Business Books Recommendations
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Last Updated: 23 July 2017
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Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary
There is no shortcut to success. It takes more than external factors to become successful in life. You need your internal strength; strong will and grit are important factors in accomplishing success in your life. Tendency to fall down and bounce back with more efforts is the long-term success mantra.
- Your IQ, financial condition and even your talent are secondary – your attitude towards life and tendency to work hard is primary.
- Test yourself at every level, accept tough challenges and don’t give up when difficulty strikes.
- Pessimism will pull you back, always look for the brighter side of every issue; it keeps you motivated.
- Be ready to sweat – there is no triumph without struggle.
- Discover the inner strength within you. You don’t need a therapy for that; you just need to believe in yourself.
- Always seek tasks that are out of your comfort zone.
Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies
Businesses ought to implement a market-based approach to their management methods and improve customer’s life through their offerings. Build a culture where employees can use their entrepreneurial skills to meet customers’ preferences through their products. Such framework will only yield long-term profits – thus increasing the value of the company.
- Businesses need to deal with their customers with a distinct approach – paradoxical to traditional methods.
- Managers need to adapt to Market-Based Management – it will help them to derive innovative ideas and achieve high profits.
- A flat hierarchical structure will enable a smooth flow of ideas between all levels of organization – it makes communication more efficient.
- Meet customer demands by minimizing the use of scarce resources – MBM framework will help you achieve that.
- Recruit employees with virtues as well as talent.
- Create an environment where employees find it comfortable to share their knowledge; eventually, business will thrive.
Friend and Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both
Maintaining a balance between our professional and personal life is necessary for everybody – even if you are an employee or an employer. Human relationships have always been complex; we tend to co-operate as well as compete with our colleagues. Channelize the tension between your cooperation and competence – it will increase your success in life and at work.
- Humans tend to compete rather than co-operate – however, we are designed to do both simultaneously.
- We need to establish a balance between our professional and personal life – it will help us to maintain relationships at both levels.
- Building and maintaining trust is vital at both fronts – shaping our behavior with specific people will help us to preserve that trust – or re-build it.
- Sometimes, being less competent can be an advantage for you – it can increase the possibility of your success.
- We tend to be at our best when we maintain two distinct personalities – a friend or a foe – change those personalities according to the requirements of circumstances.
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown
Typical as it sounds; to fail is the first step towards improving yourself and ultimately succeeding in life. Businesses and every individual must be ready to face the unknown and being confident when things don’t work out your way. Find new purposes and opportunities to turn things around.
- Things will not work according to your way, this happens to all humans.
- Entrepreneurs and individuals need to learn to embrace it; accept it as it is.
- Failure can have a negative influence on your self-belief. Don’t let that happen.
- Failure can be a triggering force behind connecting with others; be emphatic and compassionate.
- Fail well – it is a life skill for gradual development.
- Don’t see failure as an opportunity to blame yourself – or others, hold it within your heart and accept it positively.
- When you fail, you know where to work; you discover yourself.
Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
Changing the traditional management approach and being more sensitive towards your employees can boost up company’s performance. Albeit achieving objective is important for leaders, the process and people are more important. Companies should strive to create a caring work culture in their organization by treating workers as their family members.
- Your employees aren’t lab rats to be experimented – or managed with mere incentives; they are valuable assets to the company.
- Managers ought to treat their employees with love and affection – give them respect and they will respect you in return.
- Don’t just fire your workers when revenues are running low.
- When your employees feel safe and loved from you, they will be even more productive.
- Treating your employees like costs or functions may alienate them and they will lose interest in working for you.
- Understand your employees and help them in performing better – you are their parent and they are your children.
Dream with Your Eyes Open: An Entrepreneurial Journey
If you have a business idea and you’re thinking about opting out of your traditional employment – this is the right time to do it. Living your passion and breaking the cage of traditional employment has never been so easy. Startups should consider changing economic scenario and take advantage of it.
- Be opportunist – you should be ready to answer the door when opportunity knocks; action at right time is crucial.
- Avoid your textbook knowledge and base your decisions on your instincts and consumer feedback.
- Consider market trends and see whether your passion and skills can make a decent business.
- Look for the inflection points – see where your offerings are meeting with consumer demands.
- Build a strong team and establish a strong bond with them – this may take time but it is very crucial.
- Failure is your friend – learn from it and accept it in a healthy way and implement your learning’s in next project.
Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
In corporate world, especially when stakes are high and situations are intense, every word you utter can decide your fate. For entrepreneurs, every conversation is crucial. They need to learn to handle disagreements, and control their emotions. Handle heated talks effectively and achieve the desired results.
- Master the art of dealing with crucial talks; it just requires you to focus on fundamentals.
- If you are not confident, then the best option is to avoid them.
- Analyze the scenario; see what are the stakes and think about what you want from this talk.
- Don’t force your ideas on others; listen to them and respect their views.
- Don’t get emotional, try to think rationally and come up with a relevant solution.
- It’s not necessary to prove others wrong, look for a middle ground where both are benefited.
- After you reach a solution, just implement it.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Implementing creativity in business is a priority for managers – even leaders should strive to implement creative techniques in their leadership. Now, companies ought to develop a creative culture in their organization and consistently motivate their employees. Eventually, this will give birth to innovative ideas and give business a strong competitive edge.
- Creativity is the mother of innovation; it nurtures innovative thoughts and companies should aim for it.
- Focus on developing the quality of your workforce – a great team has the potential to convert a poor idea into a great idea.
- Risks are inevitable in business – a manager cannot avoid them, but he can make it safe for others to take them.
- Try to see the covered picture. If you can see the unseen, you are a good leader.
- Company’s communication structure should be transparent – employees shouldn’t have issues in communicating with their bosses.
- Strive for originality – there should be absolute originality in your work and ideas.
In a company, leaders have their influence on everything. They need to build their own secret formula for success and lead their company towards it. They are responsible for the management and employee’s performance. Understand the essentials of leadership drawn by Chanakya himself and get the best out of yourself.
- The theories on management and economics drawn by Indian geniuses are still relevant today – apply them to your business and see the difference.
- Businesses have changed with time – but the core motives remain the same: making money, and being successful.
- Focus on the integral areas: management, leadership, and training of your employees.
- Your strategies are of no use if not executed appropriately – make sure your employees are in the right mindset and have absolute clarity of the idea.
- Leaders shouldn’t just earn money, they should strive to win hearts of their clients and employees – they will be respected in return.
Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses
Challenging the traditional business model and reversing the process is essential for businesses in today’s scenario – especially for fresh startups. Focus on developing a valuable content and a strong customer base and then design a product for that audience. The new model is cost-effective and ensures smart work.
- Markets have never been so competitive than what they are today.
- Customers frequently change their company preferences; it is a priority for businesses to establish a loyal customer base.
- See where your passion and efficiency match; that is your ‘Sweet Spot’.
- Develop your primary medium for broadcasting your content – it can be anything such as: YouTube or Podcast.
- Take your ‘Sweet Spot’ where there is limited competition.
- Use social media and gain subscribers for your business.
- Expand your business into various delivery channels.
- Start charging money once your expertise is secured.
Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business
Starting a business out of nowhere and being the ‘boss’ isn’t what we’d expect it to be – the life behind that desk is not always jovial. Dealing with multiple problems on a daily basis is just another Tuesday for leaders. Leaders now need their team to survive these struggles and setbacks.
- Not all businesses have a good start – when you start your business, expect constant ups and downs.
- There is only one boss – prepare to be lonely at times, there are some decisions where only you can help yourself.
- Don’t be egoistic and feel awkward asking for help; you need to know when to ask for help.
- You are in effect a decathlete – facing multiple challenges and performing best in every event is must for you.
- Apart from his professional life, the leader also has commitments towards his family, which he must again fulfill.
- Just like a player-coach relationship, a boss-employee relationship is also special – both are responsible for each other’s performance.
Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World
With technology developing at an alarming pace and disrupting companies, using exponential technology is crucial for companies. Thinking big and being bold with your ideas is not an option anymore for major corporations. Use crowd-powered ideas and technological advancements to create massive wealth and impact lives of billions.
- Exponential growth in technology is disrupting Fortune 500 Companies – and encouraging many startups to take their business to a bigger level.
- Numerous opportunities are created for entrepreneurs due to unprecedented growth in technology
- Go big or Go home; that is the rule in Silicon Valley – thinking big is must for major corporations.
- Robotics, 3D Printing, infinite computing are wonderful fields to develop your business – they are attracting huge demand.
- The worlds biggest issues are actually the biggest opportunities for entrepreneurs – help people and make money.
- ‘Carrot Culture’ can actually help you a lot – providing incentives will give you access to the smartest people in world.
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
Conventional notions of competing in today’s crowded market are no longer relevant. There is an emergence of a ‘paradigm shift’. Companies need to dive into unexpected market areas and create new demand – rather than wasting their energy in existing markets. Create your ‘blue ocean’ where there is a huge competitive advantage.
- Stop wasting your time in ‘red ocean’, explore new areas of markets and create your own territory.
- Don’t follow the trend. Even though markets are booming, try not to think in the same direction.
- Do not steal customers from your rival; create your own customer base.
- Once you decide your field, start small and keep testing your ideas.
- Gradually, focus on improving your cash flow. Thus, increasing profitability.
- New skills are unlocked and growth is unlimited in such markets.
- Watch out for resources; you must have sufficient resources to satisfy new demand.
Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do
Failure and committing errors is a part of human life. Reflecting on our errors and learning from them is what makes us different. Businesses and professionals need to embrace their mistakes and view them as best possible way to learn. Spot your errors and turn them into future success strategy.
- Be a ‘black box thinker’ and learn from your mistakes – it’s more than a cliché – a best way to learn.
- Our tendency to accept failures in a healthy way is the ultimate determinant of our success.
- Stop looking for excuses for your mistakes – you are responsible for your own actions.
- Managers should build an educative culture – encouraging their employees to learn from their mistakes – more innovative ideas will emerge.
- Suppress your ego; your attitude of self-evaluation will have a strong impact on your performance – in professional and personal life.
- This technique is useful in almost all professions – from sports to politics.
A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
Coming up with creative ideas demands curiosity and a tendency to ask questions. Think on distinct tracks and gain insights by asking numerous questions – interact with different personalities and gain knowledge from them. Dwell on the ideas that normally don’t fit into the conventional framework; that is how creative geniuses work.
- All it takes is a curious mind to gain maximum knowledge – be an inquirer and fascinated by unknown concepts.
- Always be hungry for more – stay keen to learn more – you will automatically derive ideas from nowhere.
- Interact with various personalities – get to know their story and seek inspiration from them.
- Businesses should aim to generate curiosity among their audience for their upcoming launch.
- Managers and executives always try to think big – having a curious mind will make their task easy.
- Curiosity leads to ideas and inventions – but they should be used optimally – for a productive purpose.
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
Managing employees and maintaining a positive corporate culture is a fundamental responsibility of a leader. Human resource is an integral part of a company and needs to be given priority. Every business consists of multiple tribes – group of employees. Managers should always strive to evaluate these tribes and develop them.
- Assess the tribal culture of your company and plan to take that tribe to the next level.
- Strength of the organization is contingent on its tribal culture – it’s vital for a tribal leader to establish a thriving corporate culture.
- Every stage defines the situation of the tribe; ergo it is very important for leaders to identify the exact stage.
- Increase your productivity by wisely employing company’s tribes.
- In every stage, tribe develops an optimistic attitude towards life.
- A positive attitude helps employees to tender maximum output – they also develop a sense of belongingness.
- Backed with intensive ten-year research of over two-dozen companies.
The Winning Way 2.0: Learnings From Sport for Managers
Be it sports or management, it takes consistency to be a champion in both the fields. Striking a century once or leading the market for a while doesn’t make you a legend. Businesses need to learn the basic habits of sports champions and try to inculcate the similar habits in their organization to win the market for a longer period.
- Competitiveness, risks, strategy, and execution are one of the many similarities between sports and management.
- Your attitude is extremely important – be happy and relaxed. Don’t be in a hurry to make a move; it will only increase the pressure.
- Be the one who assists for a goal rather than scoring it – plan the operations and leave it on your colleagues to execute it.
- Never ever give up – that is the golden rule.
- Have a positive attitude, “I CAN DO IT”.
- It’s the captain’s responsibility to inspire his teammates in bad situation – he needs to have a clear vision of the game.
The Six Sigma Leader: How Top Executives Will Prevail in the 21st Century
Great companies seek excellence in their work, they don’t settle for satisfactory results. Leaders need to aim for greatness and set a high standard of leadership if they intend to take their company to heights of success. Executives should aim to improve the quality of organizational process using various techniques.
- The Six Sigma techniques are pivotal to improve your standards; by implementing it, companies can develop the quality of their daily processes.
- Keep it simple and clear; companies need to keep their ideas unambiguous. It will make it easy for employees to understand and execute.
- Always strive for the highest degree of perfection.
- Do the right thing – understand what needs to be done and be bold to take the step.
- Look for the defects in the process and the product and rectify them immediately – a customer should get your best.
- Learn through experimentation – keep changing your leadership style for distinct projects and with distinct employees; see which one fits the best.
The Power of Relentless: 7 Secrets to Achieving Mega-Success, Financial Freedom, and the Life of Your Dreams
Overcoming against all odds and accomplishing your goal generally isn’t an easy task. You need to be determined and bold. Businesses – especially start-ups need to be relentless while pursuing their objectives, only then you can take your life to a whole new level and live the life of your dreams.
- Breaking the shackles of onerous circumstances and achieving your goal is demanding – you need to be dedicated.
- Having talent and resources aren’t always sufficient – you need to use them in the right manner and chase your goal relentlessly.
- Nothing is impossible – goals can be unlikely or improbable but they are never impossible.
- Relentlessness makes an ideal leader; if you posses this quality, you can achieve what seems to be impossible.
- Your actions and attitude towards life make you stand out of the crowd – stop complaining and looking for excuses for your failure.
- Have the courage to face the trials of life and triumph over them.
- Managers should be responsible; take the situation under control and be accountable for the consequences of your actions.
The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Thinking out of the box and generating new ideas genuinely develops the world – it requires courage and dedication towards your aim. Assessing your leadership qualities, polishing your creative skills, and developing an optimal state of mind are crucial to bring about a revolution. Concentrating on teamwork and working in unison are fundamental skills that one ought to master.
- Innovating something new isn’t rocket science – you just need to have the utmost confidence and ability to take efforts towards furtherance of your idea.
- Just breaking the conventional thought framework won’t suffice; you also need to possess tolerance and build an optimistic chemistry with your colleagues – teamwork is necessary.
- This book provides guidelines through various innovation stories of geniuses that created the “Digital Revolution”: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Steve Wozniak, and many more fascinating personalities.
- Evolution of Information Technology until now; showing the drastic changes in the digital world and how these personalities executed their ideas.
- The book shows insights pertaining to imaginative skills of these geniuses, and how they collaborated with other to make their ideas even better.
- To make your invention a huge success you should think about its social significance and how will it reach to common man.
The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business
Establishing your dominance in the market is not enough anymore. Poor management practices and unawareness usually leads to demise of incumbents. Acknowledging the changing trend and adapting to it has never been so crucial for these market giants – that is, developing your products with respect to the changing customer taste. Such techniques can help you to maintain your dominance in the long run.
- Disruptive innovations overtake the emerging markets causing downfall of sustaining innovations.
- Avoiding ideas that customers don’t prefer seems logical. However, such disruptive innovations result in the fall of these firms.
- Staying flexible and investing in research and development is vital for companies offering a varied range of products.
- Disruptive innovations tend to be simpler than sustained innovations, thus making it austere for customers to understand.
- Significance of analyzing market movements, relationship between customers and products are important aspects explored in this book.
- Managing every innovation needs financial support – those ideas that are financially supported, tend to succeed more.
- Entrepreneurs, managers, and CEOs who ostracize the indicators of this book are at risk of losing their edge over the market.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
Identifying constraints and overcoming them isn’t an onerous task. In the market where troubles are inevitable, companies should focus on their constraints and try to solve them immediately. Your primary aim must be to make profits because that is the only thing that will ensure your existence in the market. These problems need to be dealt with identify-evaluate-execute technique.
- Companies need to primarily identify their goal – their sole motive. Only then, they can focus on employing appropriate resources.
- You should apply the appropriate technique to optimize the production environment: Theory of Constraints. The applications of this theory are well explained in the book.
- Avoid accumulating inventories – they just increase the costs to the company.
- Avoid large-scale unnecessary production; look at the demand patterns and plan your production accordingly.
- Measuring the company’s performance is crucial for evaluation. It provides the data on which future decisions can be based.
- Work smartly; managers need to derive a way through which they can get results from the constraints – altering lunch breaks is a relevant example from the book.
- Be courageous, experiment with your ideas and seek knowledge from them.
- Identify-evaluate-execute – this process should be as fast as possible in order to save time.
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
To make their business successful, executives must get right things done when needed the most. Being brazen and taking the responsibility for company’s performance defines an effective executive. It involves going against consensus – dwelling upon ideas that have been neglected. Imagination, knowledge, and intelligence posses value only if they are accompanied by effective execution.
- Time is the most valuable asset; managing time properly is a fundamental practice to make your business effective.
- You should execute what needs to be done at that time – identifying urgent measures and giving them priority.
- Be responsible for your actions and direct yourself towards effectiveness – you cannot be instructed, you can only be assisted, the rest is up to you.
- Be ambitious; always aim of greatness in your work. Be bold and take risks, however a wise leader always admits his errors and learns from them.
- Identify the strengths of your human resource and motivate them to develop those skills.
- You need to be selective when it comes to contributing to the organization; do not let your personal interests cloud your judgment.
- Be opportunistic; you need to be cognizant about the market trend. You need to identify the best opportunity and channelize your strengths towards it.
Stress Test: Stories of Remarkable Encounters and Timeless Insights
Taking any corporate decision in uncertain times is quite a stressful job for business leaders. Businesses need an astute vision to foresee the consequences. Government and Central bank play a crucial role in maintaining a business-friendly atmosphere in the country. When an economic boom turns into bust they both need to take necessary actions to rectify the problem.
- In the midst of 2008 recession, Obama administration, with the help Timothy Geithner almost prevented another World Depression.
- The US economy was in turmoil; heavy financial losses and speculation had exacerbated the situation.
- In the aftershocks of the crisis, US government had to deal with high unemployment and huge deficits.
- Such factors made investing in US more onerous; people were skeptical about it.
- Overcoming the criticism, Geithner was brazen about his measures; business leaders need to have those same qualities to pass the stress test.
- Planning those successful policies and heated discussions in White House are apparent.
- A distinct side of Timothy Geithner, which public never saw.
Search Inside Yourself: The Secret to Unbreakable Concentration, Complete Relaxation and Effortless Self-Control
Businesses need to focus on methods to improve mindfulness and keep their employees in their best emotional state, as it is pertinent for employees to give their best. They should introduce various techniques for employees to monitor their emotional fitness – their ability to be non-biased while working or making a corporate decision. It helps you to push up your performance level.
- Happiness creates peace; a peaceful environment is crucial as it nurtures growth in the business.
- You need to be emotionally intelligent – it won’t just make your mind peaceful but it will also make you insightful, ability to think enhances.
- Mediation does work; it is about exploring the potentials of your emotions.
- You need to provide yourself with constant motivation – your output will improve drastically.
- Socializing and building a strong bond with your colleagues is always recommended in organizations.
- You should always think critically before you take any action – presence of mind is vital.
Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow
Quiet often companies tend to forget the most fundamental aspect of their organization – people and their ‘needs’. Businesses need to keep deriving ways to motivate their employees at every stage. A good leader is defined by the ability to identify that specific need and motivate its employee to accomplish it. By doing this, success is imminent.
- Maslow’s pyramid is divided into three fundamental themes: Survival, Success, and transformation.
- Managers need to consider this paradigm while evaluating the needs of their employees.
- Make your company ‘employee-friendly’ – people should be keen to work at your company.
- Establishing a motivated corporate culture is the best way for companies to prevent themselves from the shocks of recession.
- Do not focus only on employee pyramid. Remember, business is for customers; look at the needs of customers and investors too.
- It requires a quantum leap; more than the conventional approach to become a transformative organization form a successful business.
Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company
A change in a fundamental factor – like economic scenario, government policies, and competition is a nightmare for companies. Monitoring those changes and adapting to them is what is needed to survive a sudden massive change – or else your existence in the market is at risk. Businesses need to be flexible to handle these Strategic Inflection Points.
- A sudden massive change for a business is a Strategic Inflection Point – It’s the point where direction of all activities changes.
- Companies usually face two consequences at such points – either they emerge victorious or they fail; it depends on how they deal with the situation.
- Inflection points do not always turn out to be a catastrophe – it can be an opportunity as well.
- Technology Industry is prone to such changes as technology keeps on developing every day.
- Businesses need to anticipate such changes and mold their strategies when the occasion calls for it.
- Businesses need to act differently from their textbook knowledge of business in such circumstances.
- As your company grows, so does its competition; competitors will strive to knock you down.
Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation
Transforming your business into ‘digital’ from traditional pattern isn’t just a trend now – it’s a need. It doesn’t just happen – businesses need to lead it. Leaders need to understand its significance and become a ‘digital master’ and not just a high-tech guru. This will ensure your competitive advantage in a fierce market competition.
- Comprehending the fundamentals of digital knowledge and becoming a digital master requires a lot less than you anticipate; it isn’t an arcane wisdom.
- Give customer experience apex priority; a digital master observes every moment of his customers – why and how they do it.
- Stay updated; businesses need to update themselves with latest technology.
- Always try to be on your toes; keep thinking about different ways to transform your company – change is must.
- Going into the core, businesses should learn how to engage with their customers, creating a digital vision, and enhancing digital operations.
- Keep your vision simple and clear – employees must have the clarity of your ideas.
- Valuable reference for those who seek knowledge of contemporary trends of digital transformation.
Making the Elephant Dance: The Tata Way to Innovate, Transform and Globalize
Setting a benchmark for others and creating a huge legacy demands transformation form incumbents. Businesses need to study examples of parent companies and keep transforming themselves on a similar path. A remarkable company such as Tata has a huge legacy; companies from all around the world look upon it as a parent company.
- Companies need to study the evolution of Tata and design a road map for their own transformations.
- The leaders of companies ought to possess a keen acute vision for expanding the breadth of their businesses.
- Assess each aspect of their excellence – their innovation, planning, and execution.
- Companies need to have a secret formula for their development – even if it’s a short-term transformation.
- Tata made an investment of approximately $18 billion in 37 global acquisitions in 2008.
- The company has a legacy of 147 years and has evolved along with Indian economy.
Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen: How 11 Indians Pulled off the Impossible
Making a breakthrough Innovation and achieving the impossible requires limitless thinking – creativity and courage to break the traditional rules is essential. All the innovations have one element in common – necessity. Companies need to understand the current necessities of the market and come up with unique ideas to meet that demand.
- Todays leaders need to study history of innovations – different case studies will help them to get a better idea of how to think on innovative lines.
- If innovating something impossible requires you to defy all the business doctrines, then so be it. Do not hesitate to go against the wave.
- 11 Indian entrepreneurs who achieved what was considered as impossible – leaders need to believe that if others can do it, so can I.
- The moment you stop seeing it as impossible, you are halfway through.
- Your ideas must be feasible – they must be easy-to-adapt and not something irrelevant.
- Relying on Research and Development for innovative ideas is not sufficient.
- Companies need to instill the culture of innovation in all levels of their business.
It's Not the How or the What But the Who
Businesses need to have vision to discern potential in their employees and candidates applying for jobs – regardless of the genre and size of company. They need to employ right people at right place; it is about ‘who’ does the job; it’s the difference between success and failure of businesses. Surprisingly, the art of spotting the right ‘who’ is antique.
- To thrive, businesses need to identify candidates with highest potential; get them in your team and help them to grow
- Potential is hard to identify than competence – but that’s what makes you an insightful employer.
- They influence your performance; people with high potential boost your individual performance as well.
- Globalization takes companies beyond their domestic limits – businesses need people who can take them there.
- By hiring people that can make accurate decisions, companies are ensuring their bright future.
- The quality of your human resource shows your judgment – ultimately quality employees with abundant potential make you a good leader.
How to read a book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading
Gaining insights has always been imperative. Diving into a descent book and extracting its treasure demands skillful reading. Irrespective of their occupation, readers need to assess their level of reading and strive to develop it. Thus, readers will eventually develop cognitive skills and acquire superiority in their field of expertise.
- Be brave and take the step; readers need to try to understand everything on their own.
- Learning means understanding more, the more you understand the crux of the book, the more you learn.
- Facts increase information whereas insights increase understanding.
- Judging a book by its cover requires acute perspective of a reader – you need to know when and how to do it accurately.
- Deconstruct the book and break down the important aspects – it will make your further research easy.
- Go beyond the evident message and dwell into abstractness of the book – the author’s context is vital to consider for understanding the heart of the book.
Zero to One: Note on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future
Development lies in trying something new, something that hasn’t been thought of before. Entrepreneurs should look to create something unique, they should try to enter an entirely new domain. By indulging in a unique domain, they can not only attain economies of scale, but also can unlock the treasure of innovation. Entrepreneurs should strive to go from 0 to 1 and not from 1 to n.
- The conventional secrets of success only lead you to create a modified version of an existing idea – the best paths are those that are untried.
- Successful companies are those who have truly innovated or changed the face of an existing industry – they have gone from 0 to 1.
- There isn’t a general formula of success for companies – each innovation is unique and distinct.
- Technology is auxiliary to our ideas – not a substitute; innovation comes from within and not through computers.
- The book builds an inquiry-based approach – asking questions and thinking for yourself – driving you towards realizing value in places that you wouldn’t normally expect.
- The future won’t just have developed versions of existing technologies – tomorrow’s leaders should and will explore their own distinct territory and build a monopoly in it.
The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
Startups need to use scientific methodologies to run their business and build a viable business model. They should employ resources on building product samples and test them in the market – and keep improving them based on customer feedback. Validated learning and Scientific experimentation should be at the heart of your company.
- Startups are completely different from established business giants – running them like one won’t make sense.
- Entrepreneurs are everywhere – regardless of the size of your company or industry.
- Discover your sustainable business model through validated learning.
- Build-Measure-Learn – it is the key mantra to success. Do it as fast as possible.
- Don’t get carried away by short successes – vanity victories are misleading.
- Every startup should define its values and ideology and stick to it through thick and thin.
- Focus on one area of growth – do not employ your resources on multiple growth engines.
Will there be donuts: Better business One Meeting at a Time
Conducting an effective meeting can be a task for managers. Most of the time, what starts as a serious discussion ends up as a waste of time, wasted resources without any definite decision. Companies should be concerned about their meetings as it uses precious assets of the company – human resources and time.
- On an average, employees end up wasting 82 hours on meetings annually, and that’s concern for organizations across the world.
- Meetings should have definite structure – this allows systematic usage of time.
- A flow is necessary; it allows managers to cover all aspects without any disturbance. It also becomes easy for audience to understand the intended message.
- Spice it up; bore meetings are bound to be unproductive. Spice them up by injecting some humor and analogies.
- Be concise and to the point, don’t exaggerate the issue, keep your message explicit.
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
Falling from the heights of success and experiencing a fiasco doesn’t take much time in corporate world. One strong blow of wind and whole company crumbles like a house of cards. Such is the story of Enron; it was achieving astounding profits, but it was one blow of wind – an article by Bethany McLean that rendered its downfall.
- Enron, a giant in energy management industry turned out to be a hogwash.
- The business activities didn’t resemble its core values – the company lost its ideology in quest for abnormal profits.
- Despite of his lack of accounting knowledge, Andy Fastow was made Enron’s CFO in 1998.
- The failure of Enron rendered fall of confidence in American economy.
- Character and a sense of responsibility are as important as intelligence and dedication in a successful company.
- Sudden exit of the bosses is a big red flag for business.
In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules
In-N-Out burger has become a huge success over the course of time. This book is a window to all fascinating events that take place behind the counter at In-N-Out Burger.
- Stick to your guns – do not compromise on your core philosophies. They are the backbone of your company, always work according to them.
- Focus on quality, giving your customers high-quality service should be your primary aim.
- Don’t put limits to your ideas. Break all the conventional rules and do what’s best for your business.
- Fast-food chains need to be consistent in their service; it could be the difference between their success and others’ failure.
- Treat your customers with utmost respect; that is the mantra for success.
- Believe in standardization – the family has kept everything standardized since its establishment. Ergo, the quality hasn’t diminished.
I Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad
Business is for customers. Without them a company has no significance. Customers look up on big businesses, but only a few businesses can earn passionate and extremely loyal fans, who can be relentless advocates of your business and one of the most valuable assets to a company. Gaining such customer base should be a priority for businesses.
- Companies need to employ critical thinking, and purpose into their decision-making; ultimately these decisions set them apart from the crowd.
- Believe in your customers. Every company must focus on building lifetime relationship with their customers.
- Businesses must develop their communication with customers. It’s crucial how companies approach their customers.
- Marketers that can make their customers passionate about their business, gain a strong competitive advantage.
- You should be real; every decision must be determined by your philosophy. Do not change yourselves just to please others.
- Listen to the customer, she is always right.
- Businesses must also be socially responsible.
- Don’t be averse to apologize to your customers when needed.
The Hard Thing about Hard Thing: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers
Starting a business and running it successfully are two very different things. Having the practical wisdom of daily issues is essential for start-ups. The bookish knowledge is far from good to tackle actual problems. Businesses need to consider all the difficulties of operating their business.
- The secret behind being an efficacious CEO is – not quitting.
- You need to make the best possible choice when there seems none – finding the right way when everything is blurry.
- Be wise and delegate the responsibility to your colleagues; there is no shame in seeking assistance. Share every burden you can.
- Be bold and stand up for your company in crucial times – it needs you the most in such times.
- Nobody cares for your misery – you need to pull up your socks and save the drowning ship on your own.
- When things start to fall apart, stop thinking about mistakes you committed, focus on fixing the current chaos.
- No matter how much pressure you are in – don’t let it be evident. Employees derive motivation from their CEO; you need to be strong for them.
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
Summary & Key Takeaways
Today, being talented and determined isn’t enough to reach at the peak of success. Interacting with people and establishing a robust communication can have a huge impact on the level of success you achieve. Success is more dependent on your interaction skills rather than individual attributes.
- Generally, there are takers, matchers, and givers in any organization; takers strive to gain as much as possible, whereas givers just give without any expectations.
- Your style of reciprocating matters a lot.
- Giving is the key to climb the ladder of success; give as much as possible.
- Givers are equally ambitious as takers and matchers.
- Givers believe in teamwork – they see interdependence as strength.
From Smart To Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom
Summary & Key Takeaways
Leaders, along with their keen vision, need to focus on their leadership style. Making their leadership style flexible by blending extreme measures and establishing a middle way is essential. Leaders must be wise rather than smart, to thrive in today’s intricate business environment.
- Functional and smart leadership have their own weaknesses – leaders need to draw a middle ground between both which can provide long term stability.
- Smart leaders shift their perspectives towards finding purpose.
- Make wise decisions – those that are ethical and pragmatic.
- Know when to lead and when to delegate authority.
- Identify and make choices that are in the interest of the organization.
- Wise leaders act in a manner that is holistically appropriate.
The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More
Summary & Key Takeaways
Breaking the cage of traditional employment and flying with your passions is not as difficult as most think. Identify your passions and ways to use them to fulfill prevailing market needs and focus on creating social value through your service. You don’t need a huge debt for making a successful business.
- You don’t need a business degree to make a living using your passion.
- Keep your plans explicit and persist with execution.
- Break away from traditional job and rule your world. It just requires you to be bold and confident.
- Passion is necessary, but not all passions can be used to make a successful living – think wisely before choosing your passion.
- Understand your customer. You exist because of him.
- Success of your product relies on your thorough research – do your homework.
- Keep your plans explicit and persist with execution.
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion
Summary & Key Takeaways
NOW is the right time to convert your passion into a source of income and live the life of your dreams.
Exploring your passion and using it to benefit yourself is an ideal work for anyone. For start-ups, NOW is the right time to convert that passion into a source of income and live the life of their dreams. If you really love what you do, then your business will grow rapidly and you will be ecstatic. Just go online and chase your dreams.
- Look into your obsessions and see where they can be used to meet society’s needs.
- Follow the secret rules of success: Love your family, work hard, and live your passion – it is important that you love what you do.
- Harness the power of Internet – it requires smart work instead of hard work to make your business a hit.
- Keep your business plans less intricate.
- Create your own personal brand – let your audience know your brand; it is the key to monetizing your passion.
- Keep it genuine. Make sure that every idea you implement is authentic and rooted to be yourself.
- You need to have tremendous amount of patience – making a successful business isn’t a one-night job.
- Choose your passion over money; legacy is more essential for job satisfaction.
Built to Last: Successful habits of visionary companies
Summary & Key Takeaways
Successful companies are the ones who survive the test of time and posses vision. This book does not focus on charismatic leaders, but it concentrates on visionary companies. These are the companies that have sustained even when odds were against them. The book is a treasure of such stories – stories of visionary companies.
- The theories in the book are result of six-year intense research conducted by authors.
- Core objectives are important in order to sustain and develop in long run.
- Even if the market environment doesn’t suite your ideology, stick to it – do not comprise on your core ideology.
- Give your company a dynamic identity. Your company should be your product; you should set a benchmark for other companies.
- Gradual improvement is must. Keep developing the products and focus on their viability.
Always a Winner: Finding your Competitive Advantage in an Up and Down Economy
Summary & Key Takeaways
Regardless of the economic trends, businesses need to find ways of maintaining their positive rhythm of growth and Competitive Advantage during Ups and Downs of business cycles. Difficult as it may seem, companies can generate profits during hard recessionary times. Accurate business forecasts can help you in designing robust strategies.
- Businesses need to have sharp insights of economy and behavior of business cycles.
- Knowledge of the movements of financial cycles can help companies survive through the pangs of recession.
- Businesses ought to mold their strategies according to the needs of business environment.
- Forecasting economic swings is essential, as it gives them a warning in advance; they can implement precautionary measures to avoid catastrophic consequences.
- Companies need to play safe – implement strategies, which have turned out to be successful in past.
Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change
Summary & Key Takeaways
Our mental fitness affects our performance. Organizations must keep spreading positivity to keep their employees in a happy state to ensure performance enhancements. Look at your message and manner of broadcasting it; these factors will determine the likelihood of its success.
- We are all broadcasters; we keep broadcasting messages – even when we are silent.
- Our words can bring people out of fear-based mindset and show them the brighter side.
- Telling your story is an art – the way you convey your argument to your audience determines its effectiveness.
- Managers and speakers can make their presentation a success by filling it with positivity.
- You need to master the art of delivering negative news with positivity – only then people will enjoy listening to you.
- Bringing a positive change isn’t enough – companies need to maintain that positive atmosphere.
8 Steps to Innovation: Going from Jugaad to Excellence
Summary & Key Takeaways
Innovation is a necessity and organizations need to execute it in a systematic way – ideally through idea pipelines. Organizations need to aim towards excellence through their innovation, rather than doing some ‘Jugaad’. Businesses need to implement ideas within the given parameters, which are feasible for the company. If done well, success is inevitable.
- Innovation doesn’t have to be a jugaad.
- Companies need to understand the elements of innovation – Idea, Implementation, and Impact.
- Innovation is a result of curiosity rather than creativity – most successful innovations were born out of curiosity.
- Avoid taking irrelevant risks. Start on a small scale and observe its impact on the market.
- Innovation isn’t an onerous job; ANYONE can innovate.
- Successful innovations are cash crops as well as beneficial for the society.
- Innovation success is achieved when employees are motivated to innovate.
Business Adventures: Twelve classic tales from the world of Wall Street
Summary & Key Takeaways
Even though the businesses dynamics have changed, fundamentals are still the same as they were few decades ago. Organizations need to study the history of businesses, to learn the practices of start-ups, that later emerged as business giants. They should avoid mistakes that veteran companies made in order to prevent potential fiasco.
- This book narrates classic tales of corporate world that will give you a ride of corporate history. Intriguing stories of Edsel fiasco, and scams at General Electric are just the tip of iceberg.
- The stories aren’t just a ‘how-to’ lesson or simple explanations of various events but provide critical lessons by diving into the depth.
- Humans are emotional and irrational – during just three days; panic led the stock market to plummet $20 billion in 1926.
- An educational lesson of federal income tax system. Over the years, the US tax system was corrupted, and turned intricate.
- Even though the stories are old, the nature of the problems and accounts are still relevant.
- This book through various stories educates you about human behavior – how they act to certain changes. Its crucial to study if one seeks knowledge of market collapses.
Collective genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation
Summary & Key Takeaways
Albeit innovation is crucial to survive in such onerous times – a company should be able to innovate. Leaders need to inculcate a sense of willingness to innovate in their company. Legends of innovation hardly fit into the conventional set of good leaders – their job is to set the pitch for the team – and not play with them.
- Innovation requires teamwork. True innovators are able to blend all outcomes of their colleagues work, to create a collective genius.
- Innovation cannot be taught or ordered; it has to come from within.
- Companies need to build a conducive atmosphere where innovative ideas can thrive.
- Be bold and don’t feel blue by errors; innovation is a process of trials and mistakes – you will learn and develop from them.
- Companies must be willing to ignore errors of their employees and focus on their strengths and be supportive.
- Great leaders create passion within employees – ability to go out of the track and think creatively.
Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets
Summary & Key Takeaways
Organizations must manage one of the most precious asset – their time, optimally. Management of time is as important as managing quality, productivity, and even innovation. Though it’s a crucial task for organizations, its execution doesn’t require complex plans. Actively monitoring production processes, corporate meetings and communication processes can make a drastic difference.
- Organizations must focus on ways and areas that can save time.
- Time saving techniques can prove to be most powerful sources of competitive advantage.
- You need to tender customers what they want and especially when they want or else, your competitor will.
- Saving time in manufacturing and delivering the product can be cost effective. Ergo, you aren’t just saving time; you’re saving money as well.
- Quick responsiveness to delivery time also leads to exponential rise in demand for your product – leading to growth in customer base.A
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers
Summary & Key Takeaways
Success of a product is determined by its acceptance rate in the market. Fortunately, it isn’t as difficult as it seems to get your customers comfortable with your product. This book is the ultimate guide to overcome the gap that exists between ‘early adopters’ and ‘early majority’ of the product.
- Understanding the journey of your product in the society through technology adoption cycle is crucial in order to design apt marketing strategies.
- Technological innovations aren’t sufficient to make your product a success; you also need to communicate the value of the product. Effective marketing is at core.
- Even though it is difficult to cross the gap of visionary innovators to pragmatic early majority, insights in this book will help you to tackle that problem.
- Critical study of the market and classifying your customer base into several segments based on their adoption pattern is essential.
- Emphasize on the social benefits that your products offer.
- Your product should be dominant in the market – without market leadership company’s offerings are not valued.
- Be patient. Focus on developing primary customer base and then move on to another. Gradual development will lead to capturing the market holistically.
Executive Intelligence: What All Great Leaders Have
Anticipating the future actions, and ability to make right decisions defines a successful leader. Successful companies are successful because they are blessed with intelligent executives. Managers need to inculcate qualities of great leadership. They should be able to identify potential employees and consistently motivate them.
- The fate of the organization lies in the hands of its leader.
- An effective leader always distinguishes between primary and secondary priority. Important job must be given immediate attention.
- Managers need to analyze every plan critically; identifying flawed assumptions and rectifying them in time is critically important.
- It’s a team game; employees are crucial, even for a smart leader. Great leaders keep motivating them to perform better.
- Along with intelligent leader, talented employees are too essential – hunting for talented employees should be a priority for businesses.
- To keep your business in a constant state of improvement, you need to keep improving yourself – self-evaluation is vital.