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Recommended Books

 

 

A New Brand World - Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century SBN: 0670030767, Hardcover- $17.47 BUY

Bedbury, who headed advertising and marketing divisions for Nike and Starbucks during their phenomenal growth, coaches on establishing a memorable brand. Observing consumers overwhelmed by countless choices, he argues that now's the time to build a brand that evokes trust from its customers. 

"Unless your brand stands for something, it stands for nothing," he declares, as he explains methods for companies big and small to articulate their essence and ethos to core customers, potential customers and employees. Bedbury elaborates his belief that "the brand is the sum total of everything a company does" with lively anecdotes from the experiences of Harley-Davidson, Microsoft and others. He calls for advertising and marketing that will inspire rather than merely inform (ie: "Just Do It").

 

The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It SBN: 0887307280, Paperback- $9.60 BUY

Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required reading for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. The title refers to the author's belief that entrepreneurs--typically brimming with good but distracting ideas--make poor business people. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur's mind to build the long-term success of the business. You don't need an M.B.A. to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories. Read in a clear and well-paced manner, listening to The-E Myth is like receiving advice from an old friend.

 

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround ISBN: 0060523794, Hardcover- $17.61 BUY

Gerstner quarterbacked one of history's most dramatic corporate turnarounds. For those who follow business stories like football games, his tale of the rise, fall and rise of IBM might be the ultimate slow-motion replay. The book's opening section snappily reports Gerstner's decisions in his first 18 months on the job-the critical "sprint" that moved IBM away from the brink of destruction. The following sections describe the marathon fight to make IBM once again "a company that mattered." 

One of Gerstner's first tasks was to redirect the company's attention to the outside world, where a marketplace was quickly changing and customers felt largely ignored. He succeeded mightily. Upon his retirement this year, IBM was undeniably "a company that mattered." Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? is a well-rendered self-portrait of a CEO who made spectacular change on the strength of personal leadership.

 

Execution - The Discipline of Getting Things Done ISBN: 0609610570, Hardcover- $17.33 BUY

Disciplines like strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous. But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute. 

Execution is "the missing link between aspirations and results," and as such, making it happen is the business leader's most important job.