Archive for the 'Leadership' Category

Triage Sales Coaching. Shianne Sampson.

Triage Sales Coaching. Shianne Sampson.. 2020   A succinct guide to effectively coaching sales people.  The author references several well known sales coaches and puts them in context.  This is a solid book that works for newer sales managers/coaches.  Sales people are interested in books etc. that get the job done and this book will be useful. I liked his regular summaries and checklists,   Buy, read and go back to this book regularly

The Splendid and the Vile. A saga of Churchill, family and defiance during the blitz. Erik Larson.

The Splendid and the Vile. A saga of Churchill, family and defiance during the blitz. Erik Larson. 2020.  ISBN 9780385348713.  A very well and tightly written story of the 57 days and nights of the relentless bombing of Britain by the Germans in WWII.  You see how Churchill and family ( and other govt ministers)  worked and lived through these horrendous days.  Lots of pathos and emotion in the pages as well as insights into the English upper-crust life. The author has researched diaries, written reports and memoirs of the English, American and German leaders at the time.  Well worth the read with the bonus of Churchill’s descriptive prose throughout the book.

Serve,Lead, Succeed! How servant leaders are reaching breakthrough sales. Max Cates

Serve,Lead, Succeed! How servant leaders are reaching breakthrough sales. Max Cates. 2020. ISBN 978-1-64718-615-9. I have a lot of time for books by this author.  This is the third book of his I reviewed and as ever, he is right on the front edge of sales leadership writing.  With the COVID pandemic I am working with many companies who are having a real struggle in this different marketplace.  WFH puts a traditional top down sales model out the window.   You need sales reps to be more independent, assertive and confident enough to take ownership of their success. I like the servant leadership model (Simon Sinak) and have been using it in our sales consulting practice.  Max’s book now gives me something to give to the sales leaders so they can recognize themselves and see how this approach will help them.  I really took my time with this book as it deserves a thoughtful read.  Could be a nominee for sales book of the year.   Buy it, read it and read it again.

How Design Makes the World. Scott Berkun.

How Design Makes the World. Scott Berkun. 2020.  A journey into design literacy

The author poses  four powerful questions for us:

1. What are you trying to improve?
2. Who are you trying to improve it for?
3. How do you ensure you are successful?
4. Who might be hurt by your work, now or in the future?

In explaining design and the world around us he makes very telling and simple arguments.

What to ask of things you see around you:

What were they trying to improve?
Who were they trying to improve it for?
How successful were they?
What hidden constraints could explain its weaknesses?
Who were the powerful people who made these decisions?
Who paid for it?
Did people come first, or a technology, or an organization?
What message is the style sending to you? Who is included
or excluded from participating?
What systems is this design a part of?
Where in the natural world, or in another culture, might
there be a better solution for this problem?
Does this design create flow or conflict
What new problems does this design create if it’s
successful?
What are you going to do about all of this? (If in doubt,
start a conversation.)

 

Very useful book to anyone who designs and builds.

Sell More Faster. The ultimate sales playbook for startups. Amos Schwartzfarb

Sell More Faster. The ultimate sales playbook for startups. Amos Schwartzfarb. 2019. ISBN 9781119597834.   A concise yet insightful books for the startup world.  The author has carried the bag in sales in companies from startup to growth and been successful at it.  Each chapter has good meat in it that any startup CEO should read and implement with care. I particularly enjoyed how to select the first sales hire  and then grow your sales force including a thoughtful no nonsense examination of compensation models.  After sales support ot reduce churn and to realize the growth of along term book of business was clearly laid out.

run_frictionless. Free a founder from a sales role. Antony Coundouris

run_frictionless. Free a founder from a sales role. Antony Coundouris. 2018.  A concise road map and workbook on how to build a sales system that allows a founder to step away from daily driving sales. Using four quadrants to lay out the building blocks with many examples and a  full case study the author takes you through all the work and stages needed to be followed.   The quadrants are

  • Who we serve
  • What we serve
  • Who we are
  • How we serve

Under each are many statements of work to be done, how to do it and why you do it.

This is a useful book for any startup founder or those who are still driving all the sales after many years.

There is a better  way.

Trillion Dollar Coach . The leadership playbook from silicon valley’s Bill Campbell. Eric Schmidt. Jonathan Rosenberg. Alan Eagle.

Trillion Dollar Coach . The leadership playbook from silicon valley’s Bill Campbell. Eric Schmidt. Jonathan Rosenberg. Alan Eagle.  2019. ISBN 9780062839268. A very timely book. Its a book that should be the basis of  every leadership seminar and a well read reference on all leader’s bookshelves.  As sports coaches ourselves, my partners and I see the applicability of high performance sports coaching to technology companies. Whether if its in a non profit board community committee or a business, these “lessons’ are applicable and very useful.  This book is deserving of the kudos it has been receiving.  I enjoyed it so much I read it in two session and intend to reread it often.

Play Bigger. How pirates, dreamers, and innovators create and dominate markets. Alan Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead.

Play Bigger. How pirates, dreamers, and innovators create and dominate markets. Alan Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead.   2016.  ISBN 9780062407610.   This book was referenced in Traversing the Traction Gap so I had to read it.  It is very good and specifically addresses category creation, which is something that wildly successful companies do over and over. The authors take you through a proven  methodology of becoming a category kind. ( For many types to organizations and individuals). You will appreciate the highly specific and recognizable examples used by the authors.  Unlike other books in this genre , it has the benefits of depth and thought coming from the experiences of four individuals.  It could be a life changing book for executives and individuals.  But you need to want to be more than better, you want to be recognized as different  ( Apple is not just better, it is different)

The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman. John Perkins.

The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman. John Perkins.  2016. ISBN 9781626566750.  If you don’t read about the international crooks you will not recognize them at home.  The author worked many years as an EHM. He was trained to go into third world or struggling countries to inflate growth projections from large infrastructure projects  ( Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Panama etc). These projects would then be funded by the World Bank and others and the country would be loaded up with debt.  . The money lent would go to US firms to do the work (of course some $  would find its way into select in country pockets).  The US engineering/construction company owners would pocket huge profits.

The projects would under deliver and the country would not be able to pay even the interest on these huge loans.  The US would pressure the govts to take on more debt, vote certain ways at the UN , buy more US products and so on.. The peoples’ lives would get worse not better. ( shades of the banana king and 1MDB )  If the govts did not play ball with US plans, regime change, assassination etc. would happen (Chile, Honduras, Ecuador, Panama.  Wrap a large disinformation campaign about this all.   You could not make this stuff up.  The author points out now that the same tricks are going on in US states with big projects and perhaps even in Canada.

A potent read, albeit the author is not concise enough for me. The story speaks very loud about the dangers of these large US companies, the military industrial complex and US policy.  Evidently China is following the same US playbook.

Becoming. Michelle Obama

Becoming. Michelle Obama. 2018.  On one hand a singular job of writing about quite an amazing life and on the other a touching illustration of one person’s humanity.   Quite a well done book that should give hope and guidance to generations of minority and disadvantaged youth for years to come. You live their life and feel how they felt and still fell.  One of those books you do not feel like putting down.  Very worth the read and clearly written with good pace.