Recommended Books

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

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887307280, Paperback- $10.40 BUY

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


First, Break All the Rules - What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
ISBN: 0684852861, Hardcover- $19.80 BUY

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman expose the fallacies of standard management thinking in First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. In seven chapters, the two consultants for the Gallup Organization debunk some dearly held notions about management, such as "treat people as you like to be treated"; "people are capable of almost anything"; and "a manager's role is diminishing in today's economy." "Great managers are revolutionaries," the authors write. "This book will take you inside the minds of these managers to explain why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place."


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

by Jim Collins
ISBN: 0066620996, Hardcover- $15.51 BUY

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

by Fred Crawford, Ryan Mathews
ISBN: 0609608207, Paperback- $11.70 BUY

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

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


Raving Fans - A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

by Kenneth H. Blanchard, Sheldon Bowles (Contributor)
ISBN: 0688123163, Hardcover- $13.60 BUY

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


Differentiate or Die - Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition

by Jack Trout, Steve Rivkin (Contributor)
ISBN: 0471357642, Hardcover- $18.45 BUY

There are no two ways about it with Jack Trout. Either you've got a product or service that you can say is different, or you don't have much at all. In today's global marketplace and at its lightning-fast rate of change, there's no point in inventing and presenting a product only to sit back and hope that consumers everywhere will discover its greatness. It's not simply about what you or your product can do, it's about what you do differently from everyone else. Coauthors Trout and Steve Rivkin say it all in their no-holds-barred title, Differentiate or Die.


Leadership

by Rudolph W. Giuliani, Ken Kurson
ISBN: 0786868414, Hardcover- $17.13 BUY

This highly anticipated book from New York's once controversial, now beloved former mayor opens with a gripping account of Giuliani's immediate reaction to the September 11 attacks, including a narrow escape from the original crisis command headquarters, and closes with the efforts to address the aftermath during his remaining four months in office. But, he argues, he did not suddenly become a great leader on September 11, and "had been doing [my] best to take on challenges my whole career."

Throughout, he displays the hands-on management that marked his administration, including his willingness to respond swiftly and in person to crises, to prove that he could be relied on when the city needed him most. While some critics found his style too aggressive, he has an effective counterargument: "Before September 11, there were those who said we were being overly concerned [about security]," he observes. "We didn't hear that afterwards..."


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

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671708635, Paperback- $9.00 BUY

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


Principle-Centered Leadership

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671792806, Paperback- $9.90 BUY

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


The Richest Man in Babylon

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

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

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

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


The Wealthy Barber, Updated 3rd Edition

by David Chilton
ISBN: 0761513116, Paperback- $11.20 BUY

In this revised and expanded edition of one of the biggest-selling financial-planning books ever, David Chilton, president of Financial Awareness Corporation, shows readers how to achieve the financial independence they've always dreamed of. With the help of his fictional barber, Roy, and a large dose of humor, Chilton encourages readers to take control of their financial future and build wealth slowly, steadily, and with sure success.



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