Archive for category Business book reviews

Book Review – Leadership (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

Dan 8A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu.

Leadership (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

By: Brian Tracy

I have read all of the books in Brian Tracy’s Success Library and found them all equally useful as well as readable and interesting. What I like about his newest book is that everything you need to be a great leader is right here in this very short, but very concise, volume.

From learning how to be a leader:

  • Be action oriented;
  • Have a vision;
  • Have a plan;
  • Know where you are going;
  • Lead by example.

With just a few minutes reading, Tracy allows you to discover all you need to develop into a strong leader.

But hold on–this book is much more important than that. This is what I call a “right-hand drawer book.” It’s the kind of inspiration stimulation tool you refer to again and again as you develop into a true leader.

Here, for example, are Tracy’s four basic steps to becoming a better leader:

  1. Do more of certain things. Do more of those things that are of greater value to you and more important to achieving your results as a leader.
  2. Do less of certain things. At the same time, you must deliberately decide to reduce the amount of time you spend on certain activities that impede your success as a leader.
  3. Start to do those things you aren’t doing that you need to be doing. What are the skills, competencies, or knowledge that you need to succeed as a leader? Identify them and then either acquire them or learn them.
  4. Stop doing certain things altogether. There may be certain activities that are no longer relevant to your goals as a leader…what was once important is no longer important and should no longer take up your time.

From the chapter on how to handle yourself in a crises:

  • Stay calm;
  • Be confident in your abilities;
  • Dare to go forward;
  • Get the facts;
  • Take control;
  • Cut your loses;
  • Manage the crises;
  • Communicate constantly;
  • Identify your constraints;
  • Unleash your creativity;
  • Counter-attack;
  • Keep things simple;
  • Never compromise your integrity; and
  • Persist until you succeed.

I know that many of us have heard and read these things before, but, then again, the truth is the truth and great is advice is just that–great advice. I look at this particular chapter as that fire extinguisher behind the glass you break in case an emergency or, in this case, a crisis.

I can say with one 100% honesty that I’ve used Tracy’s books in this way. I have used them as an emergency tool when I get intoa jam. I just take a deep breath, open my right-hand drawer, and read through the appropriate book until I find something that helps me to find the solution. You should try it…it works.

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Book Review – Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step out of Your Comfort Zone, and Create the Success You Want

dan-3A book review by Dan Beaulieu:

Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step out of Your Comfort Zone, and Create the Success You Want.

Author: Katie C. Kelley

This is a great book for all ages but particularly for those starting a career. If you have a son or daughter carving out a career path, this book is chock full of the right kind of advice for them. Or if you’re a person who started down one path, but are finding that it is just not you, this is a great book for you. If you’re middle aged and are looking to re-invent yourself, you’ll find this book especially helpful.

Writing with the insight of someone who has been there, Ms. Kelley offers a virtual handbook for finding yourself and what you want to do with your life. Not only will this book show you the way to get started it will also show you the way to accelerate your journey once you are on the right path. I especially appreciate the examples of real people that the author includes. Each chapter, on topics ranging from motivation and confidence to vision and harmony, expressively defines each step of the way, highlighting it with true life examples.

The book is filled with helpful, delectable little sections designed to allow the reader to participate in activities that drive the point of that chapter home. The book includes sections like “Coach’s Challenge,” which helps the reader to think things through by applying the challenges to his own situation; and “Game Time,” where the author wraps up each chapter with summaries of what we have learned in that chapter and applying them to our own situations.

This is one of those books that you don’t realize you need until you open it. This book stimulates your mind and makes you think about things you should be thinking about, from your career to your life. People of all ages can benefit greatly from reading Career Courage.

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Book Review – Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step out of Your Comfort Zone, and Create the Success You Want

dan-3A book review by Dan Beaulieu:

Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step out of Your Comfort Zone, and Create the Success You Want.

Author: Katie C. Kelley

This is a great book for all ages but particularly for those starting a career. If you have a son or daughter carving out a career path, this book is chock full of the right kind of advice for them. Or if you’re a person who started down one path, but are finding that it is just not you, this is a great book for you. If you’re middle aged and are looking to re-invent yourself, you’ll find this book especially helpful.

Writing with the insight of someone who has been there, Ms. Kelley offers a virtual handbook for finding yourself and what you want to do with your life. Not only will this book show you the way to get started it will also show you the way to accelerate your journey once you are on the right path. I especially appreciate the examples of real people that the author includes. Each chapter, on topics ranging from motivation and confidence to vision and harmony, expressively defines each step of the way, highlighting it with true life examples.

The book is filled with helpful, delectable little sections designed to allow the reader to participate in activities that drive the point of that chapter home. The book includes sections like “Coach’s Challenge,” which helps the reader to think things through by applying the challenges to his own situation; and “Game Time,” where the author wraps up each chapter with summaries of what we have learned in that chapter and applying them to our own situations.

This is one of those books that you don’t realize you need until you open it. This book stimulates your mind and makes you think about things you should be thinking about, from your career to your life. People of all ages can benefit greatly from reading Career Courage.

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Book Review – You’ve Got 00:00:08 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World

dan-1

A book review from Dan Beaulieu:

You’ve Got 00:00:08 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World

By Paul Hellman

Copyright: Amacon 2017

Pages: 169 with Index

Price: $17.95

Getting their attention and keeping it

This book is loaded with just the right tips and tools that you need to be an effective communicator. Okay you’ve work hard to get that appointment and it has paid off. There you are sitting directly in front of “the man” the guy you have been killing yourself to see for many months. The problem is that he is barely listening to you. He is fiddling with his phone, opening, and closing desk drawers and doing everything he can to let you know that he has no interest in what you must say. So, what do you do? You read Paul Hellman’s book and find out. The answer is in there.

You keep calling this prospect but all you get in voice mail, and the guy never calls you back. You call one more time and sure enough it goes to voice mail. What do you do? What kind of message to you leave? Easy go to pages 124 and 125 of this book and find out.

You have to give a presentation to a potential new account. There are millions of dollars on the line if everything goes well. You’re really sweating it because so much is counting on the next ten minutes of your life. What do you do? Okay enough mystery, this time I will tell you. From chapter 12 of this book titled, not coincidentally “Presentation Tricks you do these things:

  • Treat each slide as a presentation
  • Use three ways to capture attention
  • Use less text
  • Encourage interaction

And finally, and I love this one, fake it. That’s right if you are not a good presenter then just act like you are and you will be.

Heard enough yet. Look this is the kind of book that you might be tempted to overlook because if you’re anything like me you think that you’ve got this problem handled and don’t need any help…but you’re wrong, you need all the help you can get and this book will provide that help.

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Book Review – I Hear You: Repair Communication Breakdowns, Negotiate Successfully, and Build Consensus…In Three Simple Steps

dan-5A book review from Dan Beaulieu:

I Hear You: Repair Communication Breakdowns, Negotiate Successfully, and Build Consensus…In Three Simple Steps

Author: Donny Ebenstein

If your life is conflict free you don’t need this book, but then again who are you kidding?

This is the kind of book that you just don’t expect to see on a business bookshelf. In fact, you probably would not go looking for this book in the first place. After all, who thinks they need a book about resolving conflicts? It turns out we all do, whether it’s communicating with our boss, a co-worker, a customer or a neighbor; we all need the skills that Donny Ebenstein writes about in this book.

My favorite part of this book, besides the tools he teaches of course, was the fact that he uses real-life examples to set the stage for each step — each simple step, as he says. By using those specific examples (names changed to protect everyone, by the way) he then shows that by using the techniques laid out in the book you can, as he says, “repair communication breakdowns.” The key to what Ebenstein is writing about is flexibility to get in the other person’s head, walk in their shoes, if you will, and see things from their point of view…but without giving up on your own. Not an easy task that.

This is why we need techniques laid out here so that we can hold two points of view at the same time, thus allowing us the ability to work with the other party, come together, and develop a consensus that both sides can not only just live with but be able to love with. Like every elegant solution, this all sounds very easy, but it is only by following Ebenstein’s expert advice that we can even hope to get to the point where we can do this on our own while leaving our emotions at the door. Whether you are a teacher dealing with an administrator, an attorney trying to mediate a divorce, or a salesperson trying to make that sale with a difficult customer, this one is for you.

Don’t live another day without it.

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Book Review – What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint

dan-7A book review from Dan Beaulieu:

What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint

Author: Nicholas Webb Amacom, 2017

Price: $25.00

Customer service is out and customer experience is in. It’s not enough to deliver great customer service any more—you must instead deliver an entire customer experience and a great experience at that. Customers want to feel good about the very act of working with you. They want to feel that you are on their side and that you have their best interests at heart. This book goes beyond traditional thoughts about service. In the first part of the book, the author discusses something we have all become aware of and that is creating customer value. He points out that it is much more effective to keep a customer happy than it is to get a new customer. From the book: “…probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20 percent, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent.” Mr. Webb goes on to explain just how we can provide value to our customers. He describes in detail how to create customer confidence in you, your company and your products and services. This is one of those books that inspires great thoughts and ideas by giving the reader “triggers” that encourages thinking about customers in a way you have not done before. He shows you how to put yourself in their place and grow your understanding of how they view you and your company, and most importantly, what they expect from you. I especially like the section entitled, “Make an upset customer a lifelong customer in five easy steps.” From the book:

1. Affirm: Create a complete understanding of the problem and what it means to the customer.

2. Listen: Yes, shut up and listen and hear exactly what the customer is saying to you.

3. Confirm: Repeat back to the customer what the problem is so that he understands that you understand…that you get it.

4. Fix: You know what the problem is, now fix it.

5. Follow up: Yes, follow up to make sure that the problem is solved and the customer is completely satisfied.

I would add one of my own and that is to do all of this as quickly as possible so that the situation is alleviated in the blink of an eye. Doing this will in fact make the customer respect you for life. There is much too much in this book to cover it all. There is valuable information, from learning everything you can about your customers to getting referrals and recommendations. This is a must have for anyone who is serious about customer service and retention…and who isn’t?

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Book Review: Super Communicator

dan-2A book review from Dan Beaulieu:

Super Communicator: Explaining the Complicated So Anyone Can Understand

By: Frank J. Pietrucha

One of the greatest gifts anyone can have is the ability to communicate. This is especially true when it comes to subjects like technology. An Wang of Wang Computers said years ago, “A true genius is a person who can make difficult things seem easy.” The reason the late Carl Sagan of “billions and billions” fame was so successful is because he was able to take difficult and seemingly boring subjects and make them easy to understand and fascinating.

In this new book by Frank Pietrucha you can learn to do the same: Explain anything in an easy to understand manner.

Think how important and effective this can be to your business. If you are in sales, for example, and are able to describe your products and their benefits in a way that your customers are going to understand you will be that much more successful. Think about it…marketing is all about effective communication.

Through a number of very pertinent, real-life examples, the author demonstrates how you can take complicated things and make them seem easy. The first example he uses is how to explain Higgs Boson. It doesn’t get more complicated than that right? The author shows how by what he calls, “delivering meaning.” In other words, making your explanation meaningful to your audience. He was able to explain this complicated discovery so that everyone could understand not only what it was, but, more importantly, why it was so meaningful to all of us. So for those of us who did not understand the importance of this discovery, here’s his explination:

The discovery of the elusive Higgs boson confirms the theory that scientists have been using to understand how the universe works. Physicists are celebrating this breakthrough because it can lead to other significant findings like the discovery of quantum mechanics did almost a century ago. Quantum mechanics lead to the invention of many of the twentieth century’s most notable technologies…like cell phones, computers, and even the atomic bomb. The discovery of the Higgs boson could me equally important…if not more so. It can lead to innovations we can’t yet imagine.

Okay now I get it.

The book is filled with tools we can use to also become “Super Communicators.” The author shows us how to use his simple guidelines effectively. Here are a few basic guidelines:

  • Lead with the conclusion;
  • Use big words sparingly;
  • Combat jargon use;
  • Avoid acronyms;
  • Short sentences and short paragraphs;
  • Sync your message to your audience’s culture; and
  • Make it error free.

And the one guideline that is the most important: Humanize your message. In other words, make it relatable to your immediate audience.

I have yet to find a book on communications that addresses these very important issues in such an effective way. It provides all of us who have to communicat (which is all of us) with the tools we need to be better communicators.

Check this book out and start your journey to becoming a super communicator and successfully get your point across.

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