An Integrator’s Reading List

Indispensable book recommendations for business owners and operators to not only grow as a business owner but also as a person.

Leave a Comment
An Integrator’s Reading List

PCH.Vector /

Photos & Slideshow
View the slideshow

Last fall, during CEDIA Expo, a bunch of #avtweeps gathered in the Omni Dallas Hotel’s bar area, talking shop. Luke Jordan, vice president and co-steward of Fort Worth, Texas-based Electro Acoustics, started discussing business best practices with Steve Greenblatt, president of Control Concepts, as well as Brittany DiCesare, Control Concepts’ client success manager. It quickly became clear that these industry leaders are voracious readers — and I’m not talking James Patterson novels. Instead, they immerse themselves in books that inculcate ideas that help them run their businesses better. These range from volumes about how to manage a team most effectively, to books about how to persevere in the face of adversity, to treatises on how to sell more effectively. 

The gathered #avtweeps suggested that Commercial Integrator present a recurring feature sharing indispensable book recommendations for business owners and operators. I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea, and CI starts to bring it to fruition this month. What follows are five books that Jordan thinks can help you grow not only as a business owner but also as a person. The descriptions provided are his own. 

Nine Lies About Work, by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall 

Many of us have accepted universally accepted truths about work and how people collaborate. The problem is that people are typically disengaged and frustrated at work. Nine Lies About Work outlines the myths that people buy into and analytically uncovers the best ways to manage a team.  

Grit, by Angela Duckworth 

When faced with challenging circumstances, some people rise to the occasion while others pull back and fail. The difference, it turns out, is grit — a measurable and critical trait that can be developed. Grit brings readers through a journey to learn how having grit makes the difference in the face of obstacles and how to become a grittier person. 

How The Mighty Fall, by Jim Collins 

Companies achieve success by doing things the right way consistently over time. However, this success can easily lead to their downfall. How The Mighty Fall covers the five steps of decline and eventual capitulation, how to recognize which stage you’re in and what you can do to turn the ship around.  

Radical Candor, by Kim Scott 

Managing people is often proclaimed to be more difficult than managing the work your organization does. “Radical candor” means caring personally for your people while challenging them directly. Caring personally requires managers to get to know the whole person they manage — in the workplace and outside of the office — in order to develop trust and create an engaging workplace. Challenging directly leverages that trust by clearly communicating areas of subpar performance in an effort to help your people know where they stand. 

Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin 

The U.S. Navy SEALs are recognized as some of the highest-performing teams in the world in the midst of the worst operating environments. Retired SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin translate the guiding principles learned in combat into the business world, best characterized as owning the outcome for your area of responsibility and the mindset all team members need to have to execute accordingly. 

In future months, CI will present additional book recommendations from recognized industry leaders. As editor-in-chief of the self-described “business handbook for technology professionals,” I believe it is this publication’s highest calling to inspire integrators to stretch beyond their comfort zone and shake up their business operations. I hope the titles above help you do exactly that. 

If you would like to present book choices of your own, please email me with your list and a short blurb about each one. 

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our digital newsletters!

About the Author


Dan Ferrisi has been covering the commercial AV industry as an editor, reporter and writer since 2004. He is the former editor of Sound & Communications, and he joined Commercial Integrator as editor-in-chief in November 2021.

Commercial Integrator Magazine

Read More Articles Like This… With A FREE Subscription

Commercial Integrator is dedicated to addressing the technological and business needs of professional integrators who serve the small and midsize business market. Whether you design, sell, service, or install… work on offices, churches, hospitals, schools or restaurants, Commercial Integrator is the dedicated resource you need.

No Comments yet. Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *