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Recommended Books

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The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887307280, Paperback- $9.60 BUY

Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required reading for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. The title refers to the author's belief that entrepreneurs--typically brimming with good but distracting ideas--make poor business people. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur's mind to build the long-term success of the business. You don't need an M.B.A. to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories. Read in a clear and well-paced manner, listening to The-E Myth is like receiving advice from an old friend.


Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround

by Louis V. Gerstner
ISBN: 0060523794, Hardcover- $17.61 BUY

Gerstner quarterbacked one of history's most dramatic corporate turnarounds. For those who follow business stories like football games, his tale of the rise, fall and rise of IBM might be the ultimate slow-motion replay. The book's opening section snappily reports Gerstner's decisions in his first 18 months on the job-the critical "sprint" that moved IBM away from the brink of destruction. The following sections describe the marathon fight to make IBM once again "a company that mattered."

One of Gerstner's first tasks was to redirect the company's attention to the outside world, where a marketplace was quickly changing and customers felt largely ignored. He succeeded mightily. Upon his retirement this year, IBM was undeniably "a company that mattered." Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? is a well-rendered self-portrait of a CEO who made spectacular change on the strength of personal leadership.


Execution - The Discipline of Getting Things Done

by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, Charles Burck (Contributor)
ISBN: 0609610570, Hardcover- $17.33 BUY

Disciplines like strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous. But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute.

Execution is "the missing link between aspirations and results," and as such, making it happen is the business leader's most important job.


Good to Great - Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

by Jim Collins
ISBN: 0066620996, Hardcover- $16.50 BUY

Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great, Collins concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success.

Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come.


Inside The Magic Kingdom - 7 Keys to Disney's Success

by Thomas K. Connellan
ISBN: 1885167237, Hardcover- $13.00 BUY

Look in Mickey's Briefcase . . . Now, an outsider takes you inside the incredible Disney service culture and presents simple, powerful concepts in a fun, memorable way that just may change the way you conduct business. Based on hours of interviews and discussions with present and former Disney employees, Inside the Magic Kingdom discloses the secrets behind Disneys success . . . and explains why, of its more than 30 million guests each year, over two-thirds are repeat customers.

This upbeat, easy-to-read book illustrates clear, solid principles with examples that are well-known to Disney insiders but virtually unknown to outsiders until now. Outlines the seven keys to Disney's success. Now the principles that drive the culture and phenomenal success of Disney are disclosed in this fun, easy-to-read book. You will learn many insider secrets that will spell success if implemented in any business.


McDonald's - Behind the Arches

by John F. Love
ISBN: 0553347594, Paperback- $11.05 BUY

McDonald's: it is the world's premier entrepreneurial success story, a company whose growth worldwide continues to be astonishing. In tough financial times, McDonald's proved that ingenuity, trial and error, and gut instinct were the keys to building a service business the entire world has come to admire. In the years since McDonald's: Behind The Arches was first published, McDonald's has been a trendsetter in advertising, focusing on different ethnic groups as well as the physically disabled.

McDonald's created McJobs, a program that employs both mentally challenged adults and senior citizens. And because its franchisees have their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace, McDonald's has evolved successfully with the health food revolution, launching dozens of new products and moving toward environmentally-safe packaging and recyclable goods. Inspiring, informative, and filled with behind the scenes stories, this remarkable saga offers an irresistible look inside a great American business success.


The Myth of Excellence - Why Great Companies Never Try to Be the Best at Everything

by Fred Crawford, Ryan Mathews
ISBN: 0609608207, Hardcover- $19.25 BUY

Crawford is the managing director of the consumer products, retail, and distribution practice at the Cap Gemini Ernst and Young consultancy. Mathews is a futurist specializing in demographics and lifestyle analysis at FirstMatter, another consulting firm. To research purchasing behavior, they surveyed 5,000 consumers, but the responses they got surprised them and prompted their title's contrary proposition.

They developed a new model of "consumer relevancy." They explain in detail the importance of price, service, quality, access, and experience for the consumer. They then suggest that for companies to be successful they need to dominate on only one of these five factors. On a second of the five they should stand out or differentiate themselves from their competitors; and on the remaining three they need only to be at par with others in their industry. With dozens of examples, Crawford and Mathews demonstrate the validity of their premise.


Raving Fans - A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

by Kenneth H. Blanchard, Sheldon Bowles (Contributor)
ISBN: 0688123163, Hardcover- $13.00 BUY

Kenneth Blanchard continues his trend of writing easy-to-read books with BIG ideas for making your business better. Raving Fans is a book of stories relating how fictional companies have created an environment of delivering awesome customer service. A guy that has just been put in a managment position requiring a turnaround goes on a fictional trip with his "angel" to visit businesses that have figured out their vision and their system to deliver customer service extraordinary. Based on three simple principles (Decide, Discover, Deliver), each company has created a group of Raving Fans (not just customers, but fans) who wouldn't consider shopping anywhere else for what one of these companies offers.


Extraordinary Guarantees - Achieving Breakthrough Gains in Quality and Customer Satisfaction

by Christopher Hart
ISBN: 0814450644, Paperback- $24.95 BUY

Many leading firms have achieved both these results by offering extraordinary guarantees. You too can boost organizational performance and quality to new levels by following the practical advice offered in the important book, Extraordinary Guarantees. Guarantees were once considered nothing more than a marketing gimmick. But as more and more quality leaders have begun to offer ironclad pledges of total customer satisfaction, the guarantee is now being recognized as an unparalleled tool for gaining a major, often unbeatable, competitive edge-and a host of other benefits.


Competing on Value

by Mack Hanan, Peter Karp (Contributor)
ISBN: 0814450369, Hardcover- $17.47 BUY

Presents a new approach to selling that emphasizes not competing on the basis of the best price, but the highest value--i.e. demonstrating to current and prospective customers that using your products or services will either cut their costs or improve their revenues. This book discusses VALUE. Value is not what you put INTO your products and services, it is what the customer GETS OUT. Three qualifiers of value are how much, how soon, and how sure--these are what the customer needs to know. In summary, this is highly recommended for every company that sells products and/or services.


Practice What You Preach - What Managers Must Do to Create a High-Achievement Culture

by David H. Maister
ISBN: 0743211871, Hardcover- $18.20 BUY

Maister, a professional service consultant, surveyed 6,500 employees at 50 worldwide companies to evaluate the relationship between company financial performance and employee satisfaction and loyalty. He found a direct and dramatic correlation. Here, he offers detailed commentary from CEOs, managers and staffers, and analysis of the survey results. Bosses in all kinds of companies will benefit from his solid advice, which should be required reading for executives and upper level managers.


Why We Buy - The Science of Shopping

by Paco Underhill
ISBN: 0684849143, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

In an effort to determine why people buy, Paco Underhill and his band of retail researchers have camped out in stores over the course of 20 years, dedicating their lives to the "science of shopping." Armed with an array of video equipment, store maps, and customer-profile sheets, Underhill and his consulting firm, Envirosell, have observed over 900 aspects of interaction between shopper and store. They've discovered that men who take jeans into fitting rooms are more likely to buy than females (65 percent vs. 25 percent).

They've learned how the "butt-brush factor" (bumped from behind, shoppers become irritated and move elsewhere) makes women avoid narrow aisles. They've quantified the importance of shopping baskets; contact between employees and shoppers; the "transition zone" (the area just inside the store's entrance); and "circulation patterns" (how shoppers move throughout a store). And they've explored the relationship between a customer's amenability and profitability, learning how good stores capitalize on a shopper's unspoken inclinations and desires.

Underhill, whose clients include McDonald's, Starbucks, Est?Lauder, and Blockbuster, stocks Why We Buy with a wealth of retail insights, showing how men are beginning to shop like women, and how women have changed the way supermarkets are laid out. He also looks to the future, projecting massive retail opportunities with an aging baby-boom population and predicting how online retailing will affect shopping malls. This lighthearted look at shopping is highly recommended to anyone who buys or sells.


Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life

by Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard
ISBN: 0399144463, Paperback- $12.97 BUY

Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives. Who Moved My Cheese? is a parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings live in that maze: Sniff and Scurry are mice--nonanalytical and nonjudgmental, they just want cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Hem and Haw are "littlepeople," mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It's not just sustenance to them; it's their self-image.

Their lives and belief systems are built around the cheese they've found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods--our jobs, our career paths, the industries we work in--although it can stand for anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Restoring the Character Ethic

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671708635, Paperback- $11.20 BUY

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Stephen Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas.


Principle-Centered Leadership

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671792806, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

Covey, the author of the New York Times number 1 bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has struck a chord with millions of readers with his insights into human nature and values. Now he tells them how to apply his theories to everyday life, focusing primarily on the world of business.


The Power Principle - Influence With Honor

by Blaine Lee, Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0684846160, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

This self-help book reflects Lee's views on various types of power and how to develop principle-centered power in your life, which he defines as power that inspires loyalty and devotion, transcending time and place. Such power is based on trust and respect and survives even after one dies. Lee describes three types of power: coercive, which relies on the premise of control and uses fear as its instrument; utility, which is based on fairness, the exchange of what you can do for me with what I can do for you; and principle-centered, which is based on what you can do with others. The author tells us that his purpose in writing this book is to encourage us in our work with people, and he recommends that we choose principle-centered power as the primary way to influence others in our key relationships. Such power requires us to grow, to challenge our assumptions, and often to change our whole orientation in life.


The Richest Man in Babylon

by George S. Clason
ISBN: 0451205367, Paperback- $6.99 BUY

I often give this book out as a gift whenever a person younger than me asks for my advice on money. I always present this book to them saying "if you read it and do as it says, it will work magic." It really contains excellent, time tested advice, and would make a good gift for someone in their early 20s who is on their own for the first time, and struggling.

The book is a series of parables about money written in the 1920s by George Clason. They were written as individual essays of a few thousand words, but the theme throughout them is consistent -- save 10% of your money, give 10% away, use 10% to reduce your debt load, and live on the remaining 70%.

The stories in the book are entertaining; they are reminiscent of some of the parables in the Bible, such as the Prodigal Son or the story of the Workers in the Vineyard. I think this is intentional on the part of the author; certainly readers in the 1920s had an appreciation for "old fashioned stories with a moral" that people today seem to have lost. I enjoy the book greatly, though, and any thoughtful person who reads the book should find it interesting, especially if they are trying to get their finances in order.


The E-Myth Manager - Why Management Doesn't Work-And What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887309593, Paperback- $11.02 BUY

More than ten years after his first bestselling book, The E-Myth, changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of small business owners, Michael Gerber - entrepreneur, author, and speaker extraordinaire fires the next salvo in his highly successful E-Myth Revolution. Drawing on lessons learned from working with more than 15,000 small, medium-sized, and very large organizations, Gerber has discovered the truth behind why management doesn't workand what to do about it.

Unearthing the arbitrary origins of commonly held doctrines such as the omniscience of leader (Emperor) and the most widely embraced myth of all. The E-Myth Manager offers a fresh, provocative alternative to management as we know it. It explores why every manager must take charge of his own life, reconcile his own personal vision with that of the organization, and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set to achieve true success.


The Business Owner's Guide To Achieving Financial Succe$$

by David A. Duryee
ISBN: 0786302283, Hardcover- $ BUY

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, over 80% of business owners are not satisfied with either their return on investment or the degree of financial success they've achieved. "The Business Owner's Guide to Achieving Financial Success" is intended to change those results!

Based on nationally recognized financial management seminars developed by Management Advisory Services in which over 300,000 business owners have participated, "The Business Owner's Guide to Achieving Financial Success" will help you define, measure, and achieve your financial business goals. Author Dave Duryee, a principal in Management Advisory Services, addresses the four "phases" of a business: start-up, high growth, maturity, and renewal. This easy-to-read guide shows you how to avoid common pitfalls and build a strong financial foundation to move more product or deliver more services.

Written specifically for the nonfinancial business person, "The Business Owner's Guide" takes the mystery out of finance and provides a practical approach to financial issues involved in managing a successful business.


Wise Investing Made Simple

by Larry Swedroe
ISBN: 0976657422, Hardcover- $16.47 BUY

Wall Street wants you to think that investing is hard. Financial advisors dazzle us with two-bit words like "Sharpe ratio." Flashy advertisements tease us with historical performance. We are taught to lust after mysterious Greek letters - alpha, beta, delta -and are seduced by what Jane Bryant Quinn calls the "investment pornography" of Wall Street. Confused (and sometimes afraid), most of us end up paying too much for what amounts to mediocre advice.

"Wise Investing Made Simple" turns that paradigm on its head, using entertaining stories about sports, myths and money to explain the most important concepts in investing. Using this book, you can cut through the fog of false promises to uncover simple, low-cost strategies that will beat the majority of professional investors.

Wise investing doesn't take rocket science. It takes good old-fashioned common sense, and a willingness to look past the marketing machine of Wall Street. Larry Swedroe's "Wise Investing Made Simple" shows you how.


The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You'll Ever Need

by Larry Swedroe and Jared Kizer
ISBN: 1576603105, Hardcover- $25.95 BUY

There is a whole world of investments beyond traditional stocks, bonds, and bank certificates of deposit.

Financial advisers Larry Swedroe and Jared Kizer have chosen twenty popular alternative investments and provided a comprehensive description of each. They explain the nature of the investment and assess whether or not it combines well with the other assets in your portfolio. Swedroe and Kizer evaluate each type of investment in terms of:

Expected returns, Volatility, Distribution of returns, Diversification potential, Fees, Trading and operating expenses, Liquidity, Tax efficiency, Account location, Role in an asset-allocation program, More effective strategies.


Attitude 101

by John C. Maxwell
ISBN: 0785263500, Hardcover- $9.99 BUY

Good attitudes on a team do not guarantee its success, but bad attitudes guarantee its ruin. So says "New York Times" best-selling author and leadership expert John C. Maxwell in this highly practical primer, "Attitude 101." Anyone who has tried to lead people with bad attitudes knows the frustration it can bring.

with this concise and reader-friendly guidebook, you can master attitude issues.

Learn to:

Recognize how individuals' attitudes impact their performance; Pinpoint problem feelings, behaviors, and thinking in your self and others; Identify six common attitude problems that undermine teamwork; Discover the secret to changing a bad attitude; Create new definitions of failure and success that will improve performance; Adopt the attitude that helps a leader keep going to the next level.


The 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player

by John C. Maxwell
ISBN: 0785288813, Hardcover- $19.99 BUY

Leadership expert John C. Maxwell follows his best-selling "The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork" with this powerfully succinct companion book, "The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player." He presents a clear analysis of the personal charateristics necessary for becoming an effective team player. Maxwell's detailed descriptions and many examples are easy to understand and applicable whether at home, on the job, at church, or on the ball field.

Inside "The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player", Maxwell outlines the successes of team players who have been:

. INTENTIONAL-making every action count toward a long-term goal

. RELATIONAL-focused on others

. SELFLESS-willing to take a subordinate role for the sake of the team

. TENACIOUS-hardworking and optimistic in the face of setbacks

Maxwell shows how these qualities, and many others, impact the team and its success. "The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player" is not feel-good platitudes and abstract thinking, but concrete actions designed to improve the value of every team player.


Be A People Person

by John C. Maxwell
ISBN: 0781448433, Hardcover- $16.99 BUY

Being a leader means working with people, and that's not always easy! Whether in your office, church, neighborhood, or elsewhere, your interpersonal relationships can make or break you as a leader. That's why it's so important to be a "people person" and develop your skils in tapping the most precious resource: people.

In this powerful book, America's leadership expert John C. Maxwell helps you:

~ DISCOVER and DEVELOP the qualities of an effective people person.

~ IMPROVE your relationships in every area of life.

~ UNDERSTAND and help difficult people.

~ OVERCOME differences and personality traits that can cause friction.

~ INSPIRE others to excellence and success.

Loaded with life-changing and enriching principles for interacting positively and powerfully with your family, friends, colleagues, and clients, "Be a People Person" is certain to help you bring out the best in others-and that's what effective leadership is all about.