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B2B Book Club Selection (Vol 3)

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

Every month I share a selection of popular titles to help with your professional development as a key account manager.

Here are the book recommendations for September 2022.

7 Rules of Power: Surprising—but True—Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career

If you want to “change lives, change organizations, change the world,” the Stanford business school’s motto, you need power.

Is power the last dirty secret or the secret to success? Both. While power carries some negative connotations, power is a tool that can be used for good or evil. Don’t blame the tool for how some people used it.

If fully understood and harnessed effectively, power skills and understanding become the keys to increasing salaries, job satisfaction, career advancement, organizational change, and, happiness. In

7 Rules of Power, Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, provides the insights that have made both his online and on-campus classes incredibly popular—with life-changing results often achieved in 8 or 10 weeks.

Rooted firmly in social science research, Pfeffer’s 7 rules provide a manual for increasing your ability to get things done, including increasing the positive effects of your job performance.

The 7 rules are:

  1. Get out of your own way.
  2. Break the rules.
  3. Show up in powerful fashion.
  4. Create a powerful brand.
  5. Network relentlessly.
  6. Use your power.
  7. Understand that once you have acquired power, what you did to get it will be forgiven, forgotten, or both.

With 7 Rules of Power, you’ll learn, through both numerous examples as well as research evidence, how to accomplish change in your organization, your life, the lives of others, and the world.

Why this book?

As sole-contributors, key account managers have no direct authority to compel anyone to do anything. You need influence to get things done, defend your strategy and effectively represent the voice of your customers within your organization. That means cultivating power to be known, respected and productive.

Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues

A transformative guide to building more fulfilling relationships with colleagues, friends, partners, and family, based on the landmark Interpersonal Dynamics course at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business

The ability to create strong relationships with others is crucial to living a full life and becoming more effective at work. Yet many of us find ourselves struggling to build solid personal and professional connections or unable to handle challenges that inevitably arise when we grow closer to others.

When we find ourselves in an exceptional relationship—the kind of relationship in which we feel fully understood and supported for who we are—it can seem like magic.

But the truth is that the process of building and sustaining these relationships can be described, learned, and applied.

David Bradford and Carole Robin taught interpersonal skills to MBA candidates for a combined seventy-five years in their legendary Stanford Graduate School of Business course Interpersonal Dynamics (affectionately known to generations of students as “Touchy-Feely”) and have coached and consulted hundreds of executives for decades. In

Connect, they show readers how to take their relationships from shallow to exceptional by cultivating authenticity, vulnerability, and honesty, while being willing to ask for and offer help, share a commitment to growth, and deal productively with conflict.

Filled with relatable scenarios and research-backed insights, Connect is an important resource for anyone hoping to improve existing relationships and build new ones at any stage of life.

Why this book?

If you want to succeed in key account management, it’s vital you build influential, constructive relationships. You are constantly seeking deeper partnerships with the people you already know, and seeking introductions to new people who might benefit from your help.

And when things go wrong, you must manage conflict with diplomacy so that you don’t damage relationships and put your client at risk.

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

The bestselling authors of the classic Difficult Conversations teach us how to turn evaluations, advice, criticisms, and coaching into productive listening and learning

We swim in an ocean of feedback. Bosses, colleagues, customers—but also family, friends, and in-laws—they all have “suggestions” for our performance, parenting, or appearance. We know that feedback is essential for healthy relationships and professional development—but we dread it and often dismiss it.

That’s because receiving feedback sits at the junction of two conflicting human desires. We do want to learn and grow. And we also want to be accepted just as we are right now.

Thanks for the Feedback is the first book to address this tension head on. It explains why getting feedback is so crucial yet so challenging, and offers a powerful framework to help us take on life’s blizzard of off-hand comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited advice with curiosity and grace.

The business world spends billions of dollars and millions of hours each year teaching people how to give feedback more effectively. Stone and Heen argue that we’ve got it backwards and show us why the smart money is on educating *receivers—*in the workplace and in personal relationships as well.

Coauthors of the international bestseller Difficult Conversations, Stone and Heen have spent the last ten years working with businesses, nonprofits, governments, and families to determine what helps us learn and what gets in our way. With humor and clarity, they blend the latest insights from neuroscience and psychology with practical, hard-headed advice.

The book is destined to become a classic in the world of leadership, organizational behavior, and education.

Why this book?

Feedback is a gift they say. That’s not to say you have to like it though. Often it’s hard to hear, comes unexpectedly or is delivered insensitively. This book promises to show you how to accept and use feedback constructively even if it’s badly delivered or you’re not in the mood to receive it.

Trust me when I say clients and colleagues are often blunt. Developing a thick skin and taking what you can use from their feedback will help you be a better key account manager.


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Ready to turbocharge your client relationships and close more deals using LinkedIn?

Join our action-packed workshop and learn a simple 3-week plan with proven steps to help grow your accounts.

📅 This Tuesday, February 27th