Last week, we held our 8th book club at work. As always, it was a great event. Over the years, our book club has grown – what started within my team, has expanded to include others throughout the organization. Our book club has proven to be one of the most successful and authentic ways to learn about colleagues and build genuinely deeper relationships and connections with each other. 

Here are 8 takeaways as to why I think our book club has worked (and why you may want to consider starting one of your own at work):

  1. People speak candidly. Because, in many cases, we are reading about other companies’ experiences, or books that have nothing to do with business, it’s easier to discuss and challenge ideas.
  2. We’re focused on a shared experience. We all read the same thing, but see things through our own individual lenses. That makes the discussions thought-provoking, challenging and fun.
  3. We’ve removed silos. By opening the book club up to the larger organization, we’re connecting with people we may not otherwise interact with at work.
  4. It can help people grow in their jobs. When you pick the right books, you can help set up your team – or your organization! – for success by drawing on the experiences of others. As importantly, it helps us better understand diverse perspectives, which can be key to professional development.
  5. Discussing ideas sparks innovation. Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places. A group setting where you talk about how to approach challenges can help people get “unstuck” and look at things in new ways.
  6. People read more. It’s one of those things people always say they wish they had more time to do. This helps force the issue – kind of like when you watch your diet more when you know you’re going to be weighed in front of someone.
  7. We draw parallels to our own experiences. Discussing how we can apply what we’ve read to our own circumstances makes us better colleagues and employees.
  8. We improve our discussion and listening skills. For those people who may not speak up at meetings (or, frankly, those who don’t shut up), a book club can help people learn to talk in a more productive manner with one another. 

This month’s book

book club takeawaysThis month, we read This is Marketing by Seth Godin. My regular readers know I’ve been a fan of this book since its launch last year, and I’ve shared highlights in previous posts:

I was excited to see my fellow book club members really enjoyed the book, as well. We had a mix of marketing “tribe” members by trade, as well as individuals who don’t have a marketing title in their role. But everyone saw the value and importance of Godin’s messages. 

In honor of our 8th book club event, here are my top 8 takeaways from This is Marketing:

  1. Marketing is the work of positive change.
  2. Change is about dreaming and opportunity.
  3. The most important and progressive changes are not easily embraced.
  4. Build something you are proud of and serve it to the smallest market first.
  5. Be patient and engage with the market; build a deep connection.
  6. Use the connection to continue to learn and evolve with your customer.
  7. Focus on continuing to add value, but not through price discounts.
  8. Marketing is about the customer, not you.

The book is written in a simple, easy style. It’s a quick read, with so much applicability that can be applied in your daily life. As you read it, you will find yourself pausing throughout to reflect on how to apply the concepts to your own business. You can’t help but be energized by the content. As you know, I read a lot of books; it’s a passion of mine. This is one I will go back to, again and again.

If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear from you. What were the most important lessons you took away from it? Godin says many times, “People like us do things like this.” If you follow this blog, you are most likely people like us, so there is a good chance you read this book. Please share your insights below.


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