Business Book Recs From Top Jewelry Execs

Business Book Recs From Top Jewelry Execs

Industry / Retail / Your Store

A well-stocked bookcase is more than just an erudite Zoom background. Corporate visionaries of all stripes credit words of wisdom for helping them achieve their greatest gains and discover their most indelible insights.

We asked executives across the jewelry industry to share the business and management books they turn to for leadership advice and wisdom. They recommended everything from classic business texts that have enlightened generations of executives to thought-provoking modern classics that impart lessons on what it takes to be a successful leader in the 21st century.

While some of these titles might be familiar, it’s clear that executives today draw their leadership guidance and inspiration from a wide variety of sources—from a millennium-old treatise on military strategy to a plainspoken management pamphlet that was rediscovered and subsequently reissued after a plagiarism scandal.

Time-Tested Tomes

These books are business-bookshelf classics for a reason: They impart the kind of sharp insights and actionable advice that executives rely on to guide them through the peaks and troughs of business cycles.

The Speed of TrustThe Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

by Stephen M.R. Covey

“This book resonates with me because it explains the importance of trust in business relationships, and demonstrates how much faster business can move when there’s trust in the underlying working relationships. Covey explains that trust comes from credibility, and as trust increases, businesses become more valuable and more productive.”
—Brad Hampton, CEO of Helzberg Diamonds, North Kansas City, Mo.


The E Myth RevisitedThe E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber

“The book is a classic, and I think anyone who’s considering starting a business should read it.”
—Viviana Langhoff, designer and owner of Adornment + Theory, Chicago


Thinking Fast and SlowThinking, Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

“This is a longtime personal favorite and reinforces that great brands are built with a deep understanding of the consumer and their psychology. One particularly enlightening insight is the power of framing, which demonstrates how the presentation of information significantly influences consumer decisions. We’ve applied that insight to how we craft our framing of our brand values and our product benefits.”
—Beth Gerstein, cofounder and CEO of Brilliant Earth, San Francisco


Discover Your Clifton StrengthsStrengthsFinder 2.0

by Tom Rath

“The book advocates for leaders to excel by identifying and utilizing their distinct strengths and those of their team rather than attempting to fix weaknesses, and encourages leaders to strategically assemble teams whose skills complement one another.”
—Tehmasp Printer, CEO of the International Gemological Institute, New York City


The Art of WarThe Art of Strategy: A New Translation of Sun Tzu’s Classic The Art of War

by R.L. Wing

“Sun Tzu was a Chinese general who wrote this book sometime between 771 and 256 B.C. I used this book to co-develop our sales training manual. A major lesson is that the most important aspect of sales is speed. It’s important to get them sold before they walk out your door.”
—Charles Kuba, owner of Iowa Diamond, Des Moines, Iowa


Let My People Go SurfingLet My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

by Yvon Chouinard

“My favorite type of business book is a CEO autobiography. Hearing the story of the business through the lens of a founder or CEO is one part business education and one part human interest story. I loved Let My People Go Surfing by the founder of Patagonia. It is an incredibly powerful brand with a distinct perspective on who they are, where they sell their products, the benefits they offer to their people, and how they make values-based decisions.”
—Lisa Bridge, president and CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Seattle


The New Classics

These books, all written within the past decade, are destined to become corner-office bookcase staples, according to the executives who have drawn on their lessons to build teams, grow brands, and adapt to economic and technological changes in today’s world.

The Culture CodeThe Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

by Daniel Coyle

“I think our culture is a big part of why we have such longevity in both our staff and customers. We emphasize that everyone has an important part in making our business successful.… I try to create an environment where innovation and brainstorming is encouraged [because] it gets you to start thinking in a different path.”
—Karen Goracke, president and CEO of Borsheims, Omaha, Neb.


Leadership in Turbulent TimesLeadership: In Turbulent Times

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

“The book reinforces that great leadership is tested and built through our approach to the myriad of challenges we will face. It reminds me that resilience, a growth mindset, and building a great team are critical.”
—Beth Gerstein


Unreasonable HospitalityUnreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect

by Will Guidara

“My team and I are going through this book this year [because] hospitality is the bedrock of our business.”
—Viviana Langhoff


The Hard Thing About Hard ThingsThe Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by Ben Horowitz

“It’s a very authentic portrayal of the courage it takes to run a business and the highs and lows any entrepreneur will face when doing so. Ben’s background [as a Silicon Valley venture capital investor and entrepreneur] is pretty amazing, and he shares real-world advice and wisdom. I also appreciate that it’s a business book that doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s funny and fairly lighthearted, acting more as a guide through anecdotes and stories rather than a how-to.”
—Madeline Fraser, founder and CEO of jewelry technology firm Gemist, Los Angeles


Dare to LeadDare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts

by Brené Brown

“I am currently reading Dare to Lead by [professor and leadership researcher] Brené Brown. It resonates with me in today’s environment because it acknowledges that leadership isn’t always comfortable; it isn’t always easy. It takes a great deal of courage and vulnerability. Brown talks about the challenge in today’s global environment as we deal with the role of artificial intelligence and increasing technological capabilities, and points out that what leaders can bring that technology can’t are things like empathy, connection, and courage. She points out that developing the hearts and minds of leaders is essential.”
—Brad Hampton


Running With PurposeRunning With Purpose: How Brooks Outpaced Goliath Competitors to Lead the Pack

by Jim Weber

“I found Running With Purpose by Jim Weber of Brooks Running to be a game changer. Jim’s lessons on setting audacious goals, focusing on core competencies, and being deeply passionate about your field are pathways to both business and personal success.”
—Lisa Bridge

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