Summer Reading: Seven Books for B2B Professionals

Gerri Knilans
4 min readMay 22, 2023

As summer nears, many of us are making travel plans, planning for the second half of the year, and experiencing the fluctuation of school and business schedules. Whether this time of the year brings increased business or relaxation, summer is an excellent time to commit to growth and learning. True professionals understand the importance of continuous education. With the world and business rapidly changing, keeping up to date with the latest trends, technologies, and industry developments is more critical than ever. Summer reading also provides a much-needed mental escape to foster the creativity, inspiration, and innovation that all professionals need in their personal and business lives.

Summer Reading to Boost Creativity, Professionalism and Productivity

Whether you’re planning a staycation or traveling abroad, consider selecting a few books that align with your professional interests and goals. Here are seven books we recommend for B2B professionals:

  1. The Strategic Storyteller: Content Marketing in the Age of the Educated Consumer by Alexander Jutkowitz is a comprehensive, practical guide to transformative storytelling. The art of storytelling taps deeply into people’s emotions, experiences, imagination, and dreams. In today’s digital content landscape, storytelling is more important than ever. Jutkowitz offers advice on how to tap into individual and organizational sources of “wonder, wisdom, and delight.” Whether communicating about ourselves, our work, our companies, or our future, storytelling connects with audiences’ human needs while letting personality and creativity shine.
  2. What Businesses Need to Know Right Now: How to Flourish in Uncertainty by Nettie Owens is the second volume in a series prompted by the rapid business changes brought on by the pandemic. It features insights from a diverse network of experts across many industries including marketing, finance, supply, law, and more. Owens combines experiences and actionable advice for business leaders that address the unique, timely issues businesses are facing today.
  3. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries is a new classic for entrepreneurs and growing businesses that leverage a “lean” methodology. The concepts stem from the principles of lean first established by authors James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones and Daniel Roos in their 1991 book The Machine That Changed the World. In this book, Ries refreshes the “Lean Startup” approach for today’s fast-paced digital transformation and technological innovation. The book offers insights for B2B professionals about how to build a successful business and stay ahead of the competition in a constantly changing environment.
  4. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport offers what some might call a “counterintuitive” approach to the digital world, advocating for a more intentional and mindful use of technology. B2B professionals can apply the insights in this book to improve their productivity and focus amidst the noise of today’s day-to-day workplace. It also provides frameworks to create more meaningful and personal connections with customers and colleagues when using digital tools.
  5. The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath explores how to create memorable and impactful experiences in any situation, but especially for customers and clients. The authors provide a framework for understanding how our experiences can change lives. They explain that memorable positive moments are dominated by four elements: elevation, insight, pride, and connection. By embracing these elements, professionals can conjure more moments that matter and design experiences that impact prospects and clients, ultimately leading to meaningful customer relationships.
  6. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others is by Daniel H. Pink, the well-known author behind Drive. In his new book, Pink looks at the reality of today’s sales, beginning with his assertion that one in nine Americans works in sales, but so do the other eight. Pinkprovides science-driven insights and practical frameworks to understand your customer, craft a clear elevator pitch, and take an empathetic approach with others in today’s deeply interconnected world.
  7. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott is based on Scott’s experiences with companies such as Apple, Google, and various start-ups. This book offers a new approach to leadership that uses a combination of directness and empathy, promoting honest, open communication and genuine accountability that produces results. With a balance of Scott’s storytelling and actionable tools for leaders, this is a great pick for managing a diverse workforce with compassion and honesty in a tumultuous market.

Learning is an Ongoing Journey

By making summer reading a priority, professionals can equip themselves with newfound knowledge and skills and insights that will give them a competitive edge. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career, there’s no limit to what you can learn and achieve through summer reading. By doing so, you take a proactive step toward being a lifelong learner and a valuable contributor to your team and organization now and in the future.

Originally published at on May 22, 2023.



Gerri Knilans

Marketing communications strategist. The right message. The right medium. Guaranteed.