Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of your Growing Firm – by Verne Harnish, 2002
Cheryl Beth’s note: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits is our “bible” for small and mid-market company growth and sustainability – not just another approach for strategic thinking and planning, but more importantly Verne Harnish provides the keys for effective “implementation management”. This great book offers a clear methodology for holding efficient and actionable annual and quarterly planning meetings, aligning a management team and creating clear and open communication throughout a company. It’s a must-read for all size businesses, big or small!
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t – by Jim Collins, 2001
Cheryl Beth’s note: Every executives want to know the critical factors that lay a path for business “greatness.” They’re all outlined here in Jim Collins’ seminal work. With an emphasis on getting the right talent and proactively managing your people, having a robust strategy, and creating a culture of discipline, Good to Great is another one of our “pillars” for performance. It will challenge and change the way you think about business and leadership. A must-read!
| PEOPLE |
First, Break all the Rules – by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
Cheryl Beth’s note: Our “go to” book for all things people and management related. Gallup has written the seminal work around engaging your workforce and has the tools to go along with their research. This is just the first book in the series – and includes the now famous Q12 to measure engagement as well as the Gallup performance management system – in the appendix. Other follow on books include Now, Discover Your Strengths as well as Strengths-based Leadership which all of our clients use to help them identify Talents and nurture them.
Who: The A Method for Hiring – by Geoff Smart
Cheryl Beth’s note: If you struggle to find and hire the right people (“who” doesn’t?), Geoff Smart and Randy Street give you a simple, practical and effective solution with great tools to get on track with your hiring. You’ll save thousands of dollars and countless hours of wasted effort in the process. Based on more than 1,300 hours of interviews with more than 300 CEO’s, TopGrading™ is the most robust hiring process that we know of – and is guaranteed to increase your success rate significantly. And help you create a team of high-performing A Players! Make sure to take special note of Chapter 2 on creating Scorecards for all positions in your company.
| CASH |
Cheryl Beth’s note: As one entrepreneur puts it, “Save yourself millions and buy Greg’s book!”. This is a fabulous and simple “no-frills” guide to understanding the numbers that will help you steer your business out of financial blackholes AND into profitable waters. Greg Crabtree presents his tools and thought-processes in an easy to follow, step by step process and has additional resources on his website as well, www.seeingbeyondnumbers.com. You’ll learn the most common financial errors committed by growing companies as well as how to avoid them.
Cheryl Beth’s note: Along with The Great Game of Business, these books are management “classics” written by Jack Stack, the founder of SRC Holdings, and Bo Burlingham about creating a culture of ownership based on the principles of open book management. They tell the story of Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation and how the company was designed as a community where employees have a real stake in the company’s success, eventually creating a corporation of over 30 companies with over $1B in sales. Entertaining, inspiring and extremely practical – for fans and wannabees of Open Book Management, as well as the potential behind employee ownership – these books are must reads!
| EXECUTION |
Death by Meeting – Patrick Lencioni
Cheryl Beth’s note: Looking for the secrets to great Execution and improved Accountability? Look no further than Patrick Lencioni’s classic. Along with “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and “The Advantage”, Lencioni lays out a step by step meeting process to help you stay on top of your numbers and your plans and build accountability in your company. And like many of his books, the “answers” are in the appendix – as well as on the website, www.thetablegroup.com.
| STRATEGY |
Cheryl Beth’s note: Discover the step-by-step R-O-A-R system you can use to boost your sales and marketing results in Kevin Daum’s entertaining and insightful novel. You’ll get practical tools and tips, including a template to help you reframe your Value Proposition, detailed discussions of the four types of buyers and strategies for selling to each, plus interview questions you can customize. Check out Kevin’s website www.kevindaum.com for his Value Prop exercises. Take that to the next level by working through Kevin’s 100 Questions to help you to be more “intentional” in your marketing at this link.
Cheryl Beth’s note: If you’re a business owner, sales leader or sales person for a solid sales book, this one is definitely worth a read. Most people know by now that consultative selling is very effective because it’s based on delivering tangible benefits either from the offerings or from a smoother relationship between customer and supplier. But it’s a challenging approach to learn and even harder to master. Enter Dave Kurlan with his baseball metaphor which makes a world of difference in both areas. We’ve found that people trained in this method remember what they are supposed to do about twice as often as with traditional training in consultative selling. And that impacts their results. It’s a simple and effective approach for accelerating sales and helping your team to deliver. More can be found at his website, www.baselineselling.com.
| LEADERSHIP |
There are thousands of books on leadership and how to become a great leader, but these three are our favorites – because they focus on getting your own act together – FIRST.
How to Find Your Mission In Life – Richard Nelson Bolles, 2005
Cheryl Beth’s note: In this intimate treasury of wit and wisdom, Richard Bolles, author of the job-hunting bible, What Color is Your Parachute? explores the spiritual aspects of finding one’s place in the work world. For anyone who has ever wondered how to make the most of their unique natural gifts, or how to find a vocation that is both socially responsible and personally fulfilling, this enlightening and empowering little volume provides immeasurable guidance. An enlightening read for all CEO’s especially – as well as their teams.
Cheryl Beth’s note: A master teacher of positive change through powerful communication, Susan Scott’s book has been a staple of ours for over a decade. In this guide, which includes exercises and tools to take you step by step through the Seven Principles of Fierce Conversations, Scott teaches readers how to overcome barriers to meaningful communication; expand and enrich conversations with colleagues, friends, and family; increase clarity and improve understanding; and handle strong emotions – on both sides of the table. Scott offers the type of concrete advice and confidence-building counsel that should help even the most reticent improve their communication skills dramatically, and become a better leader in the process.
Eat Move Sleep – Tom Rath
Cheryl Beth’s Note: Known for his work on enhancing potential in organizations, Tom Rath, author of “How Full is Your Bucket” and “Strengths-based Leadership” has turned his talent to how the little decisions about mundane things, from what you eat to how you sleep, can have a significant impact on your life. Not only has he thoroughly researched the topics of exercising, sleeping and eating because of his own health issues but he also offers readers specific, actionable guidance that will make an immediate difference in your life. One small step at a time.
Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All – Jim Collins, 2001
Cheryl Beth’s note: For those of you who are well familiar with Good to Great and have already applied the concepts talked about above, make sure to check out Great by Choice for some of Collins’ advanced work on creating solid strategy and staying on course as your company grows.
The Great Game of Business: Unlocking the Power and Profitability of Open-Book – Jack Stack, Bo Burlingham, 1994
Cheryl Beth’s note: Along with A stake in the Outcome, these books are management “classics” written by Jack Stack, the founder of SRC Holdings, and Bo Burlingham about creating a culture of ownership based on the principles of open book management. They tell the story of Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation and how the company was designed as a community where employees have a real stake in the company’s success, eventually creating a corporation of over 30 companies with over $1B in sales. Entertaining, inspiring and extremely practical – for fans and wannabees of Open Book Management, as well as the potential behind employee ownership – these books are must reads!