Last week, Marshall Goldsmith was in town for our private LeaveSmarter event, sponsored by BMO Harris and Whyte Hirschboek Dudek. Marshall delivered a moving hour-long talk on effecting positive change through proven methods. As Dr. Goldsmith puts it, the key to improvement is not simply knowing what to do. The key is simply doing what we already know we should do.
May 8, 2013
February 6, 2013
Marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and everyone else are flocking to sunny Costa Mesa, California in anticipation of a rare and breathtaking Seth Godin appearance on Friday, March 15th. This event is scheduled to run from 6:30 to 8pm, and doors will open at 5pm for a special networking and book-signing session. Entry is $85, which includes two copies of The Icarus Deception and one copy of V is for Vulnerable, which will be mailed to your home prior to the event, courtesy of 800-CEO-READ. This event is limited to 1000 entrants.
What do you need to do to gain access to this once-in-a-lifetime event? Luckily, you’re already half way there (i.e. you are reading this blog post). Now simply go register (you’re almost there!). And of course, if you have any questions relating to the details of the event, you can contact the event organizer, Bryan Elliott. If you’re a risk-taker and you don’t want to register in advance, tickets will be available at the door, but again, the event is limited to 1000, and door tickets do not include the books.
Register to see Seth Godin live in Orange County on March 15th.
Limited to 1000
Oh no, you can’t make it to Orange County in March?! We’re heartbroken, but we understand. Fortunately, Seth has something else in store for you. Something big. Something BEHEMOTH. This special offer goes by the name Supersneezer Deluxe, and it includes a 10-pack of standard books: two copies V is for Vulnerable and eight copies The Icarus Deception. Right now you’re thinking, “ten books is a lot,” but guess what: the deal is actually for eleven (11) books. The eleventh book is none other than Seth’s very limited, enormous 800-page book (see photo). The price-tag on this 11-book bundle is $185, a chunk of which will go toward a $10,000 donation Seth is making to the Acumen Foundation. To buy the bundle and for even more details, visit the bundle page.
This Supersneezer Deluxe bundle is strictly limited to 300, and folks, as of this posting, THEY’RE NEARLY GONE. You might want to hurry!
Buy the Supersneezer Deluxe bundle.
Limited to 300
December 31, 2012
We move a whole lot of business books around the world from our humble offices here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Each and every month, we compile our sales numbers and release a bestseller list to recognize the books that are heading out to businesspeople, business schools, and entrepreneurs to help spread ideas, solve problems, promote change, and inspire leadership in the business community. We’ve now compiled those numbers for the entire year, giving weight to both total sales numbers and how long each book stayed on the list (and at what number) and are happy to announce
the bestsellers of 2012.
- From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership by Harry M Jansen Kraemer, Jossey-Bass
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful (Revised) by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter, Hyperion Books
- New Power Base Selling: Master the Politics, Create Unexpected Value and Higher Margins, and Outsmart the Competition by Jim Holden & Ryan Kubacki, John Wiley & Sons
- Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business by Frances Frei & Anne Morriss, Harvard Business Review Press
- End of Business as Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution by Brian Solis, John Wiley & Sons
- The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick M Lencioni, Jossey-Bass
- Taking People with You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen by David Novak, Portfolio
- Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street by John Taft, John Wiley & Sons
- Relationship Economics: Transform Your Most Valuable Business Contacts Into Personal and Professional Success (Revised, Updated) by David Nour, John Wiley & Sons
- Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, Gallup Press
- 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, & Jim Huling, Free Press
- Conversations That Win the Complex Sale: Using POWER MESSAGING to Create More Opportunities, Differentiate Your Solutions, and Close More Deals by Erik Peterson & Timothy Riesterer, McGraw-Hill
- Own Your Success: The Power to Choose Greatness and Make Every Day Victorious by Ben Newman, John Wiley & Sons
- Business of Being the Best: Inside the World of Go-Getters and Game Changers by Molly Fletcher with Justin Spizman, Jossey-Bass
- The $10 Trillion Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India by By Michael J Silverstein, Abheek Singhi, Carol Liao, & David Michael, Harvard Business Review Press
- The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon, John Wiley & Sons
- Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World by Gail F. Goodman, John Wiley & Sons
- The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg, John David Mann, Portfolio
- Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen, HarperBusiness
- Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies by Jim Stengel, Crown Business
- The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin, The Penguin Press
- The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards, Portfolio
- How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership by Marilyn Carlson Nelson with Deborah Cundy, McGraw-Hill
- Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired–And Secretive–Company Really Works by Adam Lashinsky, Business Plus
- How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything (Expanded) by Dov Seidman, John Wiley & Sons
To see what thought leaders and business people are digesting and suggesting every month, you can follow The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Bestseller List on our website.
July 18, 2012
With the sad and startling news that Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, had passed away earlier this week, we were reflecting on the contributions he had made to the business book industry as well as those he gave generously to us at 800-CEO-READ. And in that reflection, we recalled a Q&A he did for us last year to promote his then new book, The 3rd Alternative, which was released in paperback this April. We hadn’t yet used the Q&A as we hoped to soon incorporate it into an Exploration within our new KnowledgeBlocks program. Instead of waiting for one of our KnowledgeBlocks topics to align with the message of The 3rd Alternative, we thought it would be best to share Covey’s words with you now because there is just so much goodness here. Synergy. Empathy. Results.
Q: Tell me about the concept of synergy as it relates to The 3rd Alternative.
A: Most conflicts have two sides — My Way and Your Way. The 3rd Alternative is a higher and better way that exceeds the expectations of both sides. You get to The 3rd Alternative through a process called synergy.
Synergy happens when two or more people produce a result that’s greater than any of them could produce by themselves. 1 + 1 = more than 2. It can equal 3 or 10 or 1,000! When redwood trees mingle their roots, they stand strong against the wind and grow to incredible heights. Birds in a “V” formation can fly nearly twice as far as a lone bird because of the updrafts they create. Two pieces of wood carry exponentially more weight than one piece can bear.
We experience synergy every day. One child alone can’t reach even one apple; but when another child stands on his shoulders, they can reach all the apples they want. In a conflict situation, synergy can produce an exciting, new-to-the-world solution that makes the conflict irrelevant.
Q: In your book, you cite the example of how you effectively used The 3rd Alternative at a meeting of a world leadership group at which the attendees had varying agendas. How did that work so well?
A: This was a meeting of the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims, whose purpose was to build a better relationship between the United States and the world Islamic community. In that room were some of the world’s most eminent scholars, religious leaders, and diplomats, including former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
At our first meeting, it became obvious that everyone had an agenda. It was all rather formal and cool, and you could just feel the tension. That was on a Sunday.
I asked them if they would allow me to teach them about The 3rd Alternative and empathic communication the night the conference opened, and they graciously agreed. For two days everyone practiced empathy with each other.
By Tuesday night the whole atmosphere had changed. The private agendas had been shelved. We had arrived at an exciting resolution that we had never anticipated. The people in the room were filled with respect and love for one another — you could see it, and you could feel it. Secretary Albright whispered to me, “I’ve never seen anything so powerful. What you’ve done here could totally revolutionize international diplomacy.”
Q: What is empathic listening and why is it important?
A: People can’t get to synergy if they are unable to see beyond their own positions in a conflict. Empathy means really listening and understanding where the other person is coming from. It means suspending agreement or disagreement and just understanding. It means you gain a full sense of what that person thinks and feels. Synergy requires empathy because no one has a corner on good ideas, and we access one another’s best thinking through empathic listening.
Q: How does it help when all parties in a dispute feel they have been heard?
A: When people feel empathically understood, their hearts are satisfied and their minds open. It’s like air to a suffocating person. When people feel understood, you can’t stop 3rd Alternatives from flowing. The key is the heart. Until we understand people’s hearts, not just their minds and ideologies, the walls stay up. That’s why it’s absolutely essential to create opportunities for people to listen to each other with the heart, mind, and spirit. Only then can people move past the destructive “my way vs. your way” to a 3rd Alternative.
Q: Why is compromise considered an inferior alternative?
A: Synergy is not the same thing as compromise. In a compromise, 1 + 1 = 1 ½ at best. Everybody loses something. Synergy is not just resolving a conflict. When we get to synergy, we transcend the conflict. We go beyond it to something new, something that excites everyone with fresh promise and transforms the future.
Both parties in a compromise surrender some of their own interests to get to resolution. This is called a “lose-lose” situation — the opposite of synergy, which is always a “win-win” situation. People might walk away from a compromise satisfied but never delighted. The relationship is weakened, and too often the dispute just flares up again.
Q: How can this principle be helpful across all aspects of one’s life?
A: Seeking The 3rd Alternative is an ideal way to deal with conflict of any kind. But it is also a key to creating new solutions to chronic problems and making innovative decisions. Almost all innovation is the product of synergistic thinking. For example, the first electronic calculator came about through synergies between a church organ, a weaving machine, and electrical engineering.
Moreover, synergy is the very essence of a creative, supportive family. Family members can turn conflict into creativity if they get into the habit of looking for 3rd Alternatives to their problems.
January 16, 2012
The power of storytelling in business is not a new subject, but it is an under-utilized skill because oftentimes what makes a person a good leader doesn’t make for a good story teller. But a good story isn’t the sole property of the marketing department; instead, anyone can master some basic techniques for selling themselves or their point of view or their long-term vision through story. Here are some of the best books to help you work on your story craft.
The Modern Classic
Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling by Annette Simmons, Doug Lipman
“Simmons identifies the six stories you need to know how to tell and demonstrates how they can be applied. The revised edition offers a guide to using storytelling in specific business circumstances, including corporate reorganizations, layoffs, and diversity issues.”
The Master Storyteller
“This book shows how storytelling is one of the few ways to handle the most important and difficult challenges of leadership: sparking action, getting people to work together, and leading people into the future. Using myriad illustrative examples and filled with how-to techniques, this book clearly explains “how” you can learn to tell the right story at the right time.”
The Best Seller
“Peter Guber, whose executive and entrepreneurial accomplishments have made him a success in multiple industries, has long relied on “purposeful story telling” to motivate, win over, shape, engage and sell. Indeed, what began as knack for telling stories as an entertainment industry executive has, through years of perspiration and inspiration, evolved into a set of principles that anyone can use to achieve their goals.”
The Picture Maker
Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte
“Presentations are meant to inform, inspire, and persuade audiences. So why then do so many audiences leave feeling like they’ve wasted their time? All too often, presentations don’t resonate with the audience and move them to transformative action. This book helps you make a strong connection with your audience and lead them to purposeful action.”
The New Kids on the Block
Storybranding: Creating Stand-Out Brands Through the Power of Story by Jim Signorelli
“Modeled after the way stories work, this book provides a unique planning process for creating authentic brand identities. It also reveals a number of concealed traps that other branding approaches often overlook. Drawing on the persuasive power of stories, the author argues that a great deal of wasted effort is put into creating advertising messages that do too much ‘telling’ and too little ‘showing.’”
“A guide to crafting unforgettable, attention-grabbing business communications–from speeches and letters to business plans–using stories from the world’s top business leaders. It’s an easy-to-use reference for anyone who needs to lead, inspire, and motivate an audience in a business setting, whether they’re writing speeches, pep talks, interview talking points, employee letters, or Op- Eds.”
December 31, 2011
2011 was the second year that Inc. magazine partnered with us to spread the word on what books are leaving our warehouse in great numbers every month, heading out to businesspeople and their organizations to solve problems, promote change and inspire leadership. We’ve now compiled the Inc./800-CEO-READ Business Book Bestseller numbers for the entire year, giving weight to both total sales numbers and how long each book stayed on the list (and at what number). And, for the second straight year, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath has topped the list. Here are the rest of
the bestsellers of 2011.
- Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, Gallup Press
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter, Hyperion Books
- From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership by Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jossey-Bass
- Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself by William C. Taylor, William Morrow & Company
- The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk, HarperBusiness
- What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential by Robert Steven Kaplan, Harvard Business School Press
- How to Market to People Not Like You: “Know It or Blow It” Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers by Kelly McDonald, John Wiley & Sons
- Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg & John David Mann, Portfolio
- Make It in America: The Case for Re-Inventing the Economy by Andrew Liveris, John Wiley & Sons
- Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education by Robert T. Kiyosaki, Plata Publishing
- Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us about Innovation by Frans Johansson, Harvard Business School Press
- The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social by Jay Baer & Amber Naslund, John Wiley & Sons
- Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines—And How It Will Change Our Lives by Miguel Nicolelis, Times Books
- From the Jungle to the Boardroom by Mike Monahan, Beacon Publishing
- Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money by Robert T. Kiyosaki, Business Plus
- Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage by Scott Keller & Colin Price, John Wiley & Sons
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath, Broadway Business
- Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence by Tim Sanders, Tyndale House Publishers
- Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter, Hyperion Books
- Relationship Economics: Transform Your Most Valuable Business Contacts Into Personal and Professional Success (Revised, Updated) by David Nour, John Wiley & Sons
- It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by D. Michael Abrashoff, Warner Books
- The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin, The Penguin Press
- Look at More: A Proven Approach to Innovation, Growth, and Change by Andy Stefanovich, Jossey-Bass
- Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life by Stefan Swanepoel, John Wiley & Sons
- The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don’t by Kenneth L Fisher with Jennifer Chou & Lara Hoffmans, John Wiley & Sons
To stay up to date on what businesses and business leaders are reading, whether it’s address a specific problem, build teams, deepen their knowledge or enlighten the way their entire organization thinks, subscribe to the RSS feed for The Inc./800-CEO-READ Business Book Bestseller List.
November 22, 2011
It’s often been told to entrepreneurs and potential innovators: If you want to create something of value and build a financially successful enterprise, find a problem and solve it. A second truism concerning innovation is the workaround, or “incomplete or partial solution to a particular job to be done.” (The Innovator’s DNA by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen.)
When one observes a workaround, the authors of The Innovator’s DNA say pay attention because it might provide inspiration to create entirely new products.
Both those truisms of innovation collided one afternoon in 2002 during monsoons. Ratan Tata, the chairman of the Tata Group, an industrial giant in India that makes automobiles among many other things, was being driven through the manic Indian streets in the driving (no pun intended) rain. Before the trip begins, Tata cautions his driver to drive carefully and expect the unexpected. Soon after, Tata notices a family of four on a scooter passing his car, a common site in India.
He again admonishes his driver to slow down and no sooner finishes his warning than the driver of the scooter loses traction and then control, sending the scooter and family tumbling in all directions in front of him. Tata’s driver was able to stop, keeping the family safe but soaked and shaken up.
Tata says his epiphany began as he saw the family begin to pass: There had to be a safer way for families of limited means to travel in an increasingly mobile India. Tata began sketching, thinking and, in the end, decided that enough was enough and that the masses in India needed and deserved a “people’s car” and Tata was the company to provide it.
He tasked a team of more than 500 engineers to design, develop and mass construct the Tata Nano.
In Nanovation: How a Little Car Can Teach The World to Think Big & Act Bold, authors Kevin & Jackie Freiberg and Dain Dunston, tell not only the story of how the Nano was developed, but how the project succeeded despite a spate of setbacks, as one might expect. The tome, topping 500 pages, is a gold mine of thinking on innovation, some of it recognizable, but much of it innovative itself. One of the highlights of the book is its sidebars called Nanobites, containing bursts of insight culled from the Nano story. An example:
- Nanovation is often born from a desire to make the world better.
- Nanovation begins with clearly defining the problem.
- Nanovators see problems as invitations.
- Nanovation is action-oriented. If you see a problem, act on it.
- Nanovators frequently ask, “What if?”
The bursts are often followed by questions designed to get the reader to think and apply the Nanobites that preceded them. The questions that followed the Nanobites above:
- How many times have you looked at a situation in your country or company and thought, Someone should do something about this?
- What if you were that someone? Or what if you supported someone who shared your vision and was in a position to make a difference?
- And forget changing the world for a moment: How about in your job? Is there some problem in your workplace or in your industry that you think “someone” ought to address?
- What would it take for you to lead the change?
In all, the book uses a layman’s language to describe a plethora of useful innovation ideas, many of which will inspire and instruct you. Along the way, you get to read the story of the creation of a safe, low-polluting car that cost about $2,100 American when introduced. The most exciting pages are dedicated to the ripple effects the car will have around the world. For example, global parts vendors were charged with finding ways to lower the costs of their parts by 80% for the Nano. The innovation that those vendors used to accomplish that will be transferred to other manufacturers, lowering the price of cars for buyers in other countries.
December 30, 2010
This year saw a big development in our monthly bestseller lists, as Inc. magazine decided to partner with us to spread the word about what books businesspeople are purchasing for themselves and their teams. Thus was born the Inc./800-CEO-READ Business Book Bestseller List.
We’ve recently compiled the numbers for the entire year, giving weight to both total sales numbers and how long each book stayed on the list (and at what number), and we are now pleased to present
the bestsellers of 2010.
- Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath; Gallup Press
- The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg, John David Mann ; Portfolio
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard By Chip Heath, Dan Heath, Broadway
- Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World by John Hope Bryant; Jossey-Bass
- Return of the Gold: The Journey of Jerry Colangelo and the Redeem Team by Dan Bickley; Morgan James Publishing
- Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today’s Profit and Drives Tomorrow’s Growth By Inder Sidhu , FT Press
- Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money by Robert T Kiyosaki; Business Plus
- Accelerating Out of the Great Recession: How to Win in a Slow-Growth Economy by David Rhodes, Daniel Stelter; McGraw-Hill
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin; Portfolio
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter; Hyperion
- How Companies Win: Profiting from Demand-Driven Business Models No Matter What Business You’re In by Rick Kash, David Calhoun ; HarperBusiness
- Keep Swinging: An Entrepreneur’s Story of Overcoming Adversity & Achieving Small Business Success by Jay Myers, Darren Dahl; Morgan James Publishing
- Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone by Mitch Joel, Business Plus
- Rich Dad’s Prophecy: Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Is Still Coming… and How You Can Prepare Yourself and Profit from It! by Robert T Kiyosaki, Sharon L Lechter; Business Plus
- Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith; Hyperion
- The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation Is Rocking the Workplace by Lynn Lancaster, David Stillman; HarperBusiness
- Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down by Vineet Nayar, Harvard Business Press
- The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures by Frans Johansson; Harvard Business Press
- Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon; Crown
- Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business by Josh Bernoff, Ted Schadler; Harvard Business Press
- The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer; Portfolio
- Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live By John Gerzema, Michael D’Antonio; Jossey-Bass
- Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuck; Harper Studio
- The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing? by Jeffrey W Hayzlett, Jim Eber; Business Plus
- Inside Every Woman: Using the 10 Strengths You Didn’t Know You Had to Get the Career and Life You Want Now by Vickie Milazzo; John Wiley & Sons
To follow what books the business world is digesting every month, subscribe to the RSS feed for The Business Book Bestseller List.