By Phil Klutts
December 19, 2023

Impactful business books, part 2

Explore essential business reads for structuring work and executing tasks effectively.

This second installment of books that have impacted my career takes a bit of a practical bent. These books have helped me structure my work and execute on specific tasks better for the past few years. From negotiating deals to structuring teams and coaching leaders, the words I use and the things I write are often influenced by these four books. Be sure to check out part one of impactful books.

Never Split the Difference: Chris Voss, 2016

Life is a series of negotiations with ourselves and those around us. Never Split the Difference won’t help much with your internal dialogue, but it has tips and mindsets that help in almost every negotiation situation. I was buying and negotiating a lot of deals as a supply chain manager and real estate investor when I first read this book. I’ve used some of Voss’ tactics in big business deals, with my children, and all levels in between. Voss’s stories of hostage negotiations add an entertaining and intriguing aspect to this book as well. Never Split the Difference quickly became one of my favorite books as well as a best seller on many lists including the Wall Street Journal. You can read my full review here.

Work The System: Sam Carpenter, 2008

The title of this book may seem nefarious, which is unfortunate, but it has completely positive motives and themes. I found this book a few years into my corporate career, and it helped me understand the power of systems and processes. Running a business should be about more than constantly putting out fires and responding to stressful situations. Owners, managers, and executives can focus on what is important and relax when business operations are systematized and duplicated across people. The book also has practical methods for creating and maintaining processes in your business. If you enjoy the more popular books like “The E-Myth Revisited” and “Traction,” then this book would add additional perspective for you. My full book review on “Work The System” is published here.

The Effective Executive: Peter Drucker, 1966

This is another classic published in 1966 by the foremost expert in business philosophy and management. Drucker’s insights and practices are still relevant today and are the basis of what many management consultants and strategy experts do on a daily basis.  The principles discussed are managing time, choosing what you contribute, mobilizing strengths and talent, setting priorities, and decision-making. These aren’t just essential for executives but for almost all professionals, especially those considered knowledge workers. Career success is almost inevitable if you can master the habits and practices that Drucker outlines in his book.

The Coaching Habit: Michael Bungay Stanier, 2016

Stanier’s book brought consistency and depth to my management practices. My conversations improved, and my teams became more engaged after reading and implementing just a couple of the takeaways from “The Coaching Habit.” Stanier’s seven essential questions are at the heart of using a coach approach to improve how to lead a team. I’ve since leaned more into coaching and even pursuing a certification as a leadership coach, and this book is part of the reason why. You should pick up this book if you want to be a better leader in all areas of life.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.