For those who really want to know their industry and really want to understand the basic fundamentals and underlining philosophy of such – it is recommended to have not only the newest and latest books on the subject, but also the books of days gone by.
Why you ask? Well, often new books are riddled with buzz-words and new hooks to help them sell, yet fail to address the reality behind it all. This is why our online think tank often reads older books and discusses them and then considers the implications of the changes and what those books were saying at the time. Great understanding can come from this sort of reading and deep digging for reality sake. Below are listed many books, with a short commentary as to why this information deserves further consideration.
“Feel the Fear And Do it Anyway – Dynamic Techniques for Turning Fear, Indecision, and Anger into Power, Action and Love” by Susan Jeffers, PhD. 1987. This work is very complete and it starts out by defining what fear is and how to figure out what you are afraid of and why.
Next it explains how to make it go away, to conquer your fears and use your new found knowledge to increase your personal power. Going for complainer to achiever and how to spot someone else who is limiting themselves by fear – she takes the book from the action phase to the life balance phase and turning your life into a wonderful experience full of success, enjoyment, fulfillment and love.
With fear tactics being used for political reasons and social control or even to increase media outlet loyalty – one needs to understand fear, its psychological buttons and how to overcome it all, if they are to survive and capitalize on the chaos created by others and accepted by the masses. We know that fear depletes vitamins in the body and causes stress, this also affects the bio-systems ability to operate efficiently and allow the brain the nutrients necessary for higher levels of reasoning and thought.
“The Technique of Handling People – Eleven Helps for your Human Relations” – by Donald A. Laird & Eleanor C. Laird 1954. This book is great to help people get along with others and is similar to “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in many regards. It starts by giving the reader tips in human relations, winning cooperation, clearing up troubles, becoming a confidant, arousing enthusiasm. There are chapters on harnessing criticism and turning it around, boosting loyalty, securing best efforts through praise and generating harmony in groups or personal relationships when it really counts. Finally, it explains the difference between leading and driving an organization or group.
Should we be appeasing hard to deal with people or rather get them to change on their own free will, allowing them to realize that if they will modify their behavior in the working environment everyone, including them will win – fellow employees, customers, themselves and the company. Why should all of us dealing with hard to deal with people develop psychological skills to counteract these problems?
“Help Yourself – A Guide to Self-Change” by Jerry A. Schmidt 1976. This short book is broken into parts, and the first part explains the need to be motivated to make a change, as you cannot help anyone against their will, including or especially yourself. It is necessary to set goals, be motivated to attain these goals and admit that you need a change. In part II, it explains more of the philosophy, methodology, techniques, tactics and strategies to complete the process to a new you.
So many people who are unhappy constantly blame others for their conditions, and refuse to look in their own mirrors. It is hard to evoke a positive change in others without them buying into a plan to change them selves. There are numerous self-help books out there, but no one is going to change until they decide they are ready. Once they do such self-help books are relevant, choosing the best one for the situation is too.
“Peak Performers – The New Heroes of American Business” by Charles Garfield 1986. This book starts out with the search for peak performance and expectation driven results, as it gives tips of where to find peak performers in large organizations. How to collect evidence, do research and profile those who are walking their talk. How to find those who love what they do and do it well. Next the book explains how to accelerate the organizations achievement and understand the growth curve, where to invest in human resources and use this inherent talent.
The book explains how to master your own skills, hone in on your talents and self manage your own peak performance. Next the book discusses how to leverage your own strengths within a team and lead the entire team to achieve more, by leading by example. How to handle change management and maintain peak performance while setting up the perfect team. The book is not only about peak performance of you and your team, it is much about winning, going all the way.
There is a lot of talk about the poor work ethic in today’s workforce. Many say that we need to give accolades, kudos and praise to produce performance, but us in the old school find it hard to praise those who are not giving their best efforts and insist that they are doing as much as should be expected. Giving the minimum never produced superior results for any organization, so this book peak performers is relevant and a must read for those who wish to win.
“Writing Business Letters and Memos – Getting your message across, Write with authority, Keep a reliable paper trail, Reply to co-workers and the boss with Confidence” by Havis Dawson 1993. The book is short, but filled with great information, explaining right off the bat what is wrong with most business letters and why they fail to communicate properly and how you can change that and not make the same mistakes. The book offers tips of layout, format, grammar and hooking the reader’s interest. Next it discusses the many types of letters like sales letters, complaint letters, collection letters, requests for information, business memos, faxes and how to do a proper email.
“Better Letters – A Handbook of Business and Personal Correspondence” by Jan Venolia 1982. If you recognize the name, she is the same author of Write Right, which has become a classic amongst authors and writers. She starts by discussing letter writing style, organizing your thoughts and composing them into perfection. Listed are all sorts of Business Letter type formats and the next chapter discusses personal type letters and the vast differences. The book even has a chapter of how to be the benevolent dictator, promoting an agenda in harmony and getting results.
The art of business letter writing seems to be lost these days, as you read your email correspondence, you should consider how things have changed. Often we see abbreviated words used by text-message’rs and wonder what on Earth is this person thinking sending this in an email? Other times we read very professional emails, which say nothing at all and are laden with buzz words, how can we take any of this seriously?
“The IBM Way – Insight into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organization” by Buck Rodgers with Robert Shook – and foreword by Tom J. Peters. 1986. The book dives right into the implications of a business and its beliefs and how leadership guides or detracts from its mission. How IBM built a sales and marketing strategy that dominated the high-tech world by focusing on the customer and the future – then monitored the success, paid more than fairly and maintained an entrepreneurial spirit in the process.
In hindsight, one has to ask if the ideas in this book are reality based, they seem to be, but then again IBM is not nearly the company it once was. Is it because they lost their way from these policies and strategies or because of them? Things have sure changed, did IBM walk the talk or is this just another book hyping an unattainable utopian business climate that never really fully existed?
“Guerilla Marketing with Technology – Unleashing the full potential of your small business” by Jay Conrad Levinson – 1997. This book is the same as Guerilla Marketing, but with a technology based focus when marketing. It goes into real world scenarios with real small business owners asking questions and getting world-class advice from Jay Levinson.
It is ten years later and the world has really grown up now with social networking websites, AdSense ads on all the websites, so many variations of marketing strategies on the Internet, perhaps it is time for another book to help folks enjoy guerrilla marketing with the latest new tools, mobile marketing and innovative technologies?
“Future Scope – Success Strategies for the 1990s & Beyond” by Joe Cappo – 1990. The book discusses the challenge in predicting the future and the fine art of forecasting. Then it explains the issues with the population demographic shifts, immigrant labor and planning for the retirement of the baby boomers. Indeed, everything we are seeing now.
He discusses the middle class issues, many of which he got incorrect. He admits in advance that things can change along with consumer buying behavior and predicting people’s future tastes. He talks about the fitness craze as well. Attitude towards work, play, convenience and the FutureScope.
“Five Great Rules of Selling” by Persy H. Whiting – 1957. This is another one of those old classics on selling, and the advice is good and relevant, and mostly timeless. It is a good book to read to understand the foundation and fundamentals of selling, that so many new entrants either forget or fail to use to their own folly. This book is a remake of “The 5 Great Rules of Selling” that was a hit in the 1940’s. The book gets into the importance of product knowledge, getting the appointment, arousing interest, producing conviction and interest, closing the sale, overcoming objections, repeat business and referrals, working efficiently and scheduling, etc.
“Ziglar on Selling – the ultimate handbook for the complete sales professional” by Zig Ziglar – 1991. Zig Ziglar tells us why selling is paramount to our economy and how it is the oldest profession and why selling in the modern market is a honor and a good career choice. He discusses prospecting, cold calling, meetings, sales process, handling objections, closing the sale, dealing with people, getting referrals, making friends, solving problems, developing interest, desire, and rounds out all the potential topics on the subject of selling.
“One Smart Cookie” (the Story of Mrs. Fields Cookies) by Debbi Fields and Alan Furst – 1987. Here is a lady who never spent one penny on advertising, used intuition to make decisions, gave away cookies for free and ignored all the marketing experts, their advice and papers. Here philosophy and story of success is intriguing and fascinating. Her motto: Good enough, never is. And; If you chase the only the money, you will never have any. An American success story, well worth reading.
Sometimes all the business advice in the world is worthless, without a hard charger behind the push forward. Then again, with a superstar entrepreneur, well, they can often get it done anyway, without using conventional methods. The will to win, and succeed is worth all the strategic methodology in the world
“100 Ways to Make Money in Your Spare Time, Starting with Less than $100” by John Stockwell and Herbert Holtje – 1972. The first 238 pages list literally 100 different types of businesses that you can start on the cheap and how they operate and make money. Next there are chapters on business formation, selling, marketing, buying a business opportunity and record keeping.
If one is to read the Entrepreneur 500 today or any of the wonderful books by Robert Bond listing all the possible franchise opportunities, in contrast to this older book in 1972, we see very few innovations really. Although things do change, and have changed with technology, they have not changed nearly as much as we a lead to believe or nearly as fast as we think they will.
“Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Practice and Principles” by Peter Drucker – 1985. Participating in the entrepreneurial economy means you must understand what it is and how it works and Mr. Drucker starts out by explaining it in the introduction before he even starts the book. Fostering innovation, understanding the animal and using this knowledge to produce constant and continual creativity in business is the first section and next he explains entrepreneurship in action and how practicing these techniques and strategizing can produce winning products and services and methods for marketing them.
What an interesting book to read again now that we have experienced another two decades of constant innovations. Amazing that some of these strategies seem so obvious now and it is equally as interesting that even with all the modern communication, that the underlining foundations of innovation creation are similar.
“Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” by Wess Roberts, PhD. – 1987. The book is a quick history of who Attila the Hun was and how he commanded respect and leadership in his time. The book takes some of these strategies and puts them into a modern context. How one must desire to lead, honor customs, pick your enemies wisely, responsibilities of leaders, decisiveness, delegating, negotiation, discretion, and leaving with dignity.
Despite the current accepted methods of “feel good leadership” one thing should be noted and that is that leading by fear, strength, honor and conviction also works. There are times no matter what any Neo-Feel Good psychologist tells you, that such methods would be wise to employ. Surely, not a topic that will make you many friends discussing, but the reality is it works.
“Inflation Can Be Stopped” by Robert S. Morrison – 1973. This is an excellent book for folks to read who do not understand the problems of challenges of inflation. It was written by a street-smart entrepreneur and businessman and is easily understood by the average readership. Mr. Morrison explains what inflation is and why it is so important. He explains how to deal with it and control it and why we must.
Those who often speak on economic issues of our time ought to have this minimum background knowledge and perhaps this book on their bookshelf as well. The FED fears inflation and for good reason, inflation comes with it, huge economic implications and we as citizens owe it to ourselves to understand what it is and how it works.
Can you now see why it is important to read older books too, rather than just the every day new buzz-word books, hyping and hooking you with new sub-themes? Think on this topic a bit, see what you come up with?