I'm currently reading "Made to Stick": http://www.amazon.com/Made-Stick-Ideas-Survive-Others/dp/140... - which I put off buying for a while, but am actually enjoying quite a bit. It's got real, actionable advice in it.
I also read the transcripts from http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/ on a regular basis.
Here is the list, in the order he recommended reading them:
Spatial Relationships - Grids:
I've been making my way through the list, and it is amazing how much my approach to design has changed. Before I was winging it and was never really sure if I was making something that would look good, but now I feel like I have a solid foundation to build on.
If you are interested in these things, I highly recommend Made to Stick by the Heath Brothers . It focuses on the SUCCESs framework:
S - Short
U - Unexpected
C - Credible
C - Concrete
E - Emotional
S - Stories
They elaborate in excellent detail on each of these ideas and the acronym that they coined is a perfect example.
In terms of building your own credibility, I suggest reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  This book is instrumental in understanding the basic concepts that can have a material impact on your life. I think that Autobiography of Ben Franklin  teaches a few key lessons in the use of diffidence that harmonizes well with Carnegie's ideas.
- quite good so far (1/2 way through)
A Room with a View, by E.M. Forster
- not sure what I think of it yet (about 1/2 way through). Found some of the writing a bit opaque, where I'm not sure what he's trying to say.
The Founder and CEO had an incredibly clear and actionable vision: "we are THE low-cost airline."
This worked like magic both internally and externally. At the company, answers to even the most complex questions could be rendered relatively obvious through the lens of this mantra. Does it increase costs or not? (e.g. Halloween costumes for employees? Sure. Lunch on the Houston to Florida flight? Nope - would raise costs).
And externally, customers know why to fly Southwest: it's cheaper.
If your vision isn't as succinct and actionable as Southwest's, then it's not clear enough: both for employees and for potential customers.
Plus recently "Made to Stick" has really changed how I think about ideas and sharing them with others. http://www.amazon.com/Made-Stick-Ideas-Survive-Others/dp/140...
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