You might be familiar with Bill Gates’ almost life long habit, to go away on his summer holidays with a suitcase of books to read.
And for our upcoming workshop, Plan to Profit in 2015, I’ve put together a list of books that will help you put together a strategy, plan and implement for your biggest year yet.
These titles will change your thinking, your business and your life.
Prefer to watch this article?
[su_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHGMW5dFPmY” width=”640″ height=”360″]
Books on Strategy and Execution
The One Thing – Gary Keller
This book really helped me with focus and was recommended to me by a client. With the overall message being to focus on just one thing to make everything else easier or unnecessary.
I enjoyed the book to much, and put together an article on ‘the One Number‘, as most businesses need to focus on just one number in order to make everything else easier or unnecessary.
Along with business, Gary also applies it to your life outside of work.
Scaling Up – Verne Harnish
Wow! Verne calls this “The Rockafella Habits 2.0”.
If you’ve read the Rockafella Habits and have implemented what he’s on about in that, this book will touch up on those points – with tools and templates to cement it.
Verne has gone ‘all out’ with his Intellectual Property here – a $10 eBook, that is actually worth its paperback weight in gold.
There’s all sorts of strategy and planning tools, capped off by the ‘One Page Plan’. A must to map out over the Christmas holidays.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Sean Covey
I learned so much reading to this book – especially around tracking your plans visually, around your workspace.
Sean also introduces new language such as:
- WIG’s (Wildly Important Goals)
- Whirlwinds (the whirlwind of business causing us to fall off our plans)
- Finish Lines (specific outcomes you must be able to see)
The four disciplines, which you must read more about in the book, are:
- Focus on the Wildly Important
- Act on the Lead Measures
- Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
- Create a Cadence of Accountability
A really great book, especially for the creative and visual people in your organisation to implement.
Books on Customer Service
It is no mistake that I’ve included a few books on customer service for you to read in your planning.
All to often, we can focus on the financial drivers of our business. The danger is in missing the point, or why we’re in business in the first place: our customers.
This is case in point of why we don’t do timesheets in our accounting firm. (But we do measure things like turnaround time on jobs and broadcast our live average reply time to emails.)
Be sure to read these before you start penning your goals for 2015.
From Worst to First – Gordon Bethune
This is a phenomenal story of how CEO of Continental Airlines, Gordon Bethune, managed to turn around the airline giant from ranking at the bottom, to leading the industry.
A true account of focus, and especially on the customer focused numbers.
It’s just unfortunate that after new management took over the reigns from Gordon, they switched back to focusing on ‘making a profit’ and that is why the airline is no longer around…
Keep your business focused on what matters to your customers!
The Ultimate Question 2.0 – Fred Reichheld
This is a book primarily about the ‘Net Promoter Score’. An indication of how likely your customers are to be advocates for your business.
I also love the chapter on ‘Bad Profits’ – how the bigger businesses are willing to lose face and grow their for the purpose of making profits.
There’s tonnes of practical tips on how to implement the ‘NPS’ mentality into your business, but best of all how to act on the results that you get.