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New book summary released in 2018

A 5-Step Plan For Achieving Your Most Important Goals






How do you make the coming year your best year ever? It can be done. To have a breakthrough year, a dynamic five-step process is required:


The central backbone of this system is you need to clarify what you want to go after, develop the courage to follow through and then leverage the motivation and commitment you need to accomplish your professional and personal goals in the coming year. This is not just a matter of starting strongly but it's also about making ongoing and intentional choices to pursue your goals. And it's also about succeeding in every domain of your life and achieving personal growth in the year ahead.

"Most of us have a long history of not getting what we want out of life. Perhaps we set some big goals we didn’t achieve, or the future turned out differently than we planned. Life throws curveballs. We’ve all been there. Disappointment turns to frustration, to anger, to sadness, and finally twists itself into cynicism. You might feel it rearing its head right now. Stick with me. Whatever has happened in your past—good or bad—it is truly possible to make this your best year ever, even in those areas where you’ve suffered serious setbacks."
-- Michael Hyatt

"Your best is yet to come."
-- Michael Hyatt


MICHAEL HYATT is founder and CEO of his own leadership development firm, Michael Hyatt & Company. He was formerly the chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He is the author or coauthor of several bestsellers including Living Forward and Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Michael Hyatt's blog gets more than a million page views each month and he has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Inc. and Entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Baylor University and McLennan Community College.


New book summary released in 2017

Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales






For decades, salespeople were trained to "Always be closing" by learning and then applying a wide variety of high pressure sales tactics and memorized power closes. However, in more recent times a more consultative style of selling has emerged with the mantra "Never be closing" – be so helpful that prospects ask to buy your product without ever being closed.

To "Never be closing" sounds great but when you're making a larger, complex sale, you need a better approach than sitting back and hoping the client will choose to move forward without any prompting. Successful salespeople today gain trust by asking the prospect to make ten small commitments first each of which advances the negotiations towards the final decision to buy.

“Always be closing,” as I practice it, involves securing a series of commitments from a prospective client that lead to the decision to buy. Closing happens in stages, each one moving the process forward. In the process, the salesperson becomes the prospective client’s trusted advisor and collaborator. This process is about becoming your clients’ trusted advisor by building lifetime relationships based on collaboration, the creation of value, and the delivery of exceptional results by obtaining the commitments necessary for creating and winning opportunities. Not only does the approach work, it is now required in order to succeed in sales. Today, you need to gain ten specific commitments as you move from the beginning of the sales process to execution. By understanding what these commitments are, why you need them, and how to successfully acquire them, you will improve your ability to create and win new opportunities."
-- Anthony Iannarino




ANTHONY IANNARINO is a speaker, entrepreneur and sales leader. He specializes in complex business-to-business sales. He is also the founder and managing director of two companies operating in the staffing industry. He is the author of The Only Sales Guide You Will Ever Need and also writes daily messages for his highly regarded blog titled The Sales Blog. Anthony Iannarino is also a well regarded keynote speaker and workshop facilitator where he teaches the importance of building consensus as part of the sales process. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Capital University.






New book summary released in 2017

Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen






Don't try and tell prospective customers your company's story or rave about how good you are. Nobody cares. Instead, make customers the hero of any story you tell. That's what successful businesses do.

A good way to achieve that is to use the seven-part SB7 framework to build a story brand:

Stop wasting your marketing money on trying to convince people how good you are. Instead, clarify your message using the SB7 framework and make customers the heroes of your stories. Do that consistently well and many more people will listen when you speak.

"Marketing has changed. Businesses that invite their customers into a heroic story grow. Businesses that don’t are forgotten. The more we talk about the problems our customers experience, the more interest they will have in our brand. May we all be richly rewarded for putting our customers’ stories above our own."
-- Donald Miller



DONALD MILLER is CEO of StoryBrand, a business consulting company which helps more than 3,000 businesses clarify their marketing messages every year. He is the author of 7 books including Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Scary Close which combined have spent more than a year on the New York Times bestsellers lists. He has also consulted with some of the world's top brands including Berkshire Hathaway, Intel, Chick-fil-a, Pantene, Steelcase and PrimeLending. Donald Miller has served on a Presidential Advisory Council on fatherhood and healthy families and has an active interest in politics.



New book summary released in 2017

Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact






Everyone has "defining moments" in their lives – intensely meaningful experiences which stand out clearly and distinctly in your memory. Many of these arise from chance encounters but it doesn't have to be that way. What if you could make more defining moments happen on purpose – for your customers, your family and your employees?

The reality is you can engineer and create more defining moments if you take the time and effort to invest in creating them. All you have to do is build them from combinations of these four elements:

The more defining moments you engineer and create, the better the experience you will be delivering for the customers you serve, the students you hope to inspire or even the kids you raise.




"Moments matter. And what an opportunity we miss when we leave them to chance! Teachers can inspire, caregivers can comfort, service workers can delight, politicians can unite, and managers can motivate. All it takes is a bit of insight and forethought. Our lives are measured in moments, and defining moments are the ones that endure in our memories."
-- Chip and Dan Heath


CHIP HEATH is professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He and his brother Dan are co-authors of Made to Stick, Switch and Decisive, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. Chip Heath previously taught at the University of Chicago and Duke University and is a respected keynote speaker. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Texas A&M University.

DAN HEATH is a senior fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. In addition to co-authoring business bestsellers with his brother, Dan Heath is also a columnist for Fast Company magazine and a speaker. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Texas at Austin.



New book summary released in 2017

How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management
to Transform Culture & Drive Long-Term Growth







How do you go about harnessing the talents and creativity of all your employees and not just your managers? Or put another way, how do you make ongoing continuous innovation focused on long-term results happen?

"The Startup Way" is the answer to these questions. It's a blend of conventional management practices and lean startup methodologies. You empower everyone to be more entrepreneurial by allocating organizational resources in savvy ways and then following through on the results achieved.

The Startup Way embodies five key operational principles:

"Ultimately, the goal of the Startup Way is to enable the entire organization to function as a portfolio of startups. This is the key to making the kind of long-term bets that provide growth and sustainability. Just as with a cohort of startups in a place like Y Combinator, expect that innovation projects in a larger organization will also have a high mortality rate. But the projects that survive from year to year can have dramatic impact."
-- Eric Ries



ERIC RIES is an entrepreneur, blogger and founder of the Lean Startup methodology. After founding a couple of his own companies, Eric Ries joined venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins as a venture advisor and later as an independent adviser for high-tech startups. He also served as entrepreneur--in-residence at Harvard Business School. Based on his experiences with startups, Eric Ries wrote The Lean Startup to put forward the concepts and methodologies of acquiring rapid customer feedback on product prototypes. The book was a bestseller and has since led to a number of other books based on the Lean Startup philosophy and management system. He is a graduate of Yale University.


New book summary released in 2017

Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth






Don't fight your competitors for market share of your existing industry. That's a "Red Ocean" strategy that always leads to lower profits as you seek differentiation or try and become the low cost player in your industry. Instead, adopt a "Blue Ocean" mindset. Figure out how to create a larger economic pie for all rather than obsess over divvying up the existing pie.

So how do you do that? You have to change from thinking about market competing strategies to market creating strategies. Making a Blue Ocean shift for your organization involves five steps:

"Blue ocean shift is a systematic process to move your organization from cutthroat markets with bloody competition—what we think of as red oceans full of sharks—to wide-open blue oceans, or new markets devoid of competition, in a way that brings your people along. As Nelson Mandela once noted, “It always seems impossible until it’s done."
-- W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

W. CHAN KIM is professor of strategy and international management at INSEAD, the world's second largest business school. He previously served as a professor at the University of Michigan Business School and as a board member and advisor for a number of multinational corporations. He is a fellow of the World Economic Forum and the author of numerous articles as well as the co-author of Blue Ocean Strategy. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan business school.

RENEE MAUBORGNE is also a professor of strategy at INSEAD and a fellow of the World Economic Forum. She served on President Barack Obama's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges. She is ranked as one of the World's 50 Best Business School Professors by Fortune magazine. In addition to publishing numerous articles in the business press and academic journals, Renee Mauborgne is also co-author of Blue Ocean Strategy.




New book summary released in 2017
Ignite the Power of Disciplined Creativity






Creative genius is often immortalized as a eureka moment where one event triggers the spark of inspiration. People love the idea of an aha! moment – like when Isaac Newton supposedly had an apple fell on his head and discovered gravity.

Creativity really doesn't work that way. Isaac Newton, for example, had been working hard for twenty years to immerse himself in math and science before he made any breakthroughs. His notebooks had more than a million words in them by the time he made his discoveries. At most, he was a hard worker who was intensely curious.

And even then, if Newton had noticed gravity but didn't add the grind of execution and providing proof for his discoveries, he would today be remembered merely as someone who had some interesting ideas. To come up with something genuinely creative, you need both the spark and the grind.


The best way to set the stage for inspiration in the future is to treat creativity more like a lifestyle and less like a single serendipitous event. To achieve an ongoing and constant stream of fresh creative ideas, you have to live an authentically innovative life. That involves seven steps:



ERIK WAHL is a graffiti artist, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the founder of his own consultancy firm, The Wahl Group, and has spoken at conventions organized by Microsoft, Disney, NBC, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Erik Wahl is famous for making paintings of thinkers, leaders and cultural icons during his presentations which he then auctions to raise money for charities. He is also a TED speaker and the author of Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius. Erik Wahl is a graduate of the University of San Diego.





New book summary released in 2017
From Idea to Income in 27 Days


Everyone should have a side hustle – a part-time business you run to generate additional income without giving up your day job. Why?


• A side hustle gives you job security.
• You can use the skills you already have to generate more income with a side hustle. No additional training is required.
• Having more than one source of income will give you more freedom and more options.
• A side hustle can allow you to do more of what you love to do with no added financial pressure.
The Side Hustle Plan is all about taking action to go from idea to income in 27 days or less. To achieve that, you don't need to spend any money. Nor do you need an MBA or any employees, assistants or business partners. All you do need is a commitment to act and a willingness to commit no more than an hour a day to growing your side hustle. You'll be amazed at how simple it is to turn your idea into income when you follow the plan.


"In today’s environment, where the idea of a business having any sense of loyalty to its workers has all but disappeared, the side hustle is the new job security. It affords you the ability to decide. When you receive multiple paychecks from different sources, you are no longer dependent on the whims of a single employer. More income means more options. More options mean more freedom. No matter what it is you do in your day job, or whether you want to identify as an “entrepreneur” or not, you need a side hustle. If you follow this plan, you’ll have one in less than a month. Side hustle skills are not taught in school. The only way to master side hustle skills is by doing."
---  Chris Guillebeau

is a publisher and the founder of the Side Hustle School. He is the author of The $100 Startup and The Happiness of Pursuit, both of which became New York Times bestsellers. He is also a passionate traveler having visited 193 countries before his 35th birthday. Chris Guillebeau also produces and hosts the World Domination Summit held every year in Portland. His blog receives more than one million hits a month and his newsletter has more than 80,000 subscribers. He is a graduate of the University of Washington.

New book summary released in 2017
How Extraordinary People Become That Way

To reach higher levels of performance in pretty much any field you may choose, long-term research shows you must form a habit of consistently doing these six things:

"Seek clarity. Generate energy. Raise necessity. Increase productivity. Develop Influence. Demonstrate Courage. These are the six habits that you need to adopt if you are to reach high performance in any situation. In the hundreds of personal efforts and social behaviors that we’ve observed, these habits move the needle the most in dramatically improving performance."
-- Brendon Burchard
"The good news is, no one “innately” lacks any of the high performance habits. High performers are not lucky stiffs loaded with a great big bag of strengths at birth. They simply deploy the habits we’ve discussed, and do it more consistently than their peers. That’s it. That’s the difference. You have to work at them all the time."
-- Brendon Burchard

New book summary released in 2017
A Practical Guide For Discovering Purpose For You and Your Team



The key to motivating yourself or others to do anything is to understand your WHY – the genuine deep-seated purpose behind what you do. When you know your WHY, it then becomes much easier to understand HOW you need to act and WHAT you need to do day-by-day to bring that WHY to life.

Everyone has a WHY but not everyone has got around to thinking about it and articulating it yet. If you understand WHY you do what you do, then every day you'll feel inspired to go to work and come home feeling fulfilled. Happiness comes from WHAT you do but fulfillment comes from WHY you do it.
Find your WHY first and HOW and WHAT will then become obvious.
"At its core, the WHY is an origin story. Who we are is the sum total of all the experiences we’ve had growing up—the lessons we learned, the teachers we had and the things we did. WHY represents who you are at your natural best and will be revealed through specific stories and experiences that affected your life and shaped who you are. If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY."
Simon Sinek, David Mead and Peter Docker

is the founder of his own consulting and leadership training company, Simon Sinek, Inc. He is a self avowed unshakable optimist and leader of a movement which inspires people to go home every day feeling good about their work. He is the author of four books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last and Together is Better. He gave one of the most watched TED Talks of all time in 2009 where he popularized the concept of WHY.
DAVID MEAD is a corporate trainer and keynote speaker. He joined the Start With Why team in 2009 and since then has facilitated workshops and given presentations about leadership and culture.
PETER DOCKER is a leadership consultant and executive coach. He previously worked as an officer in the Royal Air Force and as a professional pilot. Since 2011, he has run workshops and worked with managers from some of the world's largest companies in various industries including oil and gas, construction, mining, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, banking and aviation.

New book summary released in 2017
Harnessing Our Digital Future
The traditional approach to creating value has always been people think up or invent a better way of doing something (Minds), monetize the idea (Products) and then build a company around making that product or service (Core). That basic Minds | Products | Core dynamic is at the heart of the modern economy.
However, three trends have now arisen:
1. Machines are getting smarter and when supplied with big data can learn by identifying patterns and finding smarter ways to do things.
2. Platforms have come along run by companies which don't make or own anything but just facilitate transactions and resource sharing.
3. The Internet makes it feasible for crowds working together to come up with better ideas than experts.

The combined result of those three trends is the Minds | Products | Core dynamic is rapidly being superseded by Machines | Platforms | Crowd. The good thing is with change comes opportunity. The key to excelling in the years ahead will be to take advantage of Machines | Platforms | Crowd.
"Today we’re in the early stages of another industrial shake-up, but an even bigger and broader one. We struggle to think of any significant company in any market anywhere in the world that won’t be affected by the technology surge under way now. The successful companies of the second machine age will be those that bring together minds and machines, products and platforms, and the core and crowd differently than most do today."
--- Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson



New book summary released in 2017
How to Invest in Technology Startups --
Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor
Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000



Angel investors put money into early-stage companies. It's a high-risk, high-return strategy because if you get it wrong, you will likely lose all your money or get pennies on the dollar in return. Get it right however and you can generate life-changing money.
To excel as an angel investor, you're trying to be the "first money" in to promising start-ups which are just about to go supernova. To do that, a six-step formula is involved:

"I live on the edge of the future of business and technology. As an angel investor, it’s my job to write the check when no one else believes in you—and that’s the most thrilling bet in the world. Every week I meet a dozen dreamers with insane ideas who want me to give them my money, advice, and access to my Rolodex—but mostly the money. Oftentimes I’m the “first money” in, the first investor willing to take a chance with a company like Uber or Thumbtack when everyone else has said no. If a startup in which you are an early enough investor becomes a unicorn – a company valued at $1 billion – you will return life-changing money."
-- Jason Calacanis

is an entrepreneur and angel investor. He is the host of the podcast This Week in Startups and is also CEO and founder of Inside.Com, a newsletter publisher. For several years, he worked as a scout for Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley's premier venture capital firms. He has personally invested in more than 150 early stage companies including Uber, Thumbtack, Weblogs, Tumblr, Evernote, LeadGenius and gdgt. After a dinner meeting with Elon Musk, Jason Calacanis purchased two Tesla Model S cars for $50,000 each and took delivery of two cars with the serial numbers 00001 and 00073 respectively. He is a graduate of Fordham University.

New book summary released in 2017
How to Be a Great Boss
Without Losing Your Humanity


Radical Candor is all about hitting the sweet spot as a boss where you provide guidance that is the right
mix of praise and criticism. You're neither obnoxiously aggressive nor manipulative to your
people. Nor are you so empathetic nothing gets done either. Effective bosses have Radical Candor.

“Radical Candor” is what happens when you put “Care Personally” and “Challenge Directly”
together. Radical Candor builds trust and opens the door for the kind of communication that helps you
achieve the results you’re aiming for. It turns out that when people trust you and believe you care
about them, they are much more likely to 1) accept and act on your praise and criticism; 2) tell you what
they really think about what you are doing well and, more importantly, not doing so well; 3) engage in
this same behavior with one another, meaning less pushing the rock up the hill again and again; 4)
embrace their role on the team; and 5) focus on getting results. Being a good boss is hard for
everyone, no matter how successful they appear on the outside. Your humanity is an asset to your
effectiveness, not a liability."

– Kim Scott
"At Apple, we hire people to tell us what to do, not the other way around. I don't mind being wrong.
And I'll admit that I'm wrong a lot. It doesn't really matter to me too much. What matters to me is that
we do the right thing."

– Steve Jobs, cofounder, Apple Computer

is co-founder and CEO of Candor, Inc., a business consulting firm. She has served as an adviser to numerous Silicon Valley companies including Dropbox. Qualtrics, ReelGoodApp, Twitter and others. She was also a member of the faculty at Apple University where she developed a training course for managers. She led Google's online sales and operations teams for AdSense, YouTube and DoubleClick as they grew into multi-billion-dollar operations. Earlier in her career, Kim Scott was co-founder and CEO of Juice Software, business development manager at Delta Three and Capital Thinking, a policy advisor at the FCC, an analyst for the Soviet Companies Fund and the founder of a diamond cutting factory in Moscow. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Princeton University.

New book summary released in 2017
The Money Guide You Need Now,
Later, and Much Later



Traditional financial planning for retirement is broken. It was always based on accurately understanding what the future will look like so you could prepare for it.
It's now clear the future will be radically different. Why? Exponential technologies – innovations which advance at rates of exponential growth – are rapidly working their way through every industry that exists. Those same exponential technologies will affect every aspect of your life in the future, including what you will do when you retire.
Therefore, to improve your retirement planning, you have to factor in the impact of exponential technologies. Or in other words, you now have to develop an Exponential Retirement Plan.

A robust and workable Exponential Retirement Plan will logically need to have four elements:

"My research has convinced me that the world will be completely different in the future. This requires a radical change in thinking. Your world will be vastly different 20 years from now—and that’s why I’m going to show you the future. You’ll find advice that no financial planner has ever offered you."
-- Ric Edelman

is one of America's most recognized financial advisors. He is also a radio and TV show host and financial educator. Ric Edelman's nationally syndicated radio show has been on air for 25 years and his television series The Truth About Money airs on public television stations across the United States and Asia. He is the author of several books on personal finance including Rescue Your Money, The Truth About Money and The Truth About Retirement Plans and IRAs. Forbes magazine named Ric Edelman as one of the country's Top 10 Wealth Advisors in 2016. He taught personal finance at Georgetown University for nine years and is a graduate of Rowan University and Singularity University.

New book summary released in 2017
Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and
Thrive With the New Science of Success



How do you improve your performance in all areas of your life – personal and professional?
Today, you and pretty much every person in the workforce will be increasingly competing against machines that learn relentlessly. Artificial intelligence is exerting more and more pressure on human performance in the workplace. And if that wasn't bad enough, you're now also competing against a global talent pool.
Some people turn to performance enhancing drugs to stay competitive but fortunately there is a better way. If you study Olympic-class athletes and delve into the art and science which underpins their accomplishments, you'll find it always comes back to three principles which lead to a person being able to deliver peak performance:

These principles have been used by athletes for centuries to deliver stellar performances but it's the science that underpins them that's universal.
"It turns out that whether someone is trying to qualify for the Olympics, break ground in mathematical theory, or craft an artistic masterpiece, many of the principles underlying healthy, sustainable success are the same. The world's best thinkers and the world's best powerlifters follow the same processes to elicit growth."
-- Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness


is a performance coach and writer. He is a columnist with Outside magazine and New York magazine and a writer with Rodale Inc. His articles have also been published in Forbes, Wired, Sports Illustrated, NPR, The Los Angeles Times and The Harvard Public Health Review. He previously worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
STEVE MAGNESS is a coach at the University of Houston. He has coached some of the top professional distance runners in the world and also acts as an adviser to several tech companies. In addition to being a columnist for Running Times magazine, he has also written articles which have been published in Runner's World, The International Journal of Athletic Training, The Wall Street Journal, the NY Times and the Houston Chronicle. He is the author of The Science of Running and writes a blog at He is a graduate of George Mason University and the University of Houston. One of his proudest achievements is he ran a 4:01 mile in high school.

New book summary released in 2017
Unlock the Power of Less --
Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined



Most people (and many organizations) have what can be termed a "chase" mentality – they assume to be more successful, they need to secure more resources, more capital for marketing, more employees, more customers, etc.
A much better approach is to have a "stretch" mind-set. Stretching is about making the most of what you already have and being resourceful enough to do more with what you now have at hand.

Stretching what you have rather than continually chasing more is a better way to live personally and a smarter approach to building organizations. Stretching rather than chasing delivers outstanding results, both professionally and personally.
"The road to stretching starts with a simple but significant shift in mind-set—giving up the belief that having more resources = getting better results and replacing it with the conviction that a better use of resources = getting better results. This change in mind-set takes us away from a dehumanizing rat race for resources that is impossible to win and provides us with a way to make do with and magnify what we already have. Develop the skills to stretch after abandoning the chase. Become an outsider and seek out new experiences in order to put resources to use in atypical ways. Get comfortable with working without a plan some of the time. Spark positive prophecies to enhance the value of resources. And combine resources in novel ways to make the whole much greater than the sum of the parts. Once you learn how to embrace and expand on the untapped value right in front of you, you'll unlock exciting possibilities to achieve more than you ever imagined."
-- Scott Sonenshein
is professor of management at Rice University. In addition to teaching award-winning courses and conducting academic research, he also consults with Fortune 500 executives in the technology, energy, healthcare, retail, education, banking and manufacturing industries, as well as non-profits. The companies he has worked with as a strategy consultant include AT&T, Microsoft and many other large enterprises. Scott Sonenshein lived the rise and fall of the dotcom boom firsthand while working at Vividence, a Silicon Valley startup specializing in web-based customer information. His research and expertise has been featured by a number of media outlets including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review. Scott Sonenshein is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Cambridge and the University of Virginia.

New book summary released in 2017
How Pixar, Netflix, Airbnb, and Other
Cutting Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail


All companies view teamwork and collaboration as good things but building a great team is a complicated task. You have to support and nurture the team the right way for it to excel and keep coming up with stunning results. It's hard to get the chemistry right and keep it that way.

However when you look at the stellar success stories of the modern business era – Pixar, Netflix, Airbnb, Whole Foods, Zappos, Alibaba, Patagonia and others – they all use cutting-edge or "extreme teams" to outperform their competitors.
These extreme teams all share five common practices which sum up how to build great teams:

"Almost all great achievements, in business and society, are the result of small groups of people working together to achieve ambitious goals. Teams, not individuals, make the difference. There is a deep human need to bond with others, often in a risky endeavor, in the pursuit of a larger or even heroic purpose. Extreme teams provide that opportunity."
-- Robert Shaw

is managing principal of Princeton MCG, a business consultancy firm which specializes in building high performance teams. He works with business leaders in several industries including pharmaceuticals, financial services, telecommunications, defense, power utilities and consumer goods. He is also an accomplished keynote speaker. Robert Shaw was previously a senior director at Delta Consulting Group. He is the author of several books including Trust in the Balance and Leadership Blindspots. He is a graduate of Yale University.

New book summary released in 2017
How Today's Fastest-Growing
Companies Drive Breakout Success



Today's business powerhouses – like Pintrest, LinkedIn, Spotify, Evernote, Facebook and Uber – didn't get to where they are now by merely building a great product and then crossing their fingers and hoping they would catch on. Instead, they used "Growth Hacking" strategies and tactics.

The essence of growth hacking is you carry out rapid fire experimentation across multiple marketing channels and in different product development directions to identify the most cost effective ways to grow your business. By doing this, you build marketing right into your products. Growth hacking uses iteration and rapid tempo testing to focus closely on what customers want.
In all, growth hacking is not just a marketing strategy. Rather, growth teams should be using the growth hacker methodology to improve every part of the sales funnel:
1. To develop better products
2. To optimize products for intended markets.
3. To deliver a must-have customer experience.
4. To activate and engage customers more.
5. To monetize and generate more revenue.
"Growth hacking provides a rigorous methodology for driving the discovery of opportunities through collaboration across functions and at a rapid-fire pace. It insists upon data-driven analysis and experimentation, providing the answer for how companies can systematically tap the power of the wealth of data they have invested so heavily in accumulating."
Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown

is founder and CEO of, a platform used by more than 150,000 marketers, designers and growth engineers. He previously founded and led Qualaroo, an SaaS business which was acquired by Xenon Ventures in 2016 and which served companies like Uber, Starbucks, Spotify and Intuit. Sean Ellis coined the term "growth hacker" in 2010 and has been a leading advocate of digital marketing. He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis.

MORGAN BROWN is a startup marketing veteran having more than 15 years of hands-on experience working with early-stage companies. In addition to acting as the COO of Inman News, Morgan Brown was Head of Growth at Qualaroo and True Vault and co-founder of Full Stack Marketing, a growth-oriented marketing firm. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied zoology.

New book summary released in 2017
127 Small Changes to Improve
Your Health, Wealth and Happiness



Habit stacking is a personal productivity strategy where you group together a series of small actions or habits (which take 5 minutes or less to complete) into a regular routine that you follow daily. You then select a trigger which will remind you to work through your habit stack at the right time.

The whole aim of habit stacking is to combine small actions which will generate a chain reaction of positive benefits. Most people tend to view success as an event but the reality is success is always a process. If you can get into the habit of making a small amount of progress towards your most important goals every day, the compound effect can be significant and far reaching.
Integrate small habit stacks into your daily routine and you'll be amazed at how much you can and will accomplish over time.
“The truth is, what you do matters. What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people … do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.”
-- Jeff Olson, author, The Slight Edge
"If you took the time to talk to any successful person, she would tell you that success is always a process. It’s a daily slog where most of your time is spent doing the same thing over and over. Rinse and repeat. Day in and day out. A few wins along the way, and then a few setbacks. Eventually, by working hard, and often for many, many years, you’ll become successful. That's the reality of success. It's not luck or an event – just a lot of hard work and daily action. The people who succeed in the game of life understand the important power of small actions."
-- SJ Scott

is a writer, blogger and podcaster. He is the author or co-author of more than 30 books including Declutter Your Mind, Wake Up Successful, S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple and 23 Anti-Procrastination Habits. Steve Scott is also the co-author of The Miracle Morning series of books written with Hal Elrod. His self-improvement books have been published in 12 different languages and several have become Wall Street Journal bestsellers.

New book summary released in 2017
How and Why Positive Leaders Transform
Teams and Organizations and Change the World



All of history's greatest leaders have been optimists, believers, dreamers and doers who push past the problems and make great things happen. The reality is to change the world, create a world-class organization or bring together a successful team, you must have a positive outlook.

If you aspire to achieve anything great in your career, learn how to become and act like a positive leader. Research shows quite definitively positive leaders energize their workplaces, help their teams and companies perform at a higher level and attract better talent.
This is more than merely having a positive state of mind and refusing to see the problems. To put positive leadership into action, there are nine principles you have to apply:

"Being positive doesn't just make you better; it makes everyone around you better."
-- Jon Gordon

is a speaker, bestselling author and president of his own consulting company, The Jon Gordon Companies. He is the author of several books including The No Complaining Rule, You Win in the Locker Room First, Training Camp and The Energy Bus. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Atlanta Falcons, Campbell Soup, Dell, Southwest Airlines, LA Clippers, Miami Heat, BB&T Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Clemson Football, Northwestern Mutual, Bayer, West Point Academy and many other professional sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profits. His books have also been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC and in newspapers and magazines like Forbes, Fast Company, O Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Jon Gordon is a graduate of Cornell University and Emory University.

New book summary released in 2017
The Underground Playbook For Creating a Mass
Movement of People Who Will Pay For Your Advice



"You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want."
--- Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker

What does it take to have a great business career?
If you're like most people, you've probably spent the first part of your career learning and honing your skills until you have become an expert in your field. To grow further from that point, you then have to use your life lessons and career smarts to impact and help others.
The real secret to having a great career (once you've paid your dues and become an expert) is to do three things well:

Successful people get to the stage at which making more money loses its appeal and making a contribution to the world becomes more and more important. In the long run, what always matters most is how many lives you impact and how many people you can inspire to do better.
"The concepts I've laid out here took me over 10 years to discover from dozens of different mentors and a whole lot of trial and error. I wish I'd had something like this when I got started. I hope that instead of feeling overwhelmed, you'll realize this is actually a huge shortcut. Build your culture, create your products, tell your stories, and build your funnels."
--- Russell Brunson
is the owner of Inc., an online marketing consulting firm. He is also co-founder of Click Funnels, a marketing software company. Russell Brunson started his first products online while he was a college student and within a year of graduation had set up his own company and sold more than a million dollars of products and services working from his basement. Russell Brunson is the author of DotCom Secrets and he now consults with other online companies and marketers helping them make more sales. Russell Brunson is a graduate of Boise State University.

New book summary released in 2017
How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions ... and Created Plenty of Controversy


In 2004, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia met when they were assigned to work together on a student project at the Rhode Island School of design. They found they enjoyed working together and decided to try and find an idea they could use to launch a company. Three years later, Chesky and Gebbia linked up in San Francisco and were short of cash to pay the rent for their apartment. They decided to rent out three airbeds in their apartment to designers like themselves who they knew would be coming to San Francisco for a design conference.

Energized by their inital success, Chesky and Gebbia decided to team up with Nathan Blecharczky, a friend who was a recent Harvard graduate and a coder, to launch a web-based service they initially called Airbed & Breakfast. They ended up lauching their business three times and using some novel fund raising ideas before they attracted investor backing, shortened the name to and started to gain traction. The three founders also had to pivot their business anumerous times before they settled on the business model Airbnb uses now.

Today, Airbnb is a juggernaut of the Internet business era and is still growing rapidly year-to-year. The company (still private) is highly controversial but it is currently valued at more than $31 billion. The three founders are still closely involved in managing and running the company and the founders are worth more than $3 billion each.

This is their story.

is an assistant managing editor at Fortune where she writes and edits feature stories. She is also the host of Fortune Live,'s weekly video show. Leigh Gallagher is a co-chair of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and also oversees Fortune's 40 Under 40 multi-platform editorial franchise. She appears regularly as a business news commentator on many TV shows including CBS's This Morning and Face the Nation, public radio's Marketplace, MSNBC's Morning Joe, CNBC and CNN. She is the author of two books including The End of the Suburbs and is a visiting scholar at New York University. She is a graduate of Cornell University.

New book summary released in 2017
Why Innovation is People, Not Products

The best way to get more innovation happening within organizations is to provide a culture where risk-taking is safe and innovation is completely democratized so anyone and everyone can participate.

In other words, get The People Equation right first and innovation will happen. Rather than worrying about providing innovation tools or instituting innovation-generating processes, give people the go-ahead to innovate and they will.
The People Equation is that you need to have four elements which work together:

"People, not processes, create great products. We spend more time at work in our lifetimes than we do anywhere else, so when we stepped back to thoroughly and thoughtfully examine what the People Equation is, it became quite simple to us—put people first!"
-- Deborah Piscione and David Crawley

is a serial entrepreneur and principal of Vorto Consulting, a Silicon-Valley innovation consultancy firm. She is also the author of four books including Secrets of Silicon Valley. She is the founder of Nobiyo Freshwear and Alley to the Valley, a community of female entrepreneurs. She previously spent eighteen years in Washington DC as an on-air commentator for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Deborah Piscione is a graduate of Georgetown University and Florida State University.
DAVID CRAWLEY is also a principal of Vorto Consulting. He previously worked at Cypress Semiconductor where he was head of continuous improvement and as a project manager with McKinsey and Company. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the Royal Military Academy.

New book summary released in 2017

How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution

Today, every company and pretty much everyone in business wants to do things faster and better. If you can speed things up, you will spot emerging trends earlier, be the first to market and get much more done every day. Speed matters in business and pretty much everyone wants more of it.

So how exactly can you increase your speed? Based on surveys with more than 75,000 business leaders, there are eight tactics that work:

"When we recently analyzed our data for several client organizations, it was no surprise to find that a new factor was consistently emerging. That factor was speed. It was not speed as an end goal, but the speed that created real value in a rapid time. It showed up repeatedly and appeared to be a powerful predictor of a leader’s effectiveness as well as the organization’s success."
-- John Zenger and Joseph Folkman

JOHN H. ZENGER is CEO at Zenger Folkman, a leadership development firm. In addition to being a keynote speaker, Jack Zenger is a national columnist for Forbes and Harvard Business Review. He is the author of seven books and is widely considered to be a world expert in the fields of leadership development and organizational behavior. He previously served as president of Provant and has been inducted into the Human Resources Development Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, UCLA and Brigham Young University.
JOSEPH R. FOLKMAN is a co-founder and president of Zenger Folkman. In addition to being a highly acclaimed keynote speaker, Joseph Folkman is a psychometrician with more than 30 years experience measuring leader performance in some of the world's most prestigious companies. He has worked with AT&T, General Motors, General Mills, Invesco, Wells Fargo, Yale University and many other organizations. His research has been published in Forbes, The Harvard Business Review and elsewhere and he is the author of nine books. Joseph Folkman is a graduate of Brigham Young University.

New book summary released in 2017

Your Financial Freedom Playbook


To be "unshakeable" means you have confidence that no matter what the economy does, you'll have financial security. This is a step beyond being financially independent and it is really what most people are dreaming of.

So is it feasible to be unshakeable given today's volatile and unpredictable financial markets? Yes, it is if you focus on what you can control rather than stressing out over what you cannot control.
When you focus on what you can and do control, you will find there are three steps required to become unshakeable:

"This is an area of life that requires commitment. But if you’re committed to understanding and harnessing the unshakeable insights the rewards will be incredible. How much stronger and more confident will you feel when you know the rules that govern the financial world? When you have that knowledge, that mastery, then you can make smart financial decisions based on real understanding. And decisions are the ultimate power. Decisions equal destiny. Whoever you are and whatever stage of life you’re at, I’m here to show you that there is a way."
Tony Robbins

is a motivational speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is widely considered to be one of America's most successful life and business coaches. He runs multiple-day events and consults with athletes, entertainers, Fortune 500 CEOs and others. He is the founder or a partner in 31 companies at present, twelve of which he actively manages. He is also the author of two bestsellers, Unlimited Power (1987) and Awaken the Giant Within (1991). His foundation, the Anthony Robbins Foundation, has provided more than 250 million meals to hungry families and has partnered with Feeding America to target delivering a billion meals to those in need.

New book summary released in 2017

The Value of Stories in Business


How do you establish the true market value of an asset? This is rather obviously an important question for any investment decision.
One school of thought (left brain) suggests value is driven solely by the numbers and therefore number crunchers can calculate market value with formulas and a spreadsheet. An alternate approach (right brain) is to look at the underlying story or narrative behind the asset and use storytelling to come up with a valuation.

A much better approach to valuation is to blend together both the numbers and the underlying narrative. To come up with a good valuation, you have to be able to talk both languages. You have to take the numbers and then give them context on the basis of the background narrative.
Stories without numbers are little more than fairy tails. Numbers without stories are exercises in financial modelling. A good valuation is a bridge which will draw on both the numbers and the stories to come up with a figure that makes sense.

"In effect, valuation allows each side to draw on the other, forcing storytellers to see the parts of their stories that are improbable or implausible, and to fix them, and number crunchers to recognize when their numbers generate a story line that does not make sense or is not credible."
-- Aswath Damodaran


is a professor of finance at New York University's School of Business. He teaches courses on corporate finance and equity valuation. He has published extensively in academic journals and has also written several books about equity valuation and investments. Dr. Damodaran was previously a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley and he currently participates in the TRUIM Global Executive MBA Program which is run by NYU, the London School of Economics and HEC School of Management. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Madras University and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

New book summary released in 2017

Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence With Everyday Courage


The 5 Second Rule is a powerful personal motivation tool. It simply and succinctly states:

The 5 Second Rule works because it is what psychologists term a metacognition tool. It can be used to "trick" your brain into doing the things you know you should be doing but normally don't get around to doing. You can use it to pack more action into your life and career.
The stark reality is there is generally just a 5 second window of opportunity between having a great thought about something productive you should do and your brain starting to come up with excuses for why you cannot do that. That's the time when you have to step up and take action or your doubts will crowd out that desire forevermore.
Change your life and your career for the better five seconds at a time.

"It takes just five seconds to change your life. Sounds like a gimmick, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s science. I’ll prove it to you. You change your life one five-second decision at a time. In fact, it’s the only way you change. The 5 Second Rule has transformed the lives of people around the world. The Rule is easy to learn and its impact is profound. It's the secret to changing anything. Once you learn the Rule, you can start using it immediately. The Rule will help you live, love, work, and speak with greater confidence and courage every day. It wakes up the inner genius, leader, rock star, athlete, artist, and change agent inside of you."
Mel Robbins

is a motivational speaker, business coach and highly successful on-air commentator. Her TEDx talk on "How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over" has been viewed more than 10 million times. She started her career as a criminal defense attorney before launching her own retail and Internet technology company. Mel Robbins now leads multi-year coaching programs for Johnson & Johnson, Bear Stearns and Partners Healthcare. She also hosts award winning shows for Fox, A&E, Cox Media Group and most recently CNN. She is the author of Stop Saying You're Fine which is a business bestseller. Mel Robbins is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School.

New book summary released in 2017

The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change
It's amazing what you can find out when you ask the right question. Good questions can help you connect with important people, establish your credentials and come up with the right plan for moving forward.

To really understand what you can get when you ask for it, you first need to know there are in fact eleven different types of questions you can ask. If you understand these categories, you can then maximize your results by asking the right question at the right time and in the right setting.
Some of the most successful people on the planet are famous for asking lots of questions and then acting on what they learn. This is not a coincidence. To get more and achieve more, get into the habit of asking more questions.
"Smart questions make smarter people. We learn, connect, observe, and invent through the questions we ask. We solve mysteries and we imagine new ways of doing things. We ponder our purpose and we set our sights. We live generously, to paraphrase John F. Kennedy, by asking not what others can do for us, but what we can do for them. Curiosity opens our minds and captivates our imaginations."
-- Frank Sesno

is director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. He was previously an award-winning journalist, White House correspondent and talk show host on CNN. He is also an experienced moderator and appears regularly on many other media shows. He has interviewed five U.S. presidents as well as other influential world figures including Bill Gates, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell. Frank Sesno created which brings students and experts together to examine new and interesting sustainable inventions. He is a graduate of George Washington University and Middlebury College.

New book summary released in 2017

Share Your Knowledge to Create Global Impact, Freedom and Wealth


When Napoleon Hill published his business classic Think and Grow Rich in 1937, he proposed that having high personal expectations lays a good foundation for success. If he were to publish his book today, he quite possibly may have renamed it Teach and Grow Rich instead because the emerging opportunities for online education are massive and growing faster than almost any other industry you can name.

Online learning or e-learning is already a multi-billion dollar industry and is well on track to become a $100+ billion dollar industry in the next few years. It is flourishing because online learning offers democratized access, opportunities to focus on niche topics which you feel passionate about and most importantly the chance to create value and make an impact at the same time.
Online learning is also popular because it genuinely levels the playing field. Anyone can create a course based on what they know and become a teacher. At the same time, students from around the world can enroll for the very best education products available anywhere. This $100+ billion dollar industry is wide open and the time to get involved in creating materials for online learning and profiting by teaching what you know is now.
"If you teach, you will grow rich, and this is about more than just financial freedom. It also means having the freedom to shape your own lifestyle, do work that's meaningful, and make the world a better place. Seizing the Teach and Grow Rich opportunity isn't just for a small or specialized segment of our society. For once, the playing field is truly level."
Danny Iny

DANNY INY is the founder and CEO of Mirasee, a business education company. He is also a podcaster and highly experienced training course builder. He is the author of several books including Engagement From Scratch! and The Audience Revolution. He runs the Audience Business Masterclass and the Course Builder's Laboratory training programs which to date have graduated more than 5,000 students. Danny Iny also started Firepole Marketing in 2010 which grew from zero to more than $3 million in revenue in less than five years. He is a graduate of Queen's University and Concordia University.

New book summary released in 2017

Surprisingly Simple Strategies
for Today's Crazy-Busy Sellers



Despite the fact that today there are a plethora of productivity-enhancing tools available, most salespeople are still struggling to meet their quotas. Why? There are also too many distractions out there which can suck up all of you're your sales time leaving nothing to show for it.
To succeed in sales today, you can't just be productive. You have to be smart too. You have to make sure you're getting the right things done better than ever before. To free up more time to sell there are six steps you must take:

"If you’re a sales leader, sales productivity is likely high on your priority list. Right now, virtually everyone on your team is unintentionally frittering away at least one to two hours per day. Set up team challenges to motivate everyone to recapture lost time. When you do, your reps will make more calls, have more meetings, and close more deals. The best part is you won't need to hire more salespeople to make your numbers."
-- Jill Konrath


is a keynote speaker, sales strategist and the author of three bestsellers Agile Selling, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. She has consulted with companies like, LinkedIn and HubSpot and has won many awards for sales leadership. Her sales career started at Xerox Corporation after which she moved into computer sales before launching her own sales startup and sales strategy consulting firm, Leapfrog Strategies, Inc. Jill Konrath is a graduate of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

New book summary released in 2017

The Evolution of an Enterprise:
From a Company of One to a Company of 1,000



The E-Myth – the Entrepreneurial Myth – states that most people start a business because they like working in the business first and foremost. To grow the business however, they eventually figure out they have to work on the business and not just in the business.

To move beyond the E-myth, you have to build an enterprise rather than a business. Most small businesses are little more than self-employment situations for the founder but an enterprise functions smoothly and generates profits even without the founder's hands-on involvement.
The real challenge is not to build a business but to build an enterprise. To achieve that, you have to put four systems in place:

To go beyond, learn to think like an entrepreneur.
"The E-Myth, short for “Entrepreneurial Myth,” is simple: too many small businesses fail to grow because their leaders think like technicians, not entrepreneurs. If you’re going to design, build, launch, and grow your company to prepare it for sale, there must be a clear process for doing it. I call it "Beyond The E-Myth" – organize the way you THINK about being a business owner."
Michael Gerber

is an innovator, entrepreneur and small business coach. He is the bestselling author of 29 books including The E-Myth Revisited and Awakening the Entrepreneur Within. In 1995, The Wall Street Journal named The E-Myth as the #1 business book of all time having sold millions of copies in 29 languages and being used as a textbook in 118 universities. He is also the founder of his own training academy which has served more than 100,000 small business clients in 145 countries.

New book summary released in 2017

Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age


The challenge facing most established companies today is:

The knee-jerk answer most of the time has been: "Update your technology and hope for the best" but
that's usually not enough. To genuinely get ahead in the digital era, it's more important to undergo a
digital transformation. Upgrade your strategic thinking and reinvigorate your game plan so you
can capture the best opportunities which lie ahead.
Specifically, digital transformation is more about changing your strategy and less about changing
your technology. To capture the next stage of value creation and growth for your business and
overcome your digital blindspots, you have to integrate into your strategy the ways digital forces
are reshaping five key business domains:

Digital technologies are rewriting the rules of business in these five domains. To respond, you
need an integrated effort to evolve and improve your business strategy. Every business can adapt
and grow in the digital era.
"The future is not about new start-ups burying long-established enterprises. It’s about new growth
strategies and business models replacing old ones as established companies learn new ways of

– David Rogers


is a faculty member at Columbia Business School and a leader on digital business strategy. He serves as
the faculty director of executive educational programs on digital marketing and digital business strategy. He is the author of four
books including The Network Is Your Customer. He is also a keynote speaker and consults with global companies including
Google, GE, Unilever, Toyota, VISA, SAP, IBM and MacMillan. David Rogers is also the founder and co-host of Columbia's
BRITE conferences, a board member of the Marketing Hall of Fame and president of the NY American Marketing
Association. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Michigan.

New book summary released in 2017

The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader


How exactly do you learn how to lead?

The reality is the best leaders are pretty much always the best learners. Leadership is really nothing more than applying a set of abilities which, just like any other skill-set, can be learned and then progressively improved over time. While learning how to lead isn't easy, you only become a better leader when you consistently apply five leadership development practices:

"If you believe that the people you now lead, or will lead in the future, deserve the best leadership in the world and if it's clear that there's a growing need for an increased quantity and quality of leaders, then it is imperative that you become the best leader you can be. Step one is to develop a leadership mindset. You don't have to wait for an organization to offer a program for you to become the best. Nor do you have to wait for someone else to give you permission or provide some special resource."
James Kouzes and Barry Posner

JAMES M. KOUZES is currently teaching at Santa Clara University where he is the Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership at the School of Business. He has won many awards for his teaching style including an award for one of the best executive educators in the U.S. given by The Wall Street Journal. He has teamed up with Barry Posner to write more than thirty publications including the bestseller books The Leadership Challenge, The Truth About Leadership and Credibility. James Kouzes is a graduate of Michigan State University.

BARRY Z. POSNER is Professor of Leadership at the School of Business at Santa Clara University. In addition to writing books and developing leadership training programs with James Kouzes, Barry Posner also consults with a wide variety of companies. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Ohio State University and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

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New book summary released in 2017

How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways


Everyone assumes that to be part of a great success story today, you have to be involved in a technology-driven start-up that is part of the "new economy" and which is doing something highly disruptive. That's not really the case.
The future is open to everyone – even those who are working in very mundane fields. It's not just the start-ups which can apply radical creativity. Breakthroughs can be achieved in any industry where leaders are willing to reimagine what's possible and turn their product or service into something which is simply brilliant.

To excel today, find a way to refresh your product or experience. Don't settle for average, work to make what you offer simply brilliant. It can be done.

"There is no such thing as an average or old-fashioned business, just average or old-fashioned ways to do business. In fact, the
opportunity to reach for extraordinary may be most pronounced in settings that have been far too ordinary for far too long. If how you think shapes how you compete, then it should be easier to compete in fields locked in to old ways of thinking."

– William Taylor
“Today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more [above-average] cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation, and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra—their unique value contribution that makes them stand out.”
– Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist
is a speaker and entrepreneur. He was a cofounder and founding editor of Fast Company which sold for
$340 million six years after it commenced publication. Since starting Fast Company, Bill Taylor has written three books on
leadership and change including Practically Radical and Mavericks at Work. He currently blogs and writes feature articles for
the Harvard Business Review and writes a column for the Sunday Business section of The New York Times titled Under New
. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the MIT School of Management.

New book summary released in 2016

16 Things High Performing Organizations Do Differently
Why is it that some professional sports teams manage to perform at championship-winning levels
year after year while most others do not?
When Microsoft asked this question, that set off a six-year study to try and decipher the code. After
more than 100 interviews with the people behind the most consistently successful teams and
organizations in the United States, it was shown the key is to maintain a culture of greatness.

Specifically, maintaining that culture comes down to four essential pillars which set a great team apart:
Pillar #1: T – Targeting purpose
Great teams connect everyone to a greater purpose. Everyone understands who they ultimately serve and why that matters.
Pillar #2: E – Effective management
Great teams are able to think creatively and execute well so they can react to developments.
Pillar #3: A – Activating efficiency
Great teams have members who are not only highly skilled individuals but who also know how to work with others for maximum impact.
Pillar #4: M – Mutual direction
There is a strong sense of trust and shared responsibility which unites and motivates all the members of great teams.
There are 16 defining characteristics all great teams share which can and should be worked on.

is a keynote speaker and business leadership coach. He served for ten years as Associate Editor for Sports
and in that capacity got to observe up close and personal how great sports teams operate. He began his career as a
reporter for the San Antonio Light and then worked for the Dallas Morning News and the Florida Times-Union. He has written 24
books (nine of which became New York TImes best-sellers) including A Game Plan For Life (co-written with John Wooden) and
Play It Like You Mean It. Don Yaeger is a graduate of Ball State University.

New book summary released in 2016

How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale


Despite all the high tech that's available today, stories still sell. Pure and simple the best way to influence someone is to tell them just the right story. You should treat storytelling like any other professional skill that you progressively work at and refine.
Based on interviews with hundreds of sales professionals and managers, there are in fact 25 generic sales stories you should prepare beforehand so you have them ready to use at a moment's notice.

Build a personal database of your own versions of these 25 stories and then learn how to deliver them convincingly. Do that and you have positioned yourself to excel.

"Storytelling gives you a way to stand out in the crowd with something interesting and original to say. It distinguishes you not only from your peers and competitors but also from your predecessors, because the stories you tell won’t be the ones cooked up by the marketing department, your ad agency, or even the sales manager. They’re your stories. Nobody else will have them unless you decide to share."
-- Paul Smith
"Stories sell. And the people who can tell a good sales story sell more than people who can’t. Many people assume that a talent for storytelling is the kind of thing you’re either born with or you’ll never have. And while it’s true that some people are born with a natural ability to tell stories, it’s not true that you can’t learn it. Treat storytelling like any other professional skill. If you invest the time to learn how to do it well, and then practice it, you can master it."
-- Paul Smith

is an expert on the art and effectiveness of organizational storytelling. He is a keynote speaker, coach and the author of three books including the bestseller Lead With a Story. He formerly worked as a consultant at Accenture and for 20 years as an executive with Procter & Gamble. He consults with Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett Packard, Google, Ford Motor Company, Bayer Medical, Abbott, Novataris, Progressive Insurance and Procter & Gamble. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


New book summary released in 2016

How the Best Businesses in the World Succeed


The key to overtaking the market leader in any high-growth marketplace and becoming a star business is always to find a way to simplify the predominant business model and the market.

"Nearly all of the great success stories of the twentieth century – right up to the present day – are stories of simplifying. Simplifying is the key to the kind of product and business innovation that creates incredibly high value for customers, society and shareholders alike."
-- Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood

What's even more interesting is all of these simplifiers have excelled by applying one or another of just two different simplifying strategies:

Simplifiers either cut the price dramatically to grow the market exponentially or they introduce a new and easy-to-use product around a simplified value proposition. In either of these two ways, simplifiers create new and substantial markets which did not previously exist in the same form which they then dominate and commercialize.
If you want to succeed, decide which of these simplification strategies you will use and then be uncompromising in executing that strategy.

is an entrepreneur and investor. He was formerly a partner with Bain & Company and co-founder of LEK Consulting. He is the author of more than 20 books including the bestsellers The 80/20 Principle, The 80/20 Manager and Superconnect. Richard Koch was an early-stage investor in Filofax, Plymouth Gin, the Great Little Trading Company and Betfair. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oxford.
GREG LOCKWOOD is a founder of Piton Capital, a London-based venture capital firm. He co-authored Superconnect with Richard Koch and serves on the board of directors of several public companies. He specializes in electronic exchanges and trading platforms and worked previously as CEO of Formula Vertex Ltd. and as a partner at UBS Capital. He is a graduate of the School of Management at Northwestern University and Western University.

New book summary released in 2016

Words of Wisdom from the Partnership Letters of the World's Greatest Investor
At the age of 26, Warren Buffett returned from Columbia Business School (where he had studied with value-investing guru Benjamin Graham) and founded Buffett Partnership Limited, his first professional investing partnership. That partnership would operate for fourteen years from 1956 to 1970 during which time Warren Buffett achieved an incredible record of investing success. In 1968 alone, he beat the Dow by more than 50 percent.
In order to make sure his partners understood his investment methodology and thought processes, Warren Buffett wrote up seven ground rules for his new partnership. He also wrote semi-annual letters (33 in all) to his small group of partners to explain how he was applying those ground rules on an ongoing basis.

What's interesting about these ground rules is when Warren Buffett liquidated Buffett Partnership Ltd. and moved on to becoming chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, he continued to apply the same ground rules albeit to a much larger pool of capital. They have been described as Warren Buffett's take on Investing 101.
These ground rules are still the guidelines he uses as the world's most successful investor. They are the bedrock of his success and are the rules every investor needs today. Warren Buffet's ground rules epitomize the mindset every aspiring investor should have.


JEREMY C. MILLER is an investment analyst with J.P. Morgan Asset Management. He has worked for more than fifteen years in the financial services industry holding positions at several firms including Vertical Research Partners, Nomura, Bank of America and Credit Suisse First Boston. Jeremy Miller is a graduate of Oberlin College.

New book summary released in 2016



To achieve anything great, you've got to be completely and unashamedly obsessed with whatever you're doing. Give yourself permission to be obsessed and harness it for good.

Being average and playing safe just doesn't cut it today. You really need to be obsessed about chasing your big dreams and refuse to settle for anything less. Only if you do that can you join the ranks of the industry builders, the game changers, the disruptors and the greatest talents in your field.
Obsession is an absolutely critical component of success. It's more important than strategy, timing or competition. Being obsessed is the only way you will ever be able to put your own dent in the universe. Be obsessed.
"When you become unapologetically obsessed, as I am, you’ll be at your very best: hyperfocused, persistent beyond understanding, creative to the point of appearing magical, and with an insatiable determination to win that not only attracts great talent but also brings out the best in others. This level of obsession doesn’t mean you are selfish and self-centered; it means that you’re finally operating at the levels you were always meant to and that you can pull others around you up to their full potential and possibilities."
-- Grant Cardone
"Your obsession is the most valuable tool you have to build the life you deserve and dream of."
-- Grant Cardone

is an entrepreneur, speaker, motivator and online sales training expert. He is the founder and CEO of four companies which generate almost $100 million in annual sales revenue. He is also the author of several books including The 10X Rule and Sell or Be Sold. He currently writes articles for, BusinessInsider, WellsFargo, AmexForum and Grant Cardone is a graduate of Cardone University and McNeese State University

New book summary released in 2016

How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models


There is no longer any question digital networks are fundamentally changing the business landscape. Digital networks are changing what we do, how we do it and who gets rewarded all over the place.
This isn't just a tech phenomena. Companies which take advantage of scalable digital networks are now starting to flourish in every industry you can name. Companies like Amazon, Google, Uber and Airbnb are attracting huge levels of investment, all the top talent and impressive numbers of new customers.
The performance gap between those who do harness digital networks and those who do not is widening. The real question in business today is no longer whether you need to change, but when and how much.


It's time to join the digital network movement and become a network orchestrator. This is the only viable way to grow in the years ahead.


"You may feel that network disruption is a distant concern for your business or irrelevant for your industry, and that you have more-pressing concerns, but be aware: investor capital, customer revenue and affinity, top talent, and market buzz are shifting away from established firms toward network organizations. Further, our research indicates that digital networks are entering almost every industry, even some of the most mundane. We are at the beginning of a rapid upending of traditional ways of creating value, and it is occurring in every industry. "
-- Barry Libert, Megan Beck and Jerry Wind
is chairman and CEO of OpenMatters, a data science company which analyzes business models. He is also a senior fellow at Wharton's SEI Center, a think tank for management education. He serves on the boards of several companies and has been a strategic adviser to AT&T, Microsoft, GE Healthcare, ESPN and Goldman Sachs. He is also an early stage investor in digital start-ups, some of which manage digital networks for more than three hundred brands. He is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia Business School.
MEGAN BECK is chief insights officer at OpenMatters. She leads the company's research, publication and curriculum initiatives. She formerly worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and specializes in digital technology, entrepreneurship and human capital management. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the McCombs School of Business.
JERRY WIND is professor of marketing at Wharton and the founding director of the SEI Center. He is widely recognized for his expertise in networked organizations, leadership and marketing strategy. He has lectured at more than fifty universities worldwide and consults with major firms. He is a graduate of The Hebrew University and Stanford University.



New book summary released in 2016

The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice


There's no point relying on luck to try and innovate. Too many companies get sidetracked into trying to improve features customers don't even care about in the name of innovation.
A much better approach is to pause and ask customers the right question:

The simple dynamic is whenever people buy something, they are in effect "hiring" that product to get a job done for them. If the product does the job well, it will be hired again the next time that need arises. And conversely, if the product does a crummy job, the customer will "fire" it and look around for something else.
When you use this Jobs-to-be-Done theory, you start to view innovation as not just adding more bells and whistles. Instead, you're trying to come up with something genuinely better which will enable the customer to make progress in solving their problems.
"There is a better question to ask—one that can help us understand the causality underlying a customer’s decision to pull a new product into his or her life. What job did you hire that product to do? The good news is that if you build your foundation on the pursuit of understanding your customers’ jobs, your strategy will no longer need to rely on luck. In fact, you’ll be competing against luck when others are still counting on it. You’ll see the world with new eyes. Different competitors, different priorities, and most important, different results. You can leave hit-or-miss innovation behind."
-- Clayton Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David Duncan


is a professor at the Harvard Business School. He is the author of nine books (including bestsellers The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution), has co-founded four companies (including Innosight, an innovation consulting firm) and has been named several times as one of the world's most influential business thinkers. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Brigham Young University.

TADDY HALL is an innovation adviser with the Cambridge Group. She is also a leader of Nielsen's Breakthrough Innovation Project. He consults with senior executives to create new products and to find ways to improve innovation processes. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Yale University.
KAREN DILLON is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review and co-author of the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life? She is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University.
DAVID S. DUNCAN is a senior partner at Innosight. He acts as an adviser to senior executives on innovation strategy and growth. He is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard University.

New book summary released in 2016

The Definitive Guide to Creating Strategic,
Targeted and Measurable Online Campaigns


Digital marketing is different because today's consumers are empowered and informed. Marketing is no longer a matter of throwing stuff at consumers in the hope something sticks. Instead, to market effectively in the digital era, you need to find out what your customers are already doing online and then facilitate two-way conversations so you learn how to sell to them.
Doing this involves a four-step sequence:

The key distinguishing attribute of digital marketing is you deal with market realities, not guesses. You can track how each individual prospect responds to your marketing message and adjust accordingly. That new dynamic powered by digital technology fundamentally changes how marketing works.
Digital marketing is all about harnessing a two-way conversation with your future customers in a productive way.

"Many people are too quick to jump into managing digital channels. They set up blogs, websites, and social media profiles and start publishing nonspecific content about themselves, their companies, and their products. They fail to realize that digital channels are not broadcast channels in the traditional sense of the term. In fact, they are interaction channels that facilitate a two-way conversation. By taking the time to find out what your customers are doing online, your digital activities will become radically more effective. Your customers are speaking online. Are you listening?"
-- Ian Dodson

is co-founder and director of the Digital Marketing Institute, an online education company with more than 17,000 graduates in 80 countries. He develops certification standards and career pathways in digital marketing for universities, students and employers. He was formerly managing director of, a digital marketing agency and a client manager with Oracle. He also founded Weddings Online, Ireland's leading wedding planning website. Ian Dodson is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin.

New book summary released in 2016

How Smart Students, New Graduates and
Young Professionals Can Launch Brand You



Graduating from university or technical school with credentials is a great first step but job hunting in the twenty-first century is a serious challenge. To get a good job today, you need qualifications but you also have to learn how to market yourself. A good way to do this is by creating and then marketing your own personal brand – Brand You.

The best way to get your dream job is to take the tactics, principles and tools which great companies use to build their brands and apply them to building your own personal brand. If you do this, you can establish yourself as offering potential employers some special and unique. A strong personal brand will differentiate you and thereby make it easier for an employer to hire you.
Looking for a job can be incredibly frustrating but at the same time it can also be highly liberating. If you use the experience wisely, this can be your opportunity to build a platform which will launch you to greater personal success in the future. Anything is possible with the right tools and the right mindset.
"Bottom line: You are your most important asset. You are the only asset that no one can take away. And your ability to maximize that asset in the eyes of others will play a major role in your success. The magic is in you. But you must take charge and use your passion and drive to discover your career destiny. Become emotionally and intellectually engaged in launching your career and your life journey. Start to create your own luck and opportunities."
Catherine Kaputa

is a brand strategist and keynote speaker. She is the founder of SelfBrand LLC, a brand consultancy firm. She worked with marketing gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout before leading the award-winning " I LOVE NY" campaign while working at Wells, Rich, Greene. She also worked for ten years as senior vice president of advertising and community affairs at Citi Smith Barney where she was in charge of global branding for corporate, wealth management and investment banking. Catherine Kaputa also teaches a course on branding at New York University's School of Business. She is the author of four books including Breakthrough Branding and You Are a Brand. She is a graduate of City University of New York City College, Northwestern University, the University of Washington and Harvard University.

New book summary released in 2016

A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade


The real secret of effective persuasion doesn't lie in the message itself, but in the key moment immediately before that message is delivered.

There is a small window of opportunity just before you deliver an important message – called the "privileged moment for change" – where you can prepare people and precondition them to be more receptive to your message before they actually receive it. All great communicators and persuaders use that privileged moment of change to enhance the impact of their message.
Therefore, to change your listener's mind or influence them in some way, focus on learning what you can do to pre-suade them to listen to what you have to say. Do this well and you get your audience primed and ready to say, "Yes."

Pre-suasion is the process of gaining agreement with a message before it's sent.
"The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion—the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. To persuade optimally, then, it’s necessary to pre-suade optimally. "
- Robert Cialdini
"To get desired action it’s not necessary to alter a person’s beliefs or attitudes or experiences. It’s not necessary to alter anything at all except what’s prominent in that person’s mind at the moment of decision. It’s possible to move others in our direction by saying or doing just the right thing immediately before we want them to respond:"
- Robert Cialdini




ROBERT CIALDINI is an emeritus professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University and president of Influence at Work, a business consulting and training company he founded. Dr. Cialdini is widely acknowledged as an expert in persuasion, compliance and negotiation. He is the author of several bestsellers including Influence which has sold more than 2 million copies. He has consulted with organizations such as Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, The Mayo Clinic, IBM and many other firms. Dr. Cialdini is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University.

New book summary released in 2016

Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job


Entrepreneurship is not necessarily an all-or- nothing proposition. In fact, one good way to get most of the benefits of being an entrepreneur without risking everything is to invest just 10% of your time and resources in startup projects. In this way, you can become an entrepreneur without losing a steady paycheck.

If you commit at least 10% of your time – and if possible 10% of your financial and other resources – to new investments and opportunities, you can have the best of both worlds. You can keep a job you really like which provides you with a steady income and lifestyle but at the same time enjoy the thrill of being part of something new and exciting.
Being a 10% entrepreneur is the perfect way to live your startup dream without betting the farm.

"By leveraging your base of experience and your network, you will choose opportunities that play to your strengths and that are complementary to your career and your interests. Most important, you will be the owner of everything you create. You may change your career at multiple points in a lifetime, changing functions, changing roles, and changing companies, but you’ll always be creating value for the most important employer of all: you. Pursuing entrepreneurship on the side is a choice that is pragmatic rather than theoretical, so it’s not just a cool idea that you’ll never actually pull off in real life. You just need confidence in your own abilities, a willingness to look for help when necessary, and the tools to get started."
-- Patrick McGinnis

PATRICK J. McGINNIS is a venture capitalist and private equity investor. He is the founder of Dirigo Advisors, a consulting company which provides strategic advice to fast growing businesses. He is also an early stage investor in ipsy (an online beauty community), Bluesmart (inventor of the world's first smart carry-on suitcase) and Afiniti (a big data company reinventing the call center industry). Patrick McGinnis also writes articles for Fortune, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Boston Magazine and Forbes. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Georgetown University.

New book summary released in 2016

The Power of Passion and Perseverance


The secret to outstanding achievement is never talent alone. Instead, achievers have "grit" – a
passion to achieve a specific high-level goal and also the perseverance to follow through until that
goal is achieved.

The great thing about grit is there is now solid scientific evidence grit can be grown and increased
systematically. In particular, grit can be grown from the inside out and from the outside in. This is a
character trait which most definitely can be nurtured
and enhanced in your own life and career.
“Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”
– John Wooden, basketball coach
"Who are the people at the very top of your field? What are they like? What do you think makes them
special? Many of the people I talked to could also recount tales of rising stars who, to everyone’s
surprise, dropped out or lost interest before they could realize their potential. No matter the domain,
the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways. First,
these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking. Second, they knew in a very, very
deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction. It was this
combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had

– Angela Duckworth

ANGELA DUCKWORTH is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.She is a graduate of Oxford University,
Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. She also worked previously as McKinsey management consultant and
as a middle school and high school math teacher. She is the founder and scientific director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit
which is focused on advancing the science and practice of character development. Angela Duckworth has consulted with the
White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams and Fortune 500 CEOs.

New book summary released in 2016

How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets


Today's most exciting companies create categories. They sell us different – not just better. They solve a problem we didn't even know we had. This is the real genius of Amazon, Salesforce, Uber, IKEA and others. They are category kings.

These companies excel not by trying to be better than everyone else but by creating and then dominating their own market categories. Uber, for example, carved a new digital transportation category out of the huge analog marketplace for personal transportation made up of taxis, limos, rental cars, public transportation and driving yourself in your own car.
You can't build a legendary new company without first building a substantial new category in the marketplace. To play bigger, you have to position yourself as the leader in that category – because you're different – and then convince everyone that category is going to be a very big deal. You have to:

Develop a point of view – which explains why you exist and what you will do for the world.
Condition the market – help consumers understand which problem you solve for them.
Design an ecosystem – a community of supporters, partners, colleagues, evangelists.
Fire up a lightning strike – do something to shock the market and get attention.
Establish yourself and then keep expanding your category – build on your position and move outward and upward.
"Category kings start out as pirates, dreamers, and innovators. The truly legendary kings leave the scene as heroes. Category is the new strategy."
– Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney

AL RAMADAN is a co-founding partner at Play Bigger Advisors LLC, a business consulting firm which helps companies design,
develop and dominate market categories. He is a technologist with experience in starting and then taking public companies
which have pioneered new markets. Al Ramadan is a graduate of Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
DAVE PETERSON is also a co-founding partner at Play Bigger Advisors, LLC. He worked at software companies Vantive,
Mercury Interactive, Aggregate Knowledge and Coverity as well as starting his own company. He is a graduate of the University
of Northern Iowa.
CHRISTOPHER LOCHHEAD is also a co-founding partner at Play Bigger Advisors, LLC. He coaches CEOs and executive
teams on category design and marketing. He previously worked at Scient, Vantive, Platinum Software and Mercury Interactive.
KEVIN MANEY is a columnist, commentator and advisor. He writes a weekly column for Newsweek and has written articles for
USA Today, Fortune, Fast Company, Wired and more publications. He is the author of six books including The Two Second
Advantage, Making the World Work Better
and Trade-Off. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.

New book summary released in 2016

11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want


The ultimate paradox in business (and in life) is your greatest successes will usually come when you're
laser focused on helping other people achieve what they are after. If you can meet the right people and
help them go after their goals in tangible ways, they will reciprocate by giving you everything you need
to excel.

In other words, people skills matter today more than ever. Use your networks to help others in tangible
ways and they will want to help you succeed without you even having to ask for their help.
Success no longer goes to the loudest, the brashest, the hardest driving or the most
aggressive person in the room. Instead, it goes to those with the best people skills. Master the 11
people skills and you'll be positioned to excel.

"You can’t achieve happiness or success in a vacuum; it all hinges on the bonds you build with the
people around you."

– Dave Kerpen
"Today, people skills are more important than ever; they are the key to getting what you want both at
work and outside it.Weare constantly connected to one another: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and
other social media have become the primary way we communicate with others. Plus, in today’s world
there is so much noise, we are trusting personal referrals more than ever; we have a short attention
span, and so we are listening to the people who “get us” and whom we trust. As a result, the key to
wielding influence and getting what we want is to be the person others like, respect, and trust."

– Dave Kerpen

DAVE KERPEN is founder andCEO of Likeable Local, a social media software company, and Likeable Media, a word-of-mouth
marketing agency. He is also the author of New York Times bestsellers Likeable Leadership, Likeable Business and Likeable
Social Media
. An experienced keynote speaker, Dave Kerpen is the #1 rated LinkedIn Influencer of all time based on page
views. Dave Kerpen is a contributor for and has been featured by CNBC, BBC, ABC World News Tonight, the CBS
Early Show
and the New York Times. He is a graduate of Boston University.

New book summary released in 2016

How to Find the Work You Were Meant To Do


What does it take to get the career of your dreams – something that fits you so well it feels like you're doing what you were born to do? The key to feeling like you've won the career lottery is to use what can be termed the Joy-Money-Flow Model. It goes something like this:

A stellar career for you will incorporate:
• Doing something that makes you happy personally – something you enjoy. (Joy)
• Doing something which is highly financially valued by companies and individuals. (Money)
• Doing something which maximizes your unique skillset in a productive way. (Flow)
To find the work you were meant to do, you need to find the right combination of Joy, Money and Flow. It can be done.
"There’s more than one possible path to career success, but you want to find the best one-the thing you were born to do. You want to win the career lottery and discover a job or vocation that doesn’t feel like work. Achieving this goal will require changes in mindset, strategy and action. Above all else, finding the work you were meant to do should be your number one career goal."
Chris Guillebeau

is a writer, entrepreneur and world traveler. For ten years, he undertook a project to visit every country in the world and he has now personally visited all 193 countries. He is the author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup and The Art of Non-Conformity. He has been self-employed (Chris Guillebeau, Inc.) for 38 years and counting. Every summer, Chris Guillebeau hosts the World Domination Summit which brings together thousands of thought leaders in many fields. He is a graduate of the University of Washington.

July 2016

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New book summary released in 2016

How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work For You






The conventional business model is to build a pipeline between producers and consumers. Companies then try and push as many products and services through that pipeline as possible.








A new business model now starting to flourish in the marketplace asks: "What about if the consumers are also the producers? In that case, you don't need a pipeline, you need a platform which facilitates matches to create value for everyone."












Platforms can and do grow exponentially because they unlock resources which were previously hidden. In doing this, market value is created. The challenge is then to determine who will retain the greatest amount of that new added value -- the customer or the platform?

When you build a platform rather than a pipeline, your assumptions about operations, finance, strategy and also innovation change quite significantly. To thrive with a platform requires a different set of skills compared to the skill-sets of the corporate barons of ages past. Therefore, the challenge of the current generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs is not "How do we build a better widget or a better pipeline?" Instead, today's business leaders need to be asking: "How can we connect people, organizations and resources to create and capture value?" That is where the major growth opportunities of the future are going to come from.

The platform revolution is far from over. It's only just begun.



GEOFFREY PARKER is professor of engineering at Dartmouth College. He previously worked at General Electric and has
taught at Tulane University and MIT. He advises senior leaders in government and business and is a frequent keynote speaker.
He is a graduate of Princeton and MIT.

MARSHALL VAN ALSTYNE is a professor at Boston University and a visiting scholar at MIT. He is an expert on information
economics and holds several patents for information privacy. He consults with startups and Global 100 companies. He is a
graduate of Yale and MIT.

SANGEET CHOUDARY is the founder and CEO of Platform Strategy Labs. He regularly consults with business executives on
platform business models. He is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the INSEAD Business School and a Fellow at the Centre for
Global Enterprise. His blog, Platform Thinking, has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, MIT Technology Review
and Wired magazine. He is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and the Indian Institute of Management,






New book summary released in 2016

The Official Guide to Public Speaking
Chris Anderson




CHRIS ANDERSON is currently TED's president and head curator. He founded Future Publishing in 1985 with a $25,000 bank loan and then managed to double the company's turnover every year for the next seven years. In 1994, Chris Anderson moved to the United States where he established Imagine Media as publisher of Business 2.0 and developer of the video game users website IGN. Imagine Media and Future Publishing were merged and went public in 1999 with the combined company employing 2,000 people who published 150 magazines and websites. He then established the Sapling Foundation as a nonprofit which tackles tough global issues through media, technology, entrepreneurship and fresh ideas. In 2001, the Sapling Foundation acquired the TED Conference which now has more than 2,000 TED Talks posted online generating more than one billion views per year. Chris Anderson is a graduate of the University of Oxford.


  • New book summary released in 2016

    Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future





There are twelve technological forces already in play which will pretty much shape the global economy over the next 30 years. These forces are "inevitable" in that they have already been acting for the past few decades and they will only continue to expand and amplify over the next thirty years as they gain momentum.


The twelve technological forces of the next three decades are:



"Each of these 12 continuous actions is an ongoing trend that shows all evidence of continuing for at least three more decades. I call these metatrends “inevitable” because they are rooted in the nature of technology, rather than in the nature of society. These forces are trajectories, not destinies. They offer no predictions of where we end up. They tell us simply that in the near future we are headed inevitably in these directions."

-- Kevin Kelly





KEVIN KELLY is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine and a former editor and publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog. He started his career as a journalist contributing articles for CoEvolution Quarterly (now called Whole Earth Review) and has had articles published in The New York Times, The Economist, Time, Harper's Magazine, Science, GQ and Esquire. He is also an accomplished photographer and his photographs have been published in Life and other magazines. He is the author of several books including Out of Control, What Technology Wants and New Rules for the New Economy. Kevin Kelly is currently Senior Maverick at Wired magazine.  









  • New book summary released in 2016
    Spending Now to Increase Your True Wealth Forever



The traditional approach to retirement planning can be termed "FACD" – Financial Advice Commonly Delivered. The basic steps are:

FACD is okay but the reality is most people will not save a significant portion of their earnings. The other obvious problem is you're investing in vehicles beyond your control – you hope the stock market will perform, that real estate will in fact appreciate in value when adjusted for inflation and that your free time once you retire will be filled with activities you like.

A better alternative to FACD is to use "SAFE" – a Self-Amplifying Financial Ecosystem – where you invest in yourself. This plan is very different:

The last safe investment is to invest in yourself, to invest in the quality of your own career and to invest in assets you control. To be truly wealthy, you do need to do something which generates money and then you need to be able to convert that money into life experiences you enjoy. You also need to learn and grow so your value to others increases over time as well. Invest in yourself.





BRYAN FRANKLIN is a business strategist and business coach. He has worked with top level executives at Fortune 1000 companies including Apple, Logitech, Google, Cisco, SAP and LinkedIn. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has started and sold more than a dozen successful businesses. He delivers business seminars and keynote speeches and is the founder of FranklinMedia. He is a graduate of MLP Marin and the University of Southern California.

MICHAEL ELLSBERG is a journalist and public speaker. He is the author of three books including The Education of Millionaires and The Power of Eye Contact. He writes a blog on entrepreneurship, career development and education. In addition to appearing on CNN and MSNBC, Michael Ellsberg has also written op-eds for The New York Times, Forbes and Time. He is a graduate of Brown University.



  • New book summary released in 2016
    How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money



"Speed is only useful if you're running in the right direction."
Joel Barker

By their very nature, new ideas are always enticing and incredibly alluring. They can also be half-baked, misguided and delusional. Before you drop everything to run with a new idea, pause and ask yourself: "Will it fly?"

Specifically, before you commit time and resources to making your new idea happen, do a reality check. Get answers to five key questions:

"You cannot fail these tests, because it’s not you who is being tested. It is your ideas. No matter the outcome of the tests, it’s always going to be a win for you. Either way, you’ll have a clear indication of what to do next: go forth and conquer, or pull back and regroup to try again in a different way. If you discover that your idea doesn’t merit pursuit, you will have saved yourself a ton of time and money. If by the end of this you decide you’ve found something that works, you’re going to be completely motivated to push forward with it, because you will have bolstered your confidence and busted your excuses."
Pat Flynn

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
John F. Kennedy

"An idea is salvation by imagination.”
Frank Lloyd Wright

PAT FLYNN is a podcaster, the founder of several successful websites and owner of FlynnIndustries, LLC.. He has been featured in Forbes and in The New York Times for his work in helping people build online businesses through Pat Flynn is the author of Let Go and specializes in product validation, audience engagement and personal branding. He is also an advisor to the Pencils of Promise nonprofit which builds schools in the developing world. Pat Flynn is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

June 2016


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  • New book summary released in 2016
  • PEAK
    Secrets From the New Science of Expertise



Is there such a thing as innate genius – something that you're just born with the talent to excel at?

Contrary to popular belief, performance scientists have shown it's never natural talent that will make you good at something. The things you eventually become great at – maybe even world class at doing – are not locked in your DNA at birth. Instead, it all comes down to the hours of "deliberate practice" you put in to become skilled in that field – which means ANYONE can do it if they pay the price.

The essence of deliberate practice is you look at what the best do and focus on a specific skill they use. To develop that skill yourself, you then start monitoring your performance in that area closely so you can notice improvements as they happen. You get with a coach who can identify your weak spots and describe how the best performers think. Based on those suggestions, you go away and try it for yourself, get immediate feedback and keep iterating until you can perform at a high level of competency.

The key to peak performance in any field is not what's in your DNA. Instead, it's what's unlocked by the price you pay in hour after hour of deliberate practice. The human potential really is limited only by what we are willing to pay the price to achieve.

"There’s no such thing as a predefined ability. The brain is adaptable, and training can create skill that did not exist before. Learning isn’t a way of reaching one’s potential but rather a way of developing it. We can create our own potential. Deliberate practice is the most powerful approach to learning that has yet been discovered."
-- Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool




ANDERS ERICSSON is Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading researchers on the topic of expertise. Dr. Ericsson studies the cognitive basis of expert performance in domains such as medicine, music, chess and sports. He is the author or editor of numerous reports and books including Protocol Analysis, Toward a General Theory of Expertise and The Road to Excellence. Dr. Ericsson is a graduate of the University of Stockholm, Sweden and carried out post-doctoral research at Carnegie-Mellon University.

ROBERT POOL is a science writer. He worked at Science and Nature and has had articles published in Discover, Technology Review and many other publications. He is the author of several books including Eve's Rib and Beyond Engineering. He is a graduate of Rice University.




  • New book summary released in 2016
    How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue


Why is it that some companies experience hyper-growth while others never seem to break out of their current revenue levels?

When you strip away all the irrelevancies and misinformation, you'll find the world's fastest-growing companies systematize their success. They follow a template which has just seven basic components or ingredients:


"Follow the recipe and kick off your biggest growth spurt yet."
Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin


JASON LEMKIN is a serial entrepreneur and venture capital investor. He is the founder of SaaStr, a social community of software-as-a-service (SaaS) founders and executives. He has been an early stage investor in companies like Talkdesk, Algolia, Logikcull and others which have grown to have a combined market valuation of more than $1.5 billion. Jason Lemkin was CEO of EchoSign where he grew company revenues from $0 to $100 million leading to the company being acquired by Adobe. He is a graduate of Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford's Graduate School of Business.


AARON ROSS is a keynote speaker, cofounder and CRO of, a sales pipeline automation software company, and cofounder of He worked as an author/teacher at PebbleStorm, as entrepreneur-in-residence with Alloy Ventures and in several executive positions with where he evaluated acquisitions and created an inside sales team which now generates more than $100 million in recurring revenue for He is the author of three books including Predictable Revenue and CEOFlow. Aaron Ross is a graduate of Stanford University.

  • New book summary released in 2016
    An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future



The "Third Wave" of the Internet is coming:

The First Wave (1985 to 1999) was dominated by the companies building the network infrastructure – Cisco, IBM, Apple, etc.

The Second Wave (2000 - 2015) saw the app economy emerge and the mobile revolution take place. The companies which flourished in this era were search, social and ecommerce –, Facebook, Google, etc.

The Third Wave is just getting going in 2016. This will be the moment we stop interacting with the network and instead everything we do will be powered by Internet connectivity.




The Third Wave will see the rise of the "Internet of Everything" (IoE). As every device, physical object and process the length and breadth of the economy moves online over the next decade, trillions of dollars of value will be at stake. The IoE economy will generate a vast migration of value and wealth from those who react slowly to those who create intelligence from all those new connections.

"Decades from now, when historians write the story of technological evolution, they will argue that the moment the Internet became a ubiquitous force in the world was when we started integrating it into everything we did. This moment is the beginning of the Third Wave. The Third Wave is the era when the Internet stops belonging to Internet companies.It is the era when the concept of the Internet of Things will be viewed as too limiting, because we’ll realize that what’s emerging is the much broader Internet of Everything."
-- Steve Case



  • STEVE CASE is chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington DC-based investment firm. He was a co-founder of America Online (AOL), one of the best performing stocks of the 1990s and the first ever Internet IPO, which at its peak handled nearly half of all U.S. Internet traffic before it merged with media company Time Warner in 2001. Steve Case retired as chairman of AOL Time Warner in 2003. He is also the founding chairman of the Startup America Partnership and the Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure Foundation as well as The Case Foundation. Steve Case is a graduate of Williams College.


  • New book summary released in 2016

    How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (Without Money or Muscle)



It's generally assumed the only way you can get a great outcome in a negotiation is if you have all the money or power. That's not necessarily true – especially when you're in a deadlocked negotiation or an ugly dispute which is going nowhere.


There are three levers which most negotiators tend to underestimate but which really hold the power to bring any negotiation to a successful conclusion:


“Which one of these levers will be the key to solving your problem—or, whether you will need to use multiple levers—will depend on the situation. Alone, each of these is extremely effective. Together, they provide a comprehensive approach to negotiating the impossible. Of course, not all problems of human interaction will be solved quickly or easily. Many of the worst conflicts require tremendous effort, strategic perseverance, and fortuitous timing. But there are also times when what is most needed is something a bit different: the ability to control the frame, to shape the process, and to unearth possibilities where others see none. I hope you see every problem of human interaction as an opportunity for achieving greater understanding and better agreements."
-- Deepak Malhotra


DEEPAK MALHOTRA is professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. He specializes in negotiation strategy and is the author of two books including Negotiation Genius. Dr. Malhotra does training, consulting and advisory work for large corporations and has worked for several governments trying to end armed conflicts. He is a visiting professor at the University of Oxford and serves on the boards of advisors of Nutanix and Cylance, Inc. Dr. Malhotra is a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Management and the University of Michigan.



  • New book summary released in 2016

    How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow's Workplace



    The only way you will ever stay relevant in your job and future-proof your career is if you get into the habit of systematically and consistently stretching yourself professionally. This will always be a challenge because you're already busy keeping up with the day-to-day demands of your current job but if you don't take the time and make the effort to stretch your career won't move forward.

    There are three imperatives which apply here:

    It's up to you Nobody else will care as much about your career development as you do. Thus, take charge of stretching your career. Don't sit back and wait for direction – it will never come.
    You need options The future is uncertain so you need to be doing things which will create multiple paths to the future. You never know which you will end up going down so maximize your flexibility.
    Don't forget to follow your dreams The whole idea of a career is to be rewarded for doing something you love. Leverage your career so you bounce forward and ultimately embrace your dreams. It can be done.

  • KARIE WILLYERD is a Workplace Futurist at SuccessFactors, an SAP human capital software company. She was formerly Chief Learning Officer for Sun Microsystems and co-founder and CEO of social learning platform Jambok. She is the co-author of The 2020 Workplace, a regular blogger for Harvard Business Review and a successful keynote speaker and facilitator. She is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, Boise State University and Texas Christian University.
    BARBARA MISTICK is President of Wilson College. She previously served as president of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and as a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Barbara Mistick has also founded and sold two companies and served as Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Seton Hill University. She is a graduate of Carlow University, the University of Pittsburgh and Case Western Reserve University.

    New book summary released in 2016
    The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business


    The key to being smarter, faster and better at everything you do is to manage how you think rather than what you think about. Specifically, there are eight ideas which will expand your productivity:

    It's choices that fuel true productivity, not tools, technology or anything else. To become smarter, faster, and better at everything you do, concentrate on making better choices about how you think.

    "Connecting these eight ideas is a powerful underlying principle: Productivity isn’t about working more or sweating harder. It’s not simply a product of spending longer hours at your desk or making bigger sacrifices. Rather, productivity is about making certain choices in certain ways. The way we choose to see ourselves and frame daily decisions; the stories we tell ourselves, and the easy goals we ignore; the sense of community we build among teammates; the creative cultures we establish as leaders: These are the things that separate the merely busy from the genuinely productive."
    Charles Duhigg

    CHARLES DUHIGG is an award-winning investigative reporter for the New York Times and the author of the bestselling book The Power of Habit. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School. In addition to winning a Pulitzer prize for articles published in the New York Times, Charles Duhigg has also appeared on several TV shows including This American Life, The Newshour with Jim Lehr and Frontline. Before becoming a journalist, he worked in a private equity firm and founded an education management business.

New book summary released in 2016
How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap
Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi with Art Kleiner



How do you close the gap between strategy (what you'd ideally like to be doing) and execution (what you actually end up achieving)?

The conventional approach to closing this gap is:
1 – Focus on growth
2 – Pursue operational excellence
3 – Reorganize over and over to drive change
4 – Go lean
5 – Become agile and resilient
All of these approaches are well intentioned as standalone initiatives but when combined, there are often unintended consequences. For example, if you get trapped on the growth treadmill, you start chasing market opportunities you have no right to win. If you try and be world-class at everything, you will end up mastering nothing. And so on.
To genuinely close the gap between strategy and execution, five acts of unconventional leadership are required:

PAUL LEINWAND is Global Managing Director of PwC's strategy consulting business, Strategy&. He is also a principal with PwC U.S. where he advises companies on enterprise strategy. He is the coauthor of several books including Cut Costs and Grow Stronger and The Essential Advantage. Paul Leinwand is a graduate of Northwestern University and Washington University in St. Louis.
CESARE MAINARDI is a management consultant and thought leader on business strategy at Strategy&. He has held several senior leadership positions with Booz Allen Hamilton and Booz & Company. He has coauthored several books with Paul Leinwand and was previously adjunct professor of strategy at Northwestern's school of management. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
ART KLEINER is a management writer and editor-in-chief of strategy + business, the management magazine published by PwC. He has written several books and is also editorial director of the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook series. Art Kleiner is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

New book summary released in 2016


How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
ake Knapp With John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz

A "Sprint" is a five-day learning process. You start with a pressing business question or challenge and map it out, develop potential solutions, decide on the best, build a prototype and validate your ideas with real live customers – all in a week.
A Sprint isn't intended to give you a ready-to-ship product. Pure and simple, it is a concentrated method for answering your most pressing business questions. A Sprint will help you flesh out the nitty-gritty details, make rapid progress on developing a product and help you know for sure you're headed in the right direction.
The roadmap for a good Sprint is:

"The Sprint gives our startups a superpower: They can fast-forward into the future to see their finished product and customer reactions, before making any expensive commitments. When a risky idea succeeds in a sprint, the payoff is fantastic. But it’s the failures that, while painful, provide the greatest return on investment. Identifying critical flaws after just five days of work is the height of efficiency. It’s learning the hard way, without the “hard way.”"
-- Jake Knapp

JAKE KNAPP is a design partner at Google Ventures. He is a designer and writer and is the creator of the Sprint process. He has run more than one hundred Sprints at companies like 23andme, Slack, Nest and Foundation Medicine. He previously worked at Google, Microsoft and Oakley and is a graduate of the University of Washington.

JOHN ZERATSKY is also a design partner at Google Ventures. He previously worked as design lead for YouTube and was an early employee of FeedBurner which was acquired by Google. He has written about design and productivity for the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Wired and Time. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

BRADEN KOWITZ is also a design partner at Google Ventures where he founded the company's Design Studio. He has advised two hundred startups on user experience design and product development programs. He led the design teams which developed Gmail, Google Buzz, Google Apps for Business and Google Spreadsheets. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

New book summary released in 2016

Non-Conformists Move the World
Adam Grant


What does it take to come up with an idea which goes against the grain and then take the initiative to make that idea become a reality?

If you can pull that off, you join the ranks of the "Originals" – the creative types who generate unique ideas and then champion those ideas until they become successful. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Originals are not born with a rare creativity gene in their DNA. Instead, Originals tend to do two interesting things:

If you aspire to join the ranks of the Originals, don't obsess over your DNA. Instead, get busy doing four things:

ADAM GRANT is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has been recognized as one of the most highly rated professors there and one of the youngest to earn tenure. Adam Grant has written two books including the bestseller Give and Take. He specializes in research on success, workplace motivation and workplace behaviors. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard University. Adam Grant was previously an advertising director, a junior Olympic springboard diver and a professional magician.

New book summary released in 2016

Alec Ross


What are going to be the growth industries of the next twenty years as globalization, digitization and the Internet work their way through the economy?

The big six industries which will flourish in the next couple of decades are:

"The innovation and company creation that is just now beginning to take place in robotics, genomics, cyber, big data, and new fields made possible by the code-ification of money, markets, and trust will spring from alpha cities around the world, but they will also come from places that most business leaders have never visited. The rise of the Internet economy has taught business leaders that very young people who grew up digital are likely the ones who are going to create the big Internet companies. The same will hold true in many of the industries of the future. I expect most of the billion-dollar businesses in cyber and big data to spring from the minds of people in their twenties and thirties—those who grew up programming in a time of code war and the exponential growth of data."
--- Alec Ross

was Hillary Clinton's Senior Advisor for Innovation when she served as Secretary of State of the United States of America. Since leaving the State Department, he has advised investors, businesses and government leaders on technology and innovation policy. Alec Ross is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at John Hopkins University where he specializes in emerging technologies, geopolitics and geoeconomics. Alec Ross is a co-founder of the nonprofit One Economy which serves low-income people on four continents. He also sits on the board of directors for companies in the fields of technology, media, telecommunications, education, health care and cybersecurity. Alec Ross is a graduate of Northwestern University.

New book summary released in 2016

How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger For Success
Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage

Daymond John


As strange as it may sound, being broke will actually be a competitive advantage most of the time. Why? When you have money to burn, you don't work as hard or think as creatively as when you're on your last dollar. Being broke forces you to apply every last ounce of your passion, to leverage all of your resources and to find a way to use all of your ingenuity and determination.

"When you’ve got nothing to lose, you’ve got everything to gain. Sometimes it takes having your back against the wall, leveraging your last dollar, and having no place to go but up, up, up if you expect something to happen. Because if you’ve got to succeed to survive, you will. Trust me on this."
Daymond John
Being broke gives you a sense of urgency that can't be replicated any other way. To put the power of broke to work for you and use it to your advantage:

DAYMOND JOHN is an entrepreneur, investor and television personality. He is a co-founder and CEO of New York-based clothing company FUBU (For Us By Us) which grew to more than $350 million in worldwide sales. Daymond John appears on the business reality TV show Shark Tank where he gets pitched to invest his own money into various projects. He is also an accomplished public speaker and CEO and president of Shark Branding, a marketing and advertising company.

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New book summary released in 2016

8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life
Dr. Jason Selk, Tom Bartow with Michael Rudy


The key to achieving more in your professional career and private life is probably to try and do less. This is because of "channel capacity" – the fact your mind has the mental bandwidth to focus on at most three things at any one time.
"One of the biggest mistakes people make in business and in life is that that they try to change too many things too quickly. You see it on New Year’s Day, when so many people resolve to change everything they eat and go to the gym five times a week. After a burst of early enthusiasm for the new goal, reality sets in, and it gets harder and harder to cope with all the wrenching changes. At that point, it only takes a few days of “failure” to get discouraged and pitch the whole plan."
Jason Selk and Tom Bartow
When making improvements, the magic number is always 1 – you should focus on improving 1 thing at a time. Pick the 1 change which will have the most impact, master that and then move on. If you do that consistently over time, you will make a true breakthrough to the next level of success however you personally define it.

There are eight productive habits which will give you control of your time and your life. In the same way, choose your "3 Most Important" habits from those eight and then 1 "Must-Do" from those three. Then focus on doing a task for your Must-Do for as long as it takes to master that habit. Move on to the next habit only once you get the first one embedded.
"Success comes in one dedicated and focused step at a time."
Jason Selk and Tom Bartow

Dr. JASON SELK is a performance coach. He was previously the director of mental training with the St. Louis Cardinals and has worked with Olympians and professional athletes in baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey and NASCAR. He also works with executives of Fortune 500 companies including Northwestern Mutual and Edward Jones. He is the author of three books including 10-Minute Toughness and Executive Toughness.

TOM BARTOW has been a successful college basketball coach and a top financial advisor at Edward Jones. He has worked closely with famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden to develop and deliver advanced training programs.

MICHAEL RUDY is a senior writer at Golf Digest and has authored or co-authored twenty-three books.

Happy Chinese New Year

Summaries.Com would like to wish all our Chinese customers best wishes
for the Chinese New Year celebrations. We hope the Year of the Monkey
will be prosperous and happy for you.
Read Less, Do More.

The Summaries.Com Team

New book summary released in 2016

How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation


Everyone agrees having a good corporate culture is critical for success in pretty much every
organization. So how do you systematically build a great culture and then sustain it?

The key to building a high-performance culture is to understand what drives peak performance in the
individuals who work for your company. The simple fact is "why" you work always drives "how well" you
ultimately do your work. Get the why right and everything else will follow.

Great cultures fuel what can be termed the "Total Motivation" (ToMo) of your workforce, and total
motivation fuels performance. Build a great culture which maximizes ToMo and you light a fire that just
might ignite a movement within your company. You create the ideal conditions for high performance to
come about when you maximize ToMo.
"Total motivation is the common magic among the organizationswe all admire. Fortunately for the rest
of us, it is possible to improve an individual’s or an organization’s total motivation, creating higher
levels of performance. With this tool, we can finally turn the art of creating high-performing cultures into
an engineering discipline."

– Neel Doshi and Linda McGregor

NEEL DOSHI is co-founder of Vega Factor, a startup which is building technology to enable organizations to transform their
cultures. He was previously a partner at McKinsey & Company, Chief Technology Officer at Genesant Technologies and an
Associate at CITI. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of
LINDSAY McGREGOR is also a co-founder of Vega Factor. She was a consultant with McKinsey & Company from 1997 to
2011. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Princeton University.

New book summary released in 201

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World


In today's economy, the more time you can spend doing "deep work", the better.

So what exactly is deep work? Pure and simple deep work is where you are performing your highest-value professional activities in a distraction-free environment. When you're doing deep work, you're in a position to push your ability to think and create to its greatest limit. It's when you're doing deep work that you come up with your best and most creative outputs.
All of the influential figures in history and in business have always prioritized the amount of time they spend doing deep work. The interesting thing is as the number of distractions increase in their intensity and allure, deep work is becoming more valuable in today's economy for two reasons:

With deep work, you can continue to learn complicated things so you stay relevant as technology advances. The digital revolution also means when you create something useful with your deep work, more people can find it and access it – which greatly magnifies your rewards. The key to getting ahead now and in the future is to do more deep work and make it the centerpiece of your working life. Increase it and you will thrive.

"The real rewards are reserved not for those who are comfortable using Facebook (a shallow task, easily replicated), but instead for those who are comfortable building the innovative distributed systems that run the service (a decidedly deep task, hard to replicate). Deep work is so important that we might consider it, to use the phrasing of business writer Eric Barker, “the superpower of the 21st century.”"
Cal Newport

CAL NEWPORT is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. He is the author of five books including So Good They Can't Ignore You. He runs a popular blog called Study Hacks which decodes patterns of success for students and graduates. Dr. Newport's area of specialization is how knowledge workers reach elite levels of performance. He is a graduate of MIT and Dartmouth College.

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New book summary released in 201

How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve
Extraordinary Results Together


When introverts and extroverts team up and work together, the energy and dynamism generated by
their differences can sometimes mean they end up producing genius-level results. And yet, at the
same time, these partnerships can also go off the rails quickly and end up being a train wreck.

So how can you form a I/E partnership that works? The trick is quite simple really – you and your
partner need to focus more on results and less on the differences that exist. If you can do that, by
teaming up with an introvert or an extrovert opposite of yourself, together you can accomplish
great things.

"When you skillfully combine the extrovert set of strengths with those of the introvert, you don’t just
get addition. You get exponential results. It’s like having one group who can see only close up and
one who can see only in the distance. When you bring them together and manage the blend, the
entire picture comes into focus and suddenly you can act on things the way neither side could have
separately. The possibilities for these two styles collaborating are great for those individuals, but
also for their workplaces, including improved morale, surpassed company goals, and the high
that comes from satisfying work."

– Jennifer Kahnweiler

JENNIFER KAHNWEILER is a keynote speaker and a learning and development professional advisor. She works with
organizations such as General Electric, FreddieMac, NASA, Turner Broadcasting and the US Centers for Disease Control to
assist them to get the most from their people. She is the author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength and
Quiet Influence: The Introvert's Guide to Making a Difference. Jennifer Kahnweiler has taught seminars on this topic in several
countries and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Time Magazine and Bloomberg Business Week.
She is a graduate of Florida State University and Washington University, St. Louis.

January 6, 2016


Summaries.Com wishes all readers of this blog a prosperous and happy 2016.
We're looking forward to a great new year of learning. Our website is going to
be undergoing a major upgrade in early-2016 which will enable us to offer our
subscribers even more added value. Stay tuned for news of these and
other developments. Read less, do more.


The Summaries.Com Team




New book summary released in 2015

Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes -- But Some Do
Matthew Syed







Everyone likes the idea of learning from their failures and mistakes but in reality few people or organizations ever do. Instead, most cover up their
missteps and thereby end up repeating the same mistakes over and over.
















To avoid that, you need to follow the lead of the
commercial aviation industry and install a "black box" which constantly records all inputs and
outputs. Every commercial airliner has a flight
recorder installed which records data about the airplane, the actions of the flight crew and more.
Whenever a crash occurs, the data from the black
box is widely disseminated so everyone can learn what they need to do differently in order to avoid
repeating the mistake.

In a similar vein, in a highly complex organization, if
you can install your own version of a black box rather than sweeping your mistakes under the rug,
you will create a climate where not only is it safe to
fail (because everyone does that) but it's vital to learn from what went wrong so it can be improved in
the future. A black box approach to improvement
will signal learning from failure is what counts, not pointing the finger of blame.

"Nobody wants to fail. We all want to succeed,
whether we are entrepreneurs, sportsmen, politicians, scientists, or parents. But at a collective
level, at the level of systemic complexity, success
can only happen when we admit our mistakes, learn from them, and create a climate where it is, in a
certain sense, “safe” to fail. if we wish to fulfill our
potential as individuals and organizations, we must redefine failure."
– Matthew Syed




















MATTHEW SYED is a sports columnist and feature writer for The Times where he has worked since 1999. He is also an
accomplished keynote speaker, commentator and contributor to the BBC and Eurosport. He is a graduate of Oxford University
and is also the author of Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice. Matthew Syed was for many years ranked as
the number one table tennis player in Great Britain and he represented his country at two Olymic Games. He is also managing
director of a sports marketing company, a marketing consultant for the English Table Tennis Association and one of the
co-founders of TKK Greenhouse, a sports-related charity.





New book summary released in 2015

A Power Tool For Creative Thinking
wan Gibson





When you analyze how successful business innovation has happened through the decades, you'll find most breakthroughs don't come from a
moment of individual brilliance. More often than not, innovation is the result of looking at the world with a fresh perspective. In other words, it comes
from seeing things differently.

With that in mind, there are four "lenses" which
innovators use to look at the familiar and spot what is unseen:



1. Innovators challenge orthodoxies – they
question and often end up overturning commonly held assumptions.
2. Innovators harness trends – they spot patterns
which are changing the game and ride these waves to success.
3. Innovators leverage resources – they find ways
to repurpose, redeploy and sometimes recombine resources which are already there to be used.
4. Innovators understand customer needs – they
live in their customer's skins, empathize with them and then work to identify their unmet needs.

If you aspire to come up with original and fresh
ideas which end up creating new growth opportunities, learn from history's most successful
innovators. Use these four lenses to think like an
innovator. They are catalysts for breakthrough innovations.






ROWAN GIBSON is a public speaker and an expert in business innovation. He is the author of three books on business
strategy and innovation including Rethinking the Future (1996) and Innovation to the Core (2008). He has consulted with
international companies teaching them how to seize new growth opportunities for more than twenty years now. Mr. Gibson has
given keynote speeches and innovation seminars in 61 countries and his client list includes Coca-Cola, Accenture, British
Telecom, Credit Suisse and others.





New book summary released in 2015

How People and Platforms are Inventing the
Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism

Robin Chase




Capitalism is changing fundamentally and for the better. The Industrial Economy (where you made money by hoarding scarce assets and then selling
them bit by bit) really is on its way out. It's being replaced by the Collaborative Economy (where more money is being made by using platforms to
share assets between peers in intelligent ways).

The driving force for this change is a structure
called "Peers Inc". It has three basic components:




If you look at all the big success stories of the
present time – companies like Uber LinkedIn, YouTube, Alibaba, Airbnb, Zipcar and others –
you'll find they are all Peers Inc style companies.
They combine Inc-style industrial strengths (scale and resources) with Peer-style strengths
(localization, specialization and customization).

"When Incs and peers focus only on what they do
best, each handling what is difficult, annoying, or just plain impossible for the other, the resulting
collaboration is compelling and sometimes
miraculous. In a world of scarcity, Peers Inc organizations create abundance. Harnessing
resources we already have – physical assets, skills,
networks, devices, data, experiences, processes – these organizations grow efficiently, and
sometimes exponentially. Peers Inc rewrites the
rules for value creation: Shared resources unlock the greatest efficiencies, shared minds the greatest

– Robin Chase



ROBIN CHASE is co-founder and the first CEO of Zipcar, the world's largest carsharing company. She is a self-described
transportation entrepreneur. She previously co-founded Buzzcar (a carsharing service in France), GoLoco (an online
ridesharing community) and Veniam (a vehicle communications company). She currently serves on the boards of several
public companies and advisory councils for government transportation departments and has won numerous awards for her
work in the transportation field. She has received an honorary Doctorate of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is
a graduate of Wellesley College, MIT's School of Management and Harvard University Graduate School of Design.






New book summary released in 2015

Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies
Charles Koch





Koch Industries, Inc. (founded in 1940) is today the second-largest privately held company in the United States, with annual revenues exceeding
$115 billion. If Koch were listed, the company would rank at 17 in the Fortune 500. And impressively, an investment of $1,000 in Koch in 1960 would today
have a book value of $5 million – a return which is 27 times higher than the S&P 500.

"What is Koch's secret? I believe it is Market-Based
Management, our unique business management framework, which has allowed us to keep pace
through half a century of dramatic change."

– Charles Koch, CEO




Koch's Market-Based Management (MBM) framework has five dimensions:
1. Vision – strive for good profits which benefit
customers and society as a whole.
2. Virtues – hire based on values first and talent
second, not the other way around.
3. Knowledge – create a culture where the best
ideas win regardless of who puts them forward.
4. Rights – let employees take complete ownership
of their work roles and responsibility for outcomes.
5. Incentives – make it possible for anyone in the
company to earn more than their boss if he or she creates more value for the customer.

The underlying goal of
MBM is to enable a business to create more value and drive creative destruction faster and better than existing or potential
competitors. It works.



CHARLES KOCH has been chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries, Inc. since 1967. In that time, Koch Industries
has grown from being a $21 million company to one which is now worth more than $100 billion. Mr. Koch is well known and well
regarded for his support of institutions like the Cato Institute and the Institute for Human Studies as well as for his various
non-profits like the Charles Koch Foundation and Youth Entrepreneurs. Charles Koch is a graduate of The Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT).






New book summary released in 2015

How to Innovate With Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
Dan Olsen




How do you make products that customers love and rave about? 



You do that by making it feasible for customers to help you develop the product and then by iterating your way to the perfect Product-Market fit.
The best way to do this is by using a "Lean Product Process" and by following this approach:




1. Determine who your target customers are.
2. Get to know their unserved needs.
3. Define the ideal product's value proposition.
4. Design and create a minimum viable prototype.
5. Test that MVP prototype with actual customers.
6. Learn what customers love and hate.
7. Iterate and if necessary pivot.

Keep using customer feedback until you get the perfect fit between your product and the market. 


DAN OLSEN is an entrepreneur and business consultant. His consulting firm, Olsen Solutions, works with companies to help
them develop great products using Lean methodologies. He has worked with companies right across the spectrum from
startups to Fortune 500 companies. Past clients have included Facebook, Microsoft, Medallia, XING and One Medical Group.
Dan Olsen previously led the Quicken product team when he worked at Intuit and was cofounder and CEO of YourVersion, a
personalized news startup. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and
the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 




New book summary released in 2015

Stop Wishing, Start Doing and Take Command of Your Life
Bernard Roth





How do you make achievement a habit in your personal and professional life?




You do this by applying the "design thinking"
methodology to your life and career. Specifically, there are five things you should do:






BERNARD ROTH has been professor of engineering at Stanford University for more than fifty years. He is today considered to
be one of the world's leading thinkers on kinematics and robotics. In 2003, Bernard Roth was a co-founder of Stanford's highly
regarded Design School, called "the" In the late 1980s, he started teaching a workshop on creativity to students,
faculty and professionals which is nowa highly regarded course. Bernard Roth is a graduate of Columbia University.




  1. New book summary released in 2015

    How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life
    Michael Port


    To "steal the show" in your life or career means to perform well in all the important spotlight moments which arise in your life and career – when giving a
    public speech, making a business or sales presentation, having a job interview, negotiating a business deal and so on. To shine in those
    moments, you've got to know what to do in high-pressure situations.
    The fact is great performances are always
    developed and then won from the inside out. Professional actors know this and they use three
    techniques which you should pick up and apply

    They have a performer's mindset – actors know how to find their voice and authentically play the right role in any situation. By doing
    that, they crush their roles.

    Actors excel in applying powerful performance principles – they have an "operating system" which they use for each performance and
    which enables them to perform well and steal
    the show.

    Actors have very solid delivery strategies and techniques – they master the technical and practical aspects of performing in a public
    setting exceptionally well so they can take
    center stage and stay there.

    The surest way to steal the show is to apply the
    Actor's Toolkit. The best actors, marketers, business managers and entrepreneurs all know
    their success is powered by their mindset, the
    principles they apply and their delivery strategies. To step out of the wings and steal the show, follow
    their example.

    MICHAEL PORT is a successful actor and professional speaking coach. He has written six books including Book Yourself
    Solid, The Contrarian Effect
    and The New York Times bestseller The Think Big Manifesto. He is a top ranked public speaker
    and provides public speaking workshops to many CEOs and other business professionals. Michael Port has blogged for the
    Huffington Post, featured as a guest speaker on network television several times and written monthly columns for Entrepreneur
    and American Express Open Forum. He is a graduate of New York University and Tulane University.

New book summary released in 2015

The Underground Playbook For Growing Your Company Online
ussell Brunson


Online businesses which are struggling normally assume they have a problem getting enough traffic to their site or converting that traffic when it does
show up. That's not usually the real problem, however. More often than not, websites which are underperforming have a funnel problem.

The best way to organize an online business is to
build a good sales funnel – which consists of some bait (B), front-end offers (FE), mid-funnel offers (M)
and back-end offers (BE). To optimize the funnel,
you'll also need three good strategies for Traffic, Product and Communications.
If you can organize your funnel so you can spend
two- to three-times more than everyone else to acquire customers, your online business will
become exponentially more profitable.
"Ultimately, the business that can spend the most to
acquire a customer wins."
– Dan Kennedy
"When you implement these secrets, you will
transform your website from a flat, two-dimensional company into a three-dimensional sales and
marketing machine that allows you to outspend
your competitors, acquire an almost unlimited number of new customers, make (and keep) more
money, and most importantly, serve more people."

– Russell Brunson

RUSSELL BRUNSON is the owner of Inc., a marketing consulting firm. He started his first online
company while he was a student at Boise State University. Within a year of graduating from college, Russell Brunson sold more
than a million dollars of his own products and services working from his basement. For more than 12 years now, he has been
consulting with other online companies helping them grow their traffic, increase their conversion rates and make more online
sales. Russell Brunson is a graduate of Boise State University.

New book summary released in 2015

The Power of Thinking and Acting Like an Owner
Robert Steven Kaplan


Are great leaders born or made? Or in other words, can you really learn to lead?
Contrary to conventional wisdom, leadership
qualities are not something you either innately have as part of your DNA or you don't. Leadership is
always more about what you do and less about who
you are.
The simple fact is leadership is more a journey
rather than a destination – it's about what you do along the way. The key to acting like a leader is to
have an "ownership mindset" which has three main


Great organizations have always been built around
a nucleus of people who have a leadership mindset and this will continue to be the case in the future.
Leadership is not a role reserved for those who are
situated in positions of power or who were born with the "right stuff". Instead leadership can be assumed
by anyone who is willing to think like an owner, act
decisively and consistently do things which add value.
"You can be a leader. Leadership doesn't require a
written invitation. It isn't something that only ‘important people’ can do. Leadership is something
you need to work at versus a state of being or a
destination. The world needs your leadership."
– Robert S. Kaplan

ROBERT STEVEN KAPLAN is senior associate dean and professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. He
is also co-chairman and a founding partner of Indaba Capital LLC, chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee of Google,
Inc. and co-chairman of the philanthropy firm Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. He is the author of What You're Really
Meant to Do
and What to Ask the Person in the Mirror. Prior to joining Harvard Business School, Robert Kaplan was vice
chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Kansa

New book summary released in 2015

Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice
Todd Henry


There's never been a better time than right now to build an audience for your ideas or for your products. The platforms and tools that are available
(especially social media) are impressive and low cost or free. However, that also means it's harder than ever to stand out from the crowd.

The key to standing out is to use your authentic voice to create a body of work you're proud of. The more authentic your work is, the greater the impact
you will have with the right audience. You'll also derive greater personal satisfaction from generating work you're proud of and which speaks
for you rather than trying to merely clone what everyone else is already doing.
To stand out, stand for what you really believe and make it known. Project your genuine views, values, hopes and ambitions. That's the only way you will
ultimately end up producing something you're proud of in the years ahead.
"While your work speaks about you, does it really speak for you? Does it represent you well? The key to making your work resonate is to uncover,
develop, and then bravely use your authentic voice. Whether you are a writer, a consultant, an entrepreneur, an engineer, a manager, or an artist,
developing your authentic voice should be a top priority if you are serious about crafting a body of work that will stand the test of time. Work, then,
becomes about more than checking off tasks and pushing through projects. Instead, it is a means to carve a place in the world and create value that
lasts. It becomes a means of genuine expression and a standing testament to your efforts."

– Todd Henry  


TODD HENRY is the founder of Accidental Creative, a consulting company which helps creative people and teams be
productive and do brilliant work.He previously founded Idea Traction, a company which developed web-based tools for creative
teams. He is also the author two books The Accidental Creative and Die Empty. Todd Henry is a graduate of Miami University.


New book summary released in 2015

The Complete Investor
Tren Griffin


Charlie Munger is one of the world's most successful investors. He is Warren Buffett's long-term partner and exactly one-half of the
Berkshire Hathaway senior management team.
Like Warren Buffett, Munger was born and raised in
Omaha, Nebraska where he still lives. Charlie Munger studied mathematics at the University of
Michigan and then served as a meteorologist in the
US Army during World War II. After the war, he studied law at Harvard Law School and upon
graduation formed a law firm with a few partners
which would ultimately become one of the nation's most prestigious legal practices. Despite that
success, Munger left the legal profession to
become a full-time investor at the urging of Warren Buffett who he met in California. From 1962 to
1975, Charlie Munger ran an investment
partnership which generated 20-percent annual returns compared to 5-percent growth in the Dow
Jones over the same time period.

So what is the secret of Charlie Munger's success
as an investor? He and Warren Buffett both use a
reasonably simple framework for thinking which
has three elements:


Principles – Munger and Buffett are well-known
advocates of the Graham value investing system.

The Right Stuff – Munger and Buffett always try
and take the emotion out of their investment decisions and act rationally and dispassionately.

Variables – Munger and Buffett always add in their
unique take on events as an integral part of their investment strategy.

TREN GRIFFIN is a senior manager at Microsoft where he deals in strategy, competitive analysis and business development.
He was previously a partner at Eagle River, a private equity firm controlled by Craig McCaw. He has also worked as a senior
director with US West New Vector Group and as a business consultant in Korea, Australia and other Asian countries. He is the
author of several books including The Global Negotiator and Korea: The Tiger Economy. Tren Griffin is a graduate of the
University of Washington and Boston College.

New book summary releasedin 2015

The Start-Up Plan For Starting Now
Bernhard Schroeder


The traditional approach to being an entrepreneur has usually been:

The problem with that approach is markets today evolve so quickly your business plan will likely be out of date before it is finished. You don't want to
wait until you've spent all your funds before you start finding out whether or not customers really want what you're making.
A much better approach is to use the "LeanModel
Framework" which is based on customer truth – getting feedback from customers – in this way:


"If you want to sell a product, just make it. If you
want to sell a service, just deliver it. If you want to create a company, just create one. There has never
been a time like the one we are living in right now."

– Bernhard Schroeder

BERNHARD SCHROEDER is a director of San Diego University's Entrepreneurship Center. In addition to teaching
entrepreneurship courses at San Diego University, he has worked with hundreds of start-ups as a strategic adviser or mentor.
Prior to joining the university, Bernhard Schroeder was a Senior Partner in CKS Partners, a marketing communications agency
where he was involved in the initial branding and marketing launches of Yahoo!, Amazon, Corbis, ESPN, Travelocity and
others. He has also worked with Apple, Nike, General Motors, American Express, Kellogg's and other Fortune 100 firms. He is a
graduate of San Diego University - California State University and Walsh College.

New book summary released
in 2015

The Fastest Way to Take Your Self and Your Sales to the Next Level
Hal Elrod and Ryan Snow with Honoree Calder


One very effective wayto achieve more in life and in business is to establish a morning ritual which helps
you be productive and engaged right from the get-go every day.



This is something many high achievers are already doing. They don't leave their mindset or their overall
general attitude to chance or to the vagaries of morning television. Instead, they get their workday
off on the right foot every day by harnessing a good morning success ritual.
Mornings are the key to success. If you can get into
the habit of rising early, connecting to your goals
and then actively visualizing what you want to make
happen , you'll end up winning more, feeling better
and strategically engineering your life for success.

"If you want to take your SALES to the next level,
you must first figure out how to take your SELF to
the next level – because it only happens in that
order. I believe that to be truly successful in
whatever way you measure success, you must
master both your inner game and the outer game of
sales. And that starts in the morning. When you
own the morning, you own the day. When you own
the day, you can own the sales process."

– Hal Elrod
"How you start each morning sets your mindset,
and the context, for the rest of your day. Start every
day with a purposeful, disciplined, growth-infused,
and goal-oriented morning, and you're virtually
guaranteed to crush your day."

– Hal Elrod, Ryan Snow and Honoree Calder

HAL ELROD is a best-selling author. He was declared clinically dead for six minutes after a head-on car crash at age 20 and
was told he would never walk again. Defying the odds, Hal Elrod not only managed to walk but has now completed a 52-mile ultra marathon and has gone on to become an international keynote speaker and sales coach.

SNOW is a sales leader, business coach and teacher. He has more than fifteen years experience and is currently Team Leader and Business Coach at Boston-based Keller Williams Realty. He also manages his own sales team.

HONOREE CORDER is the author of more than a dozen books including Vision to Reality. She has worked as a strategic
advisor and mentor to sales professionals and entrepreneurs for more than fifteen years.

New book summary released in 2015

New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
General Stanley McChrystal


The United States Army learned in Afghanistan and Iraq you can't defeat a network with a hierarchy. It
takes a network to beat a network. It wasn't until the US Army stopped building a hierarchy and instead
built a network that success was realized.


The same is true in many industries right across the
economy. The key to success today is not to try and
build a better hierarchy. Instead, successful
organizations transform themselves into
interconnected and effective networks. If you can
build a network which is resilient and adaptable but
at the same time focused on your overall strategic
goals, you can and will succeed. If you can do that,
everything else will fall into place.
"Efficiency remains important, but the ability to
adapt to complexity and continual change has
become an imperative. Few of us are criticized if we
faithfully do what has worked many times before.
But feeling comfortable or dodging criticism should
not be our measure of success. There's likely a
place in paradise for people who tried hard, but
what really matters is succeeding. If that requires
you to change, that's your mission."

– General Stanley McChrystal

GENERAL STANLEY McCHRYSTAL retired in July 2010 after 34 years of service in the U.S. Army. A four-star general at the
time of his retirement, his final assignment was to head up NATO's International Security Assistance Force and all US forces in
Afghanistan. He previously served as the director of the Joint Staff and for five years General McChrystal was commander of
the Joint Special Operations Command. Since his retirement, General McChrystal has become a senior fellow at Yale
University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and has established his own consulting firm, McChrystal Group. He is also the
author of My Share of the Task. General McChrystal is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and the
United States Military Academy.

New book summary released in 2015

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Ashlee Vance


The first inside look into the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley's most audacious entrepreneurs. This summary traces Elon
Musk's life story from his birth in South Africa to his current position at the pinnacle of the global business world. It details
his e-commerce successes with Zip2 and PayPal and then his start-up struggles with Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity. It also
goes into his motivations and his world view and suggests that if he can achieve what he is now well positioned to do,
Elon Musk stands a very good chance of becoming the richest man in the world and arguably the most powerful.

ASHLEE VANCE is a technology writer. He spent several years writing about Silicon Valley and technology for the New York
Times, The Register
and The Economist. He then went to Bloomberg Businessweek where he has written dozens of cover
stories and features. Like Elon Musk, Ashlee Vance was born in South Africa but grew up in the United States and graduated
from Pomona College.


New book summary released in 2015

How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach
Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes and Janmejaya Sinha


A strategy is always just a means to an end – a systematic way to generate favorable outcomes.
Good strategy is never one-size-fits-all but will always be dependant on three questions:

Depending on how you answer those questions, there really are just five generic approaches to
strategy from which you can mix and match:

"Strategy is, in essence, problem solving, and the best approach depends on the specific problem at hand. Your environment dictates your approach to
strategy. You need to assess the environment and then match and apply the appropriate approach. Using the right approach pays off. In our research,
firms that successfully match their strategy to their environment realized significantly better returns – 4 to 8 percent of total shareholder returns – over firms
that didn't."

– Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes and Janmejaya Sinha

MARTIN REEVES is a senior partner and managing director of Boston Consulting Group's New York office. He heads up
BCG's research institute and specializes in studying self-tuning organizations and corporate longevity. He joined BCG in 1989
and leads the firm's Japan Health Care practice and other units.

KNUT HAANAES is a senior partner at BCG and the global leader of BCG's Strategy practice. He consults widely with global
clients in many industries and sectors and focuses on value creation and growth. He is passionately interested in how
sustainability can drive innovation and the creation of new business models. Knut Haanaes is a graduate of the Norwegian
School of Economics and the Copenhagen Business School.

JANMEJAYA SINHA is chairman of BCG's Asia Pacific practice. He specializes in analyzing how large organizations make
transformations and corporate governance. He is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum and the author of Own the
Future. He is a graduate of Princeton University, Cambridge University and St. Stephen's College, Delhi.

New book summary released in 2015

Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry
John Warrillow


The more recurring revenue you can build into your business, the more your business is worth. If you can develop your business model so buying from
you becomes automatic – so you bring in sales without having to resell the customer every month – you're in a much stronger position.
That's why Amazon (Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited), Apple (Joint Venture and iTunes) and pretty much every promising Silicon Valley startup
which launches today is hard at work developing and offering subscription-based products and services. Subscribers are better than customers
and when you have subscribers, you can project your future revenues with a reasonable degree of certainty.

If you're smart, you'll find a way to add a subscription offering to what you already offer your customers.
"Whether you like it or not, you are now competing in the new subscription economy, and it's up to you to decide if you're playing defense or offense. Are
you willing to watch your business be cannibalized by someone else's subscription business? Or are you ready to win somw automatic customers of
your own?"

– John Warrillow


JOHN WARRILLOW is the founder of The Value Builder System, a consulting company which teaches a methodology for
increasing the value of privately owned companies. In addition to being the author of Built to Sell, John Warrillow is an
accomplished professional speaker. He was previously the president of his own business consulting company and advisory
company targeting small and medium sized businesses. John Warrillow is a graduate of Queens University, Canada.

New book summary released in 2015

The One Essential Combination That
Will Get You More of What You Want

Gino Wickman and Mark Winters


The best way to grow a business – particularly one in the $2 - $50 million annual revenue range – is to have a "Visionary" link up with an "Integrator".When
you have these two types of leaders working together in unison, magic happens.

Visionaries see the future whereas integrators make it happen. The world of business is full of stellar visionary/integrator combinations including:
• Walt and Roy Disney at Disney
• Henry Ford and James Couzens at Ford
• Ray Kroc and Fred Turner at McDonalds
• Joel Pearlman and Rob Dube at imageOne
• Randy Pruitt and David Bitel at Detroit Radiator
The simple fact is growing companies need the skills of both visionaries and integrators but it is extremely rare for an entrepreneur to be strong in
both areas. More than likely, your company will excel only if you can combine the efforts of a visionary with the discipline of an integrator.
If you can figure out whether you are an integrator or a visionary, then you will know which role you need to assume to excel and what type of person you
need to work with to soar.
"An entrepreneur's lust needs to be counterbalanced with a manager's prudence and discipline. When it's structured correctly, the
dynamic that exists between these two distinct leadership gifts can be magical. We have the privilege of spending every day teaching business
leaders. We witness the beneficial results achieved by defining and clarifying these two vital roles. With them, companies gain faster growth, more peace of
mind, more freedom, higher profitability, more fun, and considerably increased cohesiveness. When harnessed, it is very effective. It may be your way to
finally break through the ceiling that's been hanging over you for so long."

– Gino Wickman and Mark Winters

GINO WICKMAN is a professional trainer and coach. He is President and creator ofEOS Worldwide, a training company which
teaches its proprietary Entrepreneurial Operating System. He has delivered more than 1,600 full-day training sessions on
entrepreneurial leadership. Gino Wickman is the author of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.

MARK WINTERS is the CEO and resident Visionary of Rocket Fuel Ventures, a consulting company specializing in
entrepreneurial leadership. He has more than 25 years experience working with companies including Procter & Gamble,
Amoco, Experian, Prediction Analytics and Vistage International. He currently pursues business opportunities relating to the
optimization of human performance. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Business School and the University of

New book summary released in 2015

Seven Proven Principles to Grow
Your Business and Get Your Life Back

Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel
Loads of people are today getting the entrepreneurial bug and starting their own businesses. That's all well and good if you decide to
take the plunge but if you're not careful, all you can end up doing is creating a job for yourself rather
than a business that you can grow and one day sell.
To move beyond self-employment, you have to build a scalable business the right way. You do this
by radically reducing the company's reliance on you, the owner. Scaling a business usually involves
seven key principles, spread over four phases:


JEFF HOFFMAN is a serial entrepreneur and motivational speaker. He was a co-founder of multiple startups including,, CTI, ColorJar and others. He has also been successful as a Hollywood film producer and event
promoter. Jeff Hoffman is a graduate of Yale University and is frequently a featured business expert on Fox News and CNN as
well as in Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and many more publications.
DAVID FINKEL is CEO and founder of Maui Mastermind, a business coaching company. He is an ex-Olympic level athlete and
the author or co-author of 11 books including The Real Estate Fast Track and The Maui Millionaires. Over the past twenty years,
he has helped people start, scale and sell companies which have more than $2 billion in market value. He is a graduate of the
University of California, San Diego.

New book summary released in 2015

Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game,
Building a Team, and Growing Your Career

Jack Welch and Suzy Welch


Business is the ultimate team sport. It always has been and it always will. That's why you can never stop learning because in business, the game is
constantly changing and evolving. To keep moving forward, you have to keep learning and growing at a personal level.
Specifically, to excel in business today, you need a Real-Life MBA rather than a purely theoretical or more conventional MBA. A Real-Life MBA will
require than you master three competencies:

"Practically everybody, practically everywhere, is making something, selling something, creating something, building something. This is the era of
perpetual entrepreneurism, personal and professional, in organizations both small and massive, in economies old and brand-new. Stand
still at your peril. Or to be more precise, stop learning at your peril. Better yet, embrace learning, and watch what happens. Excitement. Growth.

– Jack and Suzy Welch

JACK WELCH was CEO of General Electric for 21 years. During that time, he grew GE's revenues from $25 billion to $130
billion, the company's income from $1.5 billion to $15 billion and General Electric's market capitalization to $400 billion. After
retiring from GE, Jack Welch has written two best-sellers (Jack: Straight From the Gut and Winning) and founded a business
school offering executive education and management training. Jack Welch is a graduate of the University of Illinois at

SUZY WELCH is a television commentator and business journalist. She writes business columns for Business Week, Fortune
magazine and The New York Times. She was also a co-author of Winning and the author of 10-10-10:A Life Transforming Idea.
She started her career at The Miami Herald and later served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review. Suzy Welch is a
graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Business School.

New book summary released in 2015

How to Get More Done Every Day
Move From Surviving to Thriving

Lee Cockerell


"Most people are not overworked … they are under-organized. I believe the average person can do 50 percent more than they are doing now,
including all the right things, if they have an effective system for keeping their lives under control."

– Lee Cockerell
Time management matters today more than ever. If you have how you use your time under control, you not only have your career under control but also
your life. A good time management system is a genuine must-have.
While there is lots of technology which can help with time management, the best systems tend to be simple and easy to use. To manage your time more
effectively, you really just need two components:

1. The classic day-timer style planning journal.
2. Your smartphone – for storing contact details.
Using just these basic components, you can put together a robust working system for planning your goals and achieving them. You can do a better job
of applying time and life management in your daily life. When it comes to time management, the magic lies in what you do, not merely in what you know.

"The bottom line is, we can all do a better job of implementing time and life management in our daily lives. This system is like any other system. You can
learn to do it just as you can learn other things. Remember that everything is hard before it is easy, but when you master the hard things, life gets

– Lee Cockerell

LEE COCKERELL  is the founder of his own management and customer service consulting company. He is former executive
vice president of operations for Walt Disney World. While working for Disney, he led a team of 40,000 employees and was
responsible for the operation of 20 resort hotels, four theme parks, two water parks and a shopping and entertainment village.
Before working for Disney, Lee Cockerell held various executive positions with Hilton Hotels and the Marriott Corporation. He is
the author of Creating Magic and The Customer Rules. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.

New book summary released in 2015

How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations
Dan Roam


There is nothing more important for achieving personal or professional success than being able to
share your ideas in public. Yet despite that, most people are terrified about public speaking. That's
unfortunate and it doesn't have to be that way.
To give a great presentation, there are really just three rules you have to follow:

So how and why does this work?



"If I tell you the truth, I tell you with a story, and if I tell that story with pictures, I can keep you glued to your seat."
– Dan Roam

DAN ROAM is founder and president of Digital Roam, Inc., a management consulting firm which specializes in
business-oriented visual thinking and illustration techniques. He has consulted with companies like Google, eBay, Boeing,
General Electric, HBO, News Corp. and many others. He previously worked at Razorfish, Red Square, The Moscow Times and
the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In addition to being an experienced keynote speaker, Dan Roam is also the author of several
books including The Back of the Napkin and Unfolding the Napkin. DanRoamis a graduate of the University of California, Santa

New book summary released in 2015

Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work
Liz Wiseman


Strangely enough, in today's workplace there are situations where what you don't know ends up being far more valuable than what you do.
How can that be? Time and again, rookies who know nothing about a field come along and end up outperforming the veterans who have years of
experience in the industry. This phenomena demonstrates the fact when it comes to the new game of work, learning beats knowing most of the
time. That's the essence of rookie smarts.

The simple dynamic is if you're placed into an unfamiliar and challenging role, you're keenly aware of what you don't know. Therefore, you get
busy trying to figure out what to do. You talk to everyone and ask for suggestions. You discount nothing – and often end up doing something great
while everyone else follows conventional systems.
Fortunately, being rookie smart is a mindset more than a function of how long you've been in a role. You can choose to get into a rookie smart mindset
rather than settle automatically for the "veteran comfort zone". The key is to get on to the perpetual learning curve and live and work there.
Become a fast learner who taps into the collective intelligence of the people you work alongside and you'll renew your career and find your rookie groove
"When the world is changing quickly, experience can become a curse. trapping us in old ways of doing and knowing, while inexperience can be a
blessing, freeing us to improvise and adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Fortunately, even the most experienced professionals and organizations
can tap into their rookie smarts. Those who choose to live and work on a learning curve will experience greater vitality in their careers and will be well
positioned in the new game of work."

– Liz Wiseman

LIZ WISEMAN is president of her own leadership research firm, The Wiseman Group. She teaches leadership to executives
and emerging leaders. Her clients have included Apple, Disney, eBay, Facebook, GAP, Genetech, Microsoft, Nike, and Twitter. She is a frequent keynote speaker and has written articles published in the Harvard Business
and other business and leadership journals. Liz Wiseman is the author of Multipliers and The Multipliers Effect. Liz
Wiseman is a graduate of Brigham Young University.

New book summary released in 2015

Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million
Mark Roberge


The prevailing paradigm is that sales management is more of an art form than a science.
Don't tell that to Mark Roberge. While still a student at MIT, he was asked by some fellow students who
were in the process of starting a new company to head up their sales team – or perhaps more
correctly to be their entire sales team.
With no experience whatsoever in sales, Roberge approach the challenge like any good engineer
would. He used a metrics-driven, process-oriented approach to building sales based around five
components which seemed logical to him:

That startup ended up being HubSpot and using these four formulas and technology, Mark Roberge
ended up being all that was used to grow the company from $0 to $100 million in sales and from 1
to 450 employees.
"In today's digital world, in which every action is logged and masses of data sit at our fingertips,
building a sales team no longer needs to be an art form. There is a process. Sales can be predictable.
A formula does exist."

– Mark Roberge

MARK ROBERG is Chief Revenue Officer of HubSpot. From 2007 to 2013, he served as HubSpot's SVP of Worldwide Sales
and Services during which time he increased revenue by 6,000% and expanded the sales team from 1 to 450 employees. Mark Roberge
joined HubSpot when he was a student at MIT. Prior to that time, he was a Technology Consultant with Accenture and held several
executive positions with startups in the social media and mobile industries. He is a graduate of the MIT School of Management
and Lehigh University where he majored in engineering.

New book summary released in 2015

How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How you Can Too)
David Butler and Linda Tischler


Scale and agility are essential for a company to succeed. Large and established corporations have scale (in terms of financial resources, brands,
assets and people) but often struggle to be able to adapt quickly to the marketplace. Startup are by definition nimble but often struggle to scale. The
fact is tomorrow's business winners will combine scale with agility.
So it is possible to achieve that? For more than a
century, Coca-Cola has successfully scaled its flagship $170 billion brand to more than 200
countries but in the last decade, it has also
mastered being agile as well. It has achieved this by using "Design" exceptionally well. Design is about
intentionally connecting things to solve problems.
Strategic design always focuses on the same three

If you want both scale and agility, get better at using
and applying the principles of design.

"For over a century, Coca-Cola used design to
scale to over two hundred countries, build seventeen billion-dollar brands, partner with more
than twenty million retail customers, and sell close
to two billion products a day.But the company is still learning. Over the last decade, it has focused on
mastering how also to use design to create agility –
something most established companies, including Coca-Cola, struggle with. Design has helped one of
the largest companies on the planet become
nimbler and more adaptable to a complex and changing world. The future belongs to companies
that design on purpose."

– David Butler and Linda Tischler

DAVID BUTLER is Coca-Cola's Vice President of Innovation and Entrerpreneurship.

LINDA TISCHLER is an editor at Fast Company magazine. She writes articles about ideas which lie at the intersection of design
and business.

New book summary released in 2015

The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs
Amy Wilkinson


After interviewing more than 200 entrepreneurs who have started companies which generate more than $100 million in revenue or which serve more
than 100,000 people, it was found there are six skills which make creators successful:

The undeniable conclusion is creators are not born
that way – they learn, apply and then pass on these six skills to their teams. The six skills are also highly
collaborative – they feed on each other to create
synergy and momentum.
"No special expertise is required to master the six
skills. You don’t need credentials or degrees. The ability to turn ideas into enduring enterprises is
available to anyone willing to learn and work.
Although everyone has strengths in certain skills and weaknesses in others, the more we exercise
and increase our proficiency in each, the more we
will be able to make the most of every opportunity."
– Amy Wilkinson
"When a creator brings together all six skills,
something magnetic occurs. Creators attract allies—employees, customers, investors, and
collaborators of all kinds. Customers become
evangelists. Employees turn into loyalists. Investors back the company with support that
transcends financial returns."

– Amy Wilkinson

AMY WILKINSON is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is also a strategic advisor, entrepreneur and
keynote speaker. She advises both startups and large corporations on innovation and business strategy. She has worked at
McKinsey & Company, J.P. Morgan and as the founder of an export company. She has served as a White House Fellow in the
office of the United States Trade Representative and as a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Amy Wilkinson is a
graduate of Stanford University.

New book summary released in 2015

Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue
Robbie Kellman Baxter
Many of the heavy hitters of the corporate world – like Apple, Amazon and just about every big start-up around – are busy at present changing their
business models from selling individual products to offering memberships which generate ongoing recurring revenues. This is indicative of the rise in
the membership economy which looks set to become much larger in the future.

So what is the "Membership Economy"? Pure and simple membership means customers engage with an organization or a group on an ongoing basis. It's
where an organization puts the customer relationship at the center of the business model rather than the product, the customer experience or
even making a one-time sales transaction.
Today, the rise of social media and other technology makes it easier than ever for customers to have an ongoing relationship with your
organization. If you can get them contributing to the experience of other customers in positive ways, you'll have a powerful competitive edge over
companies which merely act as product or service vendors.
"I'm convinced that the Membership Economy will have as profound an effect on society as the Industrial Revolution or the spread of the
automobile. Today, the promise of membership is greater than ever. Evolving technologies have dramatically enhanced the ability of a broad range
of industries to take advantage of membership models. The relationship between customer and organization is ongoing and formal, a ‘forever
transaction’ that has implications across the organization, changing everything."

– Robbie Baxter

ROBBIE KELLMAN BAXTER is the founder of Peninsula Strategies, LLC, a strategic marketing consulting firm. She has
consulted with clients in 20 industries including Netflix, SurveyMonkey and Yahoo! Before starting Peninsula Strategies, Ms.
Baxter was a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton and a Silicon Valley product marketer. She is also an accomplished public
speaker and has had articles published in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Consumer Reports. She is a
graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

New book summary released in 2015

How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value
John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen


Growing a business from nothing to a billion-dollars in valuation is an impressive achievement. So too is
any individual who amasses more than a billion-dollars in personal wealth. The fact is there
are around 800 self-made billionaires in the world today and since 1987, their net worths have been
growing three times faster than the world economy.

So what are they doing right? In a nutshell, self-made billionaires look at the world differently.
They are producers rather than performers.

The majority of business executives tend to be performers – hugely talented people who excel at
optimizing existing processes and products. They win all the awards, get accolades and then usually
promote other performers to succeed them.
Self-made billionaires, by contrast, are almost always producers. They have the innate ability to
envision something new, to bring together the resources needed to make it happen and then to
sell it to customers who didn't even know they wanted it before they saw it. Producers think differently from performers and
have five distinctive habits of mind:

The key to harnessing the self-made billionaire effect is to think and act like a producer, not a performer.

JOHN SVIOKLA is head of Global Thought Leadership at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He consults with a wide range of
clients about innovation, strategy and leadership. He was previously vice chairman and chief innovation officer of Diamond
Management& Technology Consultants and taught at Harvard Business School for twelve years. He is also a frequent keynote
speaker at executive forums and has been published extensively.He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard University.

MITCH COHEN is a vice chairman at PwC. He has worked for the firm for more than 33 years including 22 years as a partner.
He has consulted with Fortune 500 telecom and technology clients and served on PwC's Global Leadership Team. He is a
graduate of Penn State University.

New book summary released in 2015

The Path to Extraordinary Productivity
Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill and Leena Rinne


Today, being productive is something of a paradox. It's simultaneously easier and harder than ever
before to become highly productive and feel good about your life and career.


The three basic challenges which everyone faces today are:
1. Every day, you face an overwhelming number of decisions which have to get made.
2. Your attention is under unprecedented attack from all quarters.
3. You can feel your personal mental energy ebbing away as you deal with trivial stuff.
Despite that, everyone (you included) is capable of doing extraordinary work. The way to achieve that is
to make five do/don't choices which will enable you to manage your decisions, your attention and your
energy – so you rise above the chaos and do great work.



"The 5 Choices are anchored in the timeless principles of human productivity that we and others
have taught at FranklinCovey for thirty years. They also draw on the latest thinking in brain science,
biology, technology, and performance psychology. They have been vetted by tens of thousands of
practical experiences that people have been applying in numerous situations and organizations
around the world. They are proven and they work."

– Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill and Leena Rinne

KORY KOGON is Global Practice Leader for Productivity at FranklinCovey. She focuses her research on time management,
project management and communication skills. She previously was executive vice president of worldwide operations for
AlphaGraphics, Inc. where she installed a company learning system. She is one of the authors of Project Management
Essentials for the Unofficial Project Manager and Presentation Advantage.
ADAM MERRILL is vice president of innovations for FranklinCovey.He has more than twenty-five years experience generating
content about time management and productivity.He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Thunderbird School of
LEENA RINNE is a senior consultant with FranklinCovey. She works with clients to increase productivity and develop new
leaders. She has experience in the telecommunications industry and is a graduate of the University of Utah.

New book summary released in 2015

How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World
Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler


The world's biggest problems are today's biggest business opportunities. The key to success is to
become an "exponential entrepreneur" – that is, an entrepreneur who harnesses the growing power of
exponential technologies to best effect.

The world is now on an exponential growth curve. Technologies which double in power on a regular
basis are showing up in dozens of arenas: networks, sensors, robotics, digital medicine and
nanotechnology to name only a few. These technologies pave the way for an increasingly
abundant future for the world but it's up to us to make the most of them. That's where exponential
entrepreneurs have the chance to shine.
The power to tackle big challenges and make a difference has been democratized. Instead of being
the exclusive realm of royalty, governments or multinationals, today anyone with an Internet
connection or even a smartphone is in the game. If you have the passion, you can bring real change
into the world – and benefit tremendously.
"While we truly believe that creating a world of abundance is possible, it is by no means
guaranteed. Our deepest hope is that you will get inspired to get off the couch and change the world.
When Steve Jobs said that the goal of every entrepreneur should be to ‘put a dent in the
universe’ – he wasn't talking about inventing the next Angry Birds."

– Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

"Ultimately, the best way to become a billionaire is to solve a billion-person problem."
– Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

PETER DIAMANDIS is chairman and CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit which offers large incentive prizes for radical
technology breakthroughs. The Foundation is best known for the $10 million prize it offered for private spaceflight and the $10
million prize offered for cars which achieve 100 miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency. Dr. Diamandis is also co-founder and chairman
of Singularity University, co-founder and vice-chairman of Human Longevity Inc. and co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary
Resources. He and Steven Kotler co-authored Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think. He is a graduate of MIT and
Harvard Medical School.

STEVEN KOTLER is a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist. His articles have appeared in 75 publications
including Wired, Popular Science, National Geographic and theNew York Times Magazine.He is the co-founder and director of
research at the Flow Genome project. He writes a blog for Forbes about innovation (Far Frontiers) and another for Psychology
Today (The Playing Field) about sport and culture. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the John Hopkins


New book summary released in 2015

Get Your Plan in Place and Your Business Off the Ground
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.


In a nutshell, a business plan is your blueprint for taking your initial idea or product and turning it into a
viable and sustainable business. To succeed in building a company, you need a plan.


The real strength of a business plan is the process of writing one forces you to get specific. You have to
take the ideas which exist only in your mind and get them down on paper. For that reason, a good
business plan will always be a living document – it will keep on evolving and getting better as you learn
more, find out for yourself what doesn't work and pivot to take advantage of new and emerging
If you're smart, you will focus on extracting the maximum possible benefits during the three
different phases of writing a business plan:

"A lot of us have good ideas. Some of us have great ones. But that doesn't mean we can turn those
ideas into businesses. What sets the dreamer apart from the doer is the plan. The business plan. To
build a company, you need a plan. It's a blueprint for your business. A good leader formulates a plan for
herself, making it a living document to help drive the business. Not every business will succeed. In truth,
far more businesses fail than succeed. The differentiator is always in the planning."

– Ray Hennessey, editorial director,

ENTREPRENEUR MEDIA, INC. published their business bestseller Start Your Own Business more than fifteen years ago and
to date have sold more than 300,000 copies. This book is designed to take aspiring entrepreneurs past one of the hardest steps
in starting a new business – getting your idea down on paper and polished enough to influence your intended audience. The
staff at Entrepreneur Media – Entrepreneur magazine,, Entrepreneur Press and – have been at the forefront of small business success for 30+ years and have guided millions of
entrepreneurs from startup to retirement.

New book summary released in 2015

Power Tips for Power Users
Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick


It is now reasonably clear that social media has become one of the most effective ways to promote
a business, sell a product, secure a better job or communicate pretty much everything in business.
In almost every field you can name, what you do on social media will impact on the success or failure of
your marketing.
With that in mind, it's worth figuring out how to get the most bang for your buck. If you become a
"power user" of social media, you'll be better positioned to extract maximum returns for your
marketing dollar.
Becoming a power user of social media isn't hard – it takes time and effort rather than money. There
are really just three steps involved:

"These are our tips, tricks and insights, and we hope they work for you. In a perfect world, however,
you would develop better techniques than ours,and you'd tell us how to improve our game too.
We've done our best to help you master the art and science of social media, and now we want you to go
out and rock the world."

– Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

GUY KAWASAKI is currently the chief evangelist of Canva, an online design service. He is an executive fellow of the School of
Business at the University of California Berkeley. He was previously chief evangelist of Apple, special advisor to the CEO of the
Motorola business unit of Google and the founder of several startups. Guy Kawasaki is the author of several books including
Enchantment, Google + for the Rest of Us and APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Stanford University
and UCLA and has an honorary doctorate from Babson College. His website is at
PEG FITZPATRICK is a social media strategist and the director of digital media for Kreussler Inc. She has run successful
social-media campaigns for Motorola, Google, Audi, Canva, Virgin and other companies. She is also editor-in-chief of 12 Most,
a community of writers and business experts. She also founded the Twitter chat #MyBookClub which features the brightest
thinkers on social media. She is a graduate of Keene State College. Her website is at

New book summary released in 2015
The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Jeff Sutherland


The conventional way of doing product development is broken. The "Waterfall Method" – break a large project downinto step-by-step chunks
and schedule them on a Gantt chart – doesn't work. Almost without fail, waterfall method projects fall behind schedule, go over budget and run the risk of
generating products nobody wants or will pay for when completed.
SCRUM was developed in 1993 as a new and improved way to do projects. It is designed to be evolutionary and adaptive rather than top-down
and prescriptive. SCRUM was initially used with great success in the software industry but has now been used successfully in almost every industry
across the board.
SCRUM draws on the advantages of the Toyota Production System and the OODA loop used in combat aviation. SCRUM organizes around small
teams – the most effective way to work – who prioritize what needs to be done and then run one- to two-week sprints to gain momentum and make
everyone accountable. These teams stay organized by holding brief daily stand-up meetings where everyone can share tips, get help on

challenges which crop up and be accountable.

“I first created Scrum, with Ken Schwaber, twenty years ago, as a faster, more reliable, more effective way to create software in the tech industry. Scrum
is a radical change from the prescriptive, top-down project management methodologies of the past, Scrum, instead, is akin to evolutionary, adaptive,
and self-correcting systems. We've used Scrum to build everything from affordable 100-miles-per-gallon cars to bringing the FBI
database systems into the twenty-first century. I firmly believe Scrum can help to revolutionize how business works in virtually every industry."

– Jeff Sutherland

JEFF SUTHERLAND is the inventor and co-creator of SCRUM, the most widely used Agile planning technique in the world. He
started his career as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force and flew combat missions in Vietnam. After 11 years as a pilot, Jeff
Sutherland then joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Medical School where he co-founded a cancer research center,
secured research grants and ran IT programs. He was then recruited by a banking company operating 150 banks to be general
manager of their fledgling ATM business unit. To date, he has served as VP of Engineering or as Chief Technology Officer for
eleven software companies. In 2006, he established his own training company, Scrum, Inc., to provide coaching on the Scrum
planning methodology. Jeff Sutherland is a graduate of West Point, Stanford University and the University of Colorado School
of Medicine.

New book summary released in 2015
How to Sell Better Without Screwing
Your Clients, Your Colleagues, or Yourself

Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne


Traditionally, the first rule of sales was "Always be closing" – that is, alwaysbe doing trial closes to take the prospect's temperature and figure out how
close you are to getting them to sign on the dotted line. Salespeople used to memorize a vast array of canned dialogues to try and close the sale. You just
kept going until you found one that works.


Today, a far more effective approach is "Never be closing." Instead of memorizing trial closes, you should instead aim to "Always be useful." If you
spend more time trying to help people solve their problems and seize opportunities, you'll find the sales will naturally follow without having to use
strong-arm tactics, power closes or other tricks.


The Productive Selling approach is to do things before, during and after sales meetings which are aligned with these guiding principles.
"Our premise is that selling is not about the art of persuasion. Instead, the best kind of selling emerges naturally from your genuine interest in the
person you're working with and your sincere desire to be of use. At its essence, Productive Selling is about helping people solve problems."

– Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne

TIM HURSON is the founder of ThinkX Intellectual Capital, his own strategic coaching and consultation firm. He served
previously for fifteen years as president and creative director of Manifest Communications. Tim Hurson is also a founding
director of several non-profits including Mindcamp, Facilitators Without Borders and Africa IQ. He is a TEDx presenter and
experienced keynote speaker. He is the author of Think Better. He is a graduate of Oberlin College.

TIM DUNNE is a professional trainer and coach. He has more than twenty years experience in corporate selling, finance,
training and leadership. He has consulted with corporations including Cartier, Deutsche Bank, Bic and the World Bank-CGAP.
He is also the founder of Instant Brainstorm, a creativity facilitator, and a partner at New & Improved, LLC, a management
consulting organization. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester.

New book summary released: December 2014
The Rules for Success in the Internet Century
Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
with Alan Eagle


What's different about today's business environment – in what can be termed the "Internet Century"? Power has shifted to the consumer and
entry barriers to almost every industry that exists have melted away. And within companies, individuals and small teams can have a massive
The people who can have the greatest impact inside a company are now the "smart creatives" – those who have the right blend of technical
know-how, business expertise and creativity. Smart creatives know how to use the tools of the modern era to do amazing things incredibly fast.


Google has excelled not because it followed some master business plan but because the company attracts smart creatives and then creates an
environment where they can thrive at scale.
If you aspire to get ahead in the Internet Century which is still just beginning, figure out better ways to attract and use smart creatives. This will need to be
a combination of your culture, your strategy, your talent pool, how you make decisions, how information gets communicated and the way you
innovate. Organize your company around the smart creatives with the greatest impact and you position your enterprise to excel.

"We certainly don't have all the answers, but we have learned a lot about this new world where technology reigns supreme and employees are
uniquely empowered to make a big difference. As Peter Drucker pointed out, the Egyptian who conceived and built the pyramids thousands of
years ago was really just a very successful manager. The Internet Century brims with pyramids yet unbuilt. Let's get started."

– Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg

ERIC SCHMIDT joined Google as its CEO in 2001. He serves today as executive chairman of the company where he is
responsible for building partnerships and business relationships, government outreach programs, technology thought
leadership initiatives and acting as an adviser to the CEO. He is a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science
and Technology and the Prime Minister's Advisory Council in the UK. Prior to joining Google, Mr. Schmidt held leadership roles
at Novell and Sun Microsystems, Inc. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley.
JONATHAN ROSENBERG joined Google in 2002 and served as vice president in charge of the Google product development
team until April 2011. He has been closely involved in the development of Google products for consumers, advertisers and
partners as well as helping develop the company's hiring processes, communication strategies and marketing practices. Prior
to joining Google, Mr. Rosenberg worked for Excite@Home, Apple Computer and Knight Ridder Information Services. He is a
graduate of the University of Chicago and Claremont McKenna College.
ALAN EAGLE is Google's director of executive communications. He previously worked for several startups including Tellme
Networks and Octel Communications. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Wharton School.

New book summary released: December 2014
Street-Proven Systems & Processes.
How to Grow Quickly & Profitably

Jack Daly


The key to generating impressive sales growth in any organization is alwaysthe same three factors:

You need to paint a magnetic and compelling picture of where you want to head as an organization and what you want to achieve. If this
vision is engaging enough, people will become excited about the journey ahead.

To excel in growing sales, you've got to have the right person in charge. The CEO or owner should never wear the sales manager hat – you need
someone who is working on that full-time and with their full attention. Don't make your best salesperson your sales manager – all you end up
doing is losing your best producer and getting a mediocre manager in return. Get the right people into the key spots and your sales will soar.

Create a workplace that people can't wait to get to each day. If you're company is full of people who are passionate about what they do, your customers will
notice & respond.

"Sports teams, whether professional, college, or high school, are run better than most businesses. The teams practice. They have game plans. They
have systems and processes. And they learn to leverage opportunities to score. I focus on what leads to success: the importance of leverage, and
of systems and processes. Through leverage, you can generate more business with less work, while systems and processes promote uniformity and

– Jack Daly

JACK DALY is a sales trainer and sales coach. He has been in sales for 20-plus years and has served as CEO of several
fast-growing companies during that time. In addition to being a public speaker on this topic, Jack Daly also runs seminars and is
the author of several books including Real World Sales Strategies That Work and Daily Sales Motivators. Every year, Jack Daly
sets his personal goals in writing and then each quarter reports to the five people who hold him accountable for his goals
detailing what went right and what went wrong. An avid sports fanatic, Jack Daly ran his first marathon at age 46 and completed
his first Ironman at age 58. Jack Daly is a graduate of Wilington College and La Salle University.

New book summary released: November 2014
7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
Tony Robbins


To achieve and then maintain financial freedom, you have to build your own "Money Machine" – a portfolio of personal investments. That's really all it
takes to master the game of money. If you have financial investments which then generate sufficient ongoing income to fund the lifestyle of
your choice, you are financially free.

So how do you do it? There are seven steps involved, each of which in and of themselves are in fact relatively simple:


"If you follow the 7 Simple Steps – the steps which have been distilled from the world's most successful financial players – you and your family
will win this game. And you can win big! But to win, you have to know the rules and learn the best strategies from those who have already mastered
the game. This is your opportunity to stop being the chess piece and become the chess player in the game of money."

– Tony Robbins

TONY ROBBINS is a motivational speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is widely considered to be one of
America's most successful life and business coaches. He runs multiple events and consults with athletes, entertainers, Fortune
500 CEOs and others. He is the founder or a partner in more than a dozen companies. He is the author of two bestsellers,
Unlimited Power (1987) and Awaken the Giant Within (1991). His foundation, the Anthony Robbins Foundation, now feeds
more than 4 million people annually in 56 countries.

New book summary released: November 2014
Bringing the Lean Startup Into Your Organization
Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer


When you look at history's greatest innovators, you'll find they don't just launch products on the market and hope for the best.
Rather, successful innovators:

The Innovator's Method is how you carry out all these same activities in a structured way whether you're working for a start-up or in a large
established organization. It also works whether you sell to outside customers or only to internal customers.

"New tools and perspectives for validating big ideas characterized by high uncertainty are emerging in many disparate fields. Whether you call it lean
start-up, design thinking, or agile software development, these new methods are revolutionizing the way managers successfully
create, refine, and bring new ideas to market. These and other tools help entrepreneurs, designers, and software developers lower
uncertainty and risk through cheap and rapid experimentation. The Innovator's Method is an end-to-end process for creating, refining, and
bringing ideas to market. "

– Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer

is professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University. He is also a visiting scholar at
INSEAD and ESSEC. He is the co-author of Nail It Then Scale It and has acted as the founder or an advisor to several
corporations in the health care, clean technology, professional services and financial services industries. He is a graduate of
Stanford University and Brigham Young University.

JEFF DYER is professor of strategy at Brigham Young University and an adjunct professor at the Wharton School, University
of Pennsylvania. He spent five years as a consultant and manager at Bain & Company and is consistently ranked as a highly
influential management scholar. He is the co-author of The Innovator's DNA which was highly acclaimed. He consults with
companies like Adobe, AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard and others. He is a graduate of the University of
California, Los Angeles and Brigham Young University.


New book summary released: November 2014
Everything I Know About Leadership
Richard Branson


The "Virgin Way" of doing business really isn't all that hard to describe although it can be challenging to implement. It generally comes down to just the
one maxim: If you don't enjoy it, don't do it. Life's much too short to spend any of it working on what you don't like.
Specifically, the four keys to doing business and leading the Virgin Way are:

Don't spend your life looking in the rear-view mirror or talking aimlessly about how things are going to somehow be magically better in the future. Get
busy doing what makes your heart soar. Just get out there and do it.

"Having what we like to call ‘serious fun’ is at the core of ‘the Virgin Way’ and that's something for which I will never apologize. Being passionately
engaged and enjoying every minute of what you do is an attitudinal thing – a spark – that cannot be mandated, trained, put in a job description or an
employee manual. It's something that's either in a person's DNA or not, and as such has to come from within."

– Richard Branson

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
– Mahatma Gandhi

"If you live every day like it's your last, someday you'll almost certainly be right."
– Steve Jobs

RICHARD BRANSON is the iconic founder of Virgin Group, a conglomerate whichnownumbers more than 400 companies. He
left school at age sixteen to start his first business venture which was a magazine called Student. He later established his own
record label (Virgin Records), built a chain of record stores (Virgin Megastores), set up an airline (Virgin Atlantic) and
established many other businesses. Richard Branson has also made several successful (and unsuccessful) world record
attempts and undertaken many large-scale humanitarian initiatives. As of October 2014,the Virgin Group now has 50,000
employees who generate in excess of $30 billion in annual revenues. Richard Branson has an estimated personal net worth of
approx. $5 billion.

New book summary released: November 2014
The Set It & Forget It Approach for Quickly Growing Your Business
Mark Satterfield


Most small- to medium sized enterprises struggle to develop a workable marketing plan but it really isn't difficult. In fact, all it takes is one week to get your
marketing set up. You then keep progressively fine-tuning and boosting to get it working better.

To set up a workable marketing plan in five days (one work week) follow this sequence:

Marketing doesn't have to be expensive, time-consuming or complicated. The key to succeeding with marketing is to focus on getting
your system working rather than trying a series of unconnected marketing activities.
“The success of any company depends upon having a consistent flow of new prospective clients. Unfortunately, far too many businesses rely solely
on their existing clients and referrals as their primary methods for getting new business. The One Week Marketing Plan is about gaining visibility
in your niche market, educating people about the problems you solve, and having clients call you about how you can help them."

– Mark Satterfield

MARK SATTERFIELD is founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing, Inc., a marketing services company. He has more than
20 years practical experience in helping business owners attracting new prospects and turning them into paying clients. Prior to
founding Gentle Rain Marketing, Mark Satterfield held executive positions with PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. He also was Director
of Career Services at Emory University's School of Business. He is the author of eight books including Unique Sales Stories and
Power Prospecting. Mark Satterfield is a graduate of Washington University and Browne & Nichols.

New book summary released: October 2014
Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Peter Thiel with Blake Masters


Too many companies today think the essence of innovation is to come up with a better Facebook or a new-and-improved Microsoft. Or to fine-tune and
optimize existing lines of business. That's not innovation – that's merely globalization which is the art of going from one to many.

True innovation means going from zero to one – creating new, fresh and probably strange things that have never before been seen. It's usually
technology which facilitates these innovations and the underlying theme of advances in technology is most often finding practical ways to do more with

If you want to excel as an innovator in the future, don't set out to copy and improve what someone else has already done. Figure out some job that is
entirely new and blaze your own trail. Focus on going from zero to one. That's the real challenge and hope of the future of humanity.

“The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won't make a search engine. And the next Mark
are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. Doing what we already know takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something similar. But
every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. Unless they invest in the difficult task of creating new things, American companies will fail in
the future no matter how big their profits remain today."

– Peter Thiel

PETER THIEL is an entrepreneur and investor. He founded PayPal in 1998 and wasCEOof the company when it went public in
2002. He was also an early-stage investor in Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp and dozens of successful technology startups. He is
managing partner of the venture capital firm Founders Fund which has invested in SpaceX, Airbnb and many other startups.
Peter Thiel leads his own foundation which works to encourage technological innovation and long-term thinking about the
future. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

BLAKE MASTERS was a student at Stanford Law School in 2012 when he took notes in Peter Thiel's Class: "Computer
Science 183: Startup" which formed the basis for this book. He is a co-founder of Judicata, a legal research technology startup.
He graduated from Stanford University and Duke University.

New book summary released: October 2014
How to Say It Right First Time, Every Time
Bill McGowan


What makes a great presentation?
When you look through the tens of thousands of video clips which have been gathered over the years for televisions news shows, it becomes clear
stand-out presentations always adhere to the same set of seven principles:

If you want what you say to be memorable and ultimately influential, work at integrating these seven principles of persuasion into your sound bite
or pitch. Your listeners will love you for it.

“Despite their important and universality, few people know about these principles, and even fewer understand how to use them. That's because
many of these principles are counter-intuitive. For instance, the less you say, the more people hear and remember. I promise you that soon, rather than
fear high-stakes situations, you'll look forward to them. Rather than find them terrifying, you'll feel a sense of exhilaration. When you use the Principles
of Persuasion to your advantage, you'll feel confident and at peace as you win the client, nail the job interview, or deliver the best speech of your life."

– Bill McGowan  

BILL McGOWAN is founder and CEO of his own media coaching company, Clarity Media Group. He is also a two-time Emmy
Award winner with more than twenty-five years experience as an on-camera television journalist, television producer and
researcher/assignment editor for CBS, ABC and Fox. He has personally conducted hundreds of interviews with newsmakers
and serves as a media coach at Linked In, Facebook, The Campbell Soup Company, CNBC, Time Inc., Pfizer and others. Bill
McGowan is a graduate of Fordham University.

New book summary released: October 2014
Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Ed Catmull with Amy Wallce


How can you help the smart and ambitious people in your organization work together effectively to create great stuff over and over?
Your capacity to be creative really depends on your culture more than anything else. Build a great culture and make it a fertile environment for new
ideas to bubble up and that's precisely what will happen. You then have to protect that culture from the destructive forces whichcome along over time.
To do this, Pixar has developed throughout its history seven core principle for building (and sustaining) a successful corporate culture:


ED CATMULL is a co-founder (along with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios. Since Disney's
acquisition of Pixar in 2006, Ed Catmull has also served as president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. As of 2014, he
has been honored with five Academy Awards as well as a lifetime achievement award in computer graphics. Ed Catmull is a
graduate of the University of Utah.

AMY WALLACE is a journalist. Her work has been published in GQ, Wired, The New Yorker, and The New York Times
Magazine. She is currently editor-at-large of the Los Angeles magazine. She previously worked as a reporter and editor at the
Los Angeles Times.

New book summary released: September 2014
How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
Shane Snow

In the 1860s, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller took 46 years to make a billion dollars. In the 1980s, Michael Dell achieved billionaire status in 14 years.
Bill Gates took 12 years. Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo achieved the same milestone in four years, while eBay founder Pierre Omidyar took
three years. In the late 2000s, Groupon's Andrew Mason did it in two years – and was then fired from the company he founded.
Admittedly there's been inflation along the way but the undeniable fact is people are achieving much more in less time today than ever before. They're
doing this not by taking shortcuts which land them in hot water but by taking "smartcuts" – they break conventions and find smarter ways to get more
done than anyone else. Smartcutters hack their way to success.
Smartcutters by-and-large employ nine principles which can be grouped into three classes:

The key to achieving more is not to pay your dues or even to play by everyone else's rules. Instead, you should hack your way to success. Figure out what
smartcuts you can take by thinking laterally and then go out and break the rules.

“Increasingly in today's culture, ‘hacking’ is something done not just by criminals and computer scientists, but by anyone who has the capability to
approach a problem laterally. (This is the original usage of the term.) You can make incremental progress by playing by the rules. To create
breakthrough change, you have to break the rules.”

– Shane Snow

SHANE SNOW is a journalist and self-confessed geek. He is cofounder and chief creative officer of Contently Inc., a
web-based platform which empowers freelance journalists to do what they love. He is also an adviser to and a
published contributor to Mashable, WIRED Magazine, Fast Company, The New Yorker, Time, The Washington Post and New
Scientist. He was previously the founder of Brave Media LLC and assistant editor at Scroll Newspaper. Shane Snow is a
graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Brigham Young University - Idaho.

New book summary released: September 2014
A Startup Guide to Getting Customers
Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

All startups have a product. What differentiates the winners from the losers, however, is successful startups generate "traction" – real customer growth
and momentum. The pursuit of traction in the marketplace should be the central aim of anyone who is trying to get a startup off the ground.

So how do you generate traction? There are at least nineteen channels which have been used successfully by other startups. It's pretty much
impossible to tell in advance which of these channels will end up working for you so usually you have to roadtest a few and then build on what
A good framework for identifying which traction channels you should be using is the "Bullseye Framework" which looks like this:


GABRIEL WEINBERG is founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, an online search engine which started in 2008 and delivered more
than one billion searches in 2013. He is also an active angel investor. He's been featured on CBS and FOX, and written about in
The Guardian and The Washington Post. He previously co-founded and served as CEO of Opobox which was acquired in 2006.
Gabriel Weinberg is a graduate of MIT.

JUSTIN MARES is former director of revenue and growth at Exceptional, a software company acquired by Rackspace in 2013.
Before that, he founded two other startups, one of which went well and one of which closed down. He runs a growth meetup in
San Francisco and writes on marketing in his personal blog at Justin Mares is a graduate of the University of

New book summary released: September 2014
Start, Finance, or Grow Your Company With Your Customer's Cash
John Mullins

Since time immemorial, the accepted approach to securing start-up funding has generally been:

That's all well and good but the odds of getting funded that way are not that great. Out of the 5 million ventures which seek startup funding each
year in the United States alone, only about 1,500 will get funded by venture capitalists and another 50,000 will be funded by angel or other investors.
Seeking start-up funding the conventional way is hard work.
A much better approach is to forget about securing venture capital entirely and instead get your future customers to fund your startup. If you can find
enough customers who will pay you good money (ideally in advance) for the solution to their problems you're in the process of creating, then you
won't need to raise capital anywhere else.

There are in fact five viable customer-funded business models you can use:

To get start-up funding, don't go looking for investors. Find a pool of customers who want what you plan on selling and get them to fund you. It's a
much better way to go.
"The best money comes from customers, not investors. Selling a product or service early in the life of a company provides great feedback and the
cash needed to refine the idea."

– Bill Sahlman, Harvard Business School

JOHN MULLINS is associate professor of management practice, marketing and entrepreneurship at the London School of
Business. He is also a successful entrepreneur having founded two companies (one of which went public) and consulted with a
variety of organizations including Merck-Serono, Time Warner Communications and the Young President's Organization. He is
the author or coauthor of two best-sellers, The New Business Road Test and Getting to Plan B (written with venture capitalist
Randy Komisar). He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Stanford University and Lehigh University.


New book summary released: August 2014
Getting Investing Right
Peter Mallouk

While it is true the stock market averages a 10 percent growth in value over the long run, most investors never get anywhere near that level of
return from their investments. Why? Many investors go out of their way to make mistakes which dilute their returns.

Specifically, most investors assume:
Mistake #1 -- You can make money by timing the market correctly – by buying when it is about to rise and selling when it is about to fall.
Mistake #2 -- To make money, you have to be actively buying and selling stocks all the time.
Mistake #3 -- The financial media exists to help you make money by making smarter decisions.
Mistake #4 -- That if you dive into research, read stock pick letters and watch the financial new shows, the less likely you are to make a mistake.
Mistake #5 -- That once you have enough assets, you absolutely need a financial advisor.
If you are at least aware of these pitfalls, you're better equipped to recognize and avoid them. Keep your investment strategy simple and
“When it comes to investing, much of the game is simply not messing things up. So what keeps investors from earning the market return? Quite
simply, investors prevent themselves from participating in the returns the market wants to give them so easily. Investors go out of their way to
make mistakes that keep them from getting the market return. The first step to moving forward is to rid yourself of the misconceptions you may have
about what works, to be aware of the most common mistakes and to avoid them. Recognizing the mistakes to avoid can dramatically improve your
investment performance, reduce your stress level, substantially increase the probability you will achieve your investment goals, and even improve
the quality of your life.
– Peter Mallouk

“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing."
– Warren Buffett

PETER MALLOUK is president and chief investment officer of Creative Planning, an independent advisory firm which
manages more than $10 billion in investments. In August 2013, Barron's magazine named Mr. Mallouk as the "#1 Independent
Financial Advisor in America." He has appeared on CNBC, CNBC Worldwide and Fox Business News. He has also been
interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers and magazines. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and
a certified financial planner.

How to Transform Any Business From a Cash-Eating Monster into a Money-Making Machine

The GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) formula for determining a business's profit since time immemorial has always been:

While that formula is logically accurate, it doesn't really take into account human nature. Specifically, most small business owners do what can be termed
"bank balance accounting" – they look at their bank balance and make decisions based on the balance they see. That relegates profit to an afterthought –
something which will be left over at the end of the year with a bit of luck.
The Profit First Accounting (PFA) approach is to flip the standard GAAP formula this way:
You take a predetermined percentage of profit from every sale first and then use only the remainder to pay for your expenses. Or put another way, with
PFA, you secure your profit first and then run your business on the remaining cash.

“It comes down to this – do you want to treat your profitability like leftovers, knowing you may only find scraps or an empty plate? Or do you want to get
your full, healthy share right up front? I don't know about you, but I want to get my due portion first. I have taught the Profit First system to small
companies and big companies, to private companies and even public companies. It works for all of them. And it will work for you. My commitment
to you is that, if you follow the Profit First system, your business will become permanently profitable from the moment of your next deposit."

– Michael Michalowicz

MICHAEL MICHALOWICZ is a serial entrepreneur and former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal. By his
35th birthday, he had founded and sold two multi-million-dollar enterprises before losing everything by becoming an
unsuccessful angel investor. He therefore started his third enterprise and worked to build it into a million-dollar venture. He
formerly was a business make-over expert on MSNBC and is now a popular keynote speaker on entrepreneurship. He is the
author of three books including The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.He is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

New book summary released: August 2014
The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network Into Profits

Power connecting is the art and discipline of providing value-adding connections to people in your personal network who would not have met any
other way.


To become a power connector, you first have to build a powerful network using the 5+50+100 Rule:

Top 5
Maintain close relationships with the 5 people
closest to you and connect with these people daily.

Key 50
Identify the 50 important relationships in your life
and business and cultivate these connections
every week. Always look for ways to add value to
the people in your Key 50.

Vital 100
These are the 100 people you want to touch bases
with every month to stay top of mind. Keep these
relationships fresh by looking for every opportunity
to connect these people with others who they need
to know.

“When you organize your strategic relationships by the 5+50+100 model, it gives you a sense of control and organization that will make your life easier.
Evaluate your current relationships and choose who will go in which circle. I hope that you know who your Top 5 are immediately. For the Key 50 and
Vital 100, however, you may need to do some thinking. You want to ensure that you are selecting the best people for your power circles.”

– Judy Robinett

JUDY ROBINETT is founder and president of JRobinett Enterprises, her own management consulting firm. She is widely
known as the lady with the "titanium rolodex" and is an active public speaker and networking expert. Over her thirty-year career,
she has served as CEO of public and private companies and in several senior management positions with Fortune 500
companies. She has also served on the advisory boards of several early-stage venture capital investment groups and as a
member of an award winning Department of Commerce team. She is a graduate of Utah State University.

New book summary released: July 2014
Getting to More Without Settling For Less

One of the great challenges facing leaders is how you can take something which is working well in one part of your organization and get everyone else
doing the same thing. This should be easy but in practice, it's harder to scale up and spread excellence that you might logically expect.

You always have to approach scaling as a marathon rather than a sprint. There are seven mantras which you should use when scaling:


Pure and simple, scaling requires grit. You just have to keep going, even when you face daunting and prolonged challenges. Without grit, you cannot
and will not succeed in scaling up.
There are no easy paths to spreading excellence from the few to the many. It's definitely a vexing challenge, but get it right and you can unleash
enormous levels of contagious pride within the organization. The potential fruits of success which come about when scaling succeeds make it all


ROBERT SUTTON is professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University. His research focuses on
evidence-based management and the links between managerial knowledge and organizational action. He is the author of
several books including The Knowing-Doing Gap, Weird Ideas That Work and Good Boss, Bad Boss. Dr. Sutton is a graduate
of the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.

HUGGY RAO is professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He studies the
social and cultural causes of organizational change. He is the author of Market Rebels. Dr. Rao graduated from Case Western
Reserve University and Andhra University, India.

Upcoming Book Summaries -- August 2014

Books we will be summarizing over the next five weeks include:


To receive concise executive summaries of these great books or any others from our catalog of 808 summaries,
Please Click Here for more information.

New book summary released: July 2014
Building Products Your Customers Will Buy

Most companies get busy developing new products and then sit downand try to figure out how to market what they have. Sometimes, this can lead to a
situation where you end up with a solution looking for a problem to solve.
A better approach – the "Lean Customer Development" approach – is to learn what your customers need and then use that knowledge to
build and deliver what they're willing to pay for.
So how do you achieve that? Lean Customer Development basically consists of five steps:

“Every hypothesis you invalidate through conversations with prospective customers prevents you from wasting time building a product
no one will buy. If your hypothesis is wrong or even partially wrong, you want to find out fast. If you can't find customers, you modify your hypothesis. Those
course corrections will lead to validating an idea that you know customers want and are willing to pay for."

– Cindy Alvarez

CINDY ALVAREZ is Director of User Experience at Yammer, inc., a company acquired by Microsoft in 2012. She mentors a
team of designers, researchers and copywriters who use fast, experiment driven techniques in their work. She is also a Faculty
Advisor at Alchemist Accelerator where she mentors business startups. She was previously with KISSmetrics, Lean
LaunchPad, Yodlee and Loomia. She is a graduate of Harvard University.

New book summary released: July 2014

An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to
Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business
You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams

The best way to build a successful online business is to learn how to do product launches. Master the art of turning your marketing into an event and you
have access to a playing field with unprecedented opportunities – the world of online business.

Hollywood has been doing this for years. Months before a movie comes out, Hollywood builds the buzz. When a movie finally gets released, people
rush to see it and that momentum carries it forward. A great product launch does the same.

So how do you do it? A great launch will have four distinct yet important phases, each of which is designed to appeal to the nine mental triggers:

The essence and methodology of a successful product launch is you give first and ask for the sale later. You build a relationship (either as a friend or
as a trusted advisor) before the transaction. You then deliver so much value you make the sale even before you ask for the order. And then you follow
through and make sure the customer is happy.

In many ways, online product launches are what successful sales people have been doing for ages. It's just the Internet provides a scale never before
seen. It's like marketing on steroids.
JEFF WALKER is a product launch specialist. He is the developer and teacher of his own "Product Launch Formula" which has
now been used by his students to generate more than $500 million in online sales. He started his first online business in 1996 by
sending out an email newsletter to 19 people and achieved fame by engineering a launch which generated more than $1 million
in sales in a single day. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

New book summary released: June 2014
Unlocking the Power in Bottom-Up Ideas

Fresh ideas for improving your business probably won't come from your senior managers – you're already doing what they think. Instead, the best
ideas are far more likely to come from your front-line people who interact with customers, make your products and deliver your services. Instead of
suppressing those ideas, idea-driven organizations pick up on them and apply them.

Simply put, idea-driven organizations are directed from the top but are primarily driven by ideas from the bottom. They let good ideas bubble up from
front-line staff which then get picked up on and executed from the top down. For this to happen, you need to have systems in place which both push and
pull those ideas at the same time.


To get ahead, don't look for a superstar CEO. Listen to and act on the ideas of your ordinary employees. When you start unlocking the potential of those
ideas, everything changes.

“The bottom line is this: Idea-driven organizations have many times the improvement and innovation capability of their traditional counterparts. If you
learn how to tap the ideas of your front-line workers,
you can truly break free of the reductionist “more with less” mindset. You and your employees will
thrive in environments where you once would have
struggled to survive.”
– Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder

ALAN ROBINSON is a professor in the School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. To date, he has
co-authored six books including Ideas are Free, Corporate Creativity and Modern Approaches to Manufacturing Improvement.
Dr. Robinson specializes in continuous improvement, creativity, ideas and innovation lean production. He has also consulted
with more than 200 organizations in 25 countries. Dr. Robinson is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins

DEAN SCHROEDER is professor of management at Valparaiso University. In addition to coauthoring Ideas Are Free, Dr.
Schroeder has published 80 articles and consulted with organizations in North America, Europe and Asia. His work focuses on
creating high-performing organizations and improving them through better management. Dr. Schroeder is a graduate of the
University of Minnesota and the University of Montana.


In October, we are launching the Kindle and ePub versions of our
executive book summaries. Please Click Here for more information.


New book summary released: June 2014
A Revolutionary Approach to Success

For generations, it has been assumed the drivers of success in business are: passion, hard work, talent and luck. But today, success is far more likely to be
dependent on how well you interact with others.

At work, most people tend to operate in one of three basic styles:

• Takers – those who work towards getting as much as possible from every transaction.
• Matchers – whoaim to even up the ledger and give only as much as they take (quid pro quo).
• Givers – the rare breed who go out of their way to help others without expecting anything in return.

As surprising as it may sound, which of these three styles you adopt at work can have a far-reaching impact on how successful you ultimately become.
Research has shown quite definitively that over the long haul, the giver style works best. While it is certainly true some givers get exploited and burn
out, it turns out the majority of the givers achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries.

The lesson is simple. If you want to get ahead in life and in your career, be a giver.

“Let me be clear that givers, takers, and matchers all can—and do—achieve success. But there’s something distinctive that happens when givers
succeed: it spreads and cascades. When takers win, there’s usually someone else who loses. When givers win, people are rooting for them and
supporting them, rather than gunning for them. Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them. The
difference lies in how giver success creates value, instead of just claiming it.”

– Adam Grant

is the youngest professor ever offered tenure at The Wharton School. He has consulted with companies and
organizations including Google, the NFL, Johnson & Johnson, Pixar, Goldman Sachs, the World Economic Forum, the United
Nations and the U.S. Army and Navy. He has also profiled in a New York Times magazine cover story "Is giving the secret to
getting ahead?" Before going to Wharton, Adam Grant was an advertising director, a junior Olympic springboard diver and
professional magician. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard University.

New book summary released: June 2014
14 Leadership Principles Behind the World's Most Disruptive Company

Jeff Bezos and Amazon have fourteen leadership "secrets" which guide their decisions. What's interesting is not that these secrets exist but that
they actually get referred to every day and are applied in the real-world decisions which get made.

Amazon's fourteen leadership principles are:
1. Obsess over the customer
2. Take ownership of results
3. Invent and simplify
4. Leaders are right -- A lot!
5. Hire and develop the best
6. Insist on the highest standards
7. Think big
8. Have a bias for action
9. Practice frugality
10. Be vocally self-critical
11. Earn the trust of others
12. Dive deep
13. Have backbone:  Disagree and commit
14. Deliver results

“These principles aren’t slogans printed on wall posters and coffee mugs. They are lived and breathed every day by Amazonians from the CEO
on down. They are principles that other companies, small or large, may just want to adopt.”

– John Rossman

JOHN ROSSMAN is managing director of Alvarez & Marsal, a global consulting and professional services firm. He was hired by
Amazon.Com in 2002 to be the company's director of enterprise services. He was responsible for the development of Amazon's
Merchants@ program which enables millions of sellers to offer products through Amazon and which now generates more than
40 percent of all orders. John Rossman was also responsible for running Amazon's relationships with enterprise clients like
Target, Toys "R" Us, Sears, Marks and Spencerand the NBA. He is a graduate of Oregon State University.

New book summary released: May 2014
How to Work With Virtual Staff to Buy More Time,
Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business


It's not unusual for startup entrepreneurs to fall victim to the "superhero syndrome" – to assume they have to do everything themselves. That might
be necessary and helpful in the early days of an enterprise but if it goes on for too long, you end up becoming a choke point for ongoing growth – if you
don't reach burnout first.

The solution is to fire yourself and to build a virtual team to take over your tasks. This effectively involves just three steps:


The end result of building a virtual team who do high-quality work you would otherwise do yourself is freedom. You can then set your own hours, do
those big-picture tasks which generate the most added value and work on your business rather than solely in your business.
"This is the blueprint you need to go from a stressed-out, overworked business owner to someone who is refocused and highly energized
about all the new freedom you've amassed. You'll enjoy the prospect of building your business again instead of just running it. I'm going to restore all of
that original enthusiasm and help you prepare for the next ten years of blossoming into the most successful entrepreneur you can be. And it will all
result from the strategy of building and utilizing a virtual team to help you run, support and grow your business.”

– Chris Ducker

CHRIS DUCKER is an outsourcing expert and serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of three businesses – Live2Sell
Group, a call center, Virtual Staff Finder, a recruitment company and a co-working space for startup entrepreneurs. He is also
an experienced keynote speaker, blogger and podcaster. Chris Ducker has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes
and Rise to the Top. Mr. Ducker has more than twelve years experience working with virtual workers predominantly in the
Philippines. He is a graduate of Merton College in London, United Kingdom.

New book summary released: May 2014
The Authors of Freakanomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

"Freakanomics" is both an well-known expression and an ideology which was introduced to the world in two bestsellers titled Freakanomics (2005) and
SuperFreakanomics (2009). These two books have now sold more than 7 million copies worldwide in 35 languages.
The essence of Freakanomics is that the theories economists develop and use can be applied to problems in society at large with equal relevance
and effectiveness. Economists insist on letting the data speak for itself rather than applying their own hunches, preferences or ideologies.

Put another way, Freakanaomics is the art and science of thinking for yourself and letting the facts speak for themselves. If you can apply
Freakanomics consistently well – or in other words if you can learn to "Think Like a Freak" – you stand a better chance of solving the really difficult problems
other people generally ignore and hope they will go away.
“The fact is that solving problems is hard. If a given problem still exists, you can bet that a lot of people have already come along and failed to solve it. Easy
problems evaporate; it is the hard ones that linger. Furthermore, it takes a lot of time to track down, organize, and analyze the data to answer even one
small question well. We’d like to bury the idea that there’s a right way and a wrong way, a smart way and a foolish way, a red way and a blue way. The
modern world demands that we all think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally; that we think from a different angle, with a different set of
muscles, with a different set of expectations; that we think with neither fear nor favor, with neither blind optimism nor sour skepticism. That we think
like—ahem—a Freak.”

– Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

STEVEN LEVITT is professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a founding partner in The Greater Good, a
consulting firm. He has won numerous awards as a teacher including the John Bates Medal for the most outstanding economist
in America under the age of 40. In 2006, Time magazine named Dr. Levitt as one of the "100 People Who Shape Our World." He
is a graduate of Harvard University and M.I.T. Dr. Levitt and Stephen Dubner are the co-authors of three books including
Freakanomics and SuperFreakanomics.
STEPHEN DUBNER is a journalist and TV and radio personality. He is author of several books including Turbulent Souls and
Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper. His jorunalistic works have been published in the New York Times, The New Yorker and
Time magazine. He is a graduate of Columbia University where he also taught English.

New book summary released:
Make Your Million-Dollar Idea into a Reality

There's never been a better time to take your ideas and turn them into successful products and businesses. The tools and resources required to
get a product to market are now readily accessible to anyone via the Internet. You just need to follow a plan that works.

To turn your ideas into successful products, all you really need is:
1. Passion – to actively make great things happen rather than sit back passively.
2. Confidence – belief in yourself and enough gumption to ignore the skeptics and naysayers.
3. Drive and determination.
4. Reasonable organizational skills – because you'll need a team to make your idea happen.
5. Self-sufficiency and independence – the ability to think for yourself and work independently.
6. Charisma and showmanship – the capacity to get others enthused about what you're bringing to life.
7. A good road map.

If you tick those boxes and are prepared to work harder than you've ever worked before, you'll find a way and the money you need to make your ideas
happen. Successful product development always has been something you learn by doing. Take the plunge and have some fun as you reach for the

“I can show you the road, but those fundamentals – drive, determination, and red-hot passion – must be your fuel. Do you have that fire within you? Good!
While the work required to become a successful inventor is greater than you could ever imagine, it's more rewarding, too. The only regret you will ever
have is that you didn't get started sooner.”

– Lori Greiner

LORI GREINER appears on ABC's show Shark Tank. She has created more than 400 products which have generated more
than $500 million in retail sales. Lori Greiner also holds more than 120 U.S. and international patents. She hosts her own show
on QVC-TV called Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner. Her products are regularly featured in magazines like Town &
Country, O: The Oprah Magazine, InStyle, Woman's Day
and Family Circle. She has also been profiled in Success,
and the Financial Times.

New book summary released:
How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter,
and Win Customers by Marketing Less


“Your customers don't care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves. Content marketing is about creating
interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.”

– Joe Pullizi
With traditional marketing, you use ads and sales messages to try and attract prospective customers. Content marketing (CM) is where instead of
interrupting people, you put high quality content out into the marketplace for prospective customers to find. Your help people do what they're trying to do
with no strings attached. The idea is prospects will then buy more of what you have to offer because it helps them achieve their goals.
In practical terms, content marketing is really the art of marketing more by selling less. You communicate with potential customers and help
them rather than sell to them. You provide so much ongoing information prospects ultimately reward you with their business and their loyalty.
Your content becomes "epic" when it engages the customer and motivates them to take action. To achieve that, your content must:
• Help the customer solve a problem they have.
• Be consistently delivered rather than one-off.
• Project an authentic voice.
• Have a point of view which positions you well.
• Avoid sales speak or self promotion.
• Be absolutely best of breed.

“As a business, your goal is to become part of the content fabric for your customers. If you do, selling to them becomes relatively easy. Your goal should
be to develop and distribute the absolute best information in your industry. If not, why should your customers care?"
– Joe Pullizi
JOE PULIZZI is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute. He is an evangelist for the concept of content marketing and is
an avid public speaker. Mr. Pulizzi is considered to be one of the founders of the content marketing movement and he has
co-authored two books about this: Get Content, Get Customers and Managing Content Marketing. He was previously a vice
president at Penton Media and CEO of SocialTract, a social media blogging service. He is a graduate of Penn State University
and Bowling Green State University.

New book summary released:
A Wall Street Revolt

Flash Boys tells the story of how high-frequency trading has impacted on Wall Street. These traders use fast network connections
and high-speed computers to front-run orders placed by investors. These arbitrage opportunities have only come to light in recent
times and are being looked at closely by securities regulators. The story of the birth of the Investor's Exchange is told along with
the back story of what a fair market is supposed to look like and perform like. Essential reading for anyone who is interested in
or is considering investing in the stock market.

is a columnist for Bloomberg News and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. He is the author of several books
including The Big Short, Boomerang, The Blind Side, Moneyball and Liar's Poker. His articles have been published in The New
Yorker, The New York Times Magazine
and The New Republic. Mr. Lewis has also narrated feature articles for Nightline and
This American Life. He is a graduate of Princeton and the London School of Economics.

New book summary released:
Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Posted: 21 March 2014

Everyone knows the Biblical story of David and Goliath – little guy beats the big bad bully. The funny thing is we usually get this story backwards. It was
David that had all the advantages in this battle, not Goliath.
The real lesson of David versus Goliath is how a perceived advantage can actually turn out to be a disadvantage in practice. This kind of situation
crops up in life and in business much more often than you might realize.
When ordinary people confront powerful opponents, the first question that usually gets asked is: "Who has the most power here – and
therefore the greatest chance of success?" The real question you should be asking is: "Do I want to play by their rules or by mine?" If you can find a way
to play by your own rules, then you increase the odds that you will prevail quite significantly.
Underdogs can and do win more often than you think. The key to pulling this off is not to go against a competitor where they are obviously strong and
formidable. Instead, figure out a way to go around, under or over them rather than against them. That's how to win.
“Much of what we consider valuable in our world rises out of these lopsided conflicts, because the art of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness
and beauty. We consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong.”

-- Malcolm Gladwell

MALCOLM GLADWELL is a journalist and public speaker. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. He was
previously a reporter at the Washington Post. Gladwell is the author of five books including The Tipping Point, Blink and
Outliers. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2011.

New book summary released:
How Leaders Achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time
Posted: 7 March 2014

At one time, companies used to draw up 3-year and 5-year business plans with impunity.That approach simply won't fly in today's business world. Flexibility
and agility rule – and business leaders have to trust their front-line employees will be able to choose a strategy that will work in the here and now.

The key to success today is not how many good ideas you have but how many you manage to execute effectively in the face of ongoing changes
in the marketplace. From a leader's perspective, there are four elements which must be in place for your organization to execute strategy effectively:


• Leverage – you need to have people and systems in place which will allow you to execute strategy.
• Environment – you need a corporate culture and workplace which supports your strategic priorities.
• Alignment – your people's daily activities need to be contributing to the accomplishment of goals.
• Drive – you need leaders, teams and employees who are agile enough to seize new market opportunities.

Without these four elements, even if you have the right business strategy, you won't be able to execute it. Get them right and implementation
becomes a breeze.

“Strategic planning is so yesterday, but execution is always in style. Execution really is the strategy that will propel your organization forward in today's
fast-paced business arena.”

– Laura Stack

LAURA STACK is president and CEO of her own consulting firm, The Productivity Pro, Inc. She is an experienced keynote
speaker focusing on productivity enhancement, executive effectiveness and employee performance. She is the author of six
books about productivity including What to Do When There's Too Much to Do. Ms. Stack is also a past president of the National
Speakers Association and has held spokesperson roles with companies like Day-Timer, Office Depot, Microsoft, 3M and
Xerox. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

New book summary released:
How to Use Visuals, Videos and Social Media to Market Your Brand
Posted: 28 February 2014

The best way to cut through the clutter today and to really stand out is to tell your story online using compelling graphics and visuals.

All of the social media marketing tools which are coming to prominence today work exceptionally wel l when you integrate photos, visuals,
infographics, videos and other compelling images. People will be attracted by your visuals and will then be more receptive to readwhat you have to say.

Visual storytelling can:
• Increaseawareness of your brand.
• Strengthen customer relationships.
• Enhance customer loyalty and retention.
• Convey what you stand for as a brand.
• Tell your story quickly and concisely.

If you really want to get your message across, use more images, video and illustrations. The world is shifting more and more towards visual storytelling.
Don't miss out.

“In the age of infobesity, there are several ways to stand out from the noise and draw attention to your content in an organic way. And visual storytelling is
one of them. Visual storytelling isn't just a shiny new phenomenon. It's here to stay, and it will continue to evolve as new social media platforms enter into the
mix. As this happens, leveraging photos, videos, infographics, presentations, and more will only increase in importance. There's no time like the
present to get started and begin creating!”

– Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

EKATERINA WALTER is cofounder and CMO of BRANDERATI. She specializes in social media and is a sought after keynote
speaker on the topic. She is a regular contributor to Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post and Entrepreneur magazines. She
had led strategic marketing initiatives for Intel, Accenture, Wells Fargo and others. She is a member of the board of directors of
the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the author of Think Like Zuck. She is a graduate of Thunderbird School of Global
Management, University of Alaska Anhorage and State Technological University.

JESSICA GIOGLIO is a social media strategist. She had led the communications teams for iconic brands like Dunkin' Donuts,
TripAdvisor, State Street and Comcast. She is also a popular public speaker and contributes to the Convince&Convert blog and
to The Savvy Bostonian blog. She is a graduate of Bentley University and the European Business School.

New book summary released:
How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees
to Lower Costs and Bosst Profits


Posted: 19 February 2014

It is widelyaccepted in some business circles that to make money, you have to keep your costs down and your prices low by paying employees as little as
possible. This can be termed as the "bad jobs" strategy – where employees are treated as a necessary expense you aim to minimize.

However, there are successful companies in business today which go in the opposite direction. They utilize what can be termed a "good jobs"
strategy – they invest in their people and provide jobs with decent pay, great benefits and stable work schedules so their people can perform well.

What's interesting is that even though the good jobs companies spend more on labour, they are still competing in the marketplace to offer consumers
the lowest prices. The key is to excel at operations which is the secret sauce of making the good jobs strategy work.

When you have a well-motivated workforce who use operations in savvy ways,you can end up with a company which not only delivers good jobs to
employees but also strong returns to investors and low prices to consumers simultaneously. You just have to be able to combine investment in people
with operational smarts.

ZEYNEP TON is a visiting assistant professor at the MIT school of management. She was previously on the faculty of Harvard
Business School and is an award-winning teacher. Her research has been featured in the Atlantic, The New Yorker, the
Washington Post, Bloomberg TV and MSNBC. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

New book summary released:
Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less
Posted: 10 February 2014

The key to getting people to agree more is usually to say less.

In today's economy, everyone is hyperbusy and suffering from information overload. They don't want to sit through or read a rambling introduction
filled with stuff they already know. To influence or persuade anyone today, you have to get to the point quickly – you need to be concise, clear and above
all BRIEF.

So how do you do that in a systematic way? To master being brief, think ADD:

• You need awareness – and the conviction that you must be succinct or you will lose the battle for your listener's attention.

• You need the discipline to map your ideas clearly and concisely – so you become a lean communicator.

• You need to be decisive enough to recognize the key moments – when brevity will generate huge dividends and payoffs. These are the moments
when the less you say, the more you will win.

Strange as it maysound, brevity is in fact a rare skill. If you learn how to explain complex things succinctly, you will become much more persuasive
and compelling. Learning how to get to the point quickly can and will be a force multiplier.

“When you want to say more, decide to say less. Those who want to succeed – even thrive – in an attention-deficit economy are masters of lean
communication. They stand out, their ideas are seen and heard, and their companies succeed. Decide that being brief is your non-negotiable

– Joseph McCormack

JOSEPH McCORMACKis a marketing executive and entrepreneur. He consults with military leaders in the U.S. Army and with
senior executives of firms like W.W. Grainger, Harley-Davidson, SAP, MasterCard, Heinz and USG Corporation. He is
president of the Sheffield Company, his own consulting firm. He is also an experienced keynote speaker specializing in
messaging, storytelling, change and leadership. Mr. McCormack is a graduate of Layola University of Chicago

New book summary released:
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Posted: 27 January 2014

Habits can be changed if we understand how they work. At the core of every habit you have lies a reasonably simple nuerological loop:

If you want to change and reshape your habits for the better:

1. Identify the routines you follow – and figure out how you can change your routines so you swap vices for virtues.

2. Experiment with different rewards – until you can isolate what you're actually craving when you do something habitually. Take the time to figure out what you're actually craving when you do something and see whether there's a better option.

3. Isolate the cue that triggers your habit – what it is that signals it's time to do something. There are in practice only five types of cues: location, time, your emotional state, other people or an immediately preceeding action. Figure out what sparks your habit to occur.

4. Then develop a new plan – for what you'll do differently the next time that cue arises.

When you get right down to basics, habits are formulas your brain automatically follows: When you see a CUE, you do a ROUTINE in order to get the REWARD. To change your habit, change the formula.

“Obviously, changing some habits can be more difficult. But this framework is the place to start. Sometimes change takes a long time. Sometimes it requires repeated experiments and failure. But once you understand how a habit operates – once you diagnose the cue, the routine and the reward – you gain power over it. Transforming a habit isn't necessarily easy or quick. It isn't always simple. But it is possible. And now we understand how.”
-- Charles Duhigg

CHARLES DUHIGG is a reporter for the New York Times where he has been a contributor to a Pulitzer Prize winning series titled "The iEconomy." He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School. In addition to having his articles published, he has also appeared on several TV shows including This American Life, The Newshour with Jim Lehr and Frontline. Before becoming a journalist, he worked in a private equity firm and founded an education management business.

New book summary released:
Why Some Teams Pull Together
and Others Don't

Posted: 17 January 2014

When Marines camp for the night, the first group to go through the chow line are the most junior members of the company. The more senior
members of the company then follow and leaders eat last. If there's not enough food, it's the leaders who miss out, not the rank-and-file soldiers.

That's the perfect model of what true leadership is all about. Real leaders aren't there to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. They
don't look at their people as a resource which can be turned on in good times and then casually turned off again later on. Nor do they place their needs
above the needs of anyone else. Great leaders take care of the people under their stewardship and focus on the well-being of their people above all

In practical terms, great leaders create a Circle of Safety around the people they lead. In an environment full of danger both real and perceived,
the art of leadership is figuring out ways to grow and expand that Circle of Safety, and then to keep making that happen again and again.

“The strength and endurance of a company does not come from products or services but from how well their people pull together. Every member of the
group plays a role in maintaining the Circle of Safety and it is the leader's role to ensure that they do. This is the primary role of leadership, to look out for
those inside their Circle. It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a

– Simon Sinek

SIMON SINEK is an author and motivational speaker. His first book, Start With Why, was a New York Times' bestseller. His
TEDx Talk on "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" is the 7th most viewed video on Mr. Sinek
is a graduate of Brandeis University. He has a background in advertising having worked for
Euro/RSCG and Olgivy & Mathers. He has written articles which have been published in The New York
Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, FastCompany, BusinessWeek, BrandWeek
and The
Huffington Pos
t. Mr. Sinek is active in the not-for-profit world and currently teaches a
graduate-level class in strategic communication at Columbia University.

New book summary released:
How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Posted: 8 January 2014

What makes some products so habit-forming?

This is not really just an idle question. The market values of many enterprises today are based in large measure on the strength of the consumer habits
their products and services generate. If you can design and engineer your products and services so that customers form habits of use, there will be
significant benefits to your bottom line.
So how do you achieve it? At one time, companies would advertise extensively to try and get consumers to form a habit. Today, designers build
hooks into their products and services – the more you use them, the more you get hooked.
Specifically, the key to forming a habit is the "Hook Model" which looks like this:

T – Trigger – You alert users they should be using your product as part of their everyday routine.
A – Action – You get users to do something which is easy and simple to describe.
R – Rewards – When users do what you suggest, they are dazzled and also intrigued by the fact variable rewards are on offer.
I – Investment – You offer the user an opportunity to put something into the product to make it even more valuable in the future, which in turn
encourages them to go through the cycle again.

Get consumers into the habit of using your product or service on a daily basis and you make what you offer indispensable.
That's a great place to be.

NIR EYAL is a start-up business consultant who helps companies build better products. Since 2003, he has founded and sold
two technology companies, one of which attracted venture capital backing. He was formerly a lecturer at Stanford's Graduate
School of Business and Stanford's Institute of Design and has worked in the video gaming and advertising industries. Mr. Eyal is
a contributing writer for Forbes, TechCrunch and Psychology Today. He is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of
RYAN HOOVER is a writer. His work has been published in Forbes, FastCompany and PandoDaily. He is also a keen observer
of product trends and was previously Director of Product at PlayHaven, a business engine for mobile game developers.

New book summary released:
How Losing Can Help You WIN
Posted: 1 January 2014

Happy and successful people tend to spend less time planning and more time acting than average people. They get out into the world, try new things,
make mistakes and fail at first and in doing so, they lay the foundation for future successes. Not only do they learn what will work by first finding out for
themselves what does not but they also benefit from unexpected experiences and opportunities.

It's a paradox but the more you lose in the early stages, the more you win over the long haul. Take the plunge. Get into action. Rather than being
discouraged by your early failures, take heart. The best way to learn what will work in the future is to find out for yourself what doesn't work today.
Fail fast. Fail often. Fail your way forward.

“The more you fail, the more you will live, and you deserve a wonderful life! Starting today, set aside five minutes a day to do what you love. Find
something you have been meaning to do and give yourself permission to do it badly right away. Successful people have a knack for performing
poorly. Find a way today to step outside of your usual haunts, habits, and thinking patterns to experience new possibilities. Take a small,
immediate step related to your interests or spirations. The best way to gain confidence and improve your mood is to take action, even though
you're not feeling up to it. Now it's time for you to get out there and fail as quickly as you possibly can. And then fail again.”

– Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz

RYAN BABINEAUX is an educational consultant and career counselor. He and John Krumboltz are the creators and teachers
of the highly popular Stanford University psychology course titled "Fail Fast, Fail Often." He is a graduate of Stanford University,
Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Babineaux's focus of his professional career is analyzing
how successful people lead better lives.

JOHN KRUMBOLTZ is a professor at Stanford University. He specializes in counseling psychology and career counseling. he
is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Columbia University and Coe College. He is the author or coauthor of more than
200 publications including the book Luck is No Accident.

New book summary released:
How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
Posted: 20 December 2013

Professional boxing is the perfect metaphor for doing business in the social media age. Prizefighters don't walk into the ring and
immediately go for the knockout punch. Instead, they first deliver a series of well-planned jabs to set their opponent up. They work at getting the lead-up
jabs working so their right hook will then connect when it is unleashed.

This is how you should approach marketing in the digital age as well. Instead of going for an immediate sale the first time a prospect gets to hear
about your brand, you should first build the relationship by providing high-quality micro-content with no strings attached. That's the equivalent of a
prizefighter's "jab." Once you've delivered a series of jabs, you can then present them with an alluring offer (your "right hook") to buy something you sell. If
you've engaged them intelligently, they will then respond to your offer.

Admittedly, fights aren't won on jabs alone but most businesses today aren't working on perfecting their jabs nearly enough. If you can be a little more
patient and distribute stories and content people like using social media tools, your subsequent attempts to make sales will be far more productive.

"No matter who you are or what kind of company or organization you work for, your number-one job is to tell your story to the consumer wherever they are,
and preferably at the moment they are deciding to make a purchase. People are just not watching
television, listening to radio, reading print, or even
paying much attention to emails. At least, not as often as they used to. They're on social media. It's time to learn how to use the system to achieve your
business objectives, and put more time, energy, and dollars into the place where the consumers actually are, and not where you wish they would
stay. Social media platforms offer us our best chance to stretch our marketing dollars the furthest.”

– Gary Vaynerchuk

GARY VAYNERCHUK is an entrepreneur, a story teller and the CEO and co-founder of Vayner Media, a digital marketing
strategy consulting firm established in 2009. From 2006 to 2011, he ran where he grew the business from $3
million to $45 million in annual turnover. His latest company, Vayner Media, works with Fortune 500 companies like GE,
PepsiCo, Green Mountain Coffee, the NY Jets and the Brooklyn Nets to build their brands through social networks. He is the
author of New York Times bestsellers Crush It! and The Thank You Economy. Gary Vaynerchuk immigrated from Russia to the
United States in 1978 and is a graduate of Mount Ida College in Newton, MA.

New book summary released
Presentation Secrets of the World's Best Speakers
Posted: 10 December 2013

In the business world, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks have gained legendary status. They are delivered at two annual
conferences where the world's most engaging thinkers and doers are challenged to expound on "Ideas Worth Spreading." Each TED Talk lasts for
18 minutes and plays to a global audience. Every year, the TED Prize ($1 million in 2012) is given to the best TED Talk. More than 1,500 TED Talks are
now available online.

So, if you've got 18 minutes to change the world for the better, how do you do it? After analyzing hundreds of memorable TED Talks in fine detail, it
has been seen the most inspiring presentations follow the same basic formula:
S -- Simple
U -- Unexpected
C -- Concrete
C -- Credible
E -- Emotional
S -- Story based

While you may or may not get the chance to give a TED Talk during your career, following this formula for the presentations you do give makes sense.
Doing so will make your message sticky, effective and memorable – not bad results to enjoy whatever the setting.

“The perfect TED Talk is simple, concrete, credible, contains an element of unexpectedness, arouses audience emotions and uses stories to drive home
the message. If you follow the guidelines and tools, I guarantee that your audience will have no choice but to be wrapped up in your speeches and
presentations. You will have everything you need to make your very next presentation a roaring SUCCESS!”

– Akash Karia

is a public speaking and presentation skills coach. He runs seminars and workshops where he teaches
business executives how to create and present creative and engaging presentations. He has been ranked as one of the Top 10
Speakers in Asia-Pacific and is currently Chief Commercial Officer of a large corporation in Tanzania. He is the author of
several books including Public Speaking, Own the Room, How Successful People Think Differently and Public Speaking

New book summary released
The Only Strategy You Will Ever Need
Posted: 27 November 2013

If your business can win on the basics – if you can consistently deliver what customers value the most – you win. Be the best at what matters most in your
customers eyes and you can and will succeed.

While this sounds simplistic, the reality is few companies ever manage to do that in practice. It's amazing how many companies try and make things
complicated by getting sidetracked onto irrelevant issues and by trying to add in hype and gimmicks. That doesn't work. You just have to keep focusing
on what matters most to your customers and keep coming up with better waysto deliver precisely that.

Just be aware being the best is always something of a moving target. You have to keep constantly improving and innovating because that's what your
competitors are going to be doing day and night as well. Stay tightly focused on delivering exactly what customers want and you'll prosper.

“It takes a lot of hard work to get your thinking clean enough to get things simple, but if you can do that it's worth the work because if you can make things
simple, you can move mountains.”

– Steve Jobs

“The winners aren't the ones who do the most things. When everything is pursued, the important gets neglected. The winners are the ones who do
the most important things. Be the best at what matters most to customers, and you will succeed. Your goal should be to be so good at the basics that
you are cutting edge.”

– Joe Calloway

JOE CALLOWAY is a business performance coach and professional speaker. He designs and delivers presentations and
workshops for corporate meetings and events. In addition to consulting with organizations like Coca Cola, IBM, Saks Fifth
Avenue and American Express, Mr. Calloway is a guest lecturer at the Scarlett Leadership Institute and Belmont University. He
is also the author of Becoming a Category of One, Indispensable, Work Like You're Showing Off! and Never By Chance. Heis a
graduate of Austin Peay State University.

New book summary released
How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World
Michael Wheeler
Posted: 18 November 2013

Negotiations rarely (if ever) go as planned. Most of the time, issues crop up which take things in unexpected directions and you don't really
understand the other person's interests until you get down to the nitty-gritty details.

With that in mind, the cornerstone of good negotiation strategy is to find ways to manage unceratinty. You do that by going into a negotiation
prepared to do three things:
1. Learn
2. Adapt
3. Influence

The faster you can go through the learn, adapt and influence cycle, the better you will be as a negotiator. Doing this will be far more useful than
trying to apply the usual cookie-cutter strategies like "think win-win" or "know your walk-away position and do precisely that if you can't get what
you want."

“Negotiation is a two-way street. We can't script the process. Whoever sits across the table from us may be just as smart, determined, and fallible as we are.
All negotiations, large and small, are chaotic, since they take place in fluid and often unpredictable environments. Adaptability is imperative in
negotiation from start to finish.”

– Michael Wheeler

“Another way of saying it is keep an open mind and be ready to change and adapt to the situation. Don't ask reality to conform to your blueprint, but
transform your blueprint to adapt to reality.”

– U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi

MICHAEL WHEELER has been a professor at the Harvard Business School since 1993. Over the past twenty years, he has
taught negotiation to thousands of MBA students, business executives, managers and public officials. He is also the editor of
Negotiation Journal which is published by the Harvard Law School. Dr. Wheeler co-chairs the Consensus Building Institutue, a
nonprofit organization. He was also a visiting professor and senior lecturer at MIT for 12 years before joining the faculty of
Harvard Business School. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, Boston University and Amherst College.

New book summary released
Office Not Required
Jason Fried and David Hansson
Posted: 8 November 2013

The time is right for allowing more workers to do their work remotely rather than keeping watch over them in a centralized office.

To make that happen, there are really just two things you need to get right:
1. Mindset -- you've got to get everyone up to speed with what's involved.
2. Operating Rules -- you've got to understand how to make remote work for you.

If you get your mindset right and put in place some robust operating rules for how remote work will happen, you position your organization to take full
advantage of the benefits of the growing remote work phenomena.

“Over the past decade, we've grown a successful software company, 37 Signals, from the seeds of remote work. We got started with one partner in
Copenhagen and the other in Chicago. Since then, we've expanded to thirty-six people spread out all over the globe, serving millions of users in just
about every country in the world. We'll draw on this rich experience to show how remote work has opened the door to a new era of freedom and
luxury. A brave new world beyond the industrial-age belief in The Office. A world where we leave behind the dusty old notion of outsourcing
as a way to increase work output at the lowest cost and replace it with a new ideal – one in which remote work increases both quality of work and job

– Jason Fried and David Hansson

JASON FRIED is the co-founder and president of 37 Signals, a software development company. He is a columnist for Inc.
Magazine and a passionate advocate for business elegance – getting cool stuff done using Web-based tools which have the
minimum number of features. He is the coauthor of Rework and Getting Real and is a graduate of the University of Arizona.

DAVID HANSSON is a partner at 37 Signals. He is the creator of a programming framework called Ruby on Rails which is
infrastructure software used by Twitter, Hulu, Yellow Pages and thousands of other Web applications. David Hansson
previously worked as a games developer and software developer. He also coauthored Rework and Getting Real and is a
graduate of the Copenhagen Business School.

New book summary released
Proven Actions You Must Take to Make Easier, Faster, Bigger Sales ... Now and Forever
Jeffrey Gitomer
Posted: 31 October 2013

“At a time when the RULES are changing, the LAWS remain constant. You CAN change the rules. You CANNOT break the laws.”
– Jeffrey Gitomer

Just like in the natural world, there are 21.5 universal laws of selling which apply in all settings and in all situations. It is these laws which
determine whether you excel or stumble along in mediocrity.

You certainly don't have to play by the rules to excel in sales but you do have to follow and implement the laws:
• Align your actions with these laws and you will make the sale.
• Ignore these laws and you automatically face a headwind which will make any forward progress difficult if not impossible.
• Implement these laws and you build a solid foundation for your future sales career success.

“My first ten years in sales taught me the rules of selling. My second ten years in sales reinforced my love of selling and my belief in what I was selling.
My third ten years in sales leftmewith an urgency to write and speak about what I had learned so that others could use those lessons for themselves –
and turn my skills and my success into their skills, their success, and their money. Better stated, your money. Now, after forty years in sales, I have come
to the realization there are Unbreakable Laws that you have to follow in order to achieve the desired outcome – the sale! Once you begin to master the
laws, you are building a concrete foundation for sales and career success.”

– Jeffrey Gitomer

“If you learn the laws – if you work hard to master the laws – then making sales will become easier and faster.”
– Jeffrey Gitomer

JEFFREY GITOMER is a sales trainer and keynote speaker. He is the author of several bestselling books including The Sales
Bible, Little Red Book of Selling, Little Black Book of Connections
and Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. Mr. Gitomer also writes
Sales Moves, a syndicated weekly column on sales and Sales Caffeine, a weekly email sales newsletter.He delivers more than
100 sales training and leadership seminars each year and consults with companies like Coca-Cola, BMW, AT&T Wireless and
Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Mr. Gitomer attended Temple University for several years in the 1960s where he attended every Big 5
college basketball game possible before dropping out without earning a degree.

New book summary released
ENGAGED! -- Outbehave Your Competition to Create Customers for Life --- Gregg Lederman
Posted: 23 October 2013

Customers love doing business with any company which has a highly motivated workforce who are enthusiastically dedicated to delivering a great
experience. To arrive at that happy (and profitable) destination, three things are required:
1. You have to define what living the brand looks and feels like – your living the brand system.
2. You have to keep reminding people day by day what's required to live the brand.
3. You then have to quantify how you're doing and make the ongoing adjustments required to fine-tune and improve.

Pure and simple engaged employees live and breath your brand. They know your mission, buy-in to your values and deliver those day-to-day
experiences which bring your brand to life. The more engaged they are, the better. It makes sense to treat your people well so they will do the same to
your customers.

"A Living the Brand strategy is the single most important differentiator between a good company and a great company. The companies that
consumers love to do business with have cracked
the code on creating an ENGAGED workforce that Lives the Brand – they outbehave the competition.
These companies get recognized as best places to
work and get rewarded with ENGAGED customers who are incredibly loyal.”
– Gregg Lederman

GREGG LEDERMAN is a professional speaker and the CEO of Brand Integrity, Inc., a software and consulting firm which
specializes in culture change and customer experience design. Mr. Lederman also teaches MBA students at the University of
Rochester and is a columnist for the Rochester Business Journal. He is the author of Achieve Brand Integrity and the
owner/operator of TG Marketing, a retail and wholesale bakery and ice cream business. Mr. Lederman is a graduate of the
University of Rochester and Ithaca College.

New book summary released
Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained From Our Losses
John C. Maxwell
Posted: 14 October 2013

You always learn more from your losses than you ever learn from your successes. The key to achieving that is to approach and look at your
losses the right way.

To turn each setback into what ultimately becomes a step forward, you have to avoid the traps people fall into. To learn from your losses:
1. Be humble -- have the spirit of learning
2. Accept reality as the bedrock of learning
3. Be responsible --- always a great first step
4. Stay focused on learning to improve
5. Be optimistic that better days lie ahead
6. Always be teachable and willing to learn
7. Use adversity as a catalyst for learning
8. View problems as opportunities to learn
9. Let bad experiences give perspective
10. Be willing to pay the price and change
11. Have the maturity to value all you learn

Admittedly, learning is not easy during challenging times and often it takes real discipline to keep learning when everything is going wrong but if you
can do that, it will amaze you what you learn from your failures.

"You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. In it, there are no mistakes, only lessons. There is no part of life that doesn't contain lessons.
Sometimes you will win. Sometimes you will lose. But every time you have the opportunity to ask yourself, ‘What did I learn?’ If you always have an
answer to that question, then you will go far. And you will enjoy the journey."

– John Maxwell

JOHN C. MAXWELL is a leadership expert, speak and trainer. He is the founder of his own consulting firm, The John Maxwell
Company, as well as EQUIP, a nonprofit organization which has trained more than 5 million leaders worldwide. Mr. Maxwell has
written and sold more than 21 million books over his career including the bestsellers The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,
Developing the Leader Within You and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. He is a graduate of Ohio Christian
University, Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary.

New book summary released
80/20 SALES AND MARKETING -- The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More -- Perry Marshall
Posted: 4 October 2013

The greatest secret to success in any field is to master and apply the 80/20 Principle. If you understand 80/20 and use it effectively, you can and will solve any problem that gets thrown at you.

This is especially true in sales and marketing. 80/20 is the key to delivering breakthrough results. Figure out what works in your marketplace and pull the 80/20 levers and you will excel.

"Don't sell harder. Market smarter. But YOU have to do it. You have to put it into action. Only you can put on your 80/20 lenses and choose to see the world in a new way. Only you can harness your top 1 percent. You can use your brawn, or you can use your brain. Your fate is in your hands. You alone can decide to make more by working less."
--- Perry Marshall

PERRY MARSHALL is the founder of his own sales and marketing consulting firm, Perry S. Marshall & Associates.He has a background in copywriting and prior to his consulting career helped grow Synergetic Micro Systems from $200,000 to $4 million in sales in four years. He is an acknowledged expert on Google AdWords and is the author of several books including the bestsellers Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords and Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising. Mr. Marshall is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

New book summary released
BRICK BY BRICK -- How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry -- David Robertson
Posted: 24 September 2013

LEGO is one of the world's most recognized brands. Every year,LEGO factories churn out more than thirty-six billion new LEGO pieces – about 2.2
million bricks an hour. Yet for all of LEGO's many accolades, very few people know much about The LEGO Group, the small family-owned company
which is headquartered in Billund, a rural part of Denmark.

That lack of attention to The LEGO Group is unfortunate because the LEGO corporate story is highly illuminating. The company was founded in
1932 and through sheer grit and determination had grown into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise on the back of decades of unbroken sales growth. For all
that success, however, at the end of the twentieth century, LEGO found itself fading as the digital world arrived. In 2003, theLEGOGroup announced
the biggest loss in its history and the company was on the brink of insolvency.

What's interesting was LEGO reached that point by aggressively following seven of the most common theories of innovation which are widely circulated in
the business world today. With the company in danger of imminent failure, a new management team was installed and they set about taking those
academic prescriptions for innovation and reinventing them and synthesizing them. In
essence, the new management team developed a
practical approach to innovation that works.

The result? LEGO emerged from its near-death experience to become the world's fastest-growing and most profitable toy company. In the middle of a
global recession, LEGO's pretax profits trebled from 2007 to 2011 as the company grew its profits faster than Apple and many other heavyweights of
the innovation world. LEGO could just go down in business history as the world's most spectacular turnaround story.

"Continuous innovation must be a product of an organization's capacity to learn and adapt. We hope LEGO will continue to thrive, because a world
with LEGO in it is a little smarter, a little more
creative and a lot more fun."
– David Robertson and Bill Breen

DAVID C.ROBERTSON was professor of innovation and technologymanagement at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland from 2002
through 2010. He joined the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and now serves as
professor of practice. While at IMD, Dr. Robertson was codirector of the school's largest executive education program which
served leading European companies like Credit Suisse, EMC, HSBC, Skanska and BT. Dr. Robertson is a graduate of MIT and
the University of Illinois.

BILL BREEN is a member of the team which launched Fast Company magazine. He served as senior editor for Fast Company
for several years before becoming a full-time author. At Fast Company, he specialized in writing articles on competition,
innovation, and personal success. Mr. Breen is the coauthor of The Responsibility Revolution and The Future of Management.

New book summary released
AMAZE EVERY CUSTOMER EVERY TIME --- 52 Tools for Delivering the Most Amazing Customer Service on the Planet
--- Shep Hyken

Posted: 15 September 2013

If you can amaze customers every time they deal with you, then you'll have a valuable competitive edge regardless of the state of the economy or the
dynamics of the marketplace in which you operate. Amazing customers should be Job #1 for everyone you hire.

So how do you achieve that? Amazing customers is an art. It always starts from the inside out. Amaze your employees first and they will then in turn
amaze your customers. To make this happen on a consistent basis, you've really got to get five elements working in unison:
1. Great leaders
2. The right culture
3. Robust tools
4. Personalized service
5. A vibrant community of users

In sum total, amazing customers comes about when you have a customer-centered culture made up of employees who are themselves amazed.
Bring these five elements together in the right way and your people will stand up and deliver amazing customer experiences. That's the very best way to
stand out from the crowd.

“Customer service is not a department. It is a philosophy! Amazing every customer every time doesn't take a specific title. It takes the willingness
to step up and become a role model who sets an
example that others aspire to. You can do that, right now, whether you founded the company or just got
hired today."

– Shep Hyken

"It's not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages."
– Henry Ford

SHEP HYKEN is founder and Chief Amazement Officer at Shephard Presentations. He specializes in consulting with
companies about their customer services practices. He is an award winning public speaker as well as a best-selling author. In
addition to articles which have been published in hundreds of publications, Mr. Hyken is the author of several books including
Moments of Magic, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution. He is a graduate of the
University of Missouri - Saint Louis.

New book summary released
DISCIPLINED ENTREPRENEURSHIP --- 24 Steps to a Successful Startup --- Bill Aulet

Posted: 5 September 2013

Contrary to those who subscribe to some kind of "birther theory", entrepreneurialism can be taught. There is a structured and systematic way to build
and run a successful startup. In fact, the roadmap is well-known and has 24 repeatable steps.

"The myth is that there is an entrepreneurship gene, that certain people are genetically predisposed for success in starting companies.
Some believe personality traits like flamboyance or
boldness are correlated with successful entrepreneurship, but that line of thought is
misguided. Instead, there are real skills that
increase the odds of success, such as people management, sales skills, product conception and
delivery. These skills can be taught. They are not
genetically gifted to a few lucky souls. People can adapt and learn new behaviors, and
entrepreneurship therefore can be broken down
into discrete behaviors and processes that can be taught.""
– Bill Aulet

Good evidence of this can be found in the success of MIT alumni at commercializing new products and technologies. Every year MIT alumni start on
average around 900 new companies. As of 2006, more than 25,000 companies trace their origins back to MIT. These companies employ more than 3
million people and have an aggregated annual revenue exceeding $2 trillion. To put that in perspective, if MIT alumni-founded companies
were located in one country, it would have the eleventh-largest economy in the world.

What explains MIT's ongoing success? It's really a combination of spirit and skills. Students do get exposed to some very good role models while at
college but more importantly, they are taught the roadmap to follow to take an idea and build it into a business. They know what to do whether they are
actually running a startup or working on internal projects inside a large corporation.

To increase your chances of doing something great, follow the roadmap MIT's alumni have used with such great success.

BILL AULET is managing director in the Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT. He is also a senior lecturer at MIT's school of
management as well as chairman of MIT's Clean Energy Prize. Prior to joining the faculty at MIT, Bill Aulet was in business for
himself for more than 25 years during which time he raised more than $100 million in startup funding and created hundreds of
millions of market value. He started his career working for IBM before being recruited to run two MIT spinouts and to become
chief financial officer of Viisage Technology. He currently serves on the board of directors or advisory boards of several
companies. He is a graduate of Harvard University and MIT.

New book summary released
THE POWER OF WHY --- Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace --- C. Richard Weylman

Posted: 25 August 2013

The conventional approach to selling was to develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) which details why people should do business with you.
The idea of a USP was you spread it far and wide in order to attract customers whoneed what you offer. Having a USP is great but it's company-facing
rather than customer-facing. A better idea is to develop a Unique Value Promise (UVP) which articulates the value, the personal benefits and the
clear outcomes customers will accomplish by doing business with you.
If you can figure out why your best customers are doing business with you at present and then optimize the delivery of those benefits, you will
make the transition from merely being "different" to becoming totally "unique." The UVP is completely and unashamedly customer-centric because it
looks at the value created solely from the customer's perspective, not yours.
The UVP answers the one question every potential customer asks whenever they first come into contact with you: "What's in it for me?" Answer that
with your UVP and you're well on your way.


C. RICHARD WEYLMAN is chairman and managing director of his own consulting firm, Weylman Consulting Group. He is a
media commentator, keynote speaker and the author of several books including Opening Closed Doors, Marketing Strategies
That Really Work
and Accelerate Your Growth in the Affluent Market. Mr. Weylman is also the founder of an online university
and a member of the United States Luxury Board. He is a graduate of Monroe Community College.


New book summary released
DISRUPT! THINK EPIC. BE EPIC. --- 25 Successful Habits in an Extremely Disruptive World  --- Bill Jensen

Posted: 17 August 2013

The introduction of new technology and change are ongoing and won't be slowing down any time soon. This is absolutely the age of continuous personal
and business disruption – some major, many minor but disruptions nonetheless. So how do you excel in the face of ongoing disruptions? The key is to
develop the right habits.

Studies consistently show that up to 45 percent of what you do every day is driven by your personal habits. To excel today, focus on developing the
right set of personal habits. In particular, there are 25 habits which world-class performers use today:
-- 14 things to do
-- 4 things to avoid
-- 7 guiding principles

To achieve more now and in the future, don't worry so much about the external changes which are happening in the world. Focus on the inward
journey. Integrate these habits into your daily routine and you will welcome rather than fear the disruptions of the future.

"Everything is figureoutable. It boils down to a pretty simple thing: Put one foot in front of the other and figure it out. We should be seeing what sucks and
taking the steps to fix that. People always assume that someone else is going to take care of it, but if everyone took personal initiative, then we'd have a
much more exciting, vibrant world."

– Miki Afrawal, founder, WILD and THINX

"The people who will succeed in this era are those who figure out how to benefit from, or take advantage of, continuous disarray, disorder and
disruption. You already have much of what it takes to master successful habits in the age of personal disruption. It's time to free those qualities and

– Bill Jensen

BILL JENSEN is founder and CEO of The Jensen Group, a change management consulting firm. Mr. Jensen is an information
architect and has carried out a twenty-year research program titled Changing How We Work: The Search for a SimplerWay. He
is the author of several books including Simplicity, Work 2.0 and Simplicity Survival Handbook. Mr. Jensen is an accomplished
public speaker and is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology.

New book summary released
BIG DATA --  A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think ---
Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier

Posted: 6 August 2013

"Big Data" is defined as "the ability of society to harness massive amounts of information in novel ways to produce useful insights or goods or
services of significant value." In practical terms, Big Data is where we use huge quantities of data to make better predictions based on the fact we
identify patterns in the data rather than trying to understand the underlying causes in more detail.

A good example of the usefulness of big data was when the H1N1 flu virus struck in 2009. The traditional approach to tracking a virus was to
collect data about doctor's visits which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) tabulated and then published a week or two later.
Google came up with a different approach. Google suggested the spread of H1N1 could in fact be tracked by the Google searches people with the flu
carry out when looking for remedies. Google then analyzed a staggering 450 million different mathematical models to come up with a collection
of search terms which correlated with the historical data Google already had relating to the spread of seasonal flu. As a result, health officials could use
the Google method to track the spread of H1N1 in real time and respond rapidly rather than waiting a couple of weeks for the CDCP updates.

Big data will be a source of new economic value and innovation in the future. It will also change the way information is analyzed and transform the way
society is organized. The big data era which is just beginning will eventually challenge the way everyone lives and interacts with the world.

"Big data is all about seeing and understanding the relations within and among pieces of information that, until very recently, we struggled to fully grasp."
– Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier

VIKTOR MAYER-SCHONBERGERis professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University's Internet Institute.
He is the author of more than a hundred articles in academic journals and is a widely recognized authority on the topic of big
data. He is also the author of eight books including Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. He is on the advisory
boards of numerous corporations including Microsoft and the World Economic Forum.

KENNETH CUKIER is currently the data editor of the Economist and was previously the Economist's Japan business and
finance correspondent and technology editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia based in Hong Kong. He is also a prominent
commentator on big data developments. He is the author of numerous articles which have been published in Foreign Affairs,
the New York Times, the Financial Times, The Washington Post
and elsewhere. Mr. Cukier has been a keynote speaker at the
World Economic Forum and at private events for companies.

New book summary released

  Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not Hype --- Jay Baer
Posted: 22 July 2013

If you genuinely want your business or your company to stand out in today's information overloaded marketplace, there are really only two
ways to pull that off:
1. Be amazing -- which certainly does work but it's difficult to achieve and hard to maintain
2. Be useful -- make your marketing so useful people would be willing to pay for it.
"Youtility" can be defined as the art of providing customers with massive amounts of free and useful information so that when they need to buy
something, they wouldn't dream of going to someone else. Or simply put, you help them so much now by providing useful stuff that prospective
customers feel compelled to buy from you in the future. Rather than focusing on making a sale immediately, you invest in creating a future
customer for life.

"Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is
massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers. The difference
between helping and selling is just two letters. But those two letters now make all the difference."

– Jay Baer
"The way customers gather information about companies and make purchase decisions has changed. Consumers’ time and attention has never
been more scarce, and their suspicion of lazy interruption marketing has never been more acute. In this climate, Youtility is not an option. It's a
necessity. If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life."

– Jay Baer

JAY BAER is president of Convince & Convert, a social media and content marketing firm. He consults with more than 700
brands (including 29 Fortune 500 companies) helping them upgrade their digital marketing strategies. Mr. Baer has founded
five companies and is the author of a blog which is ranked as the leading content marketing resource. He is the co-author of The
NOW Revolution and hosts a weekly podcast, SocialPros. Fast Company magazine named Mr. Baer as one of America's top
social media consultants. Mr. Baer is a graduate of the University of Arizona.


New book summary released

BUSINESS BRILLIANT --  Surprising Lessons From The Greatest Self-Made Icons --- Lewis Schiff

Posted: 11 July 2013

Most middle-class people believe the keys to financial success are:
• Do what you love and the money will follow
• Put your capital at risk to get ahead
• Diversify the ways you make money
• Have a success attitude
• Think like a millionaire

Yet when a 6-year long study was carried out of self-made millionaires who came from middle-class families, it was found none of them had followed
that conventional wisdom. Instead, they subscribed to a completely different set of guidelines and thereby had become "business brilliant" rather than
settling for merely being highly educated or well qualified professionally.

If you want to change your own personal financial destiny for the better, aspire to become business brilliant. First change the way you think and then
change the way you act day-by-day. You do this by adopting the seven mental habits of the wealthy and then using the LEAP methodology:
L -- Learn what you do best
E -- Earn some dollars with it
A -- Get assistance where weak
P -- Persist to overcome

"I believe that if you master one-half or just one-third of the Business Brilliant techniques, your income will rise. But first you have to be willing to
accept that changing your behavior and following through on a few everyday practices can bring you financial successes you may have only dreamed of."

– Lewis Schiff

LEWIS SCHIFF is executive director of Inc. magazine's Business Owners Council – a membership organization for
entrepreneurs and business owners. In addition to to maintaining a blog which is published on the Web site, Mr. Schiff
is also the author of three books including The Influence of Affluence and The Armchair Millionaire. He previously worked as a
consultant to, as senior managing principal for CEG Worldwide and as CEO of Investorama

New book summary released
THE END OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE --  How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business --- Rita McGrath

Posted: 28 June 2013

All strategic frameworks and strategy textbooks produced to date have had one overarching aim: To build and then protect a sustainable competitive
advantage against all challengers. A sustainable competitive advantage is the Holy Grail of traditional business strategy.
In today's dynamic and ever-changing marketplace, however, sticking to the same old playbook and defending your competitive
advantage is less helpful. Within a year, the marketplace can change dramatically. It doesn't seem smart to keep defending a competitive
advantage which no longer matches the market, Therefore, a better way to think about business strategy today is to figure out ways to build and then
exploit successive transient advantages. You undertake new strategic initiatives, exploit any transient advantages which result for as long as
possible and then move on to the next big thing.

Rather than trying to make your competitive advantage sustainable, plan your strategy around having multiple transient competitive advantages in
play at the same time. If you can make your business strategy more fluid, more customer-centric and far less industry-bound, you
will position your business to succeed.
"Sustainable competitive advantage is now the exception, not the rule. Transient advantage is the new normal. Stability, not change, is the state that is
most dangerous in highly dynamic competitive environments."

– Rita McGarth

RITA GUNTHER McGRATH is a professor at Columbia Business School. She is widely recognized as an expert on business
strategy in volatile environments. She also consults with leading companies including Coca-Cola Enterprises, General Electric,
Pearson and the World Economic Forum. Dr. McGrath is the author of three books including Discovery-Driven Growth and
MarketBusters. Prior to joining the faculty of Columbia Business School, she served as an information technology director,
worked in the political arena and founded two startups. She is a graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania,
Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

New book summary released
CTRL ALT DELETE --  Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends On It. --- Mitch Joel

Posted: 20 June 2013

It's inevitable now that every industry will sooner rather than later be forced to make the transition into the fully-digital future of business. You can
either treat this transformation era as a bleak time because none of the established rules apply or view it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to completely
reboot your company and your career and do something amazing.
The need to reboot – to "Ctrl Alt Delete" to borrow a term from the personal computer industry – applies to both businesses and individuals alike:
• Businesses need to reboot their business models to take advantage of five dynamics
• Individuals need to reboot their careers to become invaluable employees
Like it or not, the nature of how business is run and what you as an individual do to monetize your skills is quickly evolving. The key to getting ahead is to
change the way you think and the way you act to better align with this brave new world. It's time to identify the emerging opportunities of the fully-digital economy and seize them.

"Businesses and the people who work for them no longer have a choice. They must reboot. They must Ctrl Alt Delete. What we’re currently seeing in the
marketplace is the struggle that businesses and employees are going through as we live through this state of purgatory.Weare stuck in the middle of
this transition and digitization of industry, and we’ve had enough of the analysis paralysis that is grabbing businesses by the throat. What we
need— more than anything else— are the insights and guidance that will be crucial to our success."

– Mitch Joel

“If you don't cannibalize yourself, someone else will."
– Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO, Apple
MITCH JOEL is president of Twist Image, a digital marketing and communications agency. He is a passionate blogger, podcaster, entrepreneur and keynote speaker. Mr. Joel has won a number of marketing awards and is a past chairman of the board of directors of the Canadian Marketing Association. His articles about the new business landscape have been published in BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Marketing magazine and elsewhere. He has also made keynote presentations about the digital marketplace changes to Walmart, Starbucks, Nestle, Procter & Gamble and many other corporations. Mr. Joel is the
author of Six Pixels of Separation and is a graduate of Concordia University and Vanier College.

New book summary released
THE 12 WEEK YEAR --  Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months --- Brian Moran and Michael Lennington

Posted: 10 June 2013

For many companies, December is the best sales month of the year as everyone focuses on the "year-end push" towards annual targets. It's actually quite common for the 4th quarter to make up 30 - 40% of annual sales. Having a goal and an immediate deadline gets people focused and working hard.
With that in mind, the question is: Why save that kind of effort for just once a year? Instead of working towards 12-month goals which can seem a long way away at the beginning of each year, you should instead set 12-week goals and have your people pursue those with the same kind of concentrated effort they put into the year-end push. "Periodization" is the concept of changing your time-frame so you make sure every week counts. Throw out the annual plan and break each year into four 12-week periods.
If you move to use Periodization, why not also set an audacious goal at the same time? What about if you could boost your productivity so much that you can achieve in a 12-week period the same results you previously generated over an entire year! That kind of productivity boost would be a genuine game-changer for most people. Is it feasible? Well, if you're honest you will probably admit you're not always in high productivity mode all the time at the moment. Can you honestly forecast what would be the results if you were to gear up to being highly productive every week?
The 12-week year concept is to organize yourself so you perform at your best all the time by consistently taking action on the things which will most directly shape and dictate your results.
"Our experience has shown that most people have the capacity to double or triple their income just by consistently applying what they already know. Despite this, people continue to chase new ideas thinking that the next idea is the one that will magically make it all better. We will show you how to consistently take action on the things that will shape your success."
-- Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
BRIAN P. MORAN is founder and president of his own consulting firm, Strategic Breakthroughs. He has experience in management and formerly held executive positions with UPS, PepsiCo and Northern Automotive before launching Bio Care, a medical surveillance form. He consults with companies including Coldwell Banker, New York Life, Medtronic and Tiffany & Co. Mr. Moran is a graduate of Michigan State University.
MICHAEL LENNINGTON is president and CEO of The 12 Week Year Coach, a training and coaching company. He previously worked as a project manager at Senn-Delaney Leadership and as a director at Arthur Andersen. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

New book summary released
SECRETS OF SILICON VALLEY --  What Everyone Else Can Learn From the Innovation Capital of the World
- Deborah Piscione

Posted: 29 May 2013

For all the turmoil which exists in the global economy, Silicon Valley continues to power ahead as the center of the innovation universe. In the last
two years alone, more than 100 incubators have sprung up there and the number of angel investors trying to get in on the next big thing have
skyrocketed. Today, more than 40 percent of all venture capital investments made in the United States each year are made by Silicon Valley firms.
So what does Silicon Valley do well that all its many imitators fail to do? It's certainly not the local government – California is widely regarded as one
of the worst states in the union for business. The real "secret sauce" which makes Silicon Valley succeed are the 10 factors which contribute to
Silicon Valley's unique ecosystem:
• Stanford University.
• Highly motivated people out to change the world.
• An understanding of the cycle of innovation.
• A pool of savvy entrepreneurs.
• Business models which are value-focused.
• A large pool of venture capital investors.
• A well established services infrastructure.
• Great places to meet.
• An outdoor lifestyle.
• Meritocracies – where great ideas win.
"At the core of Silicon Valley’s success is that people rarely ask, “Who do you work for?” but rather, “What’s your passion?”
– Deborah Piscione

"Silicon Valley (noun) 2013: A vibrant ecosystem of visionaries, innovators, investors, and destructive management (those not afraid to buck the status
quo) whose culture and human capital is relationship-driven collaborative, and rewarded through meritocracy. Silicon Valley is the leading
place to start an entrepreneurial venture due to its openness, nourishment, and tolerance for high-risk and failure. The innovation capital of the world is on
the verge of exponential technologies, and the synergies between them will have a monumental shift on the world’s economy. It is an ecosystem
that provides a competitive advantage for those who embrace it."

– Deborah Piscione

DEBORAH PERRY PISCIONE is CEO of Alley to the Valley, an organization that networks business women for deal making.
She is also CEO of woman's magazine BettyConfidential , a commentator on CNN and NPR and co-founder of Chump Genius,
en educational gaming company. She spent 18 years in Washington as a congressional and White House staffer and on-air
commentator for cable TV stations before moving to Silicon Valley. She is the author of Unfinished Business: A Democrat and a
Republican Take on the 10 Most Important Issues Women Face. In 2010, Deborah Pisicone won the award as Silicon Valley
Entrepreneur of the Year. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and Florida State University.

New book summary released
THE ART OF EXPLANATION -- Making Your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier To Understand -- Lee LeFever

Posted: 20 May 2013

Explanation – being able to make the facts more clearly understood – is an art form which is well worth mastering. If you can enhance your
explanation skills, you'll be able to persuade more people to move in the direction you want them to head. That's got to be good for your career
prospects and for your progress in whatever you're trying to achieve.
To create great explanations that work, the three part process you need to use is:
1. Plan  --- how you will answer the question: "Why should we care about this?"
2. Package  --- put your ideas into a form which makes them understandable and logical.
3. Present  --- get the right blend of media, presentation and distribution
Although we all live in a world full of data and information, facts in and of themselves can be difficult to understand, hard to apply and confusing
if stripped of any context. This is why explanations are needed. Explanations make facts understandable and accessible.
"Great explanations often do not come from rigorous research and testing; they come from someone's unique approach to communication.
Two people could have profoundly different ways of explaining a single idea and still achieve equal levels of understanding. Like any art form,
explanation thrives on being unique and novel; it succeeds when it helps people see ideas from a new perspective. It is a conscious act that depends
on creativity more than a specific formula or set of steps. Explanations are packages of ideas that help people see what is already in front of them in a new
way. Once explanation becomes a part of your communications toolbox, you'll start to see all the ways you can use it. Explanation represents an
amazing opportunity to make your ideas more understandable. If you choose to pursue it, it could change your life for the better."

– Lee LeFever

LEE LEFEVER is cofounder of Common Craft, a communications consulting company. He consults with leading brands like
Intel, Google, Dropbox and Ford to help them enhance their explanation skill sets. Common Craft has developed an
award-winningvideo explanation series which has nowbeen viewedmore than 50 million times and which is used by individuals
and companies around the world.


New book summary released
LEAN ANALYTICS -- Using Data to Build a Startup Faster --
Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz
Posted: 14 May 2013

The whole essence of the Lean Startup movement can be summed up in one thought: Don't sell what you can make; instead, make what you can sell.
Lean analytics is how you definitively determine what will sell.
In practical terms, lean analytics is really the art of figuring out what people want to buy. You do this by getting data which answers key questions like:
• What is the riskiest part of your business plan?
• What metrics can be used to track those risks?
• How can you reduce those risks?
• How can you iterate to move forward?
Analytics translates all of these questions into statistical measures which you can then use to get to the truth, even if the results are inconvenient or
embarrassing. By identifying what are the riskiest parts of your business model and then running some minimal cost experiments in those specific
areas, you learn about what works and what does not quickly and inexpensively. That speed of learning allows you to adapt so you can move
onwards and upwards.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
– Peter Drucker

"Lean Analytics is the dashboard for every stage of your business, from validating whether a problem is real, to identifying your customers, to deciding what
to build, to positioning yourself favorably with a potential acquirer. It can’t force you to act on data— but it can put that data front and center, making it
harder for you to ignore, and preventing you from driving off the road entirely."

– Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz

"Lean is a great way to build businesses. And analytics ensures that you’ll collect and analyze data. Both fundamentally transform how you think
about starting and growing a company. Both are more than processes — they’re mindsets. Ultimately, we want to show you how to use data to
build a better startup faster."

– Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz
ALISTAIR CROLL is an entrepreneur, author and public speaker. He specializes in web performance, big data, cloud
computing and startups. He has cofounded Coradiant (a web performance firm), Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One
Labs (an early stage accelerator) and several other early-stage companies. He is the author of four books. His personal Web
site is at

BENJAMIN YOSKOVITZ is an entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in Web-based business. He started his first
company in 1996 and in 2011 joined GoInstant as VP Product less than a year before the company was acquired by He continues to serve as VP Product for both GoInstant and He is also a cofounder of Year
One Labs and an active mentor to numerous other firms. His personal blog is at


New book summary released
The ONE Thing -- The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results -- Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

Posted: 1 May 2013

The real key to achieving more in your career, with your business and in your personal life is to narrow your focus and concentrate on the One Thing which will deliver the most value. Extraordinary results come when you focus.

"The way to get the most out of your work and your life is to go as small as possible. Most people think just the opposite. They think big success is time consuming and complicated. As a result, their calendars and to-do lists become overloaded and overwhelming. Success starts to feel out of reach, so they settle for less. Unaware that big success comes when we do a few things well, they get lost trying to do too much and in the end accomplish too little. Over time they lower their expectations, abandon their dreams, and allow their life to get small. This is the wrong thing to make small." -- Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

As counterintuitive as it may sound, the key to achieving more is to consciously try and do less things, not more. You just make certain the things you are focusing on are those which count the most – which deliver the greatest value. Find ways to eliminate all the busy stuff which soaks up your time and attention and you'll have less stress and more time for what really counts. To achieve more, think big but go small. Figure out what the One Thing which delivers the most bang for your buck is and do that alone. Less really is more when it comes to getting things done.

GARY KELLER is founder and chairman of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate franchise in North America. He was a finalist for Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year and is a popular key note speaker. He is the author of several books in the Millionaire Real Estate series including The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor and SHIFT.

JAY PAPASAN is a writer and an editor. He is the executive editor and vide president of publishing at Keller Williams Realty. He previously worked at HarperCollins where he was involved with several bestsellers including Body for Life with Bill Phillips and Go for the Goal with Mia Hamm. He is the coauthor of several books in the Millionaire Real Estate series.

New book summary released
DIGITAL DISRUPTION -- Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation --
James McQuivey
Posted: 18 April 2013

While it's true the Internet and e-commerce in general has already had a far-reaching impact on the business landscape, the reality is things are about to change even faster in the very near future. A tsunami of "digital innovators" – using the free or nearly-free tools already widely available – are ready and poised to bring about massive change in every market that exists.

Denying this is about to happen and carrying on with business as usual isn't really a viable or a useful strategy. A much better and more logical approach is to become a digital disruptor yourself before someone else achieves the same result with your customers.

Specifically, the three things you need to do to excel in the digitally disrupted world of the future are:

1. Adopt the disruptor's mindset
2. Start acting like a digital disruptor
3. Do all you can to disrupt yourself now

"Value comes from seeing what customers need and delivering it. Digital disruptors will do all of this at lower cost, with faster development times, and with greater impact on the customer experience than anything that came before. Being digitally disruptive is easier than you think, that it can happen right away, and that by taking small digital steps today, you will arrive at massively disruptive outcomes tomorrow."   --- James McQuivey

JAMES McQUIVEY is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. He joined the firm as an online retail analyst and expanded Forrester's coverage of the automotive and travel industries before moving to head up Forrester's research into how consumers use and interact with technology. He presently consults with companies around the world helping them develop strategies for dealing with today's generation of highly empowered consumers. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and previously taught at Boston University.

New book summary released
DECISIVE -- How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work -- Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Posted: 4 April 2013

When it comes to making decisions, you probably at one time or another have ended up making a bad decision because you've fallen foul of one or more of the four most common biases:
1. You narrow your options and miss better choices.
2. You only gather information which is favorable.
3. You let your emotions get in the way.
4. You're overconfident about how it will turn out.

The way to overcome these biases and become more decisive is to use the WRAP Process. Whenever you're faced with a decision:
W-- Widen your options
R -- Reality-Test your assumptions
A --Attain distance before deciding
P -- Prepare to be wrong

"At its core, the WRAP model urges you to switch from “auto spotlight” to manual spotlight. Rather than make choices based on what naturally comes to your attention— visceral emotions, self-serving information, overconfident predictions, and so on— you deliberately illuminate more strategic spots. You sweep your light over a broader landscape and point it into hidden corners. We want to make you a bit better at making good decisions, and we want to help you make your good decisions a bit more decisively (with appropriate confidence, as opposed to overconfidence). We also want to make you a better adviser to your colleagues and loved ones who are making decisions, because it’s usually easier to see other people’s biases than your own." -- Chip Heath and Dan Heath

CHIP HEATH is a professor of organizational behavior in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. His research focuses on why some ideas survive and ultimately thrive in the broader marketplace of ideas. Dr. Heath’s articles have appeared in Scientific American, the Financial Times, The Washington Post, Business Week, Psychology Today, and Vanity Fair. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Stanford.

DAN HEATH is a consultant at Duke Corporate Education. He is a former researcher for Harvard Business School who now specializes in designing and delivering corporate training programs. Mr. Heath, a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Texas at Austin, also co-founded Thinkwell Inc., a company which develops multimedia college textbooks.

New book summary released
CONTAGIOUS -- Why Things Catch On --
Jonah Berger
Posted: 26 March 2013

What makes an idea, a product or a behavior go viral and spread widely without any real marketing input or expenditure?
You might be tempted to think this is just a matter of random luck but it's usually not. Products or ideas become contagious whenever and wherever six
key STEPPS principles come into play:
S -- Social currency -- You share those things which make you look good
T -- Triggers -- Whatever is top of mind is also at the tip of your tongue
E -- Emotion -- When you care about something, you share
P -- Public -- If you build to show, you also build to grow
P -- Practical Value -- You like having news you can use
S -- Stories -- Information travels under the guise of idle chatter
If you're trying to make a product or an idea become contagious, find ways to build these six STEPPS principles into the design of the product or into the
messaging which arises around your product or idea. If you can do that, you can make your product or idea go viral and get everyone talking about it.
"Follow these six key STEPPS, or even just a few of them, and you can harness social influence and word of mouth to get any product or idea to catch
on. The best part of the STEPPS framework is that anyone can use it. It doesn’t require a huge advertising budget, marketing genius, or some sort
of creativity gene. If you follow these six key STEPPS, you can make any product or idea contagious."

– Jonah Berger
JONAH BERGER is assistant professor of marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes
in research on social epidemics, individual decision making and how social dynamics generate noteworthy collective
outcomes. He has published dozens of articles about research in academic journals and has also published numerous articles
which have been published in TheNew York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Science, Harvard Business
Review, BusinessWeek
and Fast Company. He is a graduate of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

New book summary released
THE SALES MAGNET -- How to Get More Customers Without Cold Calling --
Kendra Lee
Posted: 4 April 2013

In today's marketplace, cold calling is dead. It's too much effort for too little return and you risk alienating the very people you want to sell to
anyway. Instead of cold calling, try this:
----- 1 -----
Attract the attention of prospects using personal, digital and collaborative attraction strategies:
Personal: Email prospecting; Letters; Postacrds; Personal networking, Phone campaigns
Digital: E-Newsletters, Articles & Blogs; Social networking; Social media; Online PR
Collaborative: Online events; Local events; Offline PR; Alliance partnerships
----- 2 -----
Once you have their attention, then run savvy sales campaigns to convert them into customers:
Grabber ---> Enticing Offer -----> Call-to-action -----> SALES
----- 3 -----
Run multiple campaigns and strategies all the time.
KENDRA LEE founded her own sales consultancy company, KLA Group, in 1995. KLA Group specializes in assisting
small-to-medium sized enterprises increase their sales revenues. Before founding KLA Group, Ms. Lee sold hardware,
software and services for IBM and other Fortune 500 companies where she consistently ranked in the top 1-2% of their
worldwide sales forces. She has been a keynote speaker and is the author of Selling Against the Goal.


New book summary released
PLAYING TO WIN -- How Strategy Really Works --
A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin
Posted: 3 March 2013

Strategy is "an integrated set of choices which uniquely position a firm in its industry so as to create a sustainable advantage by being able to offer
superior value relative to its competition."
Strategy is about making choices pure and simple. It's all too easy to over-complicate strategy. The reality is to develop a winning strategy, all you really
need to do is plan and then execute your best answers to five important questions:
• What is your winning aspiration?
• Where will you play?
• How can you win there?
• What capabilities do you need?
• What management systems will be required to support it all?
All five questions must be answered in an integrated way if you are to succeed in creating a strategy which is viable, actionable and
sustainable. Developing strategy is frequently iterative – as insights come to light in one area, you may need to go back and revisit choices made
elsewhere. It is the combined impact and effect of all five choices which count.
"Strategy needn’t be the purview of a small set of experts. It can be demystified into a set of five important questions that can (and should) be asked
at every level of the business: What is your winning aspiration? Where should you play? How can you win there? What capabilities do you need? What
management systems would support it all? These choices, which can be understood as a strategic choice cascade, can be captured on a single page.
They can create a shared understanding of your company’s strategy and what must be done to achieve it."

– A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin
"Strategy needn’t be mysterious. Conceptually, it is simple and straightforward. It requires clear and hard thinking, real creativity, courage, and personal
leadership. But it can be done."

– A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin
A.G. LAFLEY is the former Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble. During his tenure as CEO, P&G's
sales doubled, profits quadrupled and the company's market valuation increased by more than $100 billion. He also managed
to grow P&G's portfolio of billion-dollar brands from ten to twenty-four. Today, he consults with CEOs on business and
innovation strategy.

ROGER L. MARTIN is Dean of the school of management at the University of Toronto. He is also an adviser on strategy,
design, innovation and integrative thinking. He is the author of seven books including The Future of the MBA and Fixing the
Game. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.


New book summary released
THE ICARUS DECEPTION -- How High Will You Fly? --
Seth Godin
Posted: 21 February 2013

Almost everyone knows the story from Greek mythology about Icarus who flies too high and close to the sun. Icarus perished because the sun melted
the wax holding his wings on. That story is used ad infinitum to encourage people to conform and not to take risks. That is, however, a deception. The other
aspect of the story which is less well knownis Icarus was also warned not to fly too low because the mist and the water would ruin the lift in his wings. Society
has altered the myth to encourage everyone not to stand out but flying too low or settling tor too little is the bigger danger today. When you settle for small
dreams, you rob the world of what you could have created if you'd tried.
As the industrial economy continues to morph into the connection economy, the only viable way to get ahead is to make "art" rather than mindlessly
following the rules. To get ahead today and in the future, you've got to stand out and the only thing that will achieve that is if you make art – however
you define it. Like it or not, we are all artists now.
"A revolution is here, our revolution, and it is shining a light on what we’ve known deep down for a long time— you are capable of making a difference, of
being bold, and of changing more than you are willing to admit. You are capable of making art."

– Seth Godin

"The connection revolution is shuffling the deck and enabling new organizations and new ideas to thrive. Someoneis going to be leading us; someone
is going to be exploring the edges; someone is going to be creating things of incalculable value. What happened yesterday is over. Tomorrow the
door is wide open, and this is your chance to connect."

– Seth Godin  

SETH GODIN is the author of more than seventeen books including Meatball Sundae, Linchpin, Unleashing the Ideavirus and Permission Marketing. He writes one of the most widely read marketing blogs in the world and is an accomplished keynote speaker. He founded and served asCEOof interactive marketer Yoyodynewhichwas acquired by Yahoo! in late 1998 meaning Mr. Godin became vice president of marketing at Yahoo! until he left to pursue other projects. Seth Godin is a graduate of Stanford Business School and Tufts University    

New book summary released
PAID TO THINK -- A Leader's Toolkit For Redefining Your Future --
David Goldsmith with Lorrie Goldsmith
Posted: 3 February 2013

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
– Henry Ford
When you get right down to brass tacks, if you're a manager, you're paid to think. So the big question is: "What should you be thinking about?"
In reality, there are only twelve core activities where you add value to your enterprise as a leader:
1. Whenyou developnewplans for moving forward.
2. When you create new products and services.
3. When you establish new alliances.
4. Whenyou plan waysto leverage newtechnology.
5. When you acquire new knowledge.
6. When you enhance your global awareness.
7. Whenyou watch your competitors and respond.
8. When you lead the charge and get things done.
9. When you empower others to do more.
10. Whenyou encourage creativity and innovation.
11. When you sell continuously.
12. When you forecast the future accurately.
All of these types of leadership thinking can be embodied in an approach termed "Enterprise Thinking." The Enterprise Thinking framework
provides a practical framework and a set of tools which you can use to think constructively and productively about challenges. It allows you to think
better, faster and more constructively. Overall, Enterprise Thinking helps you do what you're paid to do better – it helps you think like a leader.
"Companies occasionally . . . excel because of luck. But usually they excel because of brains.”
– Warren Buffett

"You can never underestimate the value of thinking before taking action, especially when you’re about to invest labor, capital, time, and your reputation on
an initiative."

– David Goldsmith

DAVIDGOLDSMITH is president of his own consulting company, Goldsmith Organization LLC. In addition to being a business
owner, Mr. Goldsmith is also an accomplished keynote speaker and corporate advisor. He has been on the faculty of the New
York University for more than twelve years. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.
LORRIE GOLDSMITH is co-founder of the Goldsmith Organization LLC and helps deliver leadership development training,
consulting services and educational resources worldwide.

New book summary released
TAKING SMART RISKS -- How Sharp Leaders Win When Stakes Are High --
Doug Sundheim
Posted: 21 January 2013

Whenever you or your organization play it safe for too long, all that ends up happening is you stagnate.
More specifically, if you avoid risks all the time:
• You forget what it feels like to deliver big wins.
• You stand still and don't grow.
• You don't create anything new and better.
• You lose a little bit of self-confidence.

In all, when you stay in your comfort zone indefinitely, you really don't feel alive. To keep growing, you have to work towards achieving some
challenging goals which force you to stretch and grow – and the best way to do that is to regularly take on some "smart risks."
Smart risk taking is all about being bold but careful at the same time. You undertake a meaningful challenge which definitely forces you to stretch but
at the same time you prepare thoroughly and thoughtfully so as to minimize the hazards involved. It's about getting in the "smart-risk zone" which lies
somewhere in the middle between your comfort zone and the danger zone.
To stay in that smart-risk zone for any period of time takes practice. You basically have to do five things on an ongoing and sustainable basis to get into this
smart-risk zone and stay there:
1. Find something worth fighting for
2. See the future now.
3. Act fast, learn fast
4. Communicate in a powerful way
5. Create a smart-risk culture

"Smart risk taking is about creating new things, understanding what you’re made of, and feeling confident and alive. You lose these when you play it
safe for too long, in essence losing the “life” in life. So you need to take risks. But even when you know that you need to take risks, fear can still stop you
from doing it. It’s only by being aware of what’s at stake when you do not take risks— loss of growth, progress, and learning— that you find the right risks
to take."

– Doug Sundheim
DOUG SUNDHEIM is a leadership and organizational consultant. He has more than 20 years of experience in growing
businesses. He now works with Fortune 500 companies including Morgan Stanley, Harvard Management Company, The
Chubb Corporation, Citigroup, University of Chicago and Procter & Gamble. Prior to starting his ownconsulting company, Doug
Sundheim worked for several years in the Internet strategy field and started his own catering company which grew to have 100
employees. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia University. 


New book summary released
TO SELL IS HUMAN -- The Surprising Truth About Moving Others --
Daniel Pink
Posted: 7 January 2013

Today,we’re all in sales whether we realize it or not. No matter what your job title is, if you honestly analyze what you really do you’ll probably find you
spend upwards of 40 percent of each day persuading, convincing and cajoling others to part with their resources in exchange for what you’re
trying to do. Trying to move others is selling pure and simple.
At first glance, the idea of being in sales may be repugnant – particularly if you’ve always viewed salespeople as sleazy types who glide through life
on a shoeshine and a smile – but fortunately, sales isn’t what it used to be. In fact, selling has changed more in the past ten years than it did in the previous
hundred years and many of the assumptions which people have always had about selling have crumbled.
Like it or not, we’re all engaged every day in influencing others to trade something they’ve got in exchange for what we’ve got. In other words, we’re
all in selling now – so the smart thing to do is to figure out how to get better at moving others to your wayof thinking. It really is the most valuable skill-set
of the future.

“Selling, I’ve grown to understand, is more urgent, more important, and, in its own sweet way, more beautiful than we realize. The ability to move others
to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial to our survival and our happiness. It has helped our species evolve, lifted our living
standards, and enhanced our daily lives. The capacity to sell isn’t some unnatural adaptation to the merciless world of commerce. It is part of who we are.”

– Daniel Pink
DANIEL PINK is a keynote speaker and the author of five books including Drive, A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation. He
specializes in writing about business and technology, especially the changing world of work.He was chief speech writer for Vice
President Al Gore from 1995 to 1997 and has also worked as an aide to U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich and in other
positions in politics and government. He is today rated as an influential business thinker and his articles appear in many
publications including the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company and Wired. He also provides analysis on
business trends to CNN, CNBC, ABC and other networks. Daniel Pink is a graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law
School and has received honorary degrees from Westfield State University and the Ringling College of Art and Design.