Effective communication is at the core of professional success. The difference between signing a deal or losing an account is how you communicate your message. It is important to be pitch perfect, precisely the right tone to the right person, to advance in your career. Renowned media coach Bill McGowan, along with journalist Alisa Bowman, show how to communicate with confidence during the pivotal moments of life in Pitch Perfect. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"Holding your audience's attention is like winning a tennis match at Wimbledon. You better have a clearly defined strategy, execute it brilliantly and muzzle any inner voice of self-doubt, or you’ll get crushed," write McGowan and Bowman. They offer Seven Principles of Persuasion to construct the right message and deliver it using the right language, verbally and nonverbally. These principles are based upon years of McGowan's experience communicating and succeeding via multiple mediums. Of the seven, the Scorsese Principle discusses keeping your audience engaged with visual aids to illustrate your story. This principle is based upon Martin Scorcese and his ability to tell stories that listeners can visualize. Images are more memorable than words, so in order to capture and hold the attention of your audience, you need to illustrate your point with stories they can imagine.
McGowan and Bowman share how to get people to remember what you have said. Executives will learn how to overcome common mistakes and implement a better way of communicating using effective verbal and nonverbal language with Pitch Perfect.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Pitch Perfect is available here....more
Why Motivating People Doesn't Work... And What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging by Susan Fowler was chosen by SoundviewWhy Motivating People Doesn't Work... And What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging by Susan Fowler was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2014.
THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW:
If you feel that your efforts to motivate employees are falling short, you are not alone. Senior consulting partner for the Ken Blanchard Companies, Susan Fowler, reveals that motivating people doesn't work because they are already motivated in Why Motivating People Doesn't Work... and What Does. Fowler helps leaders understand what they can do to go beyond traditional styles of motivation to help people not only be more productive and engaged but to bring a sense of purpose to their work. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"You can use all your power attempting to motivate people, but it won't work if you want them to experience an optimal motivational outlook. Shifting to an optimal motivational outlook is something people can do only for themselves," writes Fowler. She presents a tested model and course of action that will help leaders guide their employees toward the type of motivation that will increase productivity and engagement. Her Optimal Motivation process shows leaders how to help people meet their needs for autonomy, relatedness and competence for long-lasting motivation. Of the three, relatedness is about our need to feel like we are contributing to something greater than ourselves. This is important for leaders to help their employees feel like all their work matters to the organization as a whole.
Fowler concludes her profound thoughts on motivation by re-thinking five beliefs, which she states erode workplace motivation. These eroding beliefs include: It's Not Personal; It’s Just Business, The Purpose of Business Is to Make Money, Leaders Are in a Position of Power, The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Results, and If You Cannot Measure It, It Doesn’t Matter. As a leader, you can activate optimal motivation for yourself to become a role model for others in your organization with the insights in Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work... and What Does.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Why Motivating People Doesn't Work... And What Does is available here....more
Rather than starting with a big idea or planning a whole project before you begin, many successful people and businesses make a methodical series of little bets. Little bets are low risk actions taken to test an idea. These little bets help determine direction while providing critical information from a number of little failures and small but significant wins. Bestselling author Peter Sims explores the value of taking small, experimental steps in developing breakthrough innovation in Little Bets. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"Practicing little bets frees us from the expectation that we should know everything we need to know before we begin. By focusing on doing rather than planning, learning about the risks and pitfalls of ideas rather than trying to predict them with precision up-front, an experimental approach develops growth mind-set muscles," writes Sims. Based on extensive research, Sims discovered methods that unshackle anyone from the constraints of conventional planning, analytical thinking and linear problem solving that our educational system overemphasizes at the expense of creativity. Sims gives readers a critical takeaway when he explains how to leverage small wins to accomplish performance goals.
Sims shares examples of successful breakthrough innovators at work including Chris Rock, the Google founders, and Jeff Bezos and the dramatic results of their efforts. With Little Bets, anyone will be able to know the right moment to make a little bet to make a difference in the world around them.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Little Bets is available here....more
Entrepreneurship goes beyond starting your own small business. Many larger businesses exhibit innovative and entrepreneurial ways of thinking. Anyone starting or bringing in new business fulfills the role of an entrepreneur. Carol Sanford brings her vast experience in helping executives and corporations to entrepreneurs looking to launch and scale a venture by mapping out four archetypes in The Responsible Entrepreneur. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"Archetypal roles provide a roadmap for taking on bigger challenges, making bigger promises, and focusing the energy and resources needed to get bigger results," writes Sanford. The four archetypes are The Realization Entrepreneur, The Reconnection Entrepreneur, The Reciprocity Entrepreneur, and The Regenerative Entrepreneur. The archetype required to change an industry is a Realization Entrepreneur. The Reconnection Entrepreneur is the archetype required to change social systems. The Reciprocity Entrepreneur is the archetype required to change cultural paradigms. The archetype required to change connection to foundational agreements is the Regenerative Entrepreneur. By understanding what archetype aligns with your goals, you will learn how to grow your business into a powerful platform that can leverage change. Sanford provides readers with examples of how extraordinary people changed business for the better, including Kipp Baratoff, Annalie Killian, and Shainoor Khoja.
All four archetypes can be found in established organizations. Beyond learning how to leverage business with your archetype, you will learn how modern archetypes can alter the future. With The Responsible Entrepreneur, entrepreneurs can build businesses that will make the world a better place.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of The Responsible Entrepreneur is available here....more
In the professional world, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd to make a great first impression. You already know how you see yourself. However, do you know how the world sees you? According to Sally Hogshead in How the World Sees You, once you know what makes you valuable to others, you are more able to make a positive impression. Hogshead presents a systematic method to describe yourself in just two or three words. Readers will gain why it is necessary to know their highest value and how to discover it. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"As conversations become more compressed and the marketplace more crowded, you need to know how others see you and respond to you. Rather than just knowing your strengths, you need to know your differences," writes Hogshead. She explains there are seven Fascination Advantages to communicate successfully. Each Advantage has a different approach to fascinating others and building relationships. Knowing your primary Advantage will help you intentionally apply it to communicate more effectively. Once you can tap into your Advantage, you’ll become more valuable to colleagues and/or clients leading to more success.
Beyond finding out what your advantage is, you will also learn how to construct your Anthem. Your Anthem is the tagline for your personality to use as your mission statement or to captivate your audience. Much like a company’s tagline, your Anthem will tell others what makes you unique from others. With How the World Sees You, professionals at every level will increase their ability to communicate messages and develop relationships effectively and confidently.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of How the World Sees You is available here....more
When resources are depleting rapidly and the cost of raw materials is increasing dramatically, businesses need to make resource scarcity their top strategic consideration. In Overfished Ocean Strategy, Nadya Zhexembayeva shows how businesses can find new opportunities in what were once considered useless by-products and develop ways to rapidly refine these new business models. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"The transformation brings about a new economic reality, where we compete and win using a radically new set of rules. While the companies, people and projects pioneering these new rules are still rare, there are enough of them to suggest the first few essential principles that allow managers to innovate their way into a new world," writes Zhexembayeva. She offers five essential principles that define the Overfished Ocean Strategy to power up a new and different strategic direction to increase sustainability within your organization. The first principle is "From Line to Circle," explains to leaders the global value chain of goods and service can be transformed into a circle, where the waste of one process can fuel another. This principle along with the other four will shift your business from stale to fresh.
Additionally, Zhexembayeva presents several examples of how companies across the globe are implementing this strategy effectively, including Walmart and Shell. With Overfished Ocean Strategy, leaders and managers around the world will be able to inspire radical change and drive disruptive innovation within their organizations.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Overfished Ocean Strategy is available here....more
The most successful companies, brands, and individuals constantly are reinventing as a part of their business strategies. Organizations and people fail when they become stagnant in their prior success and do not evolve. In The Road to Reinvention, Josh Linkner offers managers the tools to reinvent your business or yourself continually that will become a competitive advantage in challenging times. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"Study any supremely successful organization or individual, from Nike to 3M or from Madonna to Tom Hanks, and you’ll encounter a consistent theme: an ethos of reinvention whose principles embody the disruptive mindset," writes Linkner. He identifies eight principles of the reinvention ethos for creating deliberate, productive disruption. The first principle is letting go of the past and explains that if you become stale in your past success this will suppress your imagination, which is a recipe for disaster. The other seven principles are encourage courage, embrace failure, do the opposite, imagine the possibilities, put yourself out of business, reject limits, and aim beyond. If you practice these principles, you will develop a more innovative way of thinking which is necessary to lead change.
Beyond solid methods and systematic techniques, you will learn guiding principles for rejecting the status quo and repeatedly reinventing your organization and career for continued success. In addition, there are inspiring examples of reinvention by people who soared over their competition. With The Road to Reinvention, executives can secure a strong future for both your company and your career.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of The Road to Reinvention is available here....more
We receive feedback every day, but often times we resist or dismiss it. Using feedback is crucial for healthy relationships and professional development. In Thanks for the Feedback, Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen explain why getting feedback is important and offer a powerful framework for interpreting comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited advice that will enable effective learning. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
"Understanding our triggers and sorting out what set them off are the keys to managing our reactions and engaging in feedback conversations with skill," write Stone and Heen. They identify three triggers that block learning and lead us to become confused or flustered. The first trigger is truth, which is set off by the substance of the feedback. Relationship triggers are the second trigger, which is tripped by the giver of the feedback leading us to switch our focus on the person delivering the message than the feedback. The third trigger is identity, which is when we feel overwhelmed or threatened because feedback has caused our identity to come undone. If you learn to overcome these triggers, you will be able to receive feedback well and use it constructively rather than discard it.
Beyond learning how to effectively receive and use feedback, you will learn how to dismantle distortions and draw boundaries in the face of unrelenting criticism. Furthermore, you will learn how to uncover blind spots so that you can continue to grow with valuable feedback. With Thanks for the Feedback, any professional can develop their career filled with valuable learning to progress to the next level.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Thanks for the Feedback is available here....more
The keys to competitive advantage in leadership used to be etched in stone. A leader was expected to be relentlessly dedicated to a specialty and use intelligence and drive to separate a company from its competitors. Today's leaders operate in a different environment. It's one that requires a combination of flexibility and a willingness to work with others. In each chapter of Out Think, author and executive learning expert G. Shawn Hunter presents a key component and techniques to show how to implement ideas that drive the change leaders want in their organizations. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Hunter urges leaders to implement a new process that can accelerate new-product and value-creation pipelines. This is to counteract the "marketquake," a term coined by Hunter to describe the volatile economic conditions of the current business climate. In Out Think, Hunter provides a number of key ideas, each of which is reinforced by takeaways drawn from the author's access to top-level executives around the globe.
While subjects such as trust, exploration and collaboration are presented in new ways, executives may want to pay close attention to ideas that don't normally receive as much coverage in business books. Hunter's chapter on aspiration is one such example. By enabling team members to combine optimism with a well-articulated goal, Hunter provides leaders with the knowledge to turn their employees into company heroes.
Beyond learning why and how innovation has become the primary driver of successful companies, executives will also learn the key components of innovation and how to implement them in their organizations. With Out Think, any leader can make a measurable difference within their organization to outthink the competition.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Out Think is available here....more
Every leader and manager in business wants to be known as strategic and be able to execute good strategy. However, more than half of all companies say that strategic thinking is the skill their senior leaders most need to improve. In Elevate, strategy expert Rich Horwath provides leaders and managers an approach that will drive results for both the short- and long-term. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
As Horwath writes, "Using the lens of new value on the ideas, projects, initiatives and tactics proposed each day provides a powerful filter for eliminating meaningless activities. It forces you to more closely examine why things are being proposed and pursued instead of just what is to be done." Horwath shares with leaders a powerful framework called the Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking. His three-discipline approach breaks strategy down into its fundamentals: Coalesce, Compete and Champion. The first discipline coalesce means leaders must have the ability to blend together strategic insights into meaningful differentiated value. The second discipline, compete, which helps leaders gain motivation to try harder. Champion, the third discipline, means leaders have managed time, influenced others, and continually developed new skills, all critical to success. With this approach, you will gain a new way to strategic thinking that will elevate you from your competition.
You will also learn how to use a concrete framework to keep your career vital through innovation and inspiration. Most leaders think strategy and innovation are separate ideas, but when you combine them together you have a powerful tool to conquer any challenge. Your career depends on being strategic. With Elevate, executives will be able to practice strategic thinking daily to guide their business.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Elevate is available here....more
Over the past decade in the American economy, many people have been turning their innovative ideas into big businesses. Millennials have been ignoring conventional career paths to start their own companies, freelance, or help our local communities. From these ventures, millennials feel a great deal of purpose in their careers. In The Purpose Economy, entrepreneur Aaron Hurst, points out that purpose is the new driver in the American economy. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
As Hurst writes, “The Purpose Economy describes the new context and set of ways in which people and organizations are focused on creating value, and it defines the organizing principle for innovation and growth. It is an economy where value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers — through serving needs greater than their own, enabling personal growth and building community.” Hurst presents to us the three types of purpose that represent the needs the Purpose Economy addresses: personal purpose, social purpose, and societal purpose.
The Purpose Economy also offers insight on how to achieve and manage purpose for yourself and your organization. Hurst writes that before you can create purpose, you must first be self-aware. The first approach to maintaining purpose is task-focused purpose, meaning that you first need to overcome task-related challenges. The other approaches include impact-focused by seeing how your work impacts others, focus on your own identity, and financial drivers of purpose. Readers will also learn how other companies are creating value and purpose within their businesses. The Purpose Economy will help not only build a successful organization but also human-centered markets to create purpose for employees and customers alike.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of The Purpose Economy is available here....more
Being accountable and responsible for decisions and actions is challenging for business leaders. If you can learn to be more accountable, however, it can lead to success for you and your organization. In Accountability, business and leadership consultant Greg Bustin, offers insightful concepts and practical examples from companies that will increase accountability and drive success for any type of organization. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
As Bustin writes, “Your sweet spot is where your personal core values (what you’re willing to do) intersect with your experience (what you can do) and your interests (what you want to do). Finding your sweet spot is one of the most gratifying accomplishments you can experience. It’s also a key to driving accountability.” Bustin urges leaders to be reflective about what is significant in their lives and make those thoughts into a set of goals to obtain. Learning more about your sweet spot requires becoming accountable for your work while helping all your employees transition from Point A to Point B with ease.
Accountability demonstrates how to use the Seven Pillars of Accountability to create your bridge to the future and help you reach your potential. Bustin introduces the Seven Pillars of Accountability: character, unity, learning, tracking, urgency, reputation and evolution. The first pillar is character, which helps leaders define their organization’s character and values so that they can communicate them. The other six characteristics complete the acronym C.U.L.T.U.R.E. This acronym will help remind leaders that culture is significant to performance. Accountability offers leaders practical steps to grow and sustain a high-performance culture within their business.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Accountability is available here....more
Ever wonder why in some organizations the key to success are the frontline leaders? It’s because those companies value their employees’ creativity and experience. Frontline employees can be a huge asset because they have insight into what customers want. In Judgment on the Front Line, management experts Chris DeRose and Noel Tichy explain why frontline employees are so important to organizations and why it is crucial to involve them in decision making. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Many companies don’t know how to give frontline associates a useful tool kit for problem solving. DeRose and Tichy explain that most organizations don’t know how to evaluate the risk of giving employees more responsibility to exercise their own judgment. Leaders will learn that it is not a risk but an opportunity to value frontline employees’ opinions. In Judgment on the Front Line, you will learn how to implement frontline leadership in your company and how to involve frontline employees in decision making.
The authors write about a five-step process for building a frontline-focused organization. These steps can help leaders to build or rebuild their companies from the front line to use the knowledge of these employees. The first step is to connect the front line to the customer. “The CEO and senior team have three fundamental responsibilities in step 1: Understand changing customer needs based on feedback from customers and employees. Ensure that the organization’s capabilities match the customer promise. And connect the front line to delivery and improvement of the customer value proposition.” Judgment on the Front Line goes on to list the other steps in this process. The other four steps are teach people to think for themselves, experiment to implement, break down the hierarchy, and invest in frontline capability. Throughout the book, the authors provide many examples of how some companies are using frontline leadership successfully and how investing in your frontline can be beneficial and deliver greater results for your organization.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Judgment on the Front Line is available here....more
We get swamped with emails and text messages daily. In a world where everyone is busy and constantly receiving information, you need to be a lean communicator. In Brief, senior marketing executive Joseph McCormack helps you develop into a master of brevity with the greatest impact. McCormack advises readers to use his step-by-step approach to becoming a brief communicator by quickly delivering your message in fewer words. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
McCormack writes how to overcome overcapacity. When you’re constantly bombarded with information, your attention span becomes short. In Brief, McCormack gives statistics on the declining attention span in the United States. The average attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight in 2012. By being brief, you’re not only working more efficiently but your message will be more effective.
He also states that achieving brevity can be difficult because of the “seven capital sins” that can hinder you. “There is no single reason why people find it hard to be brief. Love of talking seems to be the logical front-runner, but in reality, it is among a short list of seven key contributors that can be deadly if left unchecked.” Brief continues to list the seven capital sins that can be detrimental to your brevity. The seven capital sins are cowardice, confidence, callousness, comfort, confusion, complication, and carelessness. Within these “sins” there’s room for you to understand why you’re not communicating as effectively as you should so you can transform into a master of brevity. Other topics you will learn by reading this book is how to make your message more concise and how to apply BRIEF principles to every message. By doing so, you will achieve greater results in various areas of your professional life.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Brief is available here....more
You and your sales team are always looking for fresh ways to approach selling. Some even suggest that you be creative and innovative when selling. According to sales and creativity expert, Mark Donnolo, there is a fresh, dynamic approach for addressing your customers’ needs while expanding your entire way of thinking. In his book The Innovative Sale: Unleash Your Creativity for Better Customer Solutions and Extraordinary Results, the author defines the four-phase innovative sales process and how to apply it to challenges that may arise.
Donnolo lays out how to creatively sell and develop innovative solutions in a sales environment. He also explains how to apply Innovative Sale principles to create better value propositions. “The Innovative Sale process is a left-brained thinking process that helps to generate right-brained innovation,” he writes, ”Sales organizations need the structure of such a method to address the range of variables that define sales challenges and constraints.” The author then goes on to lay out the four phases of an innovative sale. The phases include defining important conditions, listing known approaches, discovery, and application.
The Innovative Sale guides you with proven, results-oriented techniques to incorporate both creativity and innovation into your sales practices. With this guide you will better understand your customers. With The Innovative Sale you will have the everyday tools and logical framework to create winning strategies and increase revenue while using functional creativity in sales.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of The Innovative Sale is available here....more
While holding firm is traditionally viewed as a strength in leadership, changing times and the speed with which those changes occur calls for a different model. In Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences, executive coaches Jane Hyun and Audrey S. Lee sweep away the broken pieces of the traditional leader and offer more efficient portfolio of styles to achieve your leadership goals. Flex is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
As Hyun and Lee write, “Many managers are struggling, faced with a playing field that looks dramatically different from the one into which they were hired.” They stress that leaders now need to be more skilled at tapping the knowledge and abilities of their work force. This requires flexing, which the authors define as “adapting how one communicates, relates and responds to others in a manner that takes into account an understanding of status differences.” Flexing is what allows a leader to bridge the power gap that Hyun and Lee state is creating serious difficulties for organizations.
Flex teaches executives how to flex across the various leadership styles to improve your existing leadership skills. Readers should not feel that they need to pilot an international organization for the Power Gap Principles to apply to their leadership. In fact, the average company is packed with enough variety of cultures and experiences among its staff that the ability to flex is equally essential in companies of all sizes. With instructions on everything from creating productive dialogue to onboarding new employees, Hyun and Lee have created a guide to help you become a more fluent leader.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Flex is available here....more
A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative and Deliver Results by Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff was chosenA Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative and Deliver Results by Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2014.
THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW:
There is no shortage of problems to be solved within an organization. The difficulty arrives in the form of the environment in which employees and leaders attempt to create solutions. According to consultants Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff, the path to more collaborative (and productive) solutions is to create a culture in which everyone has the freedom to lead. In their book A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative and Deliver Results, the authors outline the Five-Stage Team Development Model to help your organization forge a new path. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Gustavson and Liff perform an important service for executives early in A Team of Leaders. They redirect the search for a culprit in today’s lack of personal leadership from the people that comprise teams to the structure of the team itself. “In order to address the problems once and for all,” they write, “teams need to change their design.” The authors then proceed to outline the design components that form the individual areas that need addressed. These include the systems, processes, knowledge, management and visual management of a team.
A Team of Leaders demonstrates how you can use a better team design to maneuver through the Five-Stage Team Development Model. The ultimate goal, as explained by the authors, is to reach Stage Five. This is the stage in which your team has higher standards, revitalized energy and deeper commitment to work together. This frees up the leader to work on the broader issues of an organization. With carefully plotted ideas that correspond to solving immediate and future challenges, A Team of Leaders will be a welcome addition to any executive whose team is tangled up in process rather than geared toward success.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of A Team of Leaders is available here....more
Challenges frequently arise during the work week. To tackle these challenges, “strategy meetings” are put in place. These meetings are familiar to employees in the corporate world. You sit around and bounce ideas back and forth until you hopefully have that “ah-ha” moment. But there may be a more effective way. According to Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon, there is a simple, creative process for both leaders and their teams to come to solutions for their challenges. In their book Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change, the authors describe the five core principles for designing strategic conversations. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Ertel and Solomon spell out how to make the most of your meetings in Moments of Impact. They present a powerful tool by focusing on the challenge at hand and focusing your meeting around it. “Designing a strategic conversation,” they write, “means creating a shared experience where the most pressing strategic issues facing an organization are openly explored from a variety of angles.” The authors then further discuss the core principles of a well-designed strategic conversation. The principle include defining the purpose, engaging multiple perspectives, framing the issues, setting the scene, and making it an experience.
Moments of Impact offers insight on how you can have more effective meetings with strategic conversations through the five core principles. The ultimate goal is to get solutions to the challenges that arise through a more structured process using these key practices, instead of brainstorming sessions that may not lead to any conclusion. With a concrete process that can be implemented at any meeting, Moments of Impact, will help any meeting-goer make the most of their moment.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Moments of Impact is available here....more
Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen was chosen by Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2014.
THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW:
It used to be that if you were selling consumer goods your field of play was limited to the shelf space immediately to the right and left of your item. People could compare packaging, price and quantity to determine if your item was worth their money and attention. In Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information, Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and best-selling author and executive Emanuel Rosen discuss what is causing the shift from relative to absolute value and how your company can make an impact. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Simonson and Rosen do an excellent job of compressing and presenting a mountain of research into concepts executives can absorb in a timely manner. The pair begin by presenting the new patterns in consumer decision making. One particular point of interest is the authors’ suggestion that there is a decline in the belief that marketers can cause buyers to act in “irrational” ways. As the pair write, “The relevance of these influence tactics has diminished in a world where people can easily assess quality. On average, better decisions are being made based on the information that’s available.”
Absolute Value then takes readers into a new framework for influence. Executives will want to spend a portion of time considering the ideas presented in a section on the Influence Mix. Simonson and Rosen write that three sources can impact a person’s decision to buy: prior experiences, preferences and beliefs, other people/information, and marketers. One of the most beneficial sections in the book pertains to matching your communication method to the customer’s influence mix. In a book filled with forward-looking insights, the authors’ advice will help guide marketing professionals into the next shift in commerce.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Absolute Value is available here....more
Leadership 2030: Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future by Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell was chosen by Leadership 2030: Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future by Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2014.
THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW:
It used to be enough for a business leader to attempt to research and anticipate trends in business. Two executives from Hay Group, Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell, make a strong argument for the importance of analyzing megatrends. In their book Leadership 2030, Vielmetter and Sell provide six megatrends that will have a profound impact on the way you lead your business in the future. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Understanding megatrends begins with gaining a grasp of the concept itself. While the authors define megatrend as, “a long-term, transformational process with global reach, broad scope and a fundamental and dramatic impact,” their collaboration with research partner Z_punkt used the filters of time, reach and impact to shape the six megatrends.
Leadership 2030 provides essential observations about each of the six megatrends. Whether the megatrend discussed is new to executives (such as Individualization and Value Pluralism) or a concentrated reexamination of an existing idea (the environmental crisis), the authors strike at the heart of the issue and explain both the reasons for the megatrend’s existence and how you, as a leader, will need to react.
After covering the six megatrends, Vielmetter and Sell describe a set of five key reinforcers (which they define as “consequences driven and strengthened by several megatrends at once) and four significant dilemmas. This solidifies the authors’ belief that the megatrends are not individual issues incubating on their own. Faced with the daunting task of leading in the face of the perfect storm described by Vielmetter and Sell, Leadership 2030 concludes with a portrait of the Altrocentric Leader, an individual who is able to unite and empower those around him or her to find innovative solutions to the challenges ahead. A good first step for tomorrow’s Altrocentric Leaders is to read (and re-read) Vielmetter and Sell’s book.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Leadership 2030 is available here....more
Blind spots can produce a dangerous set of circumstances for any organization and its leaders. Mike Myatt, CEO of N2growth and the author of the best-seller Leadership Matters, calls these blind spots “gaps.” In Hacking Leadership, he helps executives tackle 11 gaps that can be detrimental to any leader. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
The best leaders, according to Myatt, have the ability to check their egos and elevate their level of self-awareness. It requires an understanding of three critical gaps described in the book: development, influence and reality. From this starting point, Hacking Leadership then guides executives through each of the 11 gaps. The gaps range from anticipated subjects such as knowledge and talent to less explored areas such as mediocrity and expectation.
Within each of the overarching gaps, Myatt focuses on individual aspects that could be termed “component gaps.” For example, the chapter on hacking the culture gap includes an examination of how to handle the courage gap. Even in areas in which executives may feel that their own organization has a minimal, or nonexistent, gap, Myatt’s insight deserves consideration. He writes, “Culture shouldn’t be imposed upon people — as co-creators of the culture, the people are the culture.” It is a simple declaration but should cause leaders to question whether their organizations truly embody the principle Myatt describes.
Hacking Leadership makes the point that “hacking” is a method of innovating that requires leaders to “innovate around best practices in pursuit of next practices.” Myatt provides numerous sparks to light the fires of innovation for any leader that reads this book.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Hacking Leadership is available here....more
The status quo for leaders in many organizations today is a never-ending chase to guarantee short-term results on a playing field that can have seismic changes in the span of an afternoon. If you are the leader standing on that unsteady surface, it’s easy to see how what begins as frustration can become a perpetual state of anxiety and, eventually, burnout. CEO advisor, organizational psychologist and best-selling author Bob Rosen attempts to give leaders a firm grip, rather than a mere foothold, on their own health as well as the health of their companies. In Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World, Rosen provides leaders with the Healthy Leader model. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Rosen begins by having leaders confront the established belief that what you do defines who you are as a person. He asserts that to be grounded, you need the same thing as a tree: a firmly planted root system. Your roots define who you are which in turn drives what you do. He writes, “These roots give you the inner strength and mindset needed to handle all that is coming your way.”
Grounded then moves through the six personal dimensions that form the root system Rosen believes creates healthy leaders. The six health categories are physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational and spiritual. Executives’ eyes may be immediately drawn to the last health category on the list. Rosen’s discussion of spiritual health is where his book separates itself from others. He identifies it as “belief in a higher purpose that gives you a mission in life, feeling a global connectedness that transcends cultures and borders, and showing a generosity infused with kindness and gratitude.” This may seem inconsequential to leaders swept up by meeting next quarter’s numbers, but as Rosen told Soundview in an interview, the health measurement that most accurately predicts a leader’s performance is spiritual health.
Grounded offers a good template for a leader to solidify his or her mindset. After all, in an unpredictable world, an individual should at least be able to depend on him- or herself.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Grounded is available here....more
Trying to get the message of your company or brand heard in today’s social media environment is equivalent to trying to hear an ant’s footsteps while seated next to a jet turbine. The secret, according to author, blogger and publishing executive Michael Hyatt, is to build the virtual stage from which you address your carefully cultivated following. In Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Hyatt gives executives a thorough method to connect and build your business.
Hyatt didn’t acquire more than 200,000 Twitter followers without providing a mountain of bankable advice. Platform gives readers the best of the best in a jam-packed read that should sit close at hand on an executive’s desk or digital reader. He begins with the observation that too many social media books overlook: start by creating a great product. Fortunately, Hyatt’s advice about product creation covers everything from how to be compelling to how to create a memorable name.
Once a company has its outstanding product, Hyatt takes readers through the steps to prepare for launch, build a strong strategy, expand your reach and stay actively engaged with your followers. The section on building your home base is can’t-miss reading. In an era when litigators are fielding more and more questions about intellectual property, Hyatt’s tips to protect oneself are well-considered.
Of the utmost importance to executives is Hyatt’s staunchly realistic reminder about how a great platform is built. For any leader who considers platform creation a task that can be farmed out to what Hyatt calls a “babysitter,” he provides the following advice. “Take a long look in the mirror. The person you are looking at is your new chief marketing officer,” he writes. Executives can lead the charge to be heard and Platform is the book to help them do it.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Platform is available here....more
When a pioneer in any field returns with a new piece of thought leadership, whether written or spoken, the eyes and ears of the business world instinctively turn to see and hear. Daniel Goleman, former New York Times science reporter and multiple-bestselling author, changed the landscape of management with his book Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Goleman returns now with a book that has the potential to rival his previous peak. In Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, Goleman coaches readers on the need to strengthen a trait that like a muscle can indicate just how well we can lift a figurative load. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Goleman begins Focus by helping readers understand the anatomy of attention. Of particular interest is his discussion of the bottom-up and top-down minds. The bottom-up mind works faster and is involuntary and automatic, while the top-down mind is, as Goleman writes, “the seat of self-control, which can (sometimes) overpower automatic routines and mute emotionally driven impulses.” The interplay between these two sections of the brain is critical to understanding mental toughness and, perhaps more importantly, mental tiredness.
The overarching theme that focus is a mental muscle serves as a powerful metaphor that will help the material stick with readers. Focus moves through subjects such as self-awareness, reading others, and smart practice in ways that offer new, thought-provoking views. As with Emotional Intelligence, Goleman has found a way to turn the complexity of human behavior into an engaging read with practical takeaways. Focus will help keep any executive razor sharp.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Focus is available here....more
Choosing Change: How Leaders and Organizations Drive Results One Person at a Time by Susan Goldsworthy & Walter McFarland was chosen by SoundviewChoosing Change: How Leaders and Organizations Drive Results One Person at a Time by Susan Goldsworthy & Walter McFarland was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2014.
THE SOUNDVIEW REVIEW:
Change is a business topic that generates both fear and excitement among readers. Executives are being constantly reminded that the pace of change is ever increasing. The business impact of not being able to stay ahead of change is sometimes described as catastrophic. What’s missing from many books on change is a by-the-numbers approach to making change a repeatable process. In Choosing Change: How Leaders and Organizations Drive Results One Person at a Time, Walter McFarland and Susan Goldsworthy provide a model that helps leaders focus on the personal and organizational dimensions of change. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
The authors created a framework called the Five Ds to provide an overarching set of guidelines to create change. Readers are given detailed steps to become a change-focused leader through the lenses of disruption, desire, discipline, determination and development. Once a leader understands the principles that create change in an individual, the focus turns to the organization. This section will prove helpful to any leader who, while personally full of fire to lead a change effort, encounters a tepid or resistant response from employees.
Choosing Change delivers its principles in a tight, research-dense package. McFarland and Goldsworthy are timely in their combination of findings from neuroscience and psychology. They use a level of restraint that prevents their book from falling into the “deep dive” trend that can derail books that lean heavily on the science side of management science. It is one of the most balanced, impactful books on change that executives can read today.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Choosing Change is available here....more
There is a tendency among some executive readers to file certain subjects under the label of “soft skills.” Quietly, however, these alleged soft skills drive everything from sales to customer relationships to brand identity. They also drive book sales, as Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul™ series can attest. After achieving sales of more than 125 million copies, one may wonder what else Canfield can offer readers. The answer comes in his team-up with executive mentor and coach Dr. Peter Chee. The pair wrote Coaching for Breakthrough Success to provide leaders with a repeatable set of principles to fire the three cylinders of coaching success: heart, mind and energy. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Canfield and Chee divide their work into three parts. The first part provides leaders with a set of 30 coaching principles. The principles cover a variety of aspects of the role and skillset of a coach, including bolstering your coaching spirit, establishing and maintaining relationships and trust, and using accountability to drive accomplishments. All of the principles are meant to build the solid foundation the authors refer to as “the heart of a coach.”
The second part provides readers with the “mind” that accompanies the heart of a coach: the Situational Coaching Model. This section builds a critical level of flexibility that is absent from other “one-size-fits-all” methods of coaching. The authors describe six paradigms that can be applied to a variety of situations. The third part of the book focuses on the “energy” of a coach in the form of the Achievers Coaching Techniques. Readers should view the techniques as a self-assessment and roadmap to keep your coaching efforts on a steady, measurable path.
The sum total of Coaching for Breakthrough Success is a more focused method that executives can easily apply to business. Don’t short sell soft skills. They may make the difference in your next step on your career path.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Coaching Through Breakthrough Success is available here....more
What if the two qualities that could make you more compelling are in direct competition with each other? This is the case, according to communication consultants John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut. In their book Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential, the pair provide evidence from social science and their own consulting practice that strength and warmth form a powerful combination for professionals. Their book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
The conflict between strength and warmth provides the basis for one of the most interesting communication books in recent memory. Strength, the authors note, is the trait that “gets things done.” It can be associated with words like action, impact and take-charge. Of the two qualities, leaders can readily identify with strength.
It is the importance of warmth that may offer a challenge to traditional leadership thinking. Neffinger and Kohut make one of the most coherent arguments yet for the importance of what is often dismissed as the need to be liked. When the authors describe warmth as encompassing concepts including empathy, familiarity and love, executives should avoid the urge to recoil and instead dive deep into why warmth is a critical complement to strength in achieving greater levels of influence.
After defining strength and warmth and their importance to each other, Compelling People helps you through the nonverbal and verbal communication techniques that signal both qualities. With concepts such as “the circle” and “yes momentum” Neffinger and Kohut offer a valuable resource that is worthy of being called compelling.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Compelling People is available here....more
As far as obvious statements go, Richard Koch penned one of the best in any business book when he wrote, “Work is overwhelming.” Fortunately, he sets the hook he baited for readers by following his statement with the news that work doesn’t have to be so taxing. In The 80/20 Manager: The Secret to Working Less and Achieving More, Koch takes Vilfredo Pareto’s principle that a small number of events create the majority of effects and applies it to the world of productivity. Koch’s book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Koch is renowned for bringing the connection between focused effort and results to the masses in the million-selling book The 80/20 Principle. Despite that book’s high sales figures, he recounts the basics of the principle for readers in The 80/20 Manager. Koch provides a business context when he explains why not all revenue should not automatically be labeled good for a company. This blind devotion to revenue, in Koch’s words, “drives the worst and most palpably absurd blunders in the business world.”
To keep managers from falling prey to this problem, Koch provides 10 ways to enable leaders to put the thrust of their efforts into the “20” to get the “80” in return. Executives should note that the 10 ways are not steps in a process. They are to be taken a la carte at the author’s direction. Koch writes, “Being brilliant at one of the 10 ways will take you an awful lot further than being competent at all 10.” Each of the ways Koch describes, whether it’s developing a questioning mind, becoming a “superconnector” or piercing your work through simplification, is well-crafted and can be quickly applied by readers.
The 80/20 Manager is a welcome companion to Koch’s previous work and will generate results for executives.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of The 80/20 Manager is available here....more
Human history has seen certain occupations lifted to a pedestal during a particular era. What explorers were to the Age of Discovery and artists were to the Renaissance, entrepreneurs now occupy places of highest esteem in today’s global marketplace. However, MIT professor and serial entrepreneur Bill Aulet takes a different view of the start-up. In his book Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, he’s not looking to knock down the entrepreneur’s pedestal but instead raise the masses to the same level.
If you’re currently entrenched in a large organization and thinking of striking out on your own, you might want to consult Aulet’s book before you start courting venture capital. Disciplined Entrepreneurship delivers compact doses of truth alongside the questions you need to answer to rapidly start and grow a business. Aulet is not afraid to take a hammer to some rock-solid myths, such as the belief that an entrepreneurial venture is commonly the work of a lone hero CEO.
The 24 steps in Disciplined Entrepreneurship are grouped into six themes. Each set of steps answers one of six questions: Who is Your Customer, What Can Your Customer Do For You, How Does Your Customer Acquire Your Product, How Do You Make Money Off Your Product, How Do You Design & Build Your Product, and How Do You Scale Your Business? All of the steps reinforce Aulet’s overarching theme that entrepreneurship can be taught. None of the questions can be properly answered without the reader first answering the question that Aulet suggests every would-be entrepreneur answer: What can I do well that I would love to do for an extended period of time.
If you are able to answer that question, you’ve taken an important first step. Disciplined Entrepreneurship will help you put the right foot forward on all 24 steps that follow.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Disciplined Entrepreneurship is available here....more
The stakeholders in a given industry today could represent a wide variety of nations, backgrounds and business interests. What’s needed to move from mere functionality to progress and, ultimately, success is the ability to bridge the sometimes considerable gaps between interested parties in a given situation. Who better to understand how to overcome bureaucratic gridlock than three-term governor of Utah Mike Leavitt and his chief of staff Rich McKeown? In Finding Allies, Building Alliances the pair provide a framework to bring positive collaboration to any problem. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Executives who may distrust any politician’s ability to discuss positive collaboration should look closely at Leavitt’s track record. If executives can put partisan politics aside for a moment, they will see major achievements such as Leavitt’s revamping of Utah’s freeway system, a project that was completed under budget and in half the projected time. Leavitt also helped Salt Lake City host the 2002 Winter Olympic games, a task that provided him valuable skills in his later career leading U.S. diplomatic delegations in more than 50 countries.
Leavitt and McKeown state that successful collaboration requires the presence of eight key elements. The book provides detailed examples to illustrate each element. However, executives will want to spend a little extra time rereading the section on “A Common Pain.” As the pair write, “Value alliances … exist at the intersection of self-interest and common interest.” Whether it’s a project team or a strategic alignment between two organizations, this shift in focus from the self to the collective is essential to move beyond the “us vs. them” barrier that stalls even well-intentioned change efforts.
Finding Allies, Building Alliances is a book whose return on investment runs high for executives that take the time to study its pages. The authors have also created a book that provides valuable content beyond the corporate sector and would benefit readers in education, health care, nonprofit and government. There is no shortage of common pain in the world. Hopefully, Leavitt and McKeown’s message will help to generate the alliances needed to reduce it.
Soundview's 8-page Executive Book Summary of Finding Allies, Building Alliances is available here....more