May 21st 2013
Decisive. How to make better choices in life and work. Chip Heath and Dan Heath.2013. ISBN 9780307361134. I am a fan of these guys work ( SWITCH & MADE TO STICK) . and this book is another treasure. First several examples about how bad we really are about making decisions. Then they provide lots of clear examples to illustrate using their process WRAP:
- Widen your options
- Reality-test your assumptions
- Attain distance before deciding
- Prepare to be wrong.
Add their clear writing and breezy style and this will make that cross country air trip go rapidly by. I recommend this to anyone at any time in their life. Like the Mastercard commercial. Priceless.
May 17th 2013
Customer Centric Selling Field Guide to Prospecting and Business Development. Gary Walker. 2013. ISBN 9780071808057. All too often a sales book starts out assuming no help from marketing and/or the sales person has to do everything. This book is better than most in that it lays out exactly where marketing can best help sales. The book is realistic through using field guide style for what to do in prospecting and BD. It is interactive, pragmatic and immediately useful to every salesperson. I appreciated that the author has woven in all the latest techniques and tools to help you make your number efficiently and effectively. I read the authors blog regularly and it too is full of very useful content to rocket launch your sales. A book for all the high producers, those to aspire to be a high producer and all sales leaders.
May 13th 2013
SOAR Selling. How to get through to almost anyone- the proven method for reaching decision makers. David & Marhnelle Hibbard.2013. ISBN 9780071793711. The authors have found what Rocket Builders ( my firm) have as well, today’s salespeople are often poorly equipped to initially get through to prospects and engage them. This is not limited just to the rookies but pervades the industry. Part of this is mindset and self limits but another huge part is the lack of clear value statements (and practice) that works when you have the prospect on the phone. There is nothing really new in this book – but it is a powerful package that the authors have put together that our firm know works since ewe have approached sales this way for many years. The caution I have is that despite this being almost a pragmatic cookbook to increasing net new sales, few firms will be able to apply just book learning. The roots of the struggles in sales are partially training, attitude and company culture. However , I suggest that this is good wake up book for any senior sales manager – and it will help to keep the blade sharp.
May 10th 2013
Citizenville. How to take the town square digital and reinvent government. Gavin Newsom. 2013. ISBN 9781101605813. The author is Lt. Governor of California and was mayor of San Francisco. He speaks with authority and experience of the disconnect between government (designed in the 50s) and its citizens especially digital citizens with all their social media tools. The author draws from experiences in opening government in California ( the successes, struggles and work still to be done) . As well he has access to some of the smartest civic/technical thought leaders in the country ( e.g. Stewart Brand, Tim O’Reilly, Eric Ries) to be able to paint the picture of innovations that are working now at many levels of govt worldwide.
Like myself he thinks that City government has the ability to act faster and go further with this approach than other government. He addresses who the City is trying to serve and how to do it better with vastly increased efficiency, speed and application of present resources. I recommend this book to anyone in civic government or a citizen who cares about the state of their present government. This is not a blueprint to change, rather a manifesto of change, a vision to guide the journey. Combined with The Slow Fix (Carl Honore) this book gives us a place to start and a framework for change. Very readable, the book flows well.
May 3rd 2013
The Slow Fix. Solve problems, work smarter, and live better. Carl Honore. 2013. ISBN 9780307401304. A serious book for the long term planner and big problem solver. Replete with numerous big problem examples the author quickly captured my interest and inflamed my enthusiasm for his ideas. They just seem so reasonable and common sense. Alongside my recent eye opening research into Emotional Intelligence, this book cements home all the basics of core leadership and development. You will appreciate how he explains why humans are tied to the fast fix, where it is appropriate as well as how society increasingly pushes us to a quick fix even when it is not the appropriate method. As I become more involved in community service I see so many places where the Slow Fix has a tremendous chance to do really good work. Not a sales book this is a life changing book and I urge you to read it. The author has an easy engrossing writing style making this is a good candidate for your long flight reading.
April 26th 2013
Account Planning in Salesforce. Unlock revenue from big customers to turn them into bigger customers. Donal Daly. 2013. ISBN 9781781191890. A very useful ebook and not just if you are using Salesforce ( Although it would double the value to you) This is perhaps the strongest argument for sales planning I have read for quite some time. Sales leaders who are struggling with a sales team that fails to view planning as a valuable tool,will get a lot out of this book. I also enjoyed the books brevity – It leaves nothing out but there are no extraneous words here. Every sales leader could use this book as the execution is very clear.
April 22nd 2013
Top Dog. The Science of Winning and Losing. Po Bronson & Ashley Merrryman. 2013. ISBN 9781455515158. An entertaining and well researched book, ( 80 pp of annotations and notes – very thorough). It touches facets of history, growth, gender and culture in this journey through competition. Perfect for a coast to coast flight, this well written book will hold your interest and give you many bon mots for your next speaking gig.
April 19th 2013
Among Enemies. Counter- Espionage for the Business Traveller. Luke Bencie. 2013. ISBN 9780988591912. This is not a joke. The author really knows this stuff and if you travel internationally at all much of what he says rings true. He covers all aspects of locking down your Business Information/IP , where it is and how to do it step by step. I have a new appreciation of the “leakiness” of my electronic devices and forewarned is forearmed. Easy read – this one is immediately useful.
April 15th 2013
The Innovator’s DNA. Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen. 2011. ISBN 9781422134818. I have all of Christensen’s books and this is a fitting addition to your library. I agree that the creative/disruptive way to find and approach a problem lies with posing the questions. Questionstorming as a technique is a great idea. As well they talk about the ten things you have to ask about a customer as they “try to get the job done’. I appreciate the comment about looking at customer workarounds to get insight into what needs doing. Easy to read, this one is a great four hour plane ride read. It will make you think as it is really pragmatic.
April 12th 2013
Street Smarts. Adventures on the road and in the markets. Jim Rogers. 2013. ISBN9780307986078. Co-founder (cw George Soros) of the Quantum Fund, Rogers retired at 37. Now living in Singapore, he has made a fortune and a life of shorting stocks, commodities, currencies and what have you. A very entertaining read he has made pretty well every mistake you could , but he has learned from then all. He is not a fan of the US as it stands and although an American holds out little hope for it improving in the future unless it:
- Sends all politicians to live back home away from the lobbyists and among the electorate. With all the technology, why do they all have to be in Washington? Should do this in Canada too.
- Bring all the troops home. it will save money and reduce enemies.
- Reform the court system to drive down litigation. Losers should pay all court costs
- Drastically improve the education system to teach to higher levels. Most politicians are now really ignorant.
- Do the same to the health care system.
- Drop the income tax system to a consumption tax system. no lawyers, breaks or accountants needed. Encourage/reward savings .
- He would like the Europeans to let the nations default, while the strong ones can afford it.
- Open up the countries to immigration and freedom of travel
- Get rid of all sanctions and allow Americans to invest anywhere and bank anywhere. Get rid of even more bureaucrats
He is quite the character and is trying to see how he can invest in Burma and North Korea since they will need everything. He likes China, the govt changes every five years. . Brazil is run by Brazilians so they will screw up. India can not feed its people and is screwed. Russia is run by a dictator, is screwed up plus it will screw you. You can read this one on four hour flight. It may change your view on most things.