, W. Earl Sasser, Jr., and Joe Wheeler. CEOs, human resource professionals and managers can use this to recruit, hire and coach engaged employees. If you’re seeking quality work, an ownership culture and lower turnover, this might be for you.

“The New Elevator Pitch: The Definitive Guide to Persuasive Communication in the Digital Age,” by Chris Westfall. Learning to craft and use an elevator pitch can help you land a job, get a sale, an investor and even a date. This book starts with strategy, moves into speed networking and gives practical scenarios to illustrate how you can apply what you’ve learned.

“Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business,” by Ted Prodromou. Who among us couldn’t benefit from some tips to help us harness social media for our business? From those looking for a job to those looking for new employees or new mediums to publish content, this book will sell you on why you should be using LinkedIn and what exactly you can do with it.

“The Complete Leader: Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a High-Performing Leader,” by Ron Price and Randy Lisk. Need a reminder about why you became a leader? This book can do that and show how becoming a better leader is an everyday learning opportunity.

“Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System for Driving Breakthough Creativity,” by Josh Linkner. If you’re ready to step outside yourself and look at things with new lenses, you’ll find the theory of disruption might be just what your organization needs to stay relevant in the marketplace.

“Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman,” by Yvon Chouinard. The story of the founder and owner of Patagonia is inspirational on many levels. From humble beginnings to thrilling adventures, the book reveals how the author incorporated his passion for doing good and the outdoors into his business.

“Becoming a Leader of Character: 6 Habits that Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home,” by Gen. James L. Anderson, USA (Ret.) and Dave Anderson. BBB serving Greater Maryland is in the midst of accepting applications for the 2017 Torch Awards, a process that ultimately honors companies whose leaders demonstrate high character ethics in all areas of their operation. In the book, the father and son authors, both graduates of West Point, share their thoughts on practicing to become honorable leaders.

Hopefully, this list encourages you to seek something to expand your mind as you hit the reset button during the weeks ahead. When you get back in the office, I hope you’ll join us for this year’s Torch Awards for Ethics. Winners will be announced at our Centennial Celebration on Sept. 19 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

In the meantime, happy travels and happy reading.


Angie Barnett is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland. She can be reached at 410-347-3990 and [email protected].