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B2B Book Club Selection (Vol 1)

July 2022 selection of handpicked business books specifically to help key account managers get better results for their clients, companies and careers.

Every month inside The KAM Club, members vote for a book of the month. We read the winner and each week a summary and companion podcast explore the key themes and big ideas.

Here’s are the selections for July 2022, and a sample from last month’s winner, Elite Sales Strategies by Anthony Iannarino.

The Stress Code: From Surviving to Thriving

Decades of research reliably show that chronic stress severely compromises our physical and mental health. Now it has been discovered that stress can actually destabilise our DNA and compromise our genetic integrity. This promotes many of the diseases that societies are currently grappling with and could potentially impact on future generations.

Yet stress has two faces. Ongoing stress is one of the biggest challenges faced globally, but short intervals of stress can actually offer tremendous potential to grow, break personal barriers and excel.

Turning the traditional stress paradigm on its head, this book does not advocate stress avoidance, but rather stress resilience, providing tools and skills to buffer the adverse effects of stress as well as enhance our functionality and health.

The Stress Code is a response to the global call for stress management solutions. Supported by extensive scientific research, this book offers comprehensive and structured insights along with interventions that will help you to thrive in adversity.

Why this book?

There’s a great quote that goes like this:

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.”

We have demanding jobs, demanding clients, demanding managers, demanding personal lives. That’s just a day in the life of a key account manager. It’s simply impossible to avoid stress.

Sometimes that stress can help us push past personal barriers, other times it’s potentially damaging to our health.

Either way, it’s important that we have the tools and skills to manage stress effectively so we can harness it’s power and avoid burnout.

A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload

From New York Times bestselling author Cal Newport comes a bold vision for liberating workers from the tyranny of the inbox–and unleashing a new era of productivity.

Modern knowledge workers communicate constantly. Their days are defined by a relentless barrage of incoming messages and back-and-forth digital conversations–a state of constant, anxious chatter in which nobody can disconnect, and so nobody has the cognitive bandwidth to perform substantive work.

There was a time when tools like email felt cutting edge, but a thorough review of current evidence reveals that the “hyperactive hive mind” workflow they helped create has become a productivity disaster, reducing profitability and perhaps even slowing overall economic growth. Equally worrisome, it makes us miserable. Humans are simply not wired for constant digital communication.

We have become so used to an inbox-driven workday that it’s hard to imagine alternatives. But they do exist. Drawing on years of investigative reporting, author and computer science professor Cal Newport makes the case that our current approach to work is broken, then lays out a series of principles and concrete instructions for fixing it.

In A World Without Email, he argues for a workplace in which clear processes–not haphazard messaging–define how tasks are identified, assigned and reviewed. Each person works on fewer things (but does them better), and aggressive investment in support reduces the ever-increasing burden of administrative tasks.

Above all else, important communication is streamlined, and inboxes and chat channels are no longer central to how work unfolds.

The knowledge sector’s evolution beyond the hyperactive hive mind is inevitable. The question is not whether a world without email is coming (it is), but whether you’ll be ahead of this trend. If you’re a CEO seeking a competitive edge, an entrepreneur convinced your productivity could be higher, or an employee exhausted by your inbox, A World Without Email will convince you that the time has come for bold changes, and will walk you through exactly how to make them happen.

Why this book?

It’s a fact that we’re drowning in email. I read the average office worker receives around 121 emails every day, and they send about 40 per day. And the average number of emails sitting in their inbox is… 200!

This book promises not just a new productivity system to deal with email but a mindset shift and alternative ideas to move us away from email altogether. And I’m here for it.

Plus I absolutely loved Cal Newport’s book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You so I’m confident this will be a fascinating and useful read too.

The Introvert’s Edge to Networking: Work the Room. Leverage Social Media. Develop Powerful Connections

One of the biggest myths that plagues the business world today is that our ability to network depends on having the “gift-of-gab.” You don’t have to be outgoing to be successful at networking. You don’t have to become a relentless self-promoter. In fact, you don’t have to act like an extrovert at all.

The truth is that when introverts are armed with a plan that lets them be their authentic selves, they make the best networkers.

Matthew Pollard, an introvert himself, draws on over a decade of research and real-world examples to provide an actionable blueprint for introverted networking. A sequel to Pollard’s international bestseller The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone, this book masterfully confronts the stigma around the so-called extroverted arena of networking.

In The Introvert’s Edge to Networking, you’ll discover how to:

  • Overcome your fear and discomfort when networking
  • Turn networking into a repeatable system
  • Leverage your innate introverted strengths
  • Target and connect with top influencers
  • Leverage the power of virtual and social networking

The introvert’s roadmap to success doesn’t look like the extroverts, we’re different and we should embrace that.

Whether you’re a small business owner struggling to make a living or a professional who’s hit a career plateau, The Introvert’s Edge to Networking is your path to a higher income and a rolodex of powerful connections.

Why this book?

Building influential relationships is an essential skill for key account managers. We need to grow our network of decision makers and budget holders to grow and retain accounts and get things done. But building connections can be struggle for those of us for whom networking doesn’t come easily. This book promises to shatter the myth that only extroverts win, and provide a system for introverts to become better at networking, while still being true to themselves.


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