What are the experts reading this summer?
By Ken Schmitt and Vicky Willenberg
While summer is just around the corner, few professionals are able to dust-off the old beach chair and spend our days in the sun. However, most of us can take advantage of the longer days and finally get around to reading the books that have been sitting on our desks or in our online shopping carts. So what books would a successful small business owner recommend you tuck into while enjoying the summer sun and a frosty cold beverage?
Here’s what TurningPoint Executive Search’s President and Founder, Ken Schmitt, would call this Summer’s Must Reads:
1. Moment of Clarity by Christian Madsbjerg & Mikkel B. Rasmussen
In The Moment of Clarity, Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen examine the business world’s assumptions about human behavior and show how these assumptions can lead businesses off track. But the authors chart a way forward. Using theories and tools from the human sciences—anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and psychology—The Moment of Clarity introduces a practical framework called sensemaking. Sensemaking’s nonlinear problem-solving approach gives executives a better way to understand business challenges involving shifts in human behavior.
2. Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make it… and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
In Scaling Up, Harnish and his team share practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. These approaches have been honed from over three decades of advising tens of thousands of CEOs and executives and helping them navigate the increasing complexities (and weight) that come with scaling up a venture. This book is written so everyone — from frontline employees to senior executives — can get aligned in contributing to the growth of a firm. There’s no reason to do it alone, yet many top leaders feel like they are the ones dragging the rest of the organization up the S-curve of growth. The goal of this book is to help you turn what feels like an anchor into wind at your back — creating a company where the team is engaged; the customers are doing your marketing; and everyone is making money. To accomplish this, Scaling Up focuses on the four major decision areas every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. The book includes a series of new one-page tools including the updated One-Page Strategic Plan and the Rockefeller Habits Checklist™, which more than 40,000 firms around the globe have used to scale their companies successfully — many to $1 billion and beyond. Running a business is ultimately about freedom. Scaling Up shows business leaders how to get their organizations moving in sync to create something significant and enjoy the ride.
3. Lean Selling by Robert J. Pryor
Lean Selling explains how the revolutionary principles of Lean Thinking, pioneered by Toyota Motor Corporation, can transform sales organizations and the value they provide for customers. In addition, Lean Selling can eliminate salespeople’s wasted time on unnecessary activities and unqualified prospects, dramatically reduce sales cycle time, broaden and deepen your organization’s competitive advantage and differentiation, significantly improve the accuracy of revenue forecasting, and bind your customers more closely to your organization.
4. Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried & David Hansson
The “work from home” phenomenon is thoroughly explored in this illuminating new book from bestselling 37signals founders Fried and Hansson, who point to the surging trend of employees working from home (and anywhere else) and explain the challenges and unexpected benefits. Most important, they show why – with a few controversial exceptions such as Yahoo — more businesses will want to promote this new model of getting things done.
5. Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman
In Focus, psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long-overdue discussion of this little-noticed and underrated mental asset that matters enormously for how we navigate life.
Unfortunately few of us have the luxury of laying in the sun and turning fifty shades of tan this summer. However, long summer days, cool summer nights and the relaxed atmosphere that seems to surround this wonderful season give us a rare opportunity to enjoy some professional reading.
About the Authors
Ken Schmitt is the President and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search and the Sales Leadership Alliance. Specializing in placing sales, marketing and operations professionals across the country, Ken’s 16 years of recruiting experience have equipped him with the knowledge to serve as a thought partner to his clients for all recruiting, hiring and human capital-related initiatives. Ken sits on the board of Junior Achievement, the American Marketing Association, the San Diego HR Roundtable and is an Advisory Board Member for San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI).
Vicky Willenberg has served as the Social Media Manager for TurningPoint since 2011. In 2014, she was elevated to Digital Marketing Manager, broadening her participation across all things digital for the firm. A former teacher with a Masters in Education, Vicky is an active and published blogger at The Pursuit of Normaland a marketing professional. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the recruiting, hiring and leadership sectors.