Reading That’s Transformed My Thinking

One of the best ways to transform your company is to expose yourself to experts who think differently than you do. Here are some titles that have transformed my thinking about the fundamentals of high-growth business.



5 Levels of Leadership
By John Maxwell

True leadership isn’t a matter of having a certain job or title. In fact, being chosen for a position is only the first of the five levels every effective leader achieves. The 5 Levels of Leadership are 1. Position – People follow because they have to. 2. Permission – People follow because they want to. 3. Production – People follow because of what you have done for the organization. 4. People Development – People follow because of what you have done for them personally. 5. Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

To become more than “the boss” people follow only because they are required to, you have to master the ability to invest in people and inspire them. You need to help people to develop their skills to become leaders in their own right.


21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
by John Maxwell

What does it take to be a great leader? John Maxwell looks at 21 “ laws of leadership” that determine whether someone will succeed as a leader or not, including:

  • Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness
  • The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less
  • Leadership develops daily, not in a day
  • Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course
  • Leaders add value by serving others
  • And much more . . .


Five Dysfunctions of a Team

by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni says, “Successful teamwork is not about mastering subtle, sophisticated theories, but rather about combining common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence. Ironically, teams succeed because they are exceedingly human. By acknowledging the imperfections of their humanity, members of functional teams overcome the natural tendencies that make teamwork so elusive.” He then shows how that works by examining: Absence of Trust; Fear of Conflict; Lack of Commitment; Avoidance of Accountability; and Inattention to Results.


The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

by Patrick Lencioni

What is the single biggest competitive advantage your company can possess? It’s not a superior strategy, faster innovation, or smarter employees. Patrick Lencioni, argues that the biggest difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has to do with how healthy they are. Organizational health comes from a company being whole, consistent and complete, with management, operations, and culture that are unified


On Becoming A Leader
by Warren G. Bennis

In this penetrating, insightful book, Bennis distinguishes leadership by focusing on 28 individuals in leadership positions, including Apple’s John Sculley, Johnson & Johnson’s James Burke, and others. These aren’t theoreticians, these are people who have actually lead others to great things.





by Liz Wiseman

Why do some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others amplify it to produce better results? Some diminish talent and commitment while others multiply those same traits.

Leadership expert Liz Wiseman analyzes data from more than 150 leaders to explore these two leadership styles, persuasively showing how Multipliers can have a resoundingly positive and profitable effect on organizations—getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.



Turn the Ship Around
by David Marquet and Stephen R. Covey

Turn the Ship Around is Navy captain David Marquet’s true story about leadership onboard the Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine. Facing the high-stress environment of a sub where there’s little margin for error, he was determined to reverse the trends he found on the Santa Fe: poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention rate in the fleet. Marquet flipped the leadership model on its head and pushed for leadership at every level and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach.



Leadership Challenge
by James Kouzes and Barry Posner

The Leadership Challenge positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential. Engaging stories delve into the fundamental roles that great leaders fulfill, and simple frameworks provide a primer for those who seek continuous improvement; by internalizing key insights and putting concepts into action, you’ll become a more effective, more impactful leader. A good leader gets things done; a great leader aspires, inspires, and achieves more.

  • Gain deep insight into leadership’s critical role in organizational health
  • Navigate the shift toward team-oriented work relationships
  • Motivate and inspire to break through the pervasive new cynicism
  • Leverage the electronic global village to deliver better results


The Effective Executive 
by Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker reminds us that the measure of an executive is the ability to “get the right things done.” This often includes doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding unproductive actions. Drucker identifies five essential practices for successful executives:

  • Managing time
  • Choosing what to contribute to the organization
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect
  • Setting the right priorities

Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making


Developing the Leader Within You
by John Maxwell

Developing the Leader Within You explores the biblical foundation for leadership that John Maxwell has used as a pastor and business leader for more than forty years and these same principles and practices apply to everyday leaders in every walk of life. In this book you’ll discover:

  • The True Definition of Leadership
  • The Traits of Leadership
  • The Difference Between Management and Leadership

This book will not only bring positive change to your life—but also to the lives of those around you.


by Jack Welch

Jack Welch knows how to win. During his forty-year career at General Electric, he led the company to year-after-year success around the globe, in multiple markets, against brutal competition. Inspired by his audiences and their hunger for straightforward guidance, Welch has written both a philosophical and pragmatic book that clearly lays out the answers to the most difficult questions people face both on and off the job. Winning looks at three key aspects of work. The first thing he looks at is the inside of the company—including leadership, picking winners, and making things happen. The second thing he looks at is strategy, and the third area delves into management.

Welch’s optimistic, no excuses, get-it-done mind-set is riveting. Winning offers deep insights, original thinking, and solutions to nuts-and-bolts problems that will change the way people think about work.

by Seth Godin

It’s human nature to seek out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). The Internet has eliminated geography, cost, and time barriers. Seth Godin’s visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, or investors around an idea, this book will demystify the process. With his signature wit and storytelling flair, Godin presents three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead. Tribes will make you really think about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that is  already at your fingertips.


Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
by General Stanley McChristal

When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, and then vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter. They had to improvise. It’s no secret that in any field, small teams have many ad­vantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy.

General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disci­plined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to ex­tend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier.

In this book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other or­ganizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving every­one to share what they learn across the entire organiza­tion.


by Daniel Pink

Many leaders believe that the best way to motivate employees is with rewards such as money. It’s part of the old “carrot-and-stick “approach. That’s a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink. In this provocative and persuasive book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. Pink draws on four decades of scientific research on human motivation to exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.




by Alfred Lansing

The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole is a great lesson in leadership. When polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day’s sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifted northwest before it was finally crushed between two ice floes. Shackleton and a skeleton crew attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic’s heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization. Their survival, and the survival of the men they left behind, depended on their small lifeboat successfully finding the island of South Georgia–a tiny dot of land in a vast and hostile ocean. Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.


Primal Leadership 
by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee

Managers and professionals across the globe have embraced Primal Leadership, affirming the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership. Its influence has also reached well beyond the business world: the book and its ideas are now used routinely in universities, business and medical schools, professional training programs, and by a growing legion of professional coaches. This book vividly illustrates the power—and the necessity—of leadership that is self-aware, empathic, motivating, and collaborative in a world that is ever more economically volatile and technologically complex. A must-read for anyone who leads or aspires to lead.


Wooden on Leadership 
by John Wooden

In 41 years of coaching John Wooden’s goal never wavered; get maximum effort and peak performance from each of his players in the manner that best served the team. Wooden on Leadership explains step-by-step how he pursued and accomplished this goal. Focusing on Wooden’s 12 Lessons in Leadership and his acclaimed Pyramid of Success, it outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities essential to building a winning organization, and shows you how to develop the skill, confidence, and competitive fire to “be at your best when your best is needed”–and teach your organization to do the same.


by Robert Cialdini

Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say “yes.” This text is widely used in classes and with people who operate successfully in the business world and is a welcome reminder of the power of persuasion. Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

People (Hiring and Development)

by Brad Smart

Great companies, large and small, rise or fall because of their talent; the more high performers on your team, the more successful your organization will be. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Research shows that only about 25% of all new hires turn out to be high performers.

Three huge problems account for the typical poor results in hiring: dishonesty (via deceptive résumés), incomplete information (via shallow interviews), and lack of verifiability (via biased references). Topgrading shows how to solve all three problems. Instead of hir­ing by your gut reactions to résumés and interviews, you can start using a scientifically honed process that compels candidates to be totally honest.


by Geoff Smart

Geoff Smart and Randy Street provide a simple, practical, and effective solution to what The Economist calls “the single biggest problem in business today”: unsuccessful hiring. The average hiring mistake costs a company $1.5 million or more a year and countless wasted hours. This statistic becomes even more startling when you consider that the typical hiring success rate of managers is only 50 percent. Learn how to
• avoid common “voodoo hiring” methods
• define the outcomes you seek
• generate a flow of A Players to your team–by implementing the #1 tactic used by successful businesspeople
• ask the right interview questions to dramatically improve your ability to quickly distinguish an A Player from a B or C candidate
• attract the person you want to hire, by emphasizing the points the candidate cares about most


The Ideal Team Player
by Patrick Lencioni

Lencioni presents a practical and compelling framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring and developing ideal team players.  These are helpful insights for leaders trying to create a culture around teamwork, staffing professionals looking to hire team players or team players who want to improve themselves.




The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
by Michael Bungay Stanier

Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock employee’s potential by using seven essential kinds of coaching questions that help you say less and ask more—and get great results. Those include

  • The Kickstart Question
  • The Awe Question
  • The Lazy Question
  • The Strategic Question
  • The Focus Question
  • The Foundation Question
  • THe Learning Question


Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
by Chip and Dan Heath

Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? Chip and Dan Heath suggest that the primary obstacle to making lasting changes in companies is a conflict that’s built into our brains. The rational mind and the emotional mind compete for control. In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you.




Delivering Happiness
by Tony Hsieh

The CEO of Zappos shows how a different kind of corporate culture can make a huge difference in achieving remarkable results — by actually creating a company culture that values happiness –and then delivers on it. Some of what Zappos does includes:

  • Paying brand-new employees $2,000 to quit
  • Making customer service the responsibility of the entire company
  • Focusing on company culture as the #1 priority
  • Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business
  • Help employees grow-both personally and professionally
  • Seek to change the world
  • Oh, and make money too . . .

Sound crazy? It’s all standard operating procedure at Zappos, the online retailer that’s doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. Delivering Happiness shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success.


The Carrot Principle
by Dan Gostick and Chester Elton

Revealing the groundbreaking results of one of the most in-depth management studies ever undertaken, The Carrot Principle shows definitively that the central characteristic of the most successful managers is that they provide their employees with frequent and effective recognition. With independent results from HealthStream Research, and analysis by bestselling leadership experts Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, this breakthrough study of 200,000 people over ten years found dramatically greater business results when managers offered constructive praise and meaningful rewards in ways that powerfully motivated employees to excel.

The Culture Engine
by Chris Edmonds

The Culture Engine shows leaders how to create a high performing, values aligned culture through the creation of an organizational constitution. With practical step-by-step guidance, readers learn how to define their organization’s culture, delineate the behaviors that contribute to greater performance and greater engagement, and draft a document that codifies those behaviors into a constitution that guides behavior towards an ideal: a safe, inspiring workplace. Culture drives everything that happens in an organization day to day, including focus, priorities, and the treatment of employees and customers. A great culture drives great performance, and can help attract and retain great talent. But a great culture isn’t something that evolves naturally. The Culture Engine is a guide to strategically planning a culture by compiling the company’s guiding principles and behaviors into an organizational constitution.

Leaders Eat Last
by Simon Sinek

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. Today’s successful leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. What’s the key to making that happen? The answer became clear to Simon Sinek when, in a conversation with a Marine Corps general, he heard the general say, “Officers eat last,” and saw that premise acted out in a Marine mess hall. What was symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort for the good of those in their care. Sinek illustrates his point with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.



The Culture Secret
by Dr David Vik

Why is a great company culture so rare and how can you make sure your organization has one? According to Dr. David ”Doc” Vik , a remarkable culture begins with visionary leaders who help their teams take a holistic approach to creating engagement inside their companies and sharing it with customers. Discover how to take culture beyond casual Friday and into more meaningful pursuits such as:

  • Driving Vision
  • Defining Purpose
  • Clear business model
  • Unique/WOW factors
  • Meaningful Values
  • Inspired Leadership
  • Great customers and customer service
  • Brand enhancement
  • Experience and the emotional connection


by Kip Tindell

Kip Tindell is the Chairman & CEO of The Container Store—a company with stores nationwide and more than 5,000 loyal employees The Container Store grew dramatically based on its commitment to its employees and its focus on its original concept and inventory mix as the formula for its success. The company follows values-based business philosophies, which center on an employee-first culture, superior customer service and strict merchandising. It’s no surprise that The Container Store has been named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” list for 15 consecutive years. In Uncontainable, Tindell reveals his approach for building a business where everyone associated with it thrives through embodying the tenets of Conscious Capitalism. His Seven Foundation Principles are the roadmap that drives everyone at The Container Store to achieve the goals of the company.

The Culture Blueprint
by Robert Richman

The Culture Blueprint is a systematic guide to building company culture. It’s about fostering committed, and enthusiastic employees. Robert Richman knows it because he’s done is with companies such as Google, P&G and Amazon. Learn how to immediately upgrade your company culture. Discover how to make sure your culture attracts the right employees (and keeps the wrong ones out). Find out how you can use the 99% Rule to stop annoying your employees, and how unbreakable rituals may the most underrated tool in your culture arsenal. In order to thrive, companies must do more than satisfy their employees; they must create passionate ones. The Culture Blueprint will teach you how to develop a culture that does just that.




The Truth About Employee Engagement
by Patrick Lencioni

In his sixth fable, bestselling author Patrick Lencioni takes on a topic that almost everyone can relate to: job misery. Millions of workers, even those who have carefully chosen careers based on true passions and interests, dread going to work. It is a simple fact of business life that any job, from investment banker to dishwasher, can become miserable. Through the story of a CEO turned pizzeria manager, Lencioni reveals the three elements that make work miserable—irrelevance, immeasurability, and anonymity — and gives managers and their employees the keys to make any job more engaging.



Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work
by Paul Marciano

Not only are reward and recognition programs costly—they’re inefficient. Plus they tend to reward employees who are already highly engaged and productive performers. What’s worse is that this approach can actually decrease employee motivation because the emphasis is on individual recognition, rather than the overall success of the team. When it comes to changing your organizational culture, carrots and sticks don’t work. There is, however a better alternative. It’s what Dr. Paul Marciano refers to as the RESPECT model, which gives leaders specific, low-cost, turnkey solutions and action plans—based on seven proven key drivers of employee engagement that empower these leaders to assess, troubleshoot, and resolve engagement issues in the workplace.




How to Hire A Players
by Eric Herronkohl

Want to find great employees, make great hires, and take your business to the next level? It is easy to find people who want a job, but it’s not to find and hire A-players. Eric Herrenkohl shows owners, executives, and managers of small to medium-size businesses where and how to find A-player employees who will help keep quality high and growth and profits strong. He provides current examples of companies that consistently hire A-players without big recruiting departments, and offers step-by-step explanations for making these strategies work in your own company.




Hiring for Attitude
by Mark Murphy

Hiring the right people is critical for the success of your business, but a recent groundbreaking study, the training firm Leadership IQ found that 46 percent of all new hires fail within their first 18 months. But 89 percent fail for attitudinal reasons rather than skills. Conventional hiring practices are missing something. Of course skills are important, but skills are easy to test in an interview. According to Mark Murphy, attitude should be your number-one focus during the hiring process. Attitude is what makes employees give 100 percent effort and turns customers into raving fans. In Hiring for Attitude, top leadership strategist Mark Murphy highlights


  • The five biggest reasons new hires fail
  • Two quick and easy tests to discover key attitudinal characteristics e
  • The five-part interview question that gets candidates to reveal the truth about themselves
  • Where great companies find their best candidates
  • Six words most interviewers add to the end of behavioral interview questions that destroy their effectiveness


The Stay Interview
by Richard Finnegan

It’s the worst sort of surprise: A valued and seemingly happy employee gives his notice. Can you do anything at this point? Probably not. Could you have anticipated the departure and tried to prevent it? Absolutely. This practical guide introduces managers to a powerful new engagement and retention tool: the stay interview. Smart companies use these periodic reviews to discover why their important talent might leave and to solve problems before they actually quit. Written by the retention expert who pioneered the process, The Stay Interview shows managers how to: *Prepare for the meeting Anticipate an employee’s top issues * Set realistic expectations from the start * Respond to difficult questions * Listen effectively and dig deeper * Craft a detailed and effective stay plan complete with timeline * Assess each employee’s level of engagement, predict potential exits, and communicate results to upper management.




Hiring the Best
by Martin Yates

You’ve heard it said that employees are your company’s number one asset. Hiring the Best offers managers and HR personnel a proven and practical approach to recruiting and selecting the right people for the job. It includes more than 400 questions you can use to interview candidates and obtain the most pertinent information. Hiring the Best allows you to determine not only if candidates can do the job, but also if they can be managed effectively and thrive in their new positions. This book arms you with the tools you need to ensure that you are indeed Hiring the Best.

Strategy (Creation/Development)

Blue Ocean Strategy
by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

This bestselling strategy book, written by world-renowned professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, challenges everything you thought you knew about strategic success and charts a bold new path to winning the future.

When first published in 2005, Blue Ocean Strategy challenged the basic tenets of competitive strategy and called for businesses to shift their focus from competition to creating new market spaces that would make the competition irrelevant. Instead of trying to do something better, faster, or cheaper the authors urge businesses to do something no one else is doing. It’s a refreshing look at standing out. No wonder the book has sold more than 3 million copies!


Built to Last
by Jim Collins

What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the other companies?

Built To Last examines what lies behind the extraordinary success of 18 visionary companies and which principles and ideas they’ve used to thrive for a century. Built to Last discusses concepts such as preserving a core ideology, the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) concept, owning a cult-like culture, trying new things, refusing the idea of a “great idea” to start a company, and consistent innovation.



Good to Great
by Jim Collins

The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice such as:

  • Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept: (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.

The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.


Scaling Up
by Verne Harnish

In Scaling Up, Verne Harnish and his team share practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. These approaches have been honed from over three decades of advising tens of thousands of CEOs and executives and helping them navigate the increasing complexities (and weight) that come with scaling up a venture. This book is written so everyone — from frontline employees to senior executives — can get aligned in contributing to the growth of a firm. Scaling Up focuses on the four major decision areas every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. The book includes a series of new one-page tools including the updated One-Page Strategic Plan and the Rockefeller Habits Checklist™, which more than 40,000 firms around the globe have used to scale their companies successfully — many to $1 billion and beyond.


Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)
by Salim Ismail and Michael S. Malone

Performance is key in business and when you’re looking at performance, how you organize can be the key to growth. The Exponential Organization has revolutionized how a company can accelerate its growth by using technology. An ExO can eliminate the incremental, linear way traditional companies get bigger, leveraging assets like community, big data, algorithms, and new technology into achieving performance benchmarks ten times better than its peers. It can take a startup to a multi-national, streamline its performance, and grow to the next level.

The Founders Mentality
by Chris Zook & James Allen

Performance is key in business and when you’re looking at performance, how you organize can be the key to growth. The Exponential Organization has revolutionized how a company can accelerate its growth by using technology. An ExO can eliminate the incremental, linear way traditional companies get bigger, leveraging assets like community, big data, algorithms, and new technology into achieving performance benchmarks ten times better than its peers. It can take a startup to a multi-national, streamline its performance, and grow to the next level.


Great by Choice
by Jim Collins

Ten years after the worldwide bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins began to ask: why do some companies thrive in uncertainty and even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research and buttressed by rigorous analysis and engaging stories, Collins and his colleague Morten Hansen enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous and fast-moving times.

Outthink the Competition
by Kaihan Krippendorff

“Outthinkers” are entrepreneurs and corporate leaders that see opportunities others ignore, challenge dogma others accept as truth, rally resources others cannot influence, and unleash new strategies that disrupt their markets. Outthink the Competition proves that business competition is undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift and that during such revolutions, outthinkers beat traditionalists. Krippendorff uses the examples of

breakthrough companies like Apple, Google, Vistaprint, and Rosetta Stone whose stunning performances defy traditional explanation and will inspire readers to outthink the competition.


The Lords of Strategy
by Walter Kiechel

Fifty years ago many businesses made plans without understanding the underlying dynamics of competition, costs, and customers. It was like trying to design a large-scale engineering project without knowing the laws of physics. In The Lords of Strategy, Walter Kiechel tells the story of the four men who invented corporate strategy, as we know it and set in motion the modern, multibillion-dollar consulting industry: Bruce Henderson, founder of Boston Consulting Group; Bill Bain, creator of Bain & Company; Fred Gluck, longtime Managing Director of McKinsey & Company; and Michael Porter, Harvard Business School professor. Take a look at how these pioneers revolutionized the way we think about business and transformed the way we work.

The Lords of Strategy
by Walter Kiechel

What do Tetra aquarium supplies, Elector-Nite sensors, and Nissha touch panels have in common? They are “hidden champions”: Medium-sized, unknown companies that have quietly become world market leaders in their respective industries. By taking a deep look inside more 1000 of these “hidden champions” Simon reveals the common patterns, behaviors, and approaches that make these little-known companies successful. These companies buck today’s management fads, and pursue such common-sense strategies as focusing on core capabilities, establishing long-term relationships with customers, innovating continuously, rewarding employees for performance, and developing a global presence.

The Art of War
by Sun Tzu

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician, believed to have been compiled during the late Spring and Autumn period or early Warring States period. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China’s Seven Military Classics, and for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name. It has had significant influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, legal strategy, and business tactics for many years.



Purple Cow
by Seth Godin

You’re either a Purple Cow or you’re not. You’re either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice. What do Apple, Starbucks, Dyson and Pret a Manger have in common? How do they achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and-true brands to gasp their last? The old checklist of P’s used by marketers: Pricing, Promotion, Publicity aren’t working anymore. The golden age of advertising is over. It’s time to add a new P: The Purple Cow. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat-out unbelievable. Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for anyone who wants to help create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place.


The E-Myth Revisited
by Michael Gerber

In The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business: from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective that is the guiding light of all truly successful businesses. He then demonstrates how to apply the lessons of franchising to anybusiness (whether or not it is a franchise). Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.




by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood

Investor and successful entrepreneur Richard Koch and venture capitalist Greg Lockwood have spent years researching what makes successful companies—such as IKEA, Apple, Uber, and Airbnb—achieve game-changing who status. Their conclusion is that these companies simplify. In this book they unpack the strategies for simplifying and taking your business from a startup to a game changer.





Inovator’s Dilemma
by Clayton Christensen

Wall Street Journal and Businessweek bestseller, this classic on disruptive innovation, by renowned author Clayton M. Christensen has been named by Fast Company as one of the most influential leadership books in its Leadership Hall of Fame. Best-known thought leaders from Steve Jobs to Malcolm Gladwee have cited this book that shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right—yet still lose market leadership. Christensen explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation—and how even successful companies with established products will get pushed aside unless managers know how and when to abandon traditional business practices. Christensen offers examples of both successes and failures from leading companies and provides a framework for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.



Crossing the Chasam
by Geoffrey Moore

This has become the bible for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets and includes insights into the realities of high-tech marketing. In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle—which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment. This third edition brings Moore’s classic work up to date with dozens of new examples of successes and failures, new strategies for marketing in the digital world, and Moore’s most current insights and findings.




How Companies Win
by Rick Kash

In a world of contracting markets and diminished consumer demand, The Cambridge Group founder Rick Kash and Nielsen Company CEO David Calhoun show companies how to find new customers and bigger profits. How Companies Win makes The Cambridge Group’s proprietary demand model—a strategy which multi-million dollar corporations pay premium rates to access—available to the general public for the first time. This is a must-have for succeeding in business in the twenty-first century.


Execution (Performance)

4 Disciplines of Execution
by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling

This book looks not only at the ‘what’ but also ‘how’ effective execution is achieved using numerous examples of companies that have done that repeatedly.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following the 4 Disciplines—Focusing on the Wildly Important; Acting on Lead Measures; Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard; Creating a Cadence of Accountability—leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.


by Ram Charam and Larry Bossidy

Bossidy and Charan reframe their empowering message for a world in which the old rules have been shattered and radical change is becoming routine. They postulate that for the foreseeable future, growth will be slower. Yet companies that execute well will have the confidence, speed and resources to move fast as new opportunities emerge. This is a realistic and hard-nosed approach to business success.



The Great Game of Business
by Jack Stack

Jack Stack’s revolutionary system of Open-Book Management suggested that every employee in a business should be able to understand the company’s key figures, act on them, and should have a real stake in the business. As Stack, himself said: “When employees think, act and feel like owners … everybody wins.” As a management strategy, ‘the great game of business’ is so simple and effective that it has been adopted by companies as diverse (and successful) as Intel and Harley Davidson.




The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage
by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton

Solid business strategy is more important than ever in our world of stiffening competition. Despite that, most organizations struggle—not so much with formulating a strategy but with executing it—putting it into action. The result is that many companies realize just a fraction of the financial performance their plans promise. Robert Kaplan and David describe a multistage system that enables you to gain measurable benefits from your carefully formulated business strategy.




Getting Things Done
by David Allen

David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. Lifehack calls it “The Bible of business and personal productivity.” Today, “GTD” is shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.


Out of the Crisis
by W. Edward Deming

According to W. Edwards Deming, American companies require nothing less than a transformation of management style and of governmental relations with industry. Deming offers a theory of management based on his famous 14 Points for Management. Management’s failure to plan for the future, he claims, brings about loss of market, which brings about loss of jobs. Management must be judged not only by the quarterly dividend, but also by innovative plans to stay in business, protect investment, ensure future dividends, and provide more jobs through improved product and service.

Key Performance Indicators
by David Parmenter

Key Performance Indicators are a set of measures that focus on the factors most critical to an organization’s success. Most companies have too many, rendering the strategy ineffective due to overwhelming complexity. Key Performance Indicators guides readers toward simplification, paring down to the most fundamental issues to better define and measure progress toward goals. Key Performance Indicators provides an in-depth look at how KPIs can be most effectively used to assess and drive organizational performance. The book includes a variety of templates, checklists, and performance measures to help streamline processes, and is fully supported by the author’s website to provide even more in-depth information.



The Balanced Scorecard
by Robert S. Kaplan

The Balanced Scorecard translates a company’s vision and strategy into a coherent set of performance measures. The four perspectives of the scorecard—financial measures, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth—offer a balance between short-term and long-term objectives, between outcomes desired and performance drivers of those outcomes, and between hard objective measures and softer, more subjective measures. In the first part, Kaplan and Norton provide the theoretical foundations for the Balanced Scorecard; in the second part, they describe the steps organizations must take to build their own Scorecards. They conclude with thoughts on how the Balanced Scorecard can be used as a driver of change.


Execution is the Strategy
by Laura Stack

In today’s world of rapid, disruptive change, strategy can’t be separate from execution—it has to emerge from execution. You have to continually adjust your strategy to fit new realities. But if your organization isn’t set up to be fast on its feet, you could easily go the way of Blockbuster or Borders. Laura Stack shows you how to quickly drive strategic initiatives and get great results from your team. Her LEAD Formula outlines the Four Keys to Successful Execution: the ability to Leverage your talent and resources, design an Environment to support an agile culture, create Alignment between strategic priorities and operational activities, and Drive the organization forward quickly. She includes a leadership team assessment, group reading guides, and bonus self-development resources.



Ruthless Execution
by Amir Hartman

Today’s business leaders need to know how to know how to manage through adversity while preparing their companies for a new rebirth of success. In Ruthless Execution, Amir Hartman, author of the bestselling NETREADY, identifies the central ingredients that help certain companies to get beyond the wall and thrive—and then reveals how to instill these ingredients in your organization. You will learn when and how to recalibrate the balance between performance and growth; how to define a coherent, tightly-drawn business philosophy that maps to specific actions; new ways to promote accountability and business alignment; and how to use performance metrics without burying people in meaningless trivia. Hartman also reveals how to promote real discipline: the ability to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly—without bureaucracy. He also walks leaders through how to develop stronger “critical capabilities” for understanding and managing complexity. All of these principles are backed up by case studies of world-class enterprises that have used these strategies to achieve breakthrough success.

6 Disciplines Execution® Revolution
by Gary Harpst

With all of the pressures successful business leaders face today, none is more urgent or challenging than learning the ability to execute strategy. And while larger businesses have the luxury of budgets and resources to meet this challenge, it’s small and midsized businesses that currently have a tremendous opportunity to level the playing field, leapfrog the expensive, outdated approaches of the past, and attack the challenge of execution in a revolutionary way. Gary Harpst shows business leaders how to do that by focusing on these key issues:

  • Excellenceis the enduring pursuit of balanced strategy and execution
  • Planning and executing, while at the same time dealing with the inevitable surprises, is the biggest challenge in business
  • Overcoming this challengeis what we mean by solving the one problem that makes all others easier
  • Failing to solve the problemdestines your organization to a reactive, fire-fighting future.

Our Iceberg Is Melting
by John Kotter

Our Iceberg Is Meltingis a simple story about doing well under the stress and uncertainty of rapid change. Based on the award-winning work of Harvard Business School’s John Kotter, it can help you and your colleagues thrive during tough times.

On an iceberg near the coast of Antarctica, group of beautiful emperor pen­guins live as they have for many years. Then one curious bird discovers a potentially devastating problem threatening their home—and almost no one listens to him.

The characters in the story—Fred, Alice, Louis, Buddy, the Professor, and NoNo—are like people you probably recognize in your own organization, including yourself. Their tale is one of resistance to change and heroic action, seemingly intractable obstacles and clever tactics for dealing with those obstacles. The penguins offer an inspiring model as we all struggle to adapt to new circumstances.

Our Iceberg Is Meltingis based on John Kotter’s pioneer­ing research into the eight steps that can produce needed change in any sort of group. After finishing the story, you’ll have a powerful framework for influencing your own team, no matter how big or small..


Action Selling
by Duane Sparks

Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional, Even if You Think You Are Oneis the first book in the Action Selling Book Series. Told in a unique story format, Action Sellingpresents a proven system for managing and conducting the entire sales process that applies to any industry and dramatically improves the performance of salespeople with any level of experience.




Execution – Plain and Simple
by Robert Neiman

If you’re looking for breakthrough ways to keep your business goals on target and on deadline, here’s help. This is apractical job aid for any manager who needs to get an organization to execute better. Execution Plain and Simple provides a proven 12-step plan to get results, overcome delays, and achieve tough goals faster. This short book will help you generate momentum toward critical goals and achieve performance breakthroughs–no matter what the goal or project. Neiman

  • Reveals how to execute a goal on time and on budget
  • Shows how to cut through off-target diversions, flagging enthusiasm, and active resistance
  • Explains how to cultivate change and support growth

Features case examples from clients, including General Electric, Motorola, and many others


Flawless Execution 
by James Murphy

What can your business learn about execution from the American military’s fighter pilots? Plenty!  At Mach 2, the instrument panel of an F-15 is screaming out information, the horizon is a blur, the wingman is occupied, the jet is hanging on the edge—and yet fighter pilots routinely handle the stress. What works on the squadron level for F-15 pilots will also work for your marketing team, sales force, or research and development team. By analyzing the work environment and attacking its centers of gravity in parallel, you can learn to utilize the Plan-Brief-Execute-Debrief-Wincycle that will rapidly impact your business’s future success.




A Sense of Urgency 
by John Kotter

Most organizational change initiatives fail spectacularly (at worst) or deliver lukewarm results (at best). In his international bestseller Leading Change, John Kotter revealed why change is so hard, and provided an actionable, eight-step process for implementing successful transformations. With A Sense of Urgency, Kotter shines the spotlight on the crucial first step in his framework: creating a sense of urgency by getting people to actually see and feel the need for change.
Without urgency any change effort is doomed. Kotter reveals the insidious nature of complacency in all its forms and guises and shows:

· How to go beyond “the business case” for change to overcome the fear and anger that can suppress urgency
· Ways to ensure that your actions and behaviors — not just your words — communicate the need for change
· How to keep fanning the flames of urgency even after your transformation effort has scored some early successes


How Did That Happen?
by Roger Connors

What causes companies to get blindsided? Maybe the economy crashes; the government misfires; businesses fail; leaders don’t lead; managers don’t manage; or people don’t follow through. That can leave business leaders wondering, “How did that happen?” Surprises caused by a lack of personal accountability plague almost every organization today. How Did That Happen? offers a proven way to eliminate these nasty surprises, gain an unbeatable competitive edge, and enhance performance by holding others accountable the positive, principled way.




Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential
by Greg Crabtree

Take the mystery out of small business finance with this no-frills guide to understanding the numbers that will guide your business out of any financial black hole. Author Greg Crabtree, a successful accountant, small business advisor, and popular presenter, shows you how to use your firm’s key financial indicators as a basis for smart business decisions as you grow your firm from startup to $5 million (and, more!) in annual revenue. In this fascinating book you’ll discover:

  • Why your numbers are lying to you (and why you are the cause!)
  • How labor productivity is the key to profitability and simplifying human resource decisions
  • Why the amount of tax you pay is your #1 key performance indicator


Financial Intelligence
by Joe Knight

This accessible, jargon-free book is filled with engaging stories of real companies and gives nonfinancial managers the confidence to understand the nuances beyond the numbers. Inc. magazine calls it one of “the best, clearest guides to the numbers” on the market.



Built to Sell
by John Warrilow

Many business owners start companies in a search for more freedom. They want to control their own schedules. They want a higher level of compensation. And they often hope to retire with satisfaction from those labors. But most owners find themselves trapped in their own businesses because their companies can’t succeed without their involvement. Warrillow shows exactly what it takes to create a solid business that is valuable—and sellable whenever an owner wants out.




Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
by Alexander Osterwalder and Alexander Osterwalder

Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don’t yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation. It features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others.



The Automatic Customer
by John Warrilow

Having repeat customers is the lifeblood of any business. So how do you ensure a steady flow of repeat business? The secret—no matter what industry you’re in—is finding and keeping automatic customers.

These days you can conveniently purchase virtually anything you need through a subscription. According to John Warrillow, this emerging subscription economy offers huge opportunities to companies that know how to turn customers into subscribers. Automatic customers are the key to increasing cash flow, igniting growth and boosting the value of your company.
This book also shows you how to master the psychology of selling subscriptions and how to reduce churn and provides a roadmap for the essential statistics you need to measure the health of your subscription business.


by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head.  Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author, and journalist. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.




Keys to the Vault
by Keith Cunningham

If you have a great idea for a business but don’t know what to do next, this book was written for you. Keys to the Vault will help you finance your idea, ignite your business, and beat the odds. It covers everything you need to know, from how professional investors think to the nitty-gritty of developing a solid business plan and choosing the right legal and capital structure for your business. If you need the formula for finding the money and building a successful business, you will find it in Keys to the Vault.

The Ultimate Blueprint for an Insanely Successful Business
by Keith Cunningham

Candid and even blunt at times, businessman, entrepreneur, international speaker, and author, Keith Cunningham, reveals his core business principles, including why great operators get tired and how great business owners get rich. Cunningham outlines critical skills, tools, and strategies required to drive profits and maximize cash flow for any business, regardless of size or industry.

Getting to Plan B
by John Mullins and Randy Komisar

You have a new venture in mind. And you’ve crafted a business plan so detailed it’s a work of art. According to John Mullins and Randy Komisar, you shouldn’t get too attached to it. Getting to Plan B explains how new businesses are fraught with uncertainty and require real time changes to the plan in order to succeed. In fact, studies show that entrepreneurs who stick slavishly to their Plan A stand a greater chance of failing. The authors provide a rigorous process for stress testing your Plan A and determining how to alter it so your business makes money, solves customers’ needs, and endures. You’ll discover strategies for: Identifying the leap-of-faith assumptions hidden in your plan; Testing those assumptions and unearthing why the plan might not work; and reconfiguring the five components of your business model-revenue model, gross margin model, operating model, working capital model, and investment model-to create a sounder Plan B.



The Customer Funded Business
by John Mullins

More than two generations ago, the venture capital community (VCs, business angels, incubators and others) convinced the entrepreneurial world that writing business plans and raising venture capital were the foundations of any entrepreneurial endeavor. But the vast majority of fast-growing companies never take any venture capital. So where does the money come from to start and grow their companies? They get their cash from a much more agreeable and hospitable source: their customers! That’s exactly what some iconic brands such as Dell, Microsoft, Banana Republic, and other did. In The Customer Funded Business, best-selling author John Mullins uncovers five novel approaches that scrappy and innovative 21st century entrepreneurs have ingeniously adapted from these innovative icons:

  • Matchmaker models (Airbnb)
  • Pay-in-advance models (Threadless)
  • Subscription models (TutorVista)
  • Scarcity models (Vente Privee)
  • Service-to-product models (GoViral)

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur lacking the start-up capital you need, an early-stage entrepreneur trying to get your cash-starved venture into take-off mode, an “intrapreneur” seeking funding within an established company, or an angel investor or mentor who supports high-potential ventures, this book offers the most sure-footed path to starting, financing, or growing your venture.

Financial Modeling for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
by Tom Sawyer

Financial Modeling for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs: Developing Excel Models to Raise Capital, Increase Cash Flow, Improve Operations, Plan Projects, and Make Decisions may be one of the most important books any entrepreneur or manager in a small or medium-sized enterprise will read. It combines logical business principles and strategies with a step-by-step methodology for planning and modeling a company and solving specific business problems. You’ll learn to create operational and financial models in Excel that describe the workings of your company in quantitative terms and that make it far more likely you will avoid the traps and dead ends many businesses fall into. Written by serial entrepreneur and financial expert Tom Y. Sawyer, this book shows how to break your company into basic functional and operational components that can be modeled and be used to:

  • Raise capital for startup or any stage of growth
  • Plan projects and new initiatives
  • Make astute business decisions, including go/no-go assessments
  • Analyze ROI on your product development and marketing expenditures
  • Streamline operations, manage budgets, improve efficiency, and reduce costs

Value the business when it is time to cash out or merge

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
by Michael Michalowicz

Conventional accounting uses the logical (albeit, flawed) formula: Sales – Expenses = Profit. The problem is, humans run businesses, and humans aren’t always logical. Serial entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz has developed a behavioral approach to accounting to flip the formula: Sales – Profit = Expenses. Just as the most effective weight loss strategy is to limit portions by using smaller plates, Michalowicz shows that by taking profit first and apportioning only what remains for expenses, entrepreneurs canl transform their businesses from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows. Using Michalowicz’s Profit First system, readers will learn that:

  • Following 4 simple principles can simplify accounting and make it easier to manage a profitable business by looking at bank account balances.
  • A small, profitable business can be worth much more than a large business surviving on its top line
  • Businesses that attain early and sustained profitability have a better shot at achieving long-term growth



Personal Development

Start with Why
by Simon Sinek

In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn, inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY — the third most popular TED video of all time.

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? It all starts with why!


7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Steven Covey

This is one of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations. Learn how to develop habits that will change your life.

I’ll continue to post what I consider to be transformational books, so check back often for additional suggestions. You can also click here to see a more comprehensive (and growing) list of titles that can help you scale up your business.


The Answer
by John Assaraf and Murray Smith

New York Times bestselling author John Assaraf and business guru Murray Smith—two hugely successful entrepreneurs—combine forces to bring their insights and techniques together in a revolutionary guide for success in today’s business environment. They employ cutting-edge research into brain science and quantum physics to show how leaders can actually rewire their brains for success. They demonstrate the beliefs, habits, thoughts, and actions that they have used to build eighteen multimillion-dollar companies.




How Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie

One of the most groundbreaking and timeless best sellers of all time, Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. How to Win Friends & Influence People focuses on:

-Six ways to make people like you

-Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

-Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment


The SPEED of TRUST: The One Thing That Changes Everything
by Stephen M .R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill

Stephen M.R. Covey shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients and, employees—is essential to a successful organization. In fact, Covey postulates that trust is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organization. The Speed of Trust offers an unprecedented and practical look at exactly how trust functions in every transaction and relationship. It also discusses how to establish trust immediately so that you and your organization can avoid bureaucratic check–and–balance processes that are so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.




Crucial Conversations
by Stephen M .R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill

The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to:

  • Prepare for high-stakes situations
  • Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue
  • Make it safe to talk about almost anything
  • Be persuasive, not abrasive

Steven Covey says Crucial Conversations, “draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world. . . . This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our time.”


As Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul®, “The quality of your life comes out of the quality of your dialogues and conversations. Here’s how to instantly uplift your crucial conversations.”


The Oz Principles
by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

At the core of the authors’ message is the idea that when people take personal ownership of their organization’s goals and accept responsibility for their own performance, they become more invested and work at a higher level to ensure not only their own success but everyone’s. Now more than ever, The Oz Principle is vital to anyone charged with obtaining results. It is a must have, must read, and must apply classic business book.

QBQ: The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life
by John Miller and Kristin E. Lindeen

QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, addresses the most important issue in business and society today: personal accountability. A lack of personal accountability has resulted in an epidemic of blame, complaining, and procrastination. No organization-or individual-can achieve goals, compete in the marketplace, fulfill a vision, or develop people and teams without personal accountability. Instead of asking questions such as, “Who dropped the ball?” “Why can’t they do their work properly?” this book encourages questions along the lines of “How can I improve this situation?” “What can I contribute?” or “How can I make a difference?” It also provides a method for putting personal accountability into daily action, which can bring astonishing results: problems get solved, barriers come down, service improves, teamwork grows, and people adapt to change

The New One Minute Manager
by Ken Blanchard
For decades, The One Minute Manager® has helped millions achieve more successful professional and personal lives. While the principles it lays out are timeless, our world has changed drastically since the book’s initial publication. The exponential rise of technology, global flattening of markets, instant communication, and pressures on corporate workforces to do more with less are all things that have dramatically changed the business world. Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have written The New One Minute Manager to introduce the book’s powerful, important lessons to a new generation.
Now Discover Your Strengths
by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

How can you develop your strengths if you aren’t even aware of them? Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of the national bestseller First, Break All the Rules, and Donald O. Clifton, Chair of the Gallup International Research & Education Center, have created a revolutionary program to help readers identify their talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy consistent, near-perfect performance. At the heart of the book is the Internet-based StrengthsFinder® Profile. This book contains a unique identification number that allows you access to the StrengthsFinder Profile on the Internet. This Web-based interview analyzes your instinctive reactions and immediately presents you with your five most powerful signature themes. This book will show you how to leverage them for powerful results at three levels: for your own development, for your success as a manager, and for the success of your organization.


Strength Finder 2.0
by Tom Rath

All too often in the business world, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths. To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book spent more than five years on the bestseller lists and ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions to discover their top five talents. StrengthsFinder 2.0 unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes. Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself—and the world around you—forever.


Emotional Intelligence 2.0
by Travis Bradberry

In today’s fast-paced world of competitive workplaces and turbulent economic conditions, leaders are searching for effective tools that can help them manage, adapt, and strike out ahead of the pack. It’s no secret the emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential. Patrick Lencioni, author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, says, “This book can drastically change the way you think about success…read it twice.”




The Flipside
by Dr. Flip Flippen

Flip Flippen has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people—from business leaders like Jack Welch and Mark McCormack (founder of IMG), to sports figures like Terry Bradshaw and NASCAR drivers, to the 150,000 people who trained with his company, The Flippen Group.

The vast majority of Flip’s trainees find themselves asking, “How can I accomplish more in my life, both personally and professionally?” and “How can I get better/go further/be happier in the time I have left?” His Personal Constraint Theory helps them zero in on their primary self-sabotaging behavior and actually turn it into their greatest asset.

What if, instead of focusing on the things you already do well, you knew how to honestly identify those habitual behaviors that continually get in your way and prevent you from really succeeding? These weaknesses (or “personal constraints”) are what keep you from success. Correct these behaviors and you’ll see a dramatic surge in productivity



The 4-Hour Workweek
by Tim Ferriss

The concept of retirement (and the rest of the deferred-life plan) is outdated. There is no need to wait for retirement.  In fact, in unpredictable economic times there is every reason not to. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweekis the blueprint for achieving your goals.  You’ll discover:

  • How the author went from earning $40,000 per year (working 80 hours per week) to earning $40,000 per month (with a 4-hour workweek)
  • How to outsource parts of your life to overseas virtual assistants for just $5 per hour (freeing you up for other pursuits)
  • How to eliminate 50% of your work within 48 hours by applying the principles of a forgotten Italian economist

• How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”


Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor Frankel

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.



Smarter, Faster, Better
by Charles Duhigg

At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently—they view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways. Productivity relies on making certain choices. The way we frame our daily decisions; the big ambitions we embrace and the easy goals we ignore; the cultures we establish as leaders to drive innovation; the way we interact with data: These are the things that separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive. Learn to succeed with less stress and struggle, and to get more done without sacrificing what you care about most—to become smarter, faster, and better at everything you do.


The Slight Edge
by Jeff Olson

The Slight Edge is a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to success. Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. This approach shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you. The Slight Edge is “the key” that will make all the other how-to books and self-help information that you read, watch and hear actually work.




Purpose Driven Life
by Rick Warren

Rick Warren begins with the assumption that you are not an accident. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind, and he planned you for his purposes. These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever! Self-help books often suggest that you try to discover the meaning and purpose of your life by looking within yourself, but Rick Warren says that is the wrong place to start. You must begin with God, your Creator, and his reasons for creating you. The Purpose Driven Lifeis a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century—a lifestyle based on God’s eternal purposes, not cultural values. Rick Warren offers wisdom on the essence of what life is all about. This is a book of hope and challenge that you will read and re-read, and it will be a classic treasured by generations to come.