WHAT TO READ

To Sell is Human

When I speak with clients about getting it right the first time and avoiding re-work, the one functional area that seems the most frustrating in this area is Sales.  Typically, when you don’t do it right the first time, someone else did (or at least did it better than you) and won the business.  In his most recent book, “ To Sell is Human ”, Daniel Pink explores how the process of sales has changed and offers some great ideas on how to get it right the first time. My favorite part of the book is Chapter 6 where he speaks to the idea of Clarity.  One idea is turning the traditional notion of sales from Problem Solving to Problem Finding.  The better we are at finding problems and offering solutions to solve them, the more valuable we are to our clients.  The ability to do both forces us to leverage...
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Getting Things Done

When I work with clients around their time management challenges, we work together on the attitudinal aspects of time management.  Our mindset towards time and how we manage our time goes a long way towards successfully getting the right things done and minimizing our own procrastination.  However, a complement to the attitudinal discussion of time management is David Allen’s book “ Getting Things Done – the Art of Stress-Free Productivity ”.  I would venture that anyone who is struggling with time management would get something valuable from reading this book. As I tend to look at business systemically, my favorite chapter is Chapter 2 that speaks to the process of managing workflow.  The process consists of five stages we go through to deal with the work we do.  They are: Collect things that command our attention Process what they mean and what to do about them Organize the results Review the...
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Entrepreneurial DNA

For many entrepreneurs, a metric of success is staying in business for five years or more.  Having successfully crossed that threshold, one of the reasons is being aware of, and managing to, our strengths and weaknesses as entrepreneurs.  This month’s book review is from someone who is a resident expert on entrepreneurial styles or DNA.  In " Entrepreneurial DNA " , Joe Abraham explores the four key profiles of entrepreneurs and why it is important to understand not all entrepreneurs are created equal. My favorite section is Part 2 (of 3) where he takes the reader through an in depth profile of each DNA style and then strategies to optimize your business based on your style.  After reading this section, you will be sure to recognize your primary style and possibly a secondary style. You will also better understand how to leverage your strengths and execute strategies to minimize your entrepreneurial...
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The Right Decision Every Time

In keeping with the theme of effective decision-making this month, I recently read The Right Decision Every Time by Luda Kopeikina.  Her research working with over 100 successful CEOs provides us with great insights into the process of making effective business decisions in an easy-to-read business case example format. My favorite parts of the book are Chapter 8, which speaks to managing our emotions and Chapter 9, which deals with managing opposing opinions.  Managing conflict in the business workplace is a key challenge for all leaders in today’s business environment.  The ability to manage the emotional element of tough decisions as well as the feedback and opinions from others who may disagree with your perspective is invaluable.  These two chapters provide valuable insights in managing emotions and opposition to ultimately make the best decision for the situation. Enjoy the Book!
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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

In keeping with the theme of teamwork this month, I chose to go back to the bookshelf for a book I’ve read several times and find something new each time I read it.  “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni speaks to many of the challenges leaders face with creating a true high performing team.  In his book he identifies these five team dysfunctions told through the eyes of a new CEO of a fictitious company: Absence of Trust Fear of Conflict Lack of Commitment Avoidance of Accountability Inattention to Results The fable format allows the reader to identify with some of the challenges he identifies in the story.  While I liked the discussion around all five, my favorite is the discussion around the Avoidance of Accountability.  I believe the true measure of a team is their ability to hold themselves mutually accountable and, in my experience, is a...
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