4 Books for Your Business

Do you need to read yet another business book? The stores and libraries are filled with them. You’ve read most of the popular ones and some of the obscure ones. At this point you’ve heard it all and now there is nothing more to do but take action, to do something.

I’d like to challenge you.

When you do come across only a little nugget of new information in a business book, explore and expand on that tiny bit elsewhere. Think of the $12.99 you’ve spent on that book, not so much as an investment in a business tool, but as payment to a tour guide who pointed you to that one restaurant you haven’t tried yet.

And if you’re still not sure, then use the books as a refresher. Find the audio versions of these books and let them tickle your brain while you commute or walk the dog or clean the house.

The following books are ones I’ve read and ones which have been used in committees or teams in which I have participated. Enjoy!

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team starts with a fable about a new manager who must change her subordinates from a group of individuals to a functioning team. As you read through the fable, you may find characters who remind you of people that you work with (or you might be reminded of yourself).

The latter part of the book uses the format of a usual business book. It sticks to straight forward principles listed for quick reference to the principles outlined.

At the core of this book is a triangle listing the 5 team dysfunctions and their causes. At the bottom of the triangle, the foundation, is distrust. It’s common sense, but great to have spelled out for you.

You can try the principles in this book in your business or with your family, it’s that flexible and universal. The biggest beef our committee had with the book was the negativity. So we switched our pyramid of principles to the 5 Functions of a Team, discussing the opposite of dysfunction.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

It’s a classic that is probably already on your shelf or in your e-reader, but The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great one to revisit.

My parents popped in the audio version of the book during a long road trip when I was a child. To this day, I recall the quadrants of Habit number 3: “Putting First Things First.” By placing to-do items in either of the following categories – urgent & important, urgent & not important, not urgent & important, not urgent & not important- you waste less time discovering what to do next.

Lessons from the Mouse by Dennis Snow

Mixing a little bit of the Broken Windows theory with a bit of common sense, this lean volume is packed with great notes for making a business stand out from the competition.

The author of Lessons from the Mouse was once employed by Disney and has created a basic formula for how their theme parks give you the best service ever and how these principles translate to your business.

This one is relatively new to me. It’s the book I’ve wanted to read since childhood, but it didn’t exist then. I wondered as a kid how Disney theme parks could secure such vast acreage and inventory and still produce a welcoming atmosphere to each guest. One of its principles is simply to pursue dignity for all, backstage and onstage.

Now, I incorporate the Mouse principles into my business and inspire others to do the same.

Unlocking the Secrets of Childhood Memories by Dr. Kevin Leman

During a recent conference, several people went to the microphones in the audience to ask business questions.

The speaker would often discover that what was preventing the business owner from, say, turning a 6-figure business into a 7-figure business, was caused by some unresolved issue from the past. The person was locked inside some toxic relationship or moment or feeling from the distant past that would not allow them to move towards success.

I include Unlocking the Secrets of Childhood Memories in this list for those who think your business isn’t moving forward fast enough even though you’re doing all the technical, business things the experts say you should do. Your unresolved past might be in your way.

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