An Account Executive's Favorite Reads

by Clare Thomas

Building the industry bookshelf one recommended read at a time.

These books, though all very different, have helped me refine my understanding of the world, the work, and ultimately how I can play best in both.

So Good They Can't Ignore You, Cal Newport

Ever felt stuck looking for your passion? Join the club. This book, thank goodness, flies in the face of the advice that we’re so often given to first find our passion and then find a job that is a part of that passion. This book highlights the danger of buying into that old wisdom and shows readers a new way forward.

What you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.

The Art of Client Service, Robert Solomon

From account management philosophy to the very tactical details. The things covered in this book are important for everyone in this industry, admin and creatives alike. It was helpful for me when just starting my career, and it’s helpful for me now.

Ideas are the blood and bone of advertising and marketing. Any competent agency can make an ad, but great agencies make ads fueled by invention, driven by ideas. Likewise, any competent account person can run a piece of business, but great account people can grow a piece of business by bringing ideas to clients that solve problems and capitalize on opportunities.

How to Fall in Love with Anyone, Mandy Len Catron

This is such an interesting memoir from the author of the NYT essay 'To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This'. Catron covers the history, psychology, and biology of love to present answers to some of the most basic questions of love. I found that this book, although it didn’t directly support my knowledge and growth as it pertains to advertising and marketing, has helped me make more sense of the world we’re living in and the relationships we have. 

It’s also important to mention that this is not a self-help book, nor does it give you a prescription for the perfect love..and that’s one of the things I like about it the most.

Romantic love is capacious. And I mean that not in the mystical sense - it cannot contain anything or everything and it is never without conditions - but rather it is capacious in the daily way that any expression of love might also express trust, doubt, regret, resignation, humor, self-congratulation, or sacrifice. Love can contain all of this, but love stories rarely do.

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