Cordell Parvin Blog Developing the Next Generation of Rainmakers

18 Business and Law Books that Changed My Life

Posted in Career Development

I am able to look back now and focus on books that changed my life and career. Here are 18 of them. In another post, I will share with you my favorite books from the last 5 years.

  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (I read this as a teenager along with numbers 2 and 3.)
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (Learned about relationship building)
  3. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (My grandfather, who lost everything in the depression, had the first 3 books on his shelf.)
  4. The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow (First book about a lawyer I read.)
  5. The Defense Never Rests by F. Lee Bailey (Second book about a lawyer I ever read.)
  6. Final Verdict by Adela Rogers St. Johns (The most interesting book about a lawyer I ever read. I am posting a blog about this book next month.)
  7. Gunning for Justice by Gerry Spence (I read this after losing a jury trial and it changed the way I communicated to juries.)
  8. In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. (First book about business entities I read. It helped me shape my thinking about law firms in search of excellence.)
  9. Built to Last and Good to Great by Jim Collins (Learned a lot about why organizations succeed. My biggest takeaway is the importance of having the right people on the bus.)
  10. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins (This book inspired me.)
  11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (This book may be the most important on my list.)
  12. Peak Performance: Mental Training Techniques of the World’s Greatest Athletes by Charles Garfield (I read this in the 80s about the same time as In Search of Excellence, 7 Habits and Awaken the Giant)
  13. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini (This 1984 book is very helpful for trial lawyers and for lawyers seeking to persuade clients to hire them.)
  14. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham (This 1988 book is very helpful for meetings with potential clients. Teaches you how to ask: Situation, Problem, Implication, Need questions.)
  15. Getting Things Done by David Allen (This is the most popular book on my recommended reading list. After reading it, I was finally able to see the wood on my desk and white in my email in-box.)
  16. Trusted Advisor by  David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford (Every lawyer should read this book. Charles Green has more recently written a workbook also worth reading.)
  17. Purple Cow and any other book written by Seth Godin (He really gets me thinking.)
  18. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink (Among other things, this book helped my understand what set me apart from most lawyers. I think I inherited a strong right brain from my creative father.)
I know that many of you will be spending the rest of this week with your family and not likely to be spending time thinking about your career and client development. As a result, I will re-post some blogs from past Decembers. Happy holidays to you and your family.