Small Business How-to Seminars, Careers, Jobs, Small Business Seminars
Favorite Business Books Series - Part G
PART G: HONORABLE MENTIONS - OTHER FAVORITE BUSINESS BOOKS (continued)
Hello again! Are you enjoying our Honorable Mentions so far? The titles for today go from J to N. The topics vary widely, touching on social media, customer service, management, empowerment, leadership, measurement and analytics, company culture, personal responsibility and accountability, value investing and margin of safety, team building, and networking. However, the underlying thread is still the same: every business book contains—at least—one idea that the readers have applied to their business or their personal growth as leaders, and this, in turn, has become an important part of their success.
Here are today’s business books and ideas they sparked:
“My initial thought for a favorite business book was to cite a book written by a strong female leader, seeing that I like to perceive myself as such. But I honestly needed to reflect on a book that has given me more than a few wake up calls and critical reminders that it’s never really all about us: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. This is a favorite business book for me because, while it talks about how to approach marketing and social media participation, it cautions us to really consider how we treat the person with whom we are attempting to engage. For that reason, I am constantly reminded of ‘the golden rule’ (do unto others) and my mother’s lessons about being sensitive to how you make others feel. Sometimes it is not simply what we say but how we say it—and, in turn, how others receive it—that truly matters. This is certainly true in the world of marketing and content marketing. And it is even more pronounced in business and personal relationships. The human psychology is always at work. And there are no formulas in a spreadsheet, no algorithms, no clever memes that will ever overcome that. When building long-term and meaningful business and customer relationships, it is always about going back to the basics, and this book contains a number of poignant reminders about that truth.”
- Anita Thomas, SVP, Edvisors
“More than anything, Welch’s book really made me feel comfortable being a manager and a leader with my style. Many people like to sugar coat things in business; he is brutally honest, straightforward, and tackles tough situations head-on in a fair and decisive way.
This allowed my businesses to excel at much higher levels of performance. We were able to develop a culture of transparency that retains and fosters the best people.”
- Craig Bloem, CEO and Founder, LogoMix
“To date, this is the most influential book I have read. I received it as a gift from a mastermind coach, Jaynine Howard of JJHoward & Associates. I read it at a time when, as a small business owner, I was struggling with increasing my rates for existing clients. The book also impacted me personally as I was dealing with a smorgasbord of stressors and the lessons in the book helped me prioritize. Today, as a mentor, I immediately passed the title along to my neighbor’s daughter who was entering college as a resource, and will continue to share Mika’s message.”
- Melissa St. Clair, Paper Chaser
“I have all my employees read it, because I believe it is extremely beneficial for everyone to understand this philosophy: people can go to work every day feeling respected and valued, and leaders can create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.”
- Ross Sapir, Founder and CEO/President, Roadway Moving
“This is one of my all-time favorite business books. The authors discuss the importance of collecting the right data at the right time. Further, they explain how effective analytics can validate your business ideas, help you to identify the right customers, and direct you towards new products. The book made me realize how important it is to measure the metrics that matter. We started gathering data at my company, Doubledot Media, very early in its existence, but we could have started even earlier. No other company is exactly like yours, so there is no better data for planning improvements than the data you collect about your own business operations.”
“As an entrepreneur, this book was inspiring. The author does an excellent job of explaining how he brought all of his employees into the culture he was creating, as the founder of Patagonia. He trained everyone in the company on the values upon which he built the company. Patagonia expectations were built from his experience as a climber and his love for the world around him. By bringing his employees with him philosophically, he created an atmosphere of inclusion where people could make decisions based on what they had learned from him. The time he took to work with his people was critical to the growth of Patagonia. The success of the company is a testament to his ability to maintain high standards for his products and high standards for his company.
I found myself thinking hard about our own company and how we ensure continued care of our employees and high-quality standards as our company grows. Documenting our guiding principles, making sure to communicate those principles to everyone at our company, and operating consistently throughout our organization are the three take-home messages from Let My People Go Surfing and, as obvious as they may sound, Yvon Chouinard makes the application of these practices attainable by telling his own story with humility. As a person who never expected to be an entrepreneur, it is helpful to read the story of a fellow businessperson who never saw himself as such until it was simply undeniable. His perspective is fresh and inspiring.”
- Kate McCrea, Co-Founder, McCrea’s Candies
Living an Extraordinary Life, by Robert White
“This is my favorite ‘business book,’ despite it being far from perfect. It was the first book I ever read that taught me that personal responsibility is what I now call “the cornerstone of all success.” Through this book, I learned that if I were to ever have any hope of becoming a success, I’d have to stop the finger-pointing and the blame-games I’d been playing up to that point in my life and take responsibility, once and for all, for the things I actually have control over: my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, words, and actions. Since taking control of what I can control and responsibility for anything and everything that comes out of my head, my heart, my hands, and my mouth, I’ve gone from a 30-year old, single man who was sleeping on his retired father’s couch, working a dead-end, 9-to-5 style call center job, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and in debt up to his eye balls, to essentially achieving the American Dream at age 34, with a beautiful wife, a paid off house, my own business, and a personal net worth in excess of a quarter of a million dollars.
I have read Living An Extraordinary Life many times over now, and every time I read it, I find some new, little golden nugget of wisdom in it. In many ways, I consider it my ‘Bible,’ because—no matter where I am in life, and no matter what I’m going through—I can always go back to that book, flip through and read a couple of its pages. That immediately reminds me of what I need to do, not only to get back on track, but also to pave a brand new track, on my way to a whole new level of success.”
- Cory Groshek, Founder and CEO, Manifestation Machine
Managing to Make a Difference: How to Engage, Retain, and Develop Talent for Maximum Performance, by Larry Sternberg and Kim Turnage
“This is currently, my number one business book, written by two of my colleagues. It is based on solid research as well as decades of management experience. It is intended to be handbook for middle managers and offers a roadmap to engagement, talent development and excellence in management. I gained a great deal of insight from Larry and Kim in the real-life stories they shared.”
- Kimberly Rath, Co-Founder and Chairwoman, Talent Plus
Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor, by Seth A. Klarman
“I walked down to the NY Business Library on Madison Ave every single day, for a month, to read that book in July of 2008. That book was an extension and a much-updated version of The Intelligent Investor (featured in Part J). They both are about value investing and having a margin of safety. They also show you how to actually invest using this technique, but Seth’s were companies and time frames that I actually knew such as the Savings and Loan Crisis and not the years after the Great Depression.
This book helped me understand that if you didn’t do your due diligence over and over again, that you could lose your complete investment. This has made me a much better investor since jump street, and I was one of the few people in my office to beat the Dow and S&P 500 in the 2008 market crisis. Again, it really showed me that I didn’t need to invest in everything, and things that look cheap are not necessarily cheap.
What I took from the book was this tidbit: ‘What then will we aim to accomplish in this book? Our main objective will be to guide the reader against the areas of possible substantial error and to develop policies with which he will be comfortable… For indeed, the investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself… The fault, dear investor, is not in our stars – and not in our stocks – but in ourselves.’ We use the margin of safety as a way to protect our investments from our human behavior. This has given me a heads up against a lot of my colleagues because I am never chasing any stocks and sometimes I may leave money on the table and value investing is a very lonely endeavor, but just look at the richest investors and you shall see that they are all value investors.”
- Dan Wachtel, Global Director, Harbour Capital Partners
“This is my favorite book. The premise is that the most successful leaders will empower their team, increasing exponentially the skills and accomplishments of the others, in sharp contrast to a top-down leader who leaves you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I guess I enjoy it so much because I aspire to be a multiplier myself, and recognize that the power of the organization comes from the individuals who actually build relationships and carry out the scheduled work. Especially because I work in a private school, it is essential to our culture and the success of staff and students alike, that we're all working towards the same goals and empowering each other to accomplish our best work every day.”
- Ruth Wilson, MA, BCET, Founder, Brightmont Academy
“The book talks about the many ways to network and build amazing connections. I have learnt that every interaction is a building block in my network, and have actively built meaningful connections and not passive connections based on his words. For example, while others ignore the LinkedIn notifications of someone’s work anniversary, I write a short note to each one, I like to take it as a reminder to reach out to keep my connections alive. This simple technique has helped me bring older relationships back to life and has lead to new business opportunities.
Also, my philosophy is that you should never debate in your mind the merit of buying a $5 or $10 book. If you learn just one useful thing that helps your business or career, then it was worthwhile.”
- Sol Rosenbaum, Independent Mechanical and Energy Engineering Consultant
Did any of them resonate with you? How so? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part H where we will have a well-known, American work of fiction seen through the lens of business and many more insights on other business books. See you tomorrow!
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P.S. - As a quick reference for you to know what to expect and find in this series of posts, here’s a guide (the links will be live on the day the post is uploaded):
Part A – The Most Popular Business Book
Part B - Second & Third Most Popular Business Books
Part C – Fourth Most Popular Business Books
Part D – Fifth Most Popular Business Books
Part E – Honorable Mentions: 100, A-D
Part F – Honorable Mentions: E-I
Part G – Honorable Mentions: J-N
Part H – Honorable Mentions: O-S
Part I – Honorable Mentions: T (The $100 – The Hard)
Part J – Honorable Mentions: T (The Intelligent – Traction)
Part K– Honorable Mentions: W-Y