The Perfect Holiday Gift (2021 Edition)

Happy holidays to everyone!

The end of 2021 is almost here, and we will soon see what 2022 has to offer (does anyone have an accurate crystal ball they could share with us?).

This past year has certainly been full of twists and turns, and some excellent high spots along with some dips. The good news for many businesses is that the past twelve months have been a time to move past “rebound and recovery” and focus again on growth.

Gift-giving is a tradition for many at this time of year, and we want to do our part and help you find the perfect gifts for many on your list as well as for yourself.

We do this through some ECS teamwork, where we have joined forces and developed the following list of “gifts” with accompanying books. This is our annual tradition that we are once again happy to share at the end of 2021.

A note: while we include links to find these books online, we are huge supporters of local bookstores if you have access to one!  Happy reading and gift-giving!


The Gift of Better Hiring in 2022
The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
In true Lencioni fashion, he uses a fable to lay out a valuable hiring process.  Hiring the right person has never been more important than it is today.  But who is the right person and why? The author lays out, via actionable steps, the best ways to identify, hire, and develop ideal team players. It’s a book for business leaders, staffing professionals, or even employees who want to improve themselves.
From Bill Morrow, Sales & Marketing, who thanks Heather Borne of Paragon Energy Solutions for the recommendation

The Gift of a Business Classic
The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
This gold standard of books – in reality, a graphic novel – takes the reader through how understanding the theory of constraints can drastically help a business. What is so inspiring about this selection is that the subject matter is interwoven in a story so it reads like a novel and not a textbook. Part of the genius is that the reader ultimately identifies with the characters in the story both on a professional and personal level. Inevitably, there is an “ah-ha” moment for everyone who reads it.
I encourage everyone (regardless of business type) to give it a read. It sold over 6 million copies, so you’ll be in good company!
From Chris DiMascio, Operations 

The Gift of Inspiration to Endure
The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line
by Mari Eder
This non-fiction book is dedicated to female WWII heroes. Each chapter depicts an amazing woman who helped change the tide of the war either by their amazing bravery, fortitude, cunningness, compassion, and/or resilience.  As I typically am by stories of WWII, I was absolutely overwhelmed by what these women endured and how they managed to not only stay positive but made an impact either on those around them or in some cases, the entire war effort.
From Karen Butz, HR

The Gift of Courage and Survival
Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand
This true story tells the fascinating story of Louie Zamperini, an amazing man who went from track star to competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to fighting in WWII.  It’s a story about courage, survival, leadership, and optimism.
From Penni Barton, Marketing

The Gift of Simpler Marketing
Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller
Even after 13 years of marketing experience, Donald Miller shows me something new. His book provides a roadmap for creating effective funnel marketing strategies that has helped me implement several successful email drip campaigns in the last year alone.
From Kelley Nelson, Marketing

The Gift of a New Look at Life
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This is a great read about the human condition and the light and dark we all have inside. This is a relatable story about a woman on the brink of giving up; she focuses on all that has gone wrong in life and is left with little hope for change.  The past two years have many of us searching for hope, direction, and solid ground – the main character in ‘The Midnight Library’ reminds us the life we have is our best option – full of wonder, love, and inspiration, all within our reach with a slight perspective change.
From Manuel Collazo, Marketing & Sales

The Gift of Noise Reduction
Noise, a Flaw in Human Judgement by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, Cass R. Sunstein
The authors explore how much noise in human judgement impacts our lives. They cite examples of how leading doctors, judges, and underwriters came to vastly different conclusions when presented with the same set of data. Noise is different from bias and is caused by unwanted differences in judgements and decisions. These errors tend to add up instead of cancel out, creating havoc. They explore different ways to reduce noise in decision-making in organizations. I think the topic is especially important today when decision-making is even more critical for businesses given future uncertainty.
From Ajay Joshi, Sales Operations

The Gift of Being True to Oneself
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
A powerful and poignant book about how to find your voice and be true to yourself. Each chapter is a little vignette about Glennon’s life that translates perfectly into a lesson on self-empowerment. The stories range from widely passionate to brutally honest to laugh-out-loud funny, and the advice on how to reclaim your authentic self is spot on. I flew through this book and did not want it to end. An uplifting and inspirational read.
From Erin Dalton, Marketing

The Gift of Becoming “Unstuck”
Unstuck:  How to Unlock and Activate the Wisdom in Others by Craig Lemasters
Elegant in its simplicity, this book is only 100 pages long but full of straightforward and practical tools for getting others (and yourself) “unstuck”.  Lemasters starts with the premise that humility is the most important leadership quality for effectively moving forward.  Humble leaders readily admit where they lack wisdom, and where they are experts at closing the gaps.
From Ann Doeries, Finance

The Gift of a Classic
Shogun by James Clavell
I reread Shogun, a great story where one can completely immerse oneself. It makes me realize how much the world has changed over time while not really changing at all. It might sound a bit contradictory in some ways … but also completely makes sense.
From Jason Fisher, HR

The Gift of Adventure
Beyond the Mountain by Steve House
I find that reading about and watching documentaries about alpinists is like a catalyst because their stories change how I approach my own successes and failures. An alpinist’s ability to succeed in extreme conditions is due to not only physical ability and technical skills, but also extraordinary mental skills. House is an alpinist, and reading his story was life-changing for me in a sense because after reading how he overcame failures on his route, I shifted my perspective regarding challenges in both everyday life and business.
From Kim Julian, Marketing