Recommended Reading to Advance Career Skills

Consulting Preparation

These books will probably apply most to readers who are in the stage of learning about consulting and planning or launching their consulting careers. That being said, it never hurts for more seasoned consultants to brush up on their skills, learn what aspiring consultants are reading, and reflect on the takeaways from these books. Doing this could help those more seasoned consultants to become better recruiters and mentors, and to reflect on their consulting preparation.


Successful consultants are effective communicators. I’ve found that while technical skill and competencies may help you advance in the earlier stages of your consulting career, those who progress and are promoted faster and who are more successful in the later stages of their careers are strong communicators. As you advance, your ability to persuade, influence and motivate, present, coach and provide feedback, and sell become more important. These books have been the most influential books in helping me to develop communications skills.

Customer Service

Consulting is a customer-centric business where you win work, retain clients, and build a portfolio through your ability to sell, deliver, and exceed the expectations of your client. Each of these books provides insights on how you gain trust, build relationships, and deliver exceptional client service.

Essential Consulting

Project management, creative thinking, learning and drawing analogies, molding and modifying frameworks, analyzing, and interpreting and evaluating data all are core skills of consultants. Each of these books provide frameworks, tools, and understanding that can drive you to become a greater consultant.

Management/ Leadership

Consultants need to apply effective management and leadership skills to accomplish tasks and address challenges and opportunities. Management often revolves around controlling a group and helping them execute to accomplish a goal. Leadership is often associated with the individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and empower people to contribute to organizational success. Together, the two are a powerful combination. These books provide critical insights into how to build influence, lead, and manage a group toward changes or a goal.



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Evan Piekara

Evan Piekara


Evan specializes in change management and is the author of Case In Point: Government and Nonprofit.