Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

“Must Read” Business Books from 2016

shutterstock_397576393A friend of mine, Jake Kostan, sent me a question asking: What is your number 1 must read book of 2016 in each category for sales & marketing, business and culture?

That’s really tough question, I read more than 100 business books this year (not all of them were written this year), many of them very good, but if I had to list just one in each one of those categories, here they are…


The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need” by Anthony Iannarino

**Also in sales, if you have not read these two books, go read them right away**

SPIN selling” by Neil Rackham

Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play – transforming the buyer/seller relationship” by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig


Marketing: A Love Story – how to matter to your customers” by Bernadette Jiwa


Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver – delivering a culture of we, not me” by Ron Wallace

Extreme Ownership – how US Navy SEALs lead and win” by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin


It’s My Pleasure – the impact of extraordinary talent and compelling culture” by Dee Ann Turner

Business Excellence

Simply Brilliant – how great organizations do ordinary things in extraordinary ways” by William Taylor

Personal Development

The Daily Stoic – 366 meditations on wisdom, perseverance, and the art of living” by Ryan Holiday

I could easily list another two dozen, and this was especially hard because many of my friends wrote excellent books this year, so I put links below to all of my recommendations over 2016.

If you read something that you thought was extremely valuable, please add it to the comments for all the rest of us.

Thanks so much and I hope that 2017 is your best year ever!!! Love, John


My book recommendations from 2016

Two Superb Books I Highly Recommend

Leaders Are Readers

Awesome Sales Book

What Is Your Legacy

Three Great Books

How To Become The Best in the World

How Do You Want To Feel?





  1. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. I read it in one sitting.

    It is easy to look at multi-billion dollar companies and assume that they have always been that way. Shoe Dog follows Nike’s uncertain path from a small Japanese footwear distributor to when it went Public in the 80s. It is a great read for anyone who is starting a company or running a small business – even Phil Knight had worries as he built a behemoth.

  2. Excellent Share, John.
    Always looking for a good read!

  3. Your recommendations are always valuable. My reading stack rarely gets low. Whenever it does, I look at your latest list and replenish. Haven’t been disappointed even once.

    Happy New Year – the best is yet to come!

  4. Cindy Conley says:

    “The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need ” is just that! Wow is it good. I got two days ago and I have dog eared it and written notes in the margins and in as many blank spaces I can find. It is really very practical and a move to action. I received the workbook and emailed the author about the “aha” moments I’ve had from reading this book! It is a must have! Thank you John for a great recommendation.