Tagged: business Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ross Johnson 7:00 pm on 2018/12/10 Permalink
    Tags: business, business bibles   

    4 Business Books That Make Great Gifts 

    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Books are always practical gifts, even when they’re not necessarily full of practical information, but there’s something particularly thoughtful about a gift that also helps someone to get ahead. These business books aren’t just for moguls and CEOs: one way or another, we’re all in business, and these books offer advice for anyone who’s ever had to sell something, lead a group, or ask for a raise.

    Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, by Brené Brown
    Brown understands we don’t lead by wielding power, but by recognizing the potential of those around us and helping them develop it. With new research and conversations conducted with leaders and influencers, she’s offering insight into her own methods of cultivating leadership, something often lacking in modern business. There are teachable skills, she posits, and much of it has to do with empathy and courage–human connection and candor between people at all levels.

    Sell It Like Serhant: How to Sell More, Earn More, and Become the Ultimate Sales Machine, by Ryan Serhant
    If anyone knows selling, it’s top realtor and star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing: New York and Sell It Like Serhant. In just nine years, Serhant went from being a hand model to a real estate celebrity, and here he offers his tips and strategies for selling anything in a smart, often funny, style. Whether we realize it or not, we all have something to sell, and here he teaches time management, negotiating, creating a hook, and dealing with indecisive clients. It’s a masterclass in sales, with lessons applicable to all professions and even personal interactions.

    The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
    Leadership, according to Willink and Babin, isn’t just leading but following, a dichotomy that’s often tough to square. Bu these former Navy SEALs aren’t just coming from the world of business, and so offer up universal ideas and teachable strategies for mastering many of the seemingly opposite demands of leadership: being aggressive but prudent, focused but detached. Leading and following. The Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition includes three new, never-before published essays, full of inspiration and advice.

    Know Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth (Revised Edition), by Mika Brzezinski
    To assemble this book of esential career advice for women, Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski interviewed successful women from a wide array of fields, including Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Harvard’s Victoria Budson, and comedian Susie Essman. The goal was to figure out how they navigated a business world that’s particularly thorny for women, who are too frequently overlooked for their accomplishments—and underpaid for them, too. Brzezinski shares strategies from herself and these and other successful women, with an eye toward teaching you how to get the recognition and the compensation you deserve. The new, updated version of the book goes deeper into gender dynamics in the #MeToo era.

    What business book is on your gift list?

    The post 4 Business Books That Make Great Gifts appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2018/10/25 Permalink
    Tags: best business books, best new business books, book yourself solid, business, , business model design, business model you, design a better business, slide:ology, steer your career, the designing for growth field book, whiteboard   

    Beyond Cheese & Parachutes: 10 Must-Reads from the New Generation of Business Books 

    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Mastering any field increasingly means never truly leaving school. Even folks operating at the top of their professions must continue to develop new skills, refresh old ones, and stay on the cutting edge of business in general.

    Whether you’re an executive, an up-and-coming professional, and entrepreneur, or a freelancer, if you need to brush up on your business models, your roadmaps, your whiteboarding skills, or your slide decks, these 10 books offer a slick, modern way of updating your toolbox.

    Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder and Value Proposition Design, by Alexander Osterwalder
    Osterwalder and Strategyzer are behind some of the most innovative and visually interesting business books out there, including these two instant classics, on business models and value propositions. Where once these concepts were the domain of upper-level executives holding the purse strings, in today’s “ownership”-focused business world, everyone would benefit from an understanding of the fundamentals of these exercises. Osterwalder has revolutionized the ways professionals develop their skills with bright, entertaining books that don’t skimp on the information while managing to be visually engaging, with illustrations that make it easy to absorb a huge amount of information quickly.

    Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, by Nancy Duarte
    Slide presentations are as hated as they are omnipresent; at every level of business you will be expected to produce a slide deck at some point, if not several times a week. While some people find making a deck fun and creative, others find it tedious and mysterious, and find their slides drab. Duarte’s illustrated guide offers a step-by-step guide to creating slide decks that will not only keep the an audience’s attention, but also convey information efficiently. Today, designing a good deck is considered as basic a skill as reading and writing, so if you struggle to come up with great presentations, this is definitely a book you should have on your shelf.

    The Design Thinking Playbook, by Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, and Larry Leifer
    If you’re looking for a book that will teach you how to reinvent your business for the new generation of digitally-plugged-in customers—and won’t give you a squint-eyed headache doing so—this is it. As noted in the introduction, you can’t develop products for today with yesterday’s business tools, but adjusting your thinking to ensure you are being customer-focused and digital-forward isn’t always so easy. This is a fun, playful, book that’s nevertheless packed with information and useful techniques. When you’re enjoying what you’re reading, you learn faster and more effectively, and when you’re trying to reorient your entire approach to your livelihood, that’s a huge advantage.

    Design a Better Business, by Patrick Van Der Pijl
    This book, designed to help you conceive, launch, and build a business in the 21st century, is less visually stimulating than some of the others on this list, but it still offers a bright, colorful design that emphasizes visual delight over dense text, and a more casual look and feel that makes reading it a breeze. Filled with practical advice and plenty of real-world examples from business large and small, it can be used to shape your ambitions for your business without leaving you feeling like you had to bash through a wall of jargon to do it.

    Product Roadmaps Relaunched, by C. Todd Lombardo
    In a memorable episode of The Office, Jim Halpert is asked by his new boss to provide a “rundown” of what he’s been working on, and Jim launches into a panic because he has no idea what that means. For a lot of real-world workers, this is a familiar scenario—and you can replace the word “rundown” with “roadmap.” Increasingly, the roadmap is an essential part of any product or service rollout, and being able to put one together competently will be key to your success. Lombardo offers a visual guide to creating effective, intelligent roadmaps—and then shows you how to use them in your decision making.

    Business Model You, by Timothy Clark, Alexander Osterwalder, and Yves Pigneur
    Your career isn’t always about the company you work for—sometimes it’s about where you’re going next. Making a career change, moving into a new sector, or simply reevaluating where you are in your working life can be frightening and intimidating. Osterwalder and Pigneur offer a bracingly energetic and visually inventive system for reinvention that takes a lot of the mystery (and fear) out of changing lanes on your career track. Using many of the same techniques and insights typically applied to the development of new products , they de-mystify the concept of career reinvention.

    The Designing for Growth Field Book, by Jeanne Liedtka, Tim Ogilvie, and Rachel Brozenske
    The now common idea of applying tools and techniques traditionally used by designers to any business challenge has been revolutionary—but also difficult for non-designers to master. As you might expect, this (smartly designed) book walks you through the idea behind using design in every aspect of your business life with just the right combination of illustrations and visual pizzazz, making the concepts easy to understand and compelling.

    Whiteboard: Business Models that Inspire Action, by Daren Martin
    If it hasn’t already happened to you, it’s going to: in an interview or a meeting, someone is going to hand you a marker and ask you to “whiteboard” a concept. While you might get by with some sloppy text, loopy arrows, and a lot of circling, the true pros know that a great whiteboard presentation, especially one done impromptu, will impress everyone in the room. This book offers a guide to getting comfortable with the process, and understanding how information is most effectively conveyed using just a few color markers and that rectangle of white space.

    Book Yourself Solid, by Michael Port
    Freelancing or running your own business is the reality for many in today’s s0-called “gig economy.” The internet and a universe of apps have made it easier than ever to establish your own business, but getting folks to actually pay you for your services is a whole different ballgame. Port’s new, illustrated version of Book Yourself Solid offers tips and techniques to attract and retain clients and grow your business in the modern era, infusing the system with terrific and eye-catching illustrations that not only clarify the concepts, but make the book a lot more fun to boot.

    What business books do you consider essential?

    The post Beyond Cheese & Parachutes: 10 Must-Reads from the New Generation of Business Books appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2018/10/15 Permalink
    Tags: business, , master classes, starting a business   

    10 Books to Read Before Starting a Business 

    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    It’s an indelible part of the American Dream, even if it’s not for everybody—the idea of starting your own business, being your own boss, and beginning a journey that can lead to self-sufficiency and, hopefully, incredible wealth.

    But anything worth doing requires effort—and doing the prep work in advance to make sure you have the best chance of success. The 1o books below contain the collective wisdom of some of the most successful folks in the world, and absorbing their lessons will bring you closer to your dreams.

    Nuts and Bolts

    The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong, by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull
    The man who identified the infamous “Peter Principle” takes on the vein of incompetence that runs through much of our society as well as our business endeavors, a source of inefficiency and poor decision-making that can ruin a business before the first customer walks in the door. If you’re going to dive into the choppy waters of entrepreneurial ambition, you should be aware of the painfully easy ways you can doom your business to failure right from the start—or, worse, ruin a good beginning by making poor choices later. More importantly, it’s important to recognize that sometimes, these bad decisions are outside of your control. Being able to recognize the signs before disaster strikes will give you a head start.

    The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship, by William D. Bygrave and Andrew Zacharakis
    For anyone seeking to enter the entrepreneurial world, this incredible resource covers all the fundamentals. It can help you brush up on virtually any aspect of the business world you’re unfamiliar with, from creating a business plan, to finding investors, to building a marketing plan, to dealing with taxes. It’s an entire post-graduate education between two covers. Even if you’re not one to put much stock in degrees, it’s information that might mean the difference between disaster and success.

    Jab, Jab, Right Hook, by Gary Vaynerchuk
    If there’s a universal truth in today’s business world, it’s that social media is a vital marketing tool. If there’s a second truth, it’s that very few people know how to effectively market via social media. Vaynerchuk is a recognized social media expert who specializes in boot camps that provide a crash-course in what works and why when it comes to today’s ever-changing social media landscape. If you’re going to get your business off the ground, you’re going to need social media’s help, and this book will give you the basic tools to brand your business, connect with potential clients and customers, and use social media to slip past the competition and claim your share of the market.

    Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!, by Greg Crabtree
    If you’re going into business, you’re going to be dealing with numbers. It’s that simple. Knowing the theories of entrepreneurship is one thing; you also have to be able to understand what the numbers are (really) saying, and how they can tell you whether your business is a success yet—or whether it ever will be. Crabtree is an accountant, which means he understands the deep magic of taxes, revenue, and amortization, concepts he communicates sans jargon or confusing double-speak. By the end of this book, you might not be ready to take the CPA exam, but you’ll have a firm understanding of how a business operates in terms of finances—and that will give you a fair chance of success.


    Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
    If you want to stop preparing and start doing, this is the book for you. It’s the anti-business business book, wherein all the conventional wisdom is tossed out the window. Fried and Hansson argue that you don’t need business plans, investors, or careful branding to start a business—you just need a dream, a lot of energy, and the techniques contained in this book. You’ll learn how to move forward on a shoestring budget, how to generate and maintain buzz for your brand, and how to grow your business without begging for investors or wasting time on things that won’t matter in the long run.

    Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight
    Sometimes you’re going to feel like giving into despair, and the fear there’s no way you’ll ever pull off your business plan. In those moments, read Shoe Dog. Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father in 1963 and launched Nike, selling imported shoes out of the trunk of his car. His story, as told in this fascinating business memoir, is as inspirational as they come, the sort of tale every entrepreneur dreams will someday be theirs to tell. If you ever doubt that your vision, energy, and passion aren’t enough, read Phil’s story, and get fired up again.

    The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson
    The traditional line is that businesses should always be growing—more market share, more customers, more products, more, more, more. There’s another way of looking at it, however—selling less of more stuff. Arguing that products that have very low demand or sales can collectively add up into something greater than the bestselling items in the category, author Chris Anderson offers an exciting new way to look at how you sell things going forward.

    The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau
    The idea of starting a business often involves trying to figure out where the immense resources and huge amounts of capital are going to come from. But maybe not: Guillebeau draws on his own experiences, as well as interviews with successful entrepreneurs who launched businesses with small investments, sometimes as little as $100, to show that you can launch a nimble, profitable business without tying yourself up in debt. Guillebeau’s approach offers a way out, a way to give yourself more free time and take on more adventures while funding your lifestyle through your business, with the goal that your business should fund your life, not the other way around.

    The Martian, by Andy Weir
    This fictional story of an astronaut stranded alone on Mars might not seem to have anything to do with business … except you can read it as an extended metaphor for dealing with the problems that will definitely, absolutely, 100 percent come up as you build your business. Those problems might not include zero breathable atmosphere and a total lack of food, but the way Mark Watney goes about solving one catastrophe after another with an engineer’s creativity will inspire anyone trying to launch a business with limited resources and a seemingly unlimited supply of problems.

    Cautionary Tales

    Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou
    Finally, take a moment to read about how unchecked ambition and extreme tunnel-vision—not to mention a misguided attempt to replicate Steve Jobs—once led to total disaster. Theranos was the talk of the town: the hot startup valued at $9 billion based on little more than the heady claims of its founder, Elizabeth Holmes. Said claims turned out to be flagrant invention; the core technology the company was built on never actually worked, and a desperate Holmes stands accused of defrauding investors by going to extreme lengths to fake results. As the final fate of Holmes and her company winds its way through the courts, this book will remind anyone starting a business that it’s always better to be honest and realistic—and to admit when you’re wrong.

    The post 10 Books to Read Before Starting a Business appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2018/10/04 Permalink
    Tags: business, read the room, what color is your parachute   

    10 Books To Read Before Your Next Job Interview 

    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Job interviews are among the most stressful and anxiety-producing moments in life. Whatever level your career, the fact is you’re submitting yourself to the judgment of strangers for whom you must distill the essence of your skills and experience into a series of bite-sized answers. Everyone knows the fear that you’ll miss out on a great opportunity just because you flubbed one question, or because your handshake was too sweaty, or because the interviewer decided to ask how many hot dogs get eaten every day in the world.

    To avoid disaster and regret, Preparation is key. If you’ve got time to read, before your interview, you’ve got time to acquire the skills and develop strategies that will ensure that even if you don’t get the job, it won’t be because you screwed up the interview. Here are 10 books that will make you the darling of hiring managers everywhere.


    Presence, by Amy Cuddy
    While most of us focus on studying up on the company we are interviewing for so we can answer every question and amaze with our experience and intelligence, there’s a whole other aspect that’s all about how you present yourself—your posture, your clothing, your presence. Harvard professor Cuddy gave a TED Talk about this very subject, then distilled it into this book, which will give you insight into how you can harness your energy and physicality in order to be confident and present in the moment. Although not specific to interviews, there’s little doubt Cuddy’s ideas won’t lead to a better impression in the room.

    Cracking the Code to a Successful Interview, by Evan Pellett
    Go straight to the source, and find out recruiters and hiring managers are thinking, and what they’re looking for from you. Pellet puts together a clear, eight-step process by which you can take control of the interview, allowing you to steer the conversation instead of rushing to keep up. At their core, all interviewers are looking for the same information and processing the same decisions, after all, Pellet helps you see through the superficial differences to the fundamental process underneath.

    The Art of the Interview, by James Storey
    From the basic questions (what is your worst quality?) to the esoteric (how would you design a spice rack for the blind?), interview questions can throw you off your game if you’re not prepared for them—and sometimes, that’s the whole point. The secret to handling any unexpected question is in the preparation—and reading Storey’s book is a great way to start. Covering all kinds of questions, Storey offers ideal responses and explains his thinking as to why they are the right ones. The book is also packed with sample questions, so you can practice your polished responses as well as challenge yourself to answer unexpected queries.

    Smart Answers to Tricky Interview Questions, by Rob Yeung
    Although also focused on tricky interview questions, Yeung’s book includes other scenarios to prepare for, as seen from an insider’s perspective—his work involves writing interview questions for recruiters. He offers guidance on how to instantly build rapport with interviewers and how to handle a wide variety of unexpected situations, including those tricky questions that seem designed to make you panic (and maybe they are). Yeung’s all-business approach is refreshingly focused, and offers a lot of return on your investment if you’re pressed for time before the big day.

    Mastering the Fundamentals

    How to Talk to Anyone, by Leil Lowndes
    An interview is, at its core, a meeting between people, and the simple fact is, some of us are naturals at being charming and relaxed when interacting with strangers, and some of us are… not. Lowndes offers a guide to being relaxed and in control of every situation, and leveraging that comfort into developing commanding conversational skills that will serve you well in a wide variety of situations—including even the most intimidating interviews. Lowndes covers everything from massaging egos to reading rooms, skills that will make it easier to perfect your presentation in just about any interview, allowing you to bring your knowledge and experience to the fore.

    What Color is Your Parachute?, by Richard N. Bolles
    This is the classic resource for job searchers, updated for the modern age and as valuable as ever. It covers every aspect of finding a new gig, from writing your resume to networking effectively, to, yes, the interview itself. While focusing in on the interview makes sense when you’ve gotten that far with your dream job, you have to actually get there first, so this holistic resource will not just prepare you to wow them in person, it will guide you to identifying the right job in the first place, and making sure you get that crucial first call.

    Business Writing Today, by Natalie C. Canavor
    After the interview comes the thank-you emails and follow-up communication—which is actually part of the interview process. You might have impressed them in the room, but if your follow-ups are poorly-written and laden with typos and grammatical errors, none of it will matter. Canavor offers not a general writing guide, but a specific one, focused on business writing. Reading it before your interview will prepare you to craft professional-sounding emails that will be the capper to a great interview performance. And once you have your dream job, this book will also help you keep up that sheen of competence in every memo you compose going forward.


    Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell
    You might wonder how George Orwell’s memoir about living in poverty in the beginning of the century can help you with your interview. The answer is: perspective. Orwell, young and dumb in the ways of young people everywhere, was robbed by a woman of low reputation while, er, spending time with her, and invented a story on the spot to spare his parents the shock. Broke, he was forced to get a job washing dishes to survive, but that job led him to his first major publication credit. The moral? Your job search might take you in unexpected directions, but sometimes, the journey is the point, not the destination.

    Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
    Just about every CEO wants to be Steve Jobs, and every executive wants to be CEO, meaning the business world is littered with folks who think they think different. Chances are good you’re going to encounter at least one Jobs acolyte who thinks management is all about willing things into reality, so you’d do well to understand the mindset before you wander into that interview. Plus, it serves as a good reminder that even Steve Jobs got fired and wandered the professional wilderness—so don’t sweat the interview too much. If it doesn’t work out, there will be another one.

    Grant, by Ron Chernow
    What can the biography of one of America’s great military leaders tell you about your upcoming interview? Well, Grant spent the first 40 years of his life more or less continuously failing: he lost jobs, lived in near-poverty, and by the time of the Civil War, was a broken, sad-sack of a man—a professional and financial failure. And then: he rose to be the supreme commander of the United States military, and was then elected president, proving that no matter how many interviews you bomb, you’re not done until you give up. Take a breath, read more books, get some sleep, and send out another stack of resumes.

    The post 10 Books To Read Before Your Next Job Interview appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 4:30 pm on 2016/03/28 Permalink
    Tags: , business, , , steve case, , the information age   

    In The Third Wave, Steve Case Explains the Future of the Internet 

    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    There was a time not so long ago when going online was synonymous with America Online, largely because of the vision and drive of AOL CEO Steve Case. Under Case’s leadership, AOL was the best-performing stock of the 1990s; by 1999 it had 34 million subscribers and was valued at over $150 billion. After a disastrous merger with Time Warner that failed to give AOL access to TW’s cable internet infrastructure, Case left the company, which began its slow slide into irrelevance. Case himself avoided that fate, investing in up-and-coming startups and serving several U.S. presidents on technology-focused initiatives. Now, he’s written The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Futurea book detailing what he sees as a crucial moment in the history of the internet, the economy, and our country—and if you’re smart, you’ll pay attention.

    The Third Wave
    Case leverages his incredible experience and business acumen to make a compelling argument: the future of the internet is coming much faster than we might think, and if the U.S. doesn’t make fundamental changes at both the private and public levels, we might miss out on it. He argues there have been two “waves” of internet-related business so far: the first was the initial scale-up of the system and its commercialization by visionary companies like AOL. The second was the mobile revolution and the “app economy” that broke the internet free from the confines of the desktop computer. The third wave, Case argues, is the “internet of everything,” when the internet stops being something we interact with for short periods of time, and becomes something that exists constantly around us, in everything we use, from cars to appliances to medical tools to the clothes we wear.

    The bona fides
    Few people have Case’s sheer breadth of experience. Not only was he one of the only people to envision the early potential of the internet, not only did he build AOL into one of the most amazing success stories of the modern age, but he has continued to make shrewd investments with his firm Revolution LLC, helping companies like Zipcar and LivingSocial realize their potential. Few people have been so right about so many aspects of the Internet Age, making his new book a must-read for anyone trying to read the tea leaves of technology’s future.

    The lessons
    What makes The Third Wave so compelling a read is Case’s easygoing style, coupled with his brutal honesty. He discusses his triumphs and his failures—including the Time Warner merger, which should have been his victory dance and instead ended in disaster. He’s honest about mistakes made and opportunities missed throughout his career, and uses examples of each to outline lessons that inform his vision of the future. Case argues that phrases like “internet Epenabled” will soon be as archaic as saying an appliance is “electricity enabled.” He argues that companies will have to seek partnerships, because the Internet of Everything will have to work with existing products and industries, ranging from healthcare to education to manufacturing and farming. And he argues the government will need to be involved, but in a much more nimble and faster-moving way than ever before.

    The takeaway
    Should we fail to heed his advice, Case’s vision of the future is a grim one, in which the U.S. loses its competitive edge and other, hungrier nations take the lead. He doesn’t see this as inevitable, but he’s clear about the challenges ahead, and less than shy about outlining exactly what he thinks needs to happen to right the ship. Even if you discount his extensive experience, he makes a compelling argument. The Third Wave might sound like the title of a science fiction novel, but the fact is, it’s already lapping at our shores: many of us have smart thermostats in our homes, internet-connected cars in our garages, and wifi-enabled locks and lights we can manipulate from anywhere through our mobile devices. There’s little doubt the third wave is coming—the question is whether or not we, as a nation, will be able to catch it, and ride the crest all the way into shore.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help