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Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink

#tosell1 New York Times Business Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller
#1 Washington Post bestseller

From the bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind comes a surprising–and surprisingly useful–new book that explores the power of selling in our lives.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works in sales. Every day more than fifteen million people earn their keep by persuading someone else to make a purchase.

But dig deeper and a startling truth emerges:

Yes, one in nine Americans works in sales. But so do the other eight.

Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.

Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book–one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.

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Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

outliersThere is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.<

In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: The Wisdom of Failure by Laurence G. Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey

wisdomThe “how-not-to” leadership book
There is a paradox in leadership: we can only succeed by knowing failure. Every accomplished leader knows there are minefields of failures that need to be navigated in order to succeed. Wouldn’t it be great to have the insights to help you prevent from making avoidable mistakes? Unfortunately, in business talking about mistakes can be taboo, and, at a certain level, learning from failure is not an option. Weinzimmer and McConoughey speak frankly about the things that are difficult to talk about – the unvarnished truths necessary to become a successful leader.

  • Based on a groundbreaking 7-year study of what almost 1000 managers across 21 industries really think about lessons from failures
  • Includes exclusive interview material from CEOs at a wide range of organizations, including major firms such as Caterpillar, Priceline.com, and Allstate; startups; and entrepreneurial small businesses
  • Drills down into failure to uncover the strategies that aspiring leaders need in order to avoid the most damning leadership mistakes: unbalanced orchestration, drama management, and reckless vanity

Learning from the mistakes of others is a necessary part of the journey of effective leadership, and this book offers an indispensable guide to learning these powerful lessons—without paying the price of failure.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype by Jay Baer {Comment to Win!}

youtilityThe difference between helping and selling is just two letters

If you’re wondering how to make your products seem more exciting online, you’re asking the wrong question. You’re not competing for attention only against other similar products. You’re competing against your customers’ friends and family and viral videos and cute puppies. To win attention these days you must ask a different question: “How can we help?”

Jay Baer’s Youtility offers a new approach that cuts through the clut­ter: marketing that is truly, inherently useful. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.

Drawing from real examples of companies who are practicing Youtility as well as his experience helping more than seven hundred brands improve their marketing strategy, Baer provides a groundbreaking plan for using information and helpfulness to transform the relationship between companies and customers.

Tell us why you want to upgrade your marketing. Comment to win a copy of Jay Baer’s Youtility.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Big Bang Disruption by Larry Downes

bigbangIt used to take years or even decades for disruptive innovations to dethrone dominant products and services. But now any business can be devastated virtually overnight by something better and cheaper. How can executives protect themselves and harness the power of Big Bang Disruption?

Just a few years ago, drivers happily spent more than $200 for a GPS unit. But as smartphones exploded in popularity, free navigation apps exceeded the performance of stand-alone devices. Eighteen months after the debut of the navigation apps, leading GPS manufacturers had lost 85 percent of their market value.

Consumer electronics and computer makers have long struggled in a world of exponential technology improvements and short product life spans. But until recently, hotels, taxi services, doctors, and energy companies had little to fear from the information revolution.

Those days are gone forever. Software-based products are replacing physical goods. And every service provider must compete with cloud-based tools that offer customers a better way to interact.

Today, start-ups with minimal experience and no capital can unravel your strategy before you even begin to grasp what’s happening. Never mind the “innovator’s dilemma”—this is the innovator’s disaster. And it’s happening in nearly every industry.

Worse, Big Bang Disruptors may not even see you as competition. They don’t share your approach to customer service, and they’re not sizing up your product line to offer better prices. You may simply be collateral damage in their efforts to win completely different markets.

The good news is that any business can master the strategy of the start-ups. Larry Downes and Paul Nunes analyze the origins, economics, and anatomy of Big Bang Disruption. They identify four key stages of the new innovation life cycle, helping you spot potential disruptors in time. And they offer twelve rules for defending your markets, launching disruptors of your own, and getting out while there’s still time.

Based on extensive research by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, and executives from more than thirty industries, Big Bang Disruption will arm you with strategies and insights to thrive in this brave new world.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

startupofyouA blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley’s most innovative entrepreneurs.

The career escalator is jammed at every level. Unemployment rates are sky-high. Creative disruption is shaking every industry. Global competition for jobs is fierce. The employer-employee pact is over and traditional job security is a thing of the past.

Here, LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show how to accelerate your career in today’s competitive world. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.

Why? Start-ups – and the entrepreneurs who run them – are nimble. They invest in themselves. They build their professional networks. They take intelligent risks. They make uncertainty and volatility work to their advantage.

These are the very same skills professionals need to get ahead today.

This book isn’t about cover letters or resumes. Instead, you will learn the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups, and how to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career. Whether you work for a giant multinational corporation, a small local business, or launching your own venture, you need to know how to:

* Adapt your career plans as you change, the people around you change, and industries change.
* Develop a competitive advantage to win the best jobs and opportunities.
* Strengthen your professional network by building powerful alliances and maintaining a diverse mix of relationships.
Find the unique breakout opportunities that massively accelerate career growth.
* Take proactive risks to become more resilient to industry tsunamis.
* Tap your network for information and intelligence that help you make smarter decisions.

A revolutionary new guide to thriving in today’s fractured world of work, the strategies in this book will help you survive and thrive and achieve your boldest professional ambitions. The Start-Up of You empowers you to become the CEO of your career and take control of your future.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

thinkingIn the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

jabjabNew York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition.

When managers, marketers, and small business owners outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next campaign that will produce profits. Even companies committed to “jabbing”—creating content for consumers and engaging with customers to build relationships—still desperately want to land the powerful, bruising swing that will knock out their opponents or their customers’ resistance in one tooth-shattering, killer blow. Right hooks, after all, convert traffic to sales. They easily show results and return on investment. Except when they don’t.

In the same passionate, streetwise style his readers have come to expect, Vaynerchuk is on a mission to strengthen marketers’ right hooks by changing the way they fight to make their consumers happy, and ultimately to compete. Thanks to the massive change in and proliferation of social media platforms in the last four years, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Communication is still key, but context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content; it’s also about developing high-quality content that’s perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices. It’s about truly engaging with customers, not by shouting at them over social media but by using new narrative forms particular to each different media platform—especially, though not exclusively, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really work.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Built to Sell by John Warrillow

builtA business parable about how to create a start-up that won’t trap you when you want to sell it.

According to John Warrillow, the number one mistake entrepreneurs make is to build a business that relies too heavily on them. Thus, when the time comes to sell, buyers aren’t confident that the company-even if it’s profitable-can stand on its own.

To illustrate this, Warrillow introduces us to a fictional small business owner named Alex who is struggling to sell his advertising agency. Alex turns to Ted, an entrepreneur and old family friend, who encourages Alex to pursue three criteria to make his business sellable:

• Teachable: focus on products and services that you can teach employees to deliver.

• Valuable: avoid price wars by specializing in doing one thing better than anyone else.

• Repeatable: generate recurring revenue by engineering products that customers have to repurchase often.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: The Decoded Company ~ Comment to Win!

decodedThe Decoded Company by Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein, Jay Goldman, Rahaf Harfoush

As consumers we intuitively understand the benefits of being decoded

Google amazes us by generating answers before we’ve even finished asking a question. Facebook curates our uniquely individual newsfeeds. Spotify and Netflix use learning algorithms to customize our experience. At home, we choose companies that have figured out how to personalize our news, shopping, entertainment, travel, and learning needs.

At most workplaces, it’s still one-size-fits-all policies, processes, and tools. Yet companies like Google, Starbucks, and Whole Foods have turned their algorithms inward to decode their talent. Their goal is not to get the better of their talent, but to empower the best from their people.

The Decoded Company distills how this process works into three transformative ideas.

·         Technology Can be a Coach, personalizing processes to the individual based on experience and offering training interventions precisely at the teachable moment.
·         Data Can Be a Sixth Sense, codifying organizational battle scars using actual code that watches your blind spots and gives your people a decision making superpower.
·         The third is that Engineered Ecosystems will prevail over hierarchies, reducing bureaucracy, increasing transparency, and be wildly inspiring to teams.

Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of The Decoded Company!

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