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Thursday, September 30, 2010

 

Bob Mersereau: The Top 100 Canadian Singles - Author interview



Music reporter, long time columnist for CBC Television in New Brunswick, Bob Mersereau, was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his delightful and sure to provoke debate book The Top 100 Canadian Singles.

Bob Mersereau shares the results of a national Canadian survey that compiled the top 100 singles in Canadian music history.

Thanks to Bob Mersereau for his time, and for the very comprehensive and informative responses to the questions. They are greatly appreciated.

What was the background to writing this book The Top 100 Canadian Singles?

Bob Mersereau: Four years ago, Goose Lane Editions, which is Canada's oldest independent publisher, got in touch with me to see if I was interested in writing a music book. I was interested, but not in the idea they first had. Instead, I thought long about another project. As a music fan, writer and broadcaster, I had spent many hours in book stores looking for good reference books. I could find lots about American and British music, but barely any about Canada's music world. Specifically, I was looking for something akin to publications such as Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums, a critical ranking of the best popular music recordings. So, I suggested to Goose Lane a Canadian book could be done, a list book that chose the best Canadian-only releases.

The book that resulted, The Top 100 Canadian Albums, was published in 2007, and became a national best-seller. At the time of publication, I truly had not thought about another project, as I was so heavily involved in the first one still, in promotion. But on my national promotional trip, almost every interviewer asked me when the next book would come out, and would it be the top Canadian songs? I realized this sequel was pretty much inevitable.

How many people were involved in the judging process and how did they vote on the singles?

Bob Mersereau: About 800 people were involved. They include musicians, broadcasters, writers, reviewers, music industry employees, managers, agents, retailers, roadies, instrument makers, and just about every other kind of job related to music. Also, I included a healthy number of just plain fans, to also add the element of popularity to the vote. I didn't want the list to be one for music nerds (of which I am one), but rather something for everyone. I also paid attention to regional and linguistic balances in the country as much as possible. For instance, you'll find approximately 20 per cent of the people who voted are Francophones from Quebec, which is pretty close to the accurate population numbers.

People were asked to choose their top ten favourite singles, and to use their own criteria to select them. They didn't have to be Top 40 hits, just what they really liked. The songs did however have to be released in some form as a single, whether it was a 78, 45, cassingle, CD single, a video, or some sort of promotional release to a broadcaster that indicated a separate release to the public on its own, not part of an album.

What musical genres were included in the poll?

Bob Mersereau: All musical genres were eligible, but I believe such a poll is frozen in the time it is compiled. We live in the rock and roll era; country sounds like rock these days, jazz and classical are now popular with a small percentage of people. If such a poll were taken in 1960 rather than 2010, the results would have shown many more country, jazz, perhaps even polka numbers in the Top 100. Instrumentals would have been high on people's lists. Instead, this list is largely rock, some hip-hop, and it took huge landmark songs such as "I'm Movin' On" and Stompin' Tom's "The Hockey Song" to represent country.

Also, people tend to vote for the songs that trigger nostalgia; so radio hits from their youth received lots of votes. Also, classic rock radio has kept alive anthems from such groups as Trooper and The Guess Who, 30 and 40-year old songs which still receive airplay everyday across the country. It's not hard for the youngest voters to know what the great Canadian rock songs from the past are when they hear them currently, and even are now introduced to them in hockey rinks or by playing Rock Band or Guitar Hero.



Bob Mersereau (photo left)

Were there some surprises that made the Top 100 that you didn't expect?

Bob Mersereau: I think the biggest surprise was Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". Of course, it's a hugely popular song now, but don't forget that it was first released on an album that was a huge flop for Cohen 25 years ago, Various Positions. CBS wouldn't even release it in the U.S. The song was a b-side in Europe, but to no success. Slowly but surely other musicians discovered it, and in the 90's Jeff Buckley did a version that struck home with tastemakers and fellow musicians. Soon, others, such as k.d. lang were doing the soon. By 2008, it had become so popular that it was a single in England, with three different versions of the song, including Cohen's and Buckley's, in the U.K. Top 30, Buckley at #1.

This poll was taken before k.d. sang it at the Olympics, but that is proof the song has become one of the country's anthems now. But to see it move into similar status as "Four Strong Winds", "Big Yellow Taxi", "Heart Of Gold", "Snowbird", these other songs that make up the Top Ten in this book, that did surprise me. It has supplanted, at least for now, "Suzanne", as Cohen's most popular song.

The Guess Who's classic "American Woman/No Sugar Tonight" claimed the Number One spot. Was that expected, or a bit of a surprise?

Bob Mersereau: It didn't surprise me at all. In fact, before I saw the first votes, I assumed it would win the poll and that "Heart Of Gold" would be #2. After that, I figured it would be a toss-up among the other songs that did eventually show up in the Top 20 or so (aside from "Hallelujah"). I really just figured it had everything going for it, including continued popularity, timelessness, mega-hit status, nostalgia, and the fact it's a great, great song. I know my kids love it, from Guitar Hero, I know The Guess Who reunion tour was a huge success, Lenny Kravitz had a hit cover with it, the song has never gone out of style, and keeps coming back every year.

Did any one performer or band dominate the list, and was that a surprise?

Bob Mersereau: Randy Bachman dominates the book, and that's because he's featured with three different bands, in three different ways. First, with The Guess Who, he claims the number one spot in the book, and three others, as guitar player and songwriter. Then, as the clear leader, writer and singer with Bachman-Turner Overdrive, he gets another Top Ten finisher, "Takin' Care Of Business", and a further entry in the book, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet." To top it off, as a producer, he gets some credit for both of Trooper's entries in the Top 100 list. So that's eight positions in total, and no, it didn't surprise me. I didn't think anyone else would take that many spots, not even Neil Young, who did well, but he's never really dominated the singles scene like Bachman did in the 60's and 70's in Canada. I pretty much have to crown him the king of Canadian Top 40.

Was one of the purposes of the book to spur debate and to generate discussion of Canadian music?

Bob Mersereau: Absolutely. In the end, a survey is a survey, you can argue the merits of it to death. It's impossible to rank the quality of art, but it sure is fun! And given the continued media saturation we get in Canada from the U.S. and British music industries, I really like that these books, both the albums and singles, can increase people's interest. And after the The Top 100 Canadian Albums book came out, I found out that's exactly what was happening. First the media started the debate, with mostly positive but some negative reviews. But also, several critics, including ones who voted in the poll, published their own lists, saying "here's what I think". Fair comment! Then people who bought the book started telling me stories about discussions they were having. I've had people tell me the albums book has stayed on their coffee table for three years now, and every guest picks it up and comments.

I've heard about dinner party arguments. One woman told me she has used it on first dates, bringing it along in case they couldn't find something to talk about. And if the guy didn't want to talk about music, she knew she wouldn't be interested! Both the albums and singles lists are being reprinted in a new university text book. I hope for exactly the same reaction this time, for people to remember or discover great songs from the likes of A Foot In Coldwater, The Demics, Mashmakhan, and all the others.

For anyone who may be unfamiliar with the rich heritage of Canadian music, how would you suggest they discover the songs on the list?

Bob Mersereau: My editor for these books, Barry Norris, came up with a brilliant idea. Barry was unfamiliar with some of the newer songs, as he is a fan of 60's and earlier music. So while he was reading the chapters to edit them, he would search out the songs on YouTube and listen along. I thought that was a great idea. Now, I had them all in my collection, but you could do what I did, by buying as many as you can on-line, and dropping them onto your mp-3 player, thereby creating your own CD collection of the Top 100. It's on my Ipod.

How can we find the book on the internet?

Bob Mersereau: I know it's available at chapters.ca, amazon.ca, mcnallyrobinson.com, and you can purchase directly from the publisher at the Goose Lane Editions website. No doubt there are other on-line retailers as well.

What is next for Bob Mersereau?

Bob Mersereau: Well, I am mulling this over now. Is there another Top 100 book? I think Top 100 Bands or performers might be too subjective, and I don't know if it grabs me. There are a couple of music biographies that I'm considering. I'll hopefully get a chance to write another book, I'm just waiting for the right project to become clear.

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My book review of The Top 100 Canadian Singles by Bob Mersereau.

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The Top 100 Canadian Singles by Bob Mersereau - Book review




The Top 100 Canadian Singles

By: Bob Mersereau

Published: September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 218 pages
ISBN-13: 9780864925374
ISBN-10: 0864925379
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions









"In the digital age, does the single still exist?", writes music reporter, long time columnist for CBC Television in New Brunswick, and author of the delightful and sure to provoke debate book The Top 100 Canadian Singles. The author shares the results of a national Canadian survey that compiled the top 100 singles in Canadian music history.

Bob Mersereau recognizes that his list is certain to spark controversy among music fans. He even invites feedback from his readers, as to their favourite songs, that may have been overlooked or failed to garner enough support to sneak onto the compilation. Even the possibility of causing arguments over included and omitted Canadian singles speaks volumes for the strong, world class legacy of Canadian music. The only stipulation that the author provided for his jurors, who ranged from media people, to musicians, to celebrities, to average Canadians, was that the songs had to have been released as singles. For many voters, according to the author, the real challenge was to select only their favourite ten Canadian songs for the list. Thanks to the internet, and music downloads, the single isn't dead either.



Bob Mersereau (photo left) shares the compilation lists of the contributors, along with fascinating exclusive interviews with the performers. The Top 100 list that resulted from the survey is intriguing for its six decade inclusion, and for the range of musical genres and styles included by the jurists. Not surprisingly, The Guess Who topped the list with their classic mega-hit "American Woman". As a staple of Classic Rock stations, the song receives heavy airplay to new and receptive audiences. Making the list were music icons including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot, Rush, The Tragically Hip, and Ian and Sylvia. The champion of the anthology was Randy Bachman, who appears on six different songs, not including his additional listing as a producer. Newer musicians, including The Arcade Fire, Feist, K-OS, and Wintersleep also made the list. While rock music dominated the selections, country and folk music found space as well. Interestingly enough, many of the Top 100 songs could be classified easily into several different musical genres.

For me, the power of the book is how Bob Mersereau developed the concept of a 100 song list, oversaw the survey of hundreds of Canadians from all walks of life, and then placed the songs within the context of the Canadian musical legacy. The book crosses what many people perceive as musical boundaries, making the entire history of Canadian music accessible to everyone. The author avoided the conflict of anglophone and francophone music through the inclusion of songs by francophone artists. The book also contains a separate list of the top 100 French-Canadian singles to share that rich musical heritage with all readers.

Each song on the book's main list is backed up with interviews with the artists, a history of the song itself, and a few remembrances of that were invoked by the single. Another wonderful inclusion in the book are the top ten lists as contributed by some well known Canadians, providing some interesting insight into how the jurors reached their decisions. Their lists contain some great songs that fell short of being included in the book as well.

I highly recommend the fascinating and memory invoking book The Top 100 Canadian Singles by Bob Mersereau, to anyone who loves Canadian music. It's not necessary to be a Canadian to enjoy these classic singles over and over again. Great music is wonderful regardless of its geographical origin. This book deserves a wide audience, not only in Canada, but everywhere that music lovers are found, and enjoy the best in music listening.

Read the tremendous book The Top 100 Canadian Singles by Bob Mersereau, and fall in love with Canadian music, whether for the first time, or all over again. Is this book the last word in Canadian singles? Of course not, but it's a brilliant starting point. The author intended it to spark debate, and to create further interest in the rich heritage that is Canadian music. In that sense, this book is an outstanding success.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

 

Mark Levy: Accidental Genius - Using Writing To Generate Ideas - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Marketer and founder of Levy Innovation, and author of the revolutionary and idea generating book Accidental Genius, Second Edition: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content, Mark Levy, describes how his system of freewriting can unlock your creativity and lead to innovative and effective solutions. Not only can freewriting help overcome major business problems, but it is also effective for discovering new ideas for books, articles and blog posts. Mark Levy shares six freewriting secrets that will unlock your hidden creativity. Not only is freewriting suitable for private problems, but is equally effective for necoming a thought leader in your area of interest and industry.Learn how to get unstuck and develop innovative ideas by simply writing.

Mark Levy is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, September 30, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Marketer and founder of Levy Innovation, and author of the revolutionary and idea generating book Accidental Genius, Second Edition: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content, Mark Levy, describes how his system of freewriting can unlock your creativity and lead to innovative and effective solutions. You will learn:

* How the freewriting tool can stimulate creative ideas to solve any problem

* How to begin using the freewriting technique to generate ideas

* How the freewriting concept is very useful of writers and bloggers seeking ideas

* How to become unstuck and escape your usual thought processes for a breakthrough



Mark Levy (photo left) was born in Flushing, Queens in 1962, and lived in spitting distance of Shea Stadium. He was frightened of public school, loved playing baseball and football, ran home to watch ape films on the 4:30 Movie, listened to The Jam and The Buzzcocks, and read magic trick books.

At 18, he went to Queens College –- a school whose most notable scholar is Jerry Seinfeld. Mark enjoyed college, because he got to pick his own subjects. Instead of Math, he took a course in which he analyzed monster pictures. Not surprisingly, Mark received excellent grades, and graduated with a Magna Cum Laude writing degree in 1985.

Outside of college, no one cared that he could analyze monster pictures, so he became a bookstore clerk. That started his long affiliation with the book industry. He moved from retail to publishing, and from publishing to wholesaling.

Along the way, he was steadily promoted, and became a sales manager, a director of special projects, and helped his companies sell over one billion dollars worth of books. He was nominated three times for The Publishers Weekly Rep of the Year Award.

Why was Mark so successful at selling? One of his colleagues said it best (and she didn’t mean it as a compliment): “When you think a particular book is important, you’re messianic about it. You won’t stop.”

In 1997, Mark was having dinner with his friend David Pogue, author of Macs for Dummies, when David said it might be fun to work on a book together. Since Mark knew nothing about computers, they settled on writing a book about the only subject they had in common: magic. Both Mark and David were amateur magicians. They created Magic for Dummies, and Mark got the bug for bookwriting.

Mark’s next effort was solo: Accidental Genius: Revolutionize Your Thinking Through Private Writing. Lots of luminaries loved it: Tom Peters, Ray Bradbury, Al Ries, Jay Conrad Levinson, and Ace Greenberg. Mark did a publicity stunt for the book, which did wonders for its sales. To date, it’s been translated into six languages: Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, and Japanese.

(Did you know that certain American phrases don’t translate well into other languages? It’s true. None of the translators could make sense of the phrase “Accidental Genius.” The Spanish changed the book’s title to “Writing and Creativity.” The Germans called it “Genius Moments.” But the Japanese version is Mark’s favorite: “Everything Will Go Well As You Write And Think.”)

Mark started writing for magazines and newspapers (including The New York Times). One such gig led to his next co-authored book. He was interviewing NBC-TV magician Mac King for an article about Las Vegas magic. During a break, Mac reached into his desk drawer, pulled out a dozen stapled sheets, and handed them to Mark. Those sheets were the beginnings of what would eventually become, Tricks With Your Head –- a book in which the human head is the central prop in each trick. Readers learn how to safely stab a fork in their eye, suck a French Fry up their nose, and read a person’s mind with a drinking straw.

About this time, Mark started pursuing other business interests, particularly on the magic front. A New York City magician, Steve Cohen, met Mark, appreciated his business savvy, and hired him to do positioning work. The upshot of their association? Steve became “The Millionaires’ Magician,” began staring in his own off-Broadway show, Chamber Magic, and made Mark the show’s Creative Director. Mark began to see life outside the book industry.

In February of 2002, Mark made the decision to leave books, and use his business, writing, and magic talents to make companies memorable. He started his positioning and branding firm, Levy Innovation. Even early on, Mark’s marketing solutions were unconventional. An example? Says Mark:

“A famous e-book author phoned me and said, ‘One of my old paperback books went out of print. I bought the final 2,000 copies for a buck a piece. How do I sell them?’

“I said, ‘Selling them is a waste of time. Here’s what you do. Take 1,800 copies, shred them, put them in a bathtub, sit in the tub so that just your head sticks out, have a photo taken, and put it on a news release that says, ‘Author Takes A Bath In His Own Books.’ Use the body of the release to talk about how you went from a near-destitute paperback author, to a six figure a year e-book author. That way, the white elephant of your paperbacks supports the profitable side of your business, e-books.

“‘What do I do with the 200 copies I didn’t shred?’ he asked.

“They become valuable collectibles. Sell them at triple the cover price.”

Mark’s book, How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want To Be Persuaded, was published by Wiley in June of 2004. He wrote it with legendary tradeshow pitchman, Joel Bauer. The book has been as high as #6 on BN.com and #71 on Amazon.

He has also contributed chapters to two other books:

The E-Code: 33 Internet Superstars Reveal 43 Ways to Make Money Online Almost Instantly – Using Only E-Mail!, by Joe Vitale and Jo Han Mok (Wiley, 2005)

Positively M.A.D.: Making a Difference in Your Organizations, Communities, & the World. Stories and Ideas From 50 of Today’s Leading Experts, Edited by Bill Treasurer (Berrett-Koehler, 2004)

Recently, Mark returned to school; this time, as an instructor. He now teaches “Writing for Businesses and Professionals” at Rutgers University.

He lives in Clinton, New Jersey with his lovely wife, Stella; his Shiba Inus, Jofu and Bea; his cats,Tiger and Jinx; and Betsy the parakeet.

My book review of Accidental Genius, Second Edition: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content by Mark Levy.

My book review of Accidental Genius: Revolutionize Your Thinking Through Private Writing by Mark Levy.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with marketer, founder of Levy Innovation, and author of the revolutionary and idea generating book Accidental Genius, Second Edition: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content, Mark Levy, as he describes how his system of freewriting can unlock your creativity and lead to innovative and effective solutions. Not only can freewriting help overcome major business problems, but it is also effective for discovering new ideas for books, articles and blog posts. Mark Levy shares six freewriting secrets that will unlock your hidden creativity. Not only is freewriting suitable for private problems, but is equally effective for necoming a thought leader in your area of interest and industry.Learn how to get unstuck and develop innovative ideas by simply writing on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Accidental Genius, Second Edition by Mark Levy - Book review



Accidental Genius, Second Edition

Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content


By: Mark Levy

Published: August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1605095257
ISBN-13: 978-1605095257
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers






"Our minds hold a vast invisible inventory of thoughts and expertise", writes marketer, creative thinker, and founder of market strategy firm Levy Innovation, Mark Levy, in his revolutionary and idea generating book Accidental Genius, Second Edition: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content. The author updates and expands upon the first edition of his now classic book Accidental Genius: Revolutionize Your Thinking Through Private Writing, and shares even more techniques and wider applications, with his brilliant brainstorming concept of freewriting.

Mark Levy has updated, and even transformed his own thinking and writing, using the freewriting method. The second edition picks up where the first edition left off, and even demonstrates how creativity can change opinions of the idea people themselves. That change in thinking, and development of deeper and richer understanding of the creative process, happened for Mark Levy himself. By utilizing the ideation technique of what he called private writing, the author demonstrated how to create fresh ideas for oneself. That personal idea only thesis was the basis of the first edition. Over time, however, Mark Levy has altered his thoughts on that principle. Instead of keeping the writing results to oneself, Mark Levy now advises his readers to take them public. By taking this more wide ranging and sharing approach, the freewriting technique advances the former private writing method to the next level.



Mark Levy (photo left) brings an entirely new dimension to his freewriting technique. The problem solving tool of freewriting can induce a person's mind to formulate solutions to even the most intractable business problems. Interestingly, the technique of freewriting is more akin to play, than it is to work. The symbiotic relationship between play and creative thinking is well known, and Mark Levy applies this correlation very effectively in his ideation techniques. In the first edition, the author was quite adamant about keeping the results of private writing secret. He has since changed that mode of thought, leading to additional applications of freewriting. The new edition contains several additional techniques to supplement the core system of freewriting.

For me, the power of the book is how Mark Levy completely revamps and enhances his writing as idea generator concept. The method of freewriting described in the book is an improved form of the original and very effective private writing tactic. Indeed, the two methods can be used for different purposes, along with the extra techniques added to the freewriting tool. The process of freewriting, as described by Mark Levy, also has some very powerful applications for writers, authors, bloggers, and other public thought leaders.

The fresh and highly original step of taking private writing public, in the form of freewriting, opens up the concept to groups and entire organizations, as a more widely based cultural change. In today's economy, innovation and creative thinking are not only critical for initiating new products and services, but are essential for the very survival of the business. A writer utilizing the freewriting ideation tool can develop new books and articles that can establish one as an expert in the field. The uses for freewriting are unlimited for any person or organization.

I highly recommend the game changing and thought leadership building book Accidental Genius, Second Edition: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content by Mark Levy, to anyone seeking a proven, effective, yet inexpensive brainstorming tactic that will deliver tremendous results. The rewards for innovation have never been higher or more crucial, and this book will place the reader at the forefront of thought leadership in any industry.

Read the transformational and mind opening book Accidental Genius, Second Edition: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content by Mark Levy, and put the creative strength of freewriting to work for you. Just start the writing process, and let the ideas flow from your pen to paper. The results will astound even the most skeptical person of their value.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

 

Charles J. Pellerin: How NASA Builds Teams - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Former Director or NASA'a Astrophysics Division, and author of the outstanding and organization transforming book How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams, Charles J. Pellerin, describes the importance of building teams to achieve organizational goals. He shares a proven, quantitative, and time and resources saving approach that worked successfully for NASA. He describes the 4-D process that boosted performance in hundreds of teams at NASA. The process was used for the Space Shuttle, space telescopes, robots on Mars, and the mission back to the moon. Charles Pellerin demonstrates how the NASA team building process can be applied to any organization including those who have found traditional training unsuitable or lacking.

Charles Pellerin is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Tuesday, September 28, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Former Director or NASA'a Astrophysics Division, and author of the outstanding and organization transforming book How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams, Charles J. Pellerin, describes the importance of building teams to achieve organizational goals. You will learn:

* Why building successful teams are so critical to project success

* Why engineers, scientists and other technical people resist traditional teambuilding

* How to establish and utilize the NASA 4-D team building process

* How to create a culture of teams and culture in any type of organization



Charles J. Pellerin (photo left) received Goddard Space Flight Center's highest patent related award for inventing a "Two-axis Fluxgate Magnetometer. The design, published in IEEE Transactions, then flew on missions to the planets. He earned a PhD in Astrophysics publishing in Solar Physics and the Astrophysical Journal. Catholic University awarded him their Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science.

After the Harvard Business School's "Program for Management Development," NASA appointed Charlie Director, Astrophysics. He led this program for a decade launching 12 satellites. Charlie invented the Great Observatories Program garnering over $8B for space astrophysics. NASA awarded him an Outstanding Leadership Medal and the American Astronautical Society gave him their highest award, the Space Flight Award.

In 1990, Charlie launched the Hubble Space Telescope with a flawed mirror. He then mounted the space repair mission that fixed the telescope. Hubble is now in its 20th year of operations. NASA awarded him a second Outstanding Leadership Medal, an honor bestowed on less than 50 people (including astronauts) in NASA's History.

Charlie then developed NASA's post-cold-war strategy, and NASA awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, given "when the contribution is so extraordinary that other forms of recognition would be inadequate."

In 1993, he joined the University of Colorado's (CU) Business School as a professor of Leadership. He taught leadership to undergraduates, MBAs, and executives. His classes had the highest ratings in the college, consistently "A+."

Charlie then founded "4-D Systems" with sales of about $5 Million / year. His coaches won the International Coach Federation's 2007 Prism Award for "enhanced excellence and business achievement . . . with documented return on investment."

How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams is available in English, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, and Bulgarian.

Charlie lives a happy life with his wife in Boulder, Colorado.

He blogs at How NASA Builds Teams Blog

My book review of How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams by Charles J. Pellerin.

Listen live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with former Director or NASA'a Astrophysics Division, and author of the outstanding and organization transforming book How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams, Charles J. Pellerin, as he describes the importance of building teams to achieve organizational goals. He shares a proven, quantitative, and time and resources saving approach that worked successfully for NASA. He describes the 4-D process that boosted performance in hundreds of teams at NASA> The process was used for the Space Shuttle, space telescopes, robots on Mars, and the mission back to the moon. Charles Pellerin demonstrates how the NASA team building process can be applied to any organization including those who have found traditional training unsuitable or lacking on Blog Business Success Radio.

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How NASA Builds Teams by Charles J. Pellerin - Book review



How NASA Builds Teams

Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams


By: Charles J. Pellerin

Published: July 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0470456485
ISBN-13: 978-0470456484
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons










"Unfortunately, many technical people do not see teambuilding as essential to their success", writes former Director of NASA'a Astrophysics Division, Charles J. Pellerin in his outstanding and organization transforming book How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams. The author describes the proven teambuilding concepts, that worked so well in the pressure cooker world of NASA, and how those methods will create efficient and effective teams of technical people in any organization.

Charles Pellerin recognizes the critical importance of superior teams to compete successfully in today's highly competitive business and technical environment. He also understands that many highly productive engineers, IT specialists, and technologists are not receptive to the traditional "touchy-feely" techniques for building teams. Instead, the author presents the no nonsense concepts used so successfully with some of the world's foremost technical people at NASA. Charles Pellerin developed the teambuilding system utilized so effectively at NASA to improve communication, performance, and morale among NASA's technical people. The author calls this system the 4-D process, and the informative book demonstrates how to incorporate it into any high performance organization.



Charles J. Pellerin (photo left) describes his 4-D system as one that assesses leadership skills on four different dimensions. Plotting the different types of people -intuited, emotional, sensed, logical - on a color coded four way chart, the teams innate personality traits can be identified. Once identified, the team culture can be compared and contrasted with that of the target customer both inside and outside of the organization. After that, the project's logic and plan must be designed and articulated correctly, as failure could derail careers and even organizations. When completed, all of the team members should receive authentic appreciation to further build loyalty and mutual respect for the entire team. The 4-D principle is logical, follows an ordered process, creates a predetermined and measurable outcome, and strengthens team cohesion and morale.

For me, the power of the book is how Charles Pellerin describes his proven 4-D system of team building by combining the theory of the process with real world examples of its effectiveness at NASA. Not only does the author present the concepts in a logical and readily applicable format, but he also emphasizes the critical importance of context for their design and implementation. At the same time, Charles Pellerin points out why it is essential to project success to understand the customer's mindset and how it aligns or diverges from that of the team. Without these outlooks of the project's goals, process, and implementation as part of the consideration, the project will very often fail.

As a NASA manager experienced in working with highly skilled technical people, Charles Pellerin understands their difficulties in working in team environments. He also knows that those same individuals do not respond well to the usual teambuilding exercises that offer esoteric theory but no practical methods of putting them into action. This book and the 4-D process bridge that knowledge gap very effectively. Charles Pellerin speaks the language of scientists, engineers, IT personnel, and technologists, and has put that familiarity to good use in establishing high performance teams.

I highly recommend the extraordinary, must read guide to building teams and leadership How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams by Charles Pellerin, to anyone seeking a workable and proven process for building teams within a technology culture., The book is also a tremendous road map for transforming that culture to one of creating working teams that match the requirements of the project and the needs of the customer.

Read the insightful and very practical book How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams by Charles Pellerin, and change the culture of your teambuilding efforts with soft skills that don't offend the sensibilities of the technical people essential for the project. This book will lower costs, cut time requirements for project completion, provide better results, and build morale among the team.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

 

The Mesh by Lisa Gansky - Book review



The Mesh

Why the Future of Business Is Sharing


By: Lisa Gansky

Published: September 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1591843715
ISBN-13: 978-1591843719
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin











"The fact is our commerce, not to mention our social lives, has always depended on sharing", writes founder and CEO of multiple internet companies Lisa Gansky,in her revolutionary and worldview changing book The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing. The author describes how the traditional business model is giving way to one of social media and to one of sourcing goods and services without actually owning them.

Lisa Gansky presents the concept of the sharing economy, that while innovative in the sense of a business system, it is also an idea upon which much of what is everyday life is built. The sharing aspect, that is part of modern society, ranging from hotels, airlines, taxis, telephone lines, to the internet is already familiar to everyone. Lisa Gansky takes the sharing principle much farther, and includes products and services that were once considered only as purchases. Ownership involves costs, including maintenance and depreciation. By offering goods and services at the very moment when they are required, the cost of owning the items is removed from the share based customer.



Lisa Gansky (photo left) points out that there are unlimited opportunities to build brands and a reputation for service through the principle of shared services. Because of the empowerment of consumers, resulting from the internet and social media, this just in time economy offers entrepreneurs business options that will disrupt the established business models in almost any market. To create a mesh business, the business model will have the following characteristics:

* Offering is something that can be shared within the community
* Advanced web and mobile data networks track goods and aggregate usage
* Focus is on sharable physical goods including materials and local delivery
* Referrals and recommendations are through word of mouth and via social media

For me, the power of the book is how Lisa Gansky demonstrates not only the desirability of a new shared mesh business model, but also describes how the concept is creates many viable companies. The author combines the theory of the mesh business with practical techniques for putting the shared model of business into practice. The author shows the entrepreneur how to locate a good target industry for a mesh company, and then how to establish the mesh business while building a brand loyal customer base. To show that the mesh concept has proven real world applications, Lisa Gansky includes case studies ranging from children's clothing exchanges to group buying power to automobiles. The book and its concepts are in the best tradition of disruptive innovation, providing a viable alternative to established companies in mature markets. The mesh option disrupts these industries and provides consumer choice to unserved markets of those who don't require or even want ownership of goods and services.

I highly recommend the groundbreaking and business creating book The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky, to any entrepreneurs who are seeking an alternative business plan to the traditional make and sell system. One of the most intriguing aspects of the mesh concept is that it is much more than a business model. It also has powerful implications for building stronger local communities through the sharing and recommending of goods and services. The sharing principle is also environmentally friendly as each item gets more usage than similar goods owned by an individual, saving resources and lowering waste levels.

Read the visionary book and community transformational book The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky, and put the strength of an entire mesh based community to work for you and your business. Whether you are in an established company or industry, there is room for a mesh form of the business. For entrepreneurs, the mesh ecosystem generates profits while building closer more viable communities and protecting the environment. The mesh model is a win-win type system that builds a better future for all people and their local communities.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

 

Turbulent Times Leadership For Sales Managers by Tom Connellan - Book review





Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers

How the Very Best Boost Sales


By: Tom Connellan

Published: August 16, 2010
Format: Trade Paperback, 135 pages
ISBN-10: 0976950634
ISBN-13: 978-0976950639
Publisher: Peak Performance Press










"In whatever way you're out of balance, it gets more pronounced in turbulent times", writes keynote speaker and consultant Tom Connellan, in his transformational and research based book Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers: How the Very Best Boost Sales. The author describes how a change in attitude and a change in the management of sales representatives will lead to increased sales regardless of the state of the economy.

Tom Connellan presents a three step formula for helping sales representatives achieve superior results in any economic climate. The three key features are:

* Believe in the sales representatives

* Hold them accountable for their results

* Give the reps appropriate feedback

The author points out that these three factors are practiced by every successful sales manager. The problem arises when sales conditions become more difficult in an economic downturn. The successful sales managers sometimes stop utilizing the three crucial features that lead to top producing salespeople. For Tom Connellan, the problem isn't that sales managers don't know or understand how to motivate their sales staff. The problem is that the three key factors are not applied consistently, and that variation between theory and practices becomes wider when sales numbers fall. The result of this vacillation is less sales and a less effective and engaged sales force.



Tom Connellan (photo left) pulls no punches when he writes that sales managers must go full throttle on all three factors. By believing in the sales team members, their self confidence levels rise and they begin to believe in themselves. The result is a self fulfilling prophecy where the sales people deliver high sales volumes. Sales accountability requires metrics that measure the correct aspects of the sales. The sales representative's goals must be set at the right level, where the numbers are achievable realistically, yet challenge the rep to reach, and then increase their personal peak potential. The sales people also require feedback from the sales manager in three categories. The sales staff need motivational feedback to let them know how they are performing on the job. They require informational feedback as to how well they are providing results. The reps also need developmental feedback in terms of how they can improve and grow as top producers.

For me, the power of the book is how Tom Connellan demonstrates the critical importance of consistent application of the three key factors for building a strong sales team. These three concepts are even more crucial in tough economic times. The author shares his in depth, real world research into the actions of the sales manager, and their impact on the performance of the salespeople. The three factors created top producing sales forces in every company where they were utilized in a regular and consistent manner.

The research also uncovered the more troubling find that during more difficult selling conditions, sales managers would stop applying the factors consistently. Instead, they would over use some of the techniques, under use other factors, and even ignore a feature or two entirely. Because the book is so strongly research based, these changes in sales manager behavior have been observed and quantified in actual sales situations. The author then provides some proven methods for maintaining consistency with the use of the three factors, resulting in superior sales production, regardless of the economy.

I highly recommend the very practical and sales team building book Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers: How the Very Best Boost Sales by Tom Connellan, to any sales managers who are serious about building and maintaining a top producing sales team in any economic circumstances. The research backed information presented in this book will guide the sales manager toward regular application of the three key factors, and away from the inconsistent behavior that appears during difficult economic conditions.

Read the sales management improving book Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers: How the Very Best Boost Sales by Tom Connellan, and put the power of research and experience to work in establishing a superior and sustainable sales force in your organization. This book will put your sales representatives well ahead of the competition, regardless of whether the economy is weak or strong.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

 

The Diversity Code by Michelle T. Johnson - Book review




The Diversity Code

Unlock the Secrets to Making Differences Work in the Real World


By: Michelle T. Johnson

Published: September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 0814416322
ISBN-13: 978-0814416327
Publisher: AMACOM











"When it comes to managing diversity issues, it becomes really important to think a little differently, because if you view the world differently, you show up in the world differently, which impacts how you behave and how you treat others", writes newspaper columnist and former employment attorney Michelle T. Johnson, in her thought provoking and complacency disrupting book The Diversity Code: Unlock the Secrets to Making Differences Work in the Real World. The author goes well beyond the usual bromides and how to lists, and presents a real world description of the challenges and importance of understanding the complicated issue of workplace diversity.

Michelle T. Johnson understands that changing one's thinking about diversity is not easy or accomplished overnight. She states outright that understanding diversity requires effort on the part of everyone. The author also recognizes that people have difficulty placing themselves in the shoes of other people, making the taking of this effort even more essential. For the author, managing diversity in the workplace is much more than numbers, following the various laws and regulations. Real diversity management involves recognizing differences in others, managing those differences, and in feeling comfortable in taking the necessary actions. For each manager, this means internalizing the desire and motivation to understand employment diversity in all of its many forms.



Michelle T. Johnson (photo left) stresses that while workplace diversity is the responsibility, the onus is on the organizational leaders to set the tone of understanding that diversity is part of the workplace. Leaders can't afford to become complacent that their employees are willing, able, and are well informed on the subject of differences between people. Leaders in the human resources department must be kept aware that simple adherence to numbers, and following the legislation to the letter. While these factors are important, they alone are not really embracing the diversity code. For the author, diversity understanding is more than political correctness. It more a way of thinking than of acting. The book helps to open dialogue with people from different cultures and lifestyles, and reaching out and building bridges to understanding others with honesty and openness.

For me, the power of the book is how Michelle T. Johnson pulls few punches in sharing the real world experiences of workplace diversity. She doesn't sugar coat the fact that understanding and practicing true employment diversity requires effort to change the way organizational leaders, managers, and employees think. The format of the book is one where each chapter begins with a diversity based question, and the subsequent chapter addresses the issue.

Like many hands on books, this one also contains end of chapter exercises. The twist provided by the author, however, is the exercises are designed into the form of games, making them much more interesting to the reader, and enhanced learning tools. Michelle T. Johnson never dodges the difficult questions surrounding diversity, recognizing that people will gain understanding, and change their worldview at different speeds, and through varying techniques of learning. The book is a powerful guide to learning the critical importance of acknowledging, understanding, and internalizing diversity at all levels of an organization.

I highly recommend the groundbreaking and landmark book The Diversity Code: Unlock the Secrets to Making Differences Work in the Real World by Michelle T. Johnson, to anyone serious about meeting the challenges of diversity in the workplace. Thia book is a no nonsense book that will serve as both starting point for changing a company culture to one of diversity, and as an ongoing road map to continuing the journey to encouraging and internalizing further diversity within organization.

Read the very approachable and timely book The Diversity Code: Unlock the Secrets to Making Differences Work in the Real World by Michelle T. Johnson, and discover how to implement and maintain a diversity program within your own organization successfully. This book will show you how to add the fresh thinking and other strengths of a diverse workforce to your company.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

 

Hacking Work by Bill Jensen & Josh Klein - Book review



Hacking Work

Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results


By: Bill Jensen, Josh Klein

Published: September 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 224pp
ISBN-13: 9781591843573
ISBN-10: 159184357X
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin











"Once employees know how to hack their work, everything's up for grabs - How we work, when and where we work, how we define effectiveness and success... Everything", write change agents and institutional hackers Bill Jansen and Josh Klein, in their revolutionary and change facilitating book Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results. The authors describe how today's employees, frustrated with outdated work systems and processes, antiquated technology, and fossilized bureaucracies, are taking the initiative to become change agents in their own organizations.



Bill Jensen (photo left) and Josh Klein recognize that employees want to do their jobs better and more effectively. They also recognize that those same workers are stifled and even blocked from getting their jobs done by procedural rules that were designed for a much different time, and for circumstances with little relationship to current economic, industry, or market conditions. As a result, the best and most effective employees are creating workarounds for inefficient technology, ignoring ancient operations manuals, and even creating their own tools and techniques. In effect, these modern workers are hacking their own workplace in the interest providing the best service for the customers and building the organization. In effect, they are saving the company from itself by jettisoning what no longer works, and replacing those rules with fresh thinking and concepts.



Josh Klein (photo left) and Bill Jensen understand that there are different types of hackers. They range from the good helpful white hats, through the more vague gray hats, to the malicious black hats. The authors provide the tools and techniques to become a white hat hacker who works toward the betterment of the company and its stakeholders. They demonstrate how acting as a change agent who replaces outmoded systems with tools and processes that streamline production create stronger companies. At the same time, frustrated people gain more job satisfaction by removing illogical obstacles that slow down and even halt operations. The authors also point more ominously to how employees must become hackers and change agents to preserve their jobs, as failure to achieve results will result in the workers being thrown under the bus. The irony of the situation is the best employees, who create innovative solutions to long standing problems, find themselves out of work. Taking change into one's own hands not only saves jobs but may save the organization itself.

For me, the power of the book is how Bill Jensen and Josh Klein make a compelling case for becoming a workplace hacker and change agent. The authors provide the techniques and logic for turning what no longer works upside down, and replacing those horse and buggy procedures with new and efficient modes of action. Not only do the authors share the how of creating positive change within an organization, but also describe why that change is essential for both the workers and the company. At the same time, the book contains a strong pro-ethical behavior bias to ensure that the actions taken by employees are to the benefit of the other staff members, the various stakeholders, and the organization itself. When a company begins to understand that its work rules, systems, and standard operating procedures are hampering the flow of work, then a process of overall change can take place. Overall, the book creates a mindset of transforming the organization and its systems into ones that benefit the employees and customers, instead of standing in their way as roadblocks.

I highly recommend the thought provoking and worldview altering book Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein, to anyone in organizations who is frustrated by outdated procedures and red tape, and who holds a genuine desire to create a more efficient and effective organization for everyone. This book is a powerful change manifesto for anyone who seeks a better way of doing things, and demands to be freed of the shackles that create only frustration and high employee job dissatisfaction.

Read the inspirational and change facilitating book Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein, and become the person who instigates effective and lasting change in your own organization. It's time to take matters into your own hands, and hack your work. The company, the employees, and all of the stakeholders will be better off as a result.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

 

Guy Ralfe & Himanshu Jhamb: #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Project managers Guy Ralfe of Starr Specialty Coatings and Himanshu Jhamb of Atypon, co-founders of Active Garage, and authors of the practical and to the point book #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet: 140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects, share their advice on successful project management. The authors provide tips to jump start your thinking on project management. They examine project management from the point of view of the manager, the boss, the team, and the customer to ensure that all stakeholders' requirements are met. Learn the important skills needed for achieving great results on time and within budget.

Guy Ralfe and Himanshu Jhamb are my internet radio show guests on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, September 23, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Project managers Guy Ralfe of Starr Specialty Coatings and Himanshu Jhamb of Atypon, co-founder of Active Garage, and authors of the practical and to the point book #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet: 140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects, share their advice on successful project management. You will learn:

* What you as a project managers wished you knew

* What your bosses wished project managers knew

* What your project teams wished project managers knew

* What your customers wished project managers knew



Guy Ralfe (photo left) has worked on global projects for over a decade. At Starr Specialty Coatings, Guy manages project delivery.

He is an active contributor on ActiveGarage.com, a web portal he co-founded to address the fundamental concerns of business.

He can be followed on Twitter at @gralfe









Himanshu Jhamb (photo left) thrives on challenges in Software Project Management and has successfully led global teams in industries ranging from Telecommunications to eCommerce.

Himanshu is Senior Project Manager for Atypon Systems and co-founder of Active Garage, where he frequently writes about Projects and Project Management.

He can be followed on Twitter at @himjhamb

My book review of #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet: 140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects by Guy Ralfe and Himanshu Jhamb.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

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To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with project managers Guy Ralfe of Starr Specialty Coatings and Himanshu Jhamb of Atypon, co-founders of Active Garage, and authors of the practical and to the point book #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet: 140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects, as they share their advice on successful project management. The authors provide tips to jump start your thinking on project management. They examine project management from the point of view of the manager, the boss, the team, and the customer to ensure that all stakeholders' requirements are met. Learn the important skills needed for achieving great results on time and within budget on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

 

#PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet by Guy Ralfe & Himanshu Jhamb - Book review




#PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet

140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects


By: Guy Ralfe, Himanshu Jhamb

Published: May 5, 2010
Format: Paperback, 108 pages
ISBN-10: 1616990082
ISBN-13: 978-1616990084
Publisher: THINKaha












"Well...we are telling you the things we wish we knew as a Project Manager then...now!", write experienced project managers Guy Ralfe and Himanshu Jhamb, in their practical and to the point book #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet: 140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects. The authors share their thoughts on improving project management in brief lessons that serve as starting points for developing and enhancing skills.



Guy Ralfe (photo left) and Himanshu Jhamb share their wisdom for managing projects successfully. They cover the following areas:

* What project managers wished they knew
* What bosses wished project managers knew
* What project teams wished project managers knew
* What customers wished project managers knew

With the project management advice presented by the authors, a manager not only discovers what skills are important, but what questions should be asked. Those questions are important for the manager to understand the goals, cost estimate, time constraints, and team requirements of a project. The book contains a treasure trove of ideas for the project manager to formulate a more effective plan of action that will achieve superior results.



Himanshu Jhamb (photo left) and Guy Ralfe understand that a project manager faces pressure from different stakeholders. While the overall objective may be a successful completion of the project, there will be different input and levels of support from those same interested parties. The expectations of results and cost from the point view of the client may not coincide with the resources available to the project manager and the team. At the same time, the manager's employer may be faced with difficult choices as to the allocation of resources. Selling the team's plans, time line, cost structure, and objectives require the manager to sell the idea to the employer. The client's interests must be kept in mind, and the manager will be faced with keeping the client's wishes, and even interference, in check. The book contains valuable advice for balancing the needs and desires of each of the stakeholders, and how the project manager can achieve success despite the pressures from the various parties.

For me, the power of the book is how Guy Ralfe and Himanshu Jhamb present complex managerial advice in a succinct and easy to read format. The entire book can be read from cover to cover in about an hour, but the wisdom and concepts shared by the authors lead to many hours of contemplation. The ideas are not strictly how to tactics, but more in the style of creative thinking stimulation tools. The short tweet like points serve the double duty of sharing wisdom, while providing a jumping off point for further discussion and ideas generation.

The book is one of those great keep handy ones, that can be referred to at a glance to stimulate new ways of examining a problem. Whether the project manager needs advice on working with the boss, the team, or the client, the authors share concepts that can be put into action immediately. Those same concepts can also be built upon over time, modified to fit changing circumstances, and rewritten as dynamic challenges to existing modes of work and project management culture.

I highly recommend the concise and easy to read book #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet: 140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects by Himanshu Jhamb and Guy Ralfe to any any project managers seeking a short but intensive course into improving their existing project management skills. While deceptively simple in format, the book will transform the way a manager approaches and thinks about project management and its various stakeholders.

Read the helpful and idea packed book #PROJECT MANAGEMENT Tweet: 140 Powerful Bite-Sized Insights on Managing Projects by Guy Ralfe and Himanshu Jhamb, and become the successful and results achieving project manager of your dreams. Your employer, your immediate boss, your team members, and your customers will appreciate it.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

 

Business Etiquette, Third Edition by Anne Marie Sabath - Book review


Business Etiquette, Third Edition

101 Ways to Conduct Business With Charm & Savvy


By: Ann Marie Sabath

Published: March 20, 2010
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1601631200
ISBN-13: 978-1-60163-120-6
Publisher: Career Press








"Conducting business with charm and savvy means making an effort to learn more about others than you share about yourself", writes President of leading protocol and etiquette firm At Ease Inc., Ann Marie Sabath in her very practical and thought provoking book Business Etiquette, Third Edition: 101 Ways to Conduct Business With Charm & Savvy. The author shares the secret that good etiquette is based on making the other person with whom you are interacting feel as if they were the most important person in the world.

Ann Marie Sabath understands that people prefer to spend time, and conduct business, with people who make them feel great about themselves. This deceptively simple concept is the basis for the author's assertion,, that interest in and concern for others, forms the reason for good etiquette. While Ann Marie Sabath provides 101 techniques for good behavior and the proper action to take in certain circumstances, the solutions all return to the book's main thesis. By showing genuine concern and respect for the other person, the natural thing to do is almost always the proper thing as well. Since there are so many techniques presented in the book, the author guides the reader through the learning process buy taking small steps on the larger journey to understanding and practicing good etiquette in every business situation.



Ann Marie Sabath (photo left) describes her approach to good business etiquette as showing respect for others and making them feel good about themselves. The author also shares 101 techniques covering every business occasion to ensure that other receive that proper respect. To learn and internalize the lessons, Ann Marie Sabath shares the following small steps process:

* Put others at ease by showing more confidence and poise in business settings

* Handle moments of hesitation with with a style that leaves your contacts glad you were there

* Negotiate more "win-win" outcomes

The various chapters of the book provide the step by step details for achieving and practicing good business manners and etiquette for every occasion.


For me, the power of the book is how Ann Marie Sabath not only describes the techniques of proper business etiquette, but also shares why manners are so important. The author recognizes that simply learning the rote protocols is not enough if a person has no real understanding of why these actions are so important. The learning and utilizing of the concepts taught in the book put the other person at ease and make them feel important. To show good manners is to show the other person that one cares about them. The etiquette leads to deeper personal relationships based on knowing, liking, and trusting the other person. With these richer relationships, there is better understanding of the business issues, of common goals, and increased likelihood of more financially rewarding results for all parties concerned. On the more educational side of the book, Ann Marie Sabath not only shares the appropriate actions, but summarizes them at the end of each chapter to facilitate easier learning. Overall, this book is an excellent course in the hows and whys of good business etiquette.

I highly recommend the very readable and informative book Business Etiquette, Third Edition: 101 Ways to Conduct Business With Charm & Savvy by Ann Marie Sabath, to any business person who seeks to improve their own business manners, confidence and poise. The result of reading this book is better and fuller relationships with clients, colleagues, vendors, and customers both within and outside of the workplace.

Read the wonderful primer Business Etiquette, Third Edition: 101 Ways to Conduct Business With Charm & Savvy by Ann Marie Sabath, and discover the power and importance of proper manners and good etiquette in any situation, whether on business or outside of the office. This book will transform anyone from ordinary to someone who has genuine concern for others.

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