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Recommended Books



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

by Jim Collins
ISBN: 0066620996, Hardcover- $16.50 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.


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

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887307280, Paperback- $9.60 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.


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.


McDonald's - Behind the Arches

by John F. Love
ISBN: 0553347594, Paperback- $11.05 BUY

McDonald's: it is the world's premier entrepreneurial success story, a company whose growth worldwide continues to be astonishing. In tough financial times, McDonald's proved that ingenuity, trial and error, and gut instinct were the keys to building a service business the entire world has come to admire. In the years since McDonald's: Behind The Arches was first published, McDonald's has been a trendsetter in advertising, focusing on different ethnic groups as well as the physically disabled.

McDonald's created McJobs, a program that employs both mentally challenged adults and senior citizens. And because its franchisees have their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace, McDonald's has evolved successfully with the health food revolution, launching dozens of new products and moving toward environmentally-safe packaging and recyclable goods. Inspiring, informative, and filled with behind the scenes stories, this remarkable saga offers an irresistible look inside a great American business success.


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

by Fred Crawford, Ryan Mathews
ISBN: 0609608207, Hardcover- $19.25 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.


Practice What You Preach - What Managers Must Do to Create a High-Achievement Culture

by David H. Maister
ISBN: 0743211871, Hardcover- $18.20 BUY

Maister, a professional service consultant, surveyed 6,500 employees at 50 worldwide companies to evaluate the relationship between company financial performance and employee satisfaction and loyalty. He found a direct and dramatic correlation. Here, he offers detailed commentary from CEOs, managers and staffers, and analysis of the survey results. Bosses in all kinds of companies will benefit from his solid advice, which should be required reading for executives and upper level managers.


Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life

by Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard
ISBN: 0399144463, Paperback- $12.97 BUY

Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives. Who Moved My Cheese? is a parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings live in that maze: Sniff and Scurry are mice--nonanalytical and nonjudgmental, they just want cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Hem and Haw are "littlepeople," mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It's not just sustenance to them; it's their self-image.

Their lives and belief systems are built around the cheese they've found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods--our jobs, our career paths, the industries we work in--although it can stand for anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out.


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

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671708635, Paperback- $11.20 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- $9.75 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 E-Myth Manager - Why Management Doesn't Work-And What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887309593, Paperback- $11.02 BUY

More than ten years after his first bestselling book, The E-Myth, changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of small business owners, Michael Gerber - entrepreneur, author, and speaker extraordinaire fires the next salvo in his highly successful E-Myth Revolution. Drawing on lessons learned from working with more than 15,000 small, medium-sized, and very large organizations, Gerber has discovered the truth behind why management doesn't workand what to do about it.

Unearthing the arbitrary origins of commonly held doctrines such as the omniscience of leader (Emperor) and the most widely embraced myth of all. The E-Myth Manager offers a fresh, provocative alternative to management as we know it. It explores why every manager must take charge of his own life, reconcile his own personal vision with that of the organization, and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set to achieve true success.


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