Problem solving

Health care is so backwards right now. We're trying to find theright answers without asking the right questions. “A MoreBeautiful Question” by Warren Berger shows that craftingthe right questions is the key to solving problems rather thananswering them. I also love “The Richest Man inBabylon” by George C. Clason. It's an old book with moundsof wisdom. “Pay yourself first” and you'll find that you have moneyfor others. Always give back.

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Elizabeth Durand, broker account executive, UnitedHealthGroup

Benefits blueprint

DO or DIE: Reinventing Your Benefits Agency forPost-Reform Success” by Nelson Griswold and ScottCantrell. The stuff they covered in 2012 is still not beingfollowed by consultants. They laid out a blueprint of success andit's not too late to read it. I also like “Thank YouEconomy” by Gary Vaynerchuk. It's about being authentic toyour clients even when it's not benefiting your bottom line, andbuilding strong relationships.

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Frank Mengert, national director, benefits technology,ebm

Teamwork

My favorite business book is “Good to Great” byJames C. Collins. It compares like businesses and shows why one isgreat while the other one is good. It comes down to leadershipstyles, teamwork, doing what you do best and ensuring egos arechecked at the door.

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I also enjoyed “Extreme Ownership,” written bytwo Navy SEALs. I enjoyed the military references to business.

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Tom Rensch, consultant, Cornerstone Insurance Group

Tempting trio

What they don't teach you at Harvard BusinessSchool” by Mark McCormack is one of the best books onsales, management and negotiation. I have read it many times.Another great book is “Journey into Darkness” byJohn E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Douglas was one of the originalcriminal profilers with the FBI and reveals the mind and motive ofserial killers. Gruesome but captivating. And “The SweetPotato Queens' Book of Love” is one of the funniest booksI've read about how women can deal with men in all walks of life toachieve success.

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Marcia Friedman, consultant, Arrow BenefitsConsulting

De-stressing & dishing

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by DaleCarnegie has been most beneficial for me. I still pick it up andre-read a chapter or two when things get stressful at work. Formusic fans, “Runnin' With the Devil” is a greatbehind-the-scenes tell-all written by a former tour manager for VanHalen. He wrote it after the statute of limitations had expired andhe couldn't be sued. He holds nothing back!

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Bradley D. Snitzer, vice president, Cornerstone InsuranceGroup

Expert insights

Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the ChangingEconomics of Health Care.” Though not an easy read, it'stimely as more brokers and employers are challenging the currenteconomic model of health care. In this book, professors fromeconomics, law, political science and health care come together torevisit the classic 1963 Arrow essay.

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Vishal Sibal, Founder and CEO, Benefitcloud

3 diverse reads

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much”by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir is an extensivelyresearched look at how we make decisions when under conditions ofscarcity. The last third is required reading for anyone interestedin driving positive outcomes in health care utilization andbenefits selection.

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The Nordic Theory of Everything” by AnuPartanen compares and contrasts public and private systems in theU.S. and Nordic countries and comes up with surprising andentertaining insights.

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How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life” by RussRoberts is essentially a book report for the renowned father ofmodern economics philosophy book, “The Theory of MoralSentiments.”

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Shandon Fowler, founder, Four8 Insights

Sustained growth

Traction” by Gino Wickman is an excellent bookto help you structure your business for sustained growth. A reallydeep dive into proper business structure, systems, accountabilityand leadership.

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Felipe Barganier, CEO, GAB International

What if you're wrong?

Principles” by Ray Dalio explains that to beradically open-minded, you need to realize you could be wrong andyou need to encourage others to tell you so. People who changetheir minds when new information comes are winners. Many in healthcare are stuck wishing things were different, or that datasupported their biases.

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Joseph Andelin, founder, Olavi Group

Perfect gift(ing)

I had the pleasure of hearing John Ruhlin speak and his book,“Giftology,” has been a true game- changer.Gifting should be random, thoughtful, and personal. Resist the urgeto put your name and logo on the gift. If you make it meaningful,they'll remember.

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Eric Silverman, founder, Voluntary Disruption

Darkness & light

Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg provideswell-written insight into dealing with the inevitability of death,allowing grief a place in your life, and maintaining your will tostrive, achieve and excel. “UnderstandingExposure” by Bryan Peterson is great for photographyhobbyists who want to understand what a digital camera is doingwith light. And “The Good Samaritan” by John Marrsfor anyone who liked the twists and turns of “Gone Girl” or “TheSixth Sense.”

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Trish Moynihan, director of sales & marketing, ACA-GPS,LLC

Motivation & diversion

My favorite motivational book is “FailingForward” by John Maxwell. And I would recommend any ofRalph Compton's cattle drive series books, including “TheGoodnight Trail.” Bad guys are bad and good guys are good.Great diversion.

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Susan Weed, regional manager, AWD Brokerage

Timeless classic

7 Habits of Highly Effective People” byStephen Covey. I am rereading it for the fourth time, and listeningto it for the first time. The principles are timeless and sovaluable.

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Ryan Miller, speaker, coach and consultant, Ryan JamesMiller

Entrepreneurial insights

I am reading “The Million-Dollar, One-PersonBusiness” by Elaine Pofeldt and enjoying learning aboutsuccessful one-person operations. Another would be Tim Ferriss'“The 4-Hour Workweek.” This book has inspired manyto start businesses and become their own boss.

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Wayne Sakamoto, president, Health Insurance Interactive,Inc.

Silent but powerful

Susan Cain's “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a WorldThat Can't Stop Talking,” is an eye-opening book for manywho do not completely understand themselves and feel they aremisunderstood and pushed aside by those who are outgoing. It alsoserves as an overview for extroverts to understand theirintroverted counterparts.

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Cynthia Wright, strategic senior HR professional

Doctor's orders

Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande helped clarifyhow different a patient's desires are from a family's desires whenhe or she nears the end of life. It changed the way I practicemedicine with elderly patients.

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Alex Lickerman, MD, founder and CEO, ImagineMD

Social awareness

Crushing It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk for anyonewanting to use social media to provide value to prospects andclients, and build your personal brand. As more move toward socialmedia, you have to read this to stay relevant.

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Luke Conger, employee benefits consultant, Business BenefitsGroup

If Steve Jobs can do it…

Play Bigger” is about creating and dominatingmarkets. For companies to dominate markets they need to dominatecategories. Dominating a category is when you are placed as thestandard everyone else is judged against. Great read.

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Tom Avery, president/founder, Innovative BrokerServices

Huddle habits

My favorite business book is “Mastering the RockefellerHabits” by Verne Harnish. It's an easy read on bestpractices to strengthen your company culture. We incorporate someof the principles in our culture, including huddles twice a weekwith senior management and periodic departmental huddles.

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Joel Ray, CEO, New Benefits

Pirates, dreamers and innovators

Play Bigger” is about how pirates, dreamersand innovators create and dominate markets. You learn that forcompanies to dominate markets they need to dominate categories.Apple is the perfect example, when people think of “ phones,” theyalways mention the iPhone – even though the iPhone may not be thebest phone ever developed. That's dominating a category is when youare placed as the standard everyone else is judged against. Greatread.

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Tom Avery, president/founder, Innovative BrokerServices

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