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Posted Feb. 17, 2009 6:59 a.m. by tom-ehrenfeld
In Personal Development - 800 CEO Read Blog
In case you missed it, here is Oprah's interview with Dan Pink, featured in the December 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. Oprah interviewed Dan about "how right-brain thinkers are wired for 21st-century success," a concept from his groundbreaking book A Whole New Mind.
Dan Pink is also the author of Free Agent Nation, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and the forthcoming DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About Human Motivation and How It Can Change Your Life (out in December '09).
Read the entire interview on oprah.com.
Here's a snippet from the dialogue:
Daniel: I'd say "design." Design is the ability to create something that has significance as well as usefulness. Even hospitals are bringing in designers to redo waiting rooms. A young designer in New York re-created the prescription bottle because she noticed that her grandparents were getting their medications confused. She put the medicine's name in large type at the top instead of the doctor's name, and Grandpa gets a green band on his medicine bottle and Grandma gets a yellow band so they can see the difference more clearly. That's an example of how design can literally save lives.
Oprah: How do we begin to create more design in our lives?
Daniel: Carry a notebook and write down examples of good and poor design. After a week, you'll begin to realize that nearly everything is the product of a design decision. The type of lid you put on the cup of coffee you bought this morning was a design decision. So were the shoes you're wearing.
Oprah: Before reading your book, I'd always thought of design in terms of fashion. But then I started noticing the plates that I chose for my home, the kinds of kitchen counters, the knobs, the cabinets, all were about the design.
Daniel: I'm not trying to turn everyone into star designers. I'm trying to help people become more literate about design.
(Photo by George Burns. Source: www.oprah.com.)
On this last day of 2008, here's the best of 2008.
Posted Dec. 31, 2008 4:22 a.m. by kate
In Book Reviews - 800 CEO Read Blog
With the end of the year comes reflection on the highs and lows. This week three more rankings of the best of business books were published. The lists of Gary H. Rawlins from USA Today, Richard Pachter from the Miami Herald, and the readers of ASTD.
From these three lists and the lists of days past (Todd's picks, our awards, Roxanne J. Coady's and Business Pundit's), these are the reigning and often appearing good reads of the business book section from 2008.
- The Game Changer by A. G. Lafley and Ram Charan
- A Sense of Urgency by John Kotter
- The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
- The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Dan Pink, the first manga business book. You'll see more manga next year.
- Tribes by Seth Godin
- Art Kleiner's The Age of Heretics, a new edition and a complete history of business thinkers.
- Buying In by Rob Walker.
- Crowdsourcing (I interviewed Jeff earlier this year.)
- The Snowball on Warren Buffett's life.
What's on your list of best of from this year?
Happy New Year. Goodbye 2008. Welcome 2009.
Todd's Favorite Business Books of 2008
Posted Dec. 28, 2008 4:34 a.m. by todd-sattersten
In Leadership - 800 CEO Read Blog
I get paid to read business books. Some would consider this a tortured existence, but I can't think of a better job in the world.
The job does have certain requirements. You have to love the pursuit of commerce. You have to believe that business is much more art than science. The job requires endless curiosity. And you need patience given the hundreds of books that arrive in our offices each year.
One of my favorite parts of my job is to go back each year and remind
readers what stands above the rest. Here are my five selections of 2008, with a page number to get you started and show that each book is worth reading in its entirety.
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need by Daniel H. Pink
Start on page one. Dan Pink has written an unconventional career guide. The wildly popular Japanese manga comic format and the ass-kicking career genie named Diana are two great reasons to read Pink's guide. Audiences of all stripes will enjoy joining Johnny on this fast-paced quest to find a satisfying career and build a fulfilling life.
Visual thinking was an en vogue concept for 2008. A number of books described different ways to communicate complex ideas using pictures, drawings and charts. Dan Roam uniquely delivers on the how. The decoder ring on page 141 shows the answers to the six basic questions of who/what, how much, where, when, how and why. This alone is worth the price of two books (one for you, the other for a friend).
The Breakthrough Imperative: How the Best Managers Get Outstanding Results by Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert
I am a fan of the business thought of the management consulting group
Bain & Company, with Chris Zook's "focus on the core" philosophy and Fred Reichheld's Net Promoter Score leading the parade. The Breakthrough Imperative builds and expands on the work of Zook and Reichheld. Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert show that some strategy paths are better than others. On page 125, the authors elegantly simplify customer segmentation to three groups: those who buy on price, those who buy for quality and service, and those who buy for the prestige of owning the brand. In business, the path you choose always depends on where you are starting from.
This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women Edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman
National Public Radio originally ran this series in the 1950s, and this is the second compilation of the renewed series. These seventy-five personal manifestos reveal deep motivations and their origins. Some individuals you'll recognize; all of them you will remember, whether it is banjoist Bela Fleck's obsession with perfection (page 79), comic book artist Frank Miller's love for the American Flag, or Amy Lyles Wilson writing about her mother pumping her first tank of gas after her husband passed away.
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
Tribes is Seth's best book since Purple Cow. In his world, leadership is about change, risk, hope, fear and faith. I could pick almost any page for a clever insight given his riff-based style of writing. My recommended riff on page 126 is a list because everyone likes lists—in this case, Seth's seven elements of leadership.
The 2008 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards - Fables & Parables
Posted Dec. 9, 2008 9:25 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
In Book Awards - 800 CEO Read Blog
The books on our 2008 shortlist for the Fables & Parables Category are:
The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea
by Bob Burg and John David Mann (Portfolio, January 2008)
Putting another person's needs before yours is the main principle in this business parable. Burg and Mann offer five "laws" to follow in order to become a real "go-giver": Value, Compensation, Influence, Authenticity and Receptivity. Understanding how to be a go-giver may just be the best kept secret that everyone should know about in the business world... and maybe even the whole world.
The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing it All" Gets Nothing Done by Dave Crenshaw, Jossey-Bass, August 2008)
We've all been there. Not wanting to delegate or seek help in projects because we can do it all. We may even convince ourselves and others that we are the ultimate octopus in our business transactions. We handle two or three calls at once and overbook our daily calendars . But that's work, right? No it's not, at least not according to Crenshaw, who takes apart the strengths and weaknesses in one person's attempt to be the guy who does it all and yet does nothing at all.
Squawk!: How to Stop Making Noise and Start Getting Results
by Travis Bradberry, (HarperBusiness, September 2008)
There's a certain sound that is heard from one time or another: the managerial squawk. That certain someone who goes into a problem, a situation, a room and just gives orders, directions, or just useless facts. Squawking usually gets nowhere fast, and this story gives advice about how to work with someone just going off about one thing or the other. Yes, even if the squawker happens to be you, too.
What to Say to a Porcupine: 20 Humorous Tales That
Get to the Heart of Great Customer Service
by Richard S. Gallagher (AMACOM, June 2008)
The book begins with a story about "some clowns sitting around a conference table." Nope, not in pinstripe suits and blank stares, but REAL clowns with red foam noses, big shoes and painted on grins. Seriously. And it seems to get more and more absurd as the pigs, penguins, bees, dogs, knights, Greek chorus and, yes, the porcupine all tell their stories about a very serious matter: customer service.
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need
by Daniel Pink, art by Rob Ten Pas (Riverhead Books, April 2008)
From the first crack of the magic chopsticks and the arrival of Diana, a "half human creature whose superpowers appear in a time of crisis," the reader is off to an incredible journey of self-discovery. Pink's book is the first business book to use the Japanese comic form called Manga, which not only keeps the pace lively but also allows the reader to feel part of the narrative by focusing on Johnny Bunko, who's thrust into unfamiliar territory on a quest to learn the 6 Career Secrets. Before you know it, it's over. But then somewhere, somehow a chopstick snaps and you find yourself wanting to read it over and over again.
Posted Sept. 26, 2008 6:30 a.m. by dylan
In Uncategorized - 800 CEO Read Blog
Heather Green has written a wonderful review of Jeff Howe's Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business for the September 29 issue of BusinessWeek. After observing that "Books about the crowd are becoming a crowd unto themselves," Green writes:What sets Howe's book apart is his focus on business, an examination of different crowdsourcing models, and a deep dive into academic research to explain why people work together. It's a welcome and well-written corporate playbook for confusing times...
Stephen Baker envisions a world in which our email and blog postings, our credit-card and grocery purchases, our pulse rates and facial expressions, and even our physical movements (handily tracked by our cell phones) will be fed to a new Brahmin class of math geeks devoted to sending us customized shopping choices, targeted political ads, real-time medical alerts, and the names of potential dating partners, not to mention (lest we be shirking on the job or hiding an illness) alerts to our bosses and insurance companies.
While that sounds awfully scary to me, the author is of the mind that this technology will one day empower us. Regardless of how you feel about these issues, the book does seem very informative and worth a read. Lowenstein describes Baker a "charming writer," and ends the review by calling the book "eye-popping and chilling."
David K. Hurst reveiws four books in the Autumn issue of strategy + business's Books in Brief. The first, Richard Bookstaber's Demon of Our Own Design, was awarded the top spot in the Finance & Economics category of our first annual book awards. The other three books are Stall Points: Most Companies Stop Growing--Yours Doesn't Have To by Matthew Olson and Derek Van Bever, Michael O'Leary: A Life In Full Flight by Alan Ruddock, and Tad Waddington's Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work.
Fortune's Jia Lynn Yang has picked "eight volumes [that] belong in everyone's briefcase." Of course, Fortune doesn't make this list available online, but the chosen titles are:
Birth of a Salesman: The Transformation of Selling in America by Walter A. Friedman
Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story by Jerry Weissman
Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath
The New Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by the World's Best Companies by Robert B. Miller & Stephen E. Heiman
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher & William Ury
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Rich Karlgaard has written an update to his "Books to Get Rich By" for Forbes. (You can find the original list of 53 books here.) The lists are broken up into six categories: History and Heroes, How Capitalism Works Today, Instructional Tips, Management Secrets, Food for the Soul, and Useful Entertainment. While the list is too long to list all of the titles, I have listed the entire "Management Secrets" section below.
Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Property by Garret B. Gunderson
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton
What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey with Rebecca M. Merrill
Did you notice that Stephen Covey picked up an initial sometime between 7 Habits and Speed of Trust? (edit: As the brilliant Seth Godin has pointed out in the comment section, Stephen M.R. Covey is the eldest son of Stephen R. Covey. I had not known this previously. Don't let it be said business books aren't a family business.) Notable titles from other sections are John Kao's Innovation Nation and Fareed Zakaria's Post American World from "How Capitalism Works Today," Dan Pink's Adventures of Johnny Bunko from "Instructional Tipps," Randy Pausch's Last Lecture form "Food for the Soul," and Michael Lewis's Blind Side from "Useful Entertainment."