Four Books That Have Shaped My Professional Career and Bond Collective

By Shlomo Silber, CEO & Co-Founder of Bond Collective

Running a business is certainly no easy task. You are constantly analyzing yourself and your operations to see how they can be improved or what can be done differently. Questions running through your mind often include: Am I doing this right? Is this going to work? Am I a good leader? Am I providing the best professional experience for my employees? What can I do to create a better environment for both our members?

When I find myself thinking these questions it’s always important for me to step back and check-in internally. Days and weeks can so quickly run away from you, and it’s imperative to have a gauge on your mind and your business. Another way to mentally assess yourself is to reach out to your peers and colleagues. It’s unlikely someone has ever run a business completely as an individual, running ideas and questions by someone close to you will help flush out your thoughts, and provide an unbiased opinion over something you’re so thrown into.

Over the years, my business journey has also become an adventure to find out more about myself, which I never thought would actually happen. With that, I’ve developed a little motto that I try to stick to as the weeks go by: in order to be a successful leader, it's important to feel successful as a person. This helps keep your ego in check, understand the needs of your employees, and help make the right decisions that you feel are truly right for your company. In the back of your mind while going through this process, it’s still important to not compare yourself to others and the world. Your journey is not theirs.

That said, when I started Bond Collective back in 2012, I found myself going back to a set of books that I thought would help shape the company I wanted to create. Two are self help books that I continue to read over and over, and the other two focus on running, starting and operating a business. These four books have shaped the way I view my company and run it day in and day out. Not only that, I’ve taken in ideas and suggestions that influence the way I live in my personal life as well.

While you might have obviously heard of a few of these books before, I’ve created this list in hopes you’ll be introduced a new set of ideas and have the ability to figure out what they could mean for your business. Yes, reading books takes time and often we don’t have any extra of that lying around, but it’s important to create an arena to do so. Stepping back to focus on literature that will center your professional and personal well-being is an important way to not lose yourself in the process.

Enjoy the list! I’d love to hear your feedback and if you have any additions that you are reading right now. A book list is only as important as those that can be recommended back to you.

 

1 - Life Lessons by Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Life Lesson is a really interesting book as it takes a deep dive into every stage of life and how to value yourself through each segment, while getting the most out of life. It personally taught me how to face my fears head on and live in the moment. My takeaway from the book is that is how to get the most out life, in both a personal and professional sense.

How I apply these thoughts daily at Bond Collective:

Quite often during the business week we all have to make huge decisions and this brings up questions if you’re doing the right thing. Whenever I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, I think back to Life Lessons and apply the thought processes to the problem at hand. Not only that, in my personal life, I often remind myself to live in the moment and to face my fears during a trying time.
 

2 - The Power of Empathy by Arthur P Ciaramicoli

The Power of Empathy teaches you how to connect with yourself and others. Specifically, it taught me how to be more empathetic towards other people's needs. The book also helped me be more aware of my own needs and recognize them, as sometimes throughout my day they can go overlooked. Once you try to put yourself in other people’s shoes and really understand what’s being said behind their words, a stronger connection develops. This type of understanding can be used both professionally and personally, but that understanding does need to be authentic. Only after being empathetic towards yourself can you apply the same sentiment to others.

How I apply these thoughts daily at Bond Collective:

Whenever I am working with a colleague, community member or investor, I try to really listen and understand their wants and needs regardless of the actual words being said. I then try to hone in on the root of the issue, address it, then respond accordingly. This understanding has helped me tremendously to connect with others and forge deep relationships with my team and community members.
 

3 -  Setting the Table by Danny Mayer

Setting the Table tells the story of how Danny Mayer built his food service empire, and how he did it with intention and passion. It is a truly inspirational story of how one can build an empire on authentic values. This book has meant a lot to me as we’ve transition Bond Collective towards a hospitality brand. I’ve referenced it many times since rebranding and bet I will continue to as the years go on.

How I apply these thoughts daily at Bond Collective:

I was instantly inspired by this story as it breaks the stereotype of large companies selling out and becoming corporate machines with no culture. After reading this book, I find myself making decisions based on the intention and mission that we have set out to accomplish: providing beautifully designed workspaces with hospitality that puts our community members and their businesses first. When making big decisions I try to ask myself: is this on brand? Is this what we want to set out to do from the beginning? Are we staying true to our mission by making this decision? If not, what changes can we make to our actions to arrive at the true connotation?
 

4 - From Good to Great by Jim Collins

Jim Collins spent years with a robust team analyzing large organizations such as Wells Fargo, Walgreens, and others, and reports on all of his findings as to what separates a good company from a great company.

How I apply these thoughts daily at Bond Collective:

I gained an incredible amount of insight from this book as it pertains to running a successful business. It was refreshing to read how so many great companies stuck to what they were good at and weren't swayed by other opportunities. Also, it was inspiring how companies so large can still have intention and constantly analyze themselves to get better. This book has helped me stick to my guns and make decisions that works for our Bond Collective brand. It has helped me continuously examine our company and strive to make Bond Collective all that I've always hoped it could be.
 

 

Each of these four books have all individually helped my business and personal successes. The information I’ve learned (and still think about today) has helped me shape the framework of how we make decisions at Bond Collective. I would recommend all of these books to anyone starting or operating a business that’s looking for a little bit of advice or inspiration. Hope you enjoy!


 

Have any questions about what Bond Collective can offer your company?

WE’D BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE AND TO OFFER YOU A PERSONALIZED TOUR OF ANY OF OUR LOCATIONS IN THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT, FLATIRON AND BROOKLYN.