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Saturday, March 31, 2012

 

Exploring the Solar System by Peter Bond - Book review





Exploring the Solar System

By: Peter Bond

Published: March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback, 470 pages
ISBN-10: 1405134992
ISBN-13: 978-1405134996
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell















"This book is about a unique corner of the Universe, a small expanse of largely empty space that surrounds an ordinary star in the suburbs of the Milky Way galaxy. Known as the Solar System, this region is populated by the Sun, eight planets, dozens of satellites and dwarf planets, an multitude of smaller objects", writes lifelong space and astronomy enthusiast and former Space Science Advisor/Press Officer for the Royal Astronomical Society, Peter Bond, in his very authoritative and engaging book Exploring the Solar System. The author describes the latest discoveries in the Solar System, including up to date information on the planets, satellites, moons, and smaller space debris that orbit the Sun.

Peter Bond understands that technical language and a heavy use of mathematical equations reduce the approachability to the fascinating worlds of the Solar System. Instead of mathematics and high-tech writing, the author provides an understandable, but not simplistic outline of the wonders of our closest neighbors in space. Peter Bond offers a very readable introduction to the Solar System, that relies more on photographs and visual graphics than on text. For students in non-science courses, or for the general public, this is an excellent primer on the exciting topic of space. The many weird and intriguing planets, moons, and other Solar System objects are brought to life in this fine book.



Peter Bond (photo left|) recognizes the necessity of a balance between technical information and general understanding of the Sun's large family. As a result, the author has created a book that is both interesting and inspiring to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the objects in the night sky. Peter Bond guides the reader through a voyage through the Solar System, with a chapter on each of the major planets, the Kuiper Belt, the asteroids and comets, and the exoplanets. The author brings the latest discoveries to life, as he presents the newest research, telescope, and interplanetary probe findings, in a logical and understandable format.

Included in the book are photographs from the various robotic space probes, providing visual images of towering cliffs, volcanoes during eruption, dry river beds, and ice formations on other planets and moons. All of the planers and all of their important moons are included in the study, offering a unique insight into the many mysteries and revelations about the nature of the Solar System, its central star, and the planet Earth and our own Moon.

For me, the power of the book is how Peter Bond presents so much important information in an accessible and reader friendly format. The chapters are arranged logically, and provide a virtual tour of the Solar System as if the reader were aboard one of the many robotic spacecraft. At the end of each chapter are questions about the material provided within the chapter, creating a valuable text book for undergraduate students in all disciplines; even those with little scientific content. The author also completes the book with valuable data tables for the more advanced student or reader. There is also an extensive bibliography to facilitate further in depth study of each of the members of the Solar System.

I highly recommend the accessible and very informative book Exploring the Solar System by Peter Bond, to undergraduate students in science or in non-science related fields, and anyone in the general public seeking an understandable yet comprehensive overview of the Solar System. This book provides the up to the minute information about the Sun's family that will enrich your understanding of science in general, and outer space in particular.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

 

The Professional: Defining the New Standard of Excellence at Work by Subroto Bagchi - Book review




The Professional

Defining the New Standard of Excellence at Work


By: Subroto Bagchi

Published: June 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1591844029
ISBN-13: 978-1591844020
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin













"But after almost thirty-five years of life as a professional, I have found that, in the new era of the global economy, where every person's actions have the potential to have a global impact - whether good or bad - we must redefine what it means to be a true professional", writes vice chairman and co-founder of MindTree Ltd, Subroto Bagchi, in his thought provoking and insightful book The Professional: Defining the New Standard of Excellence at Work. The author describes how the very concept of what it means to be a professional must be reconsidered and enhanced to meet the challenges of the global economy.

Subroto Bagchi recognizes that there are more professional people in the world than ever before, and their ranks have expanded well beyond thought leaders and those who work in office buildings. Along with this explosion in the number of professionals, however, is a complete lack of an instruction manual that guides people toward true professionalism. In a time of globalization, the challenges of professionalism are multiplied as people now work routinely on a world wide scale. There is a need to communicate effectively with people on the other side of the planet, and that international trade actions affect people and organizations far beyond any borders or continents.



Subroto Bagchi (photo left) addresses and defines an entirely new approach to professionalism, that takes into consideration the challenges to the individual, and the ever increasing globalization of the economy. The author provides his analysis of what it means to be a professional. He also offers insights into the qualities that demonstrate professionalism on both a personal and a global scale. Subroto Bagchi considers the three fundamental characteristics of the true professional as being able to work without supervision, able to certify the completion of any job or task, and behaving with complete integrity at all times.

Subroto Bagchi goes farther than those three basic attributes of professionalism and shares some additional traits that comprise the professional. Those traits include:

* Being self aware
* Is always ethical in all things
* Takes care of the mind, body and soul
* Prioritizes things and events to maximize value
* Takes a long term view over the entirety of one's career
* Is able to evolve and embrace new challenges and adapts to change
* Is comfortable with things not trained for
* Understands the imperatives of the global econmy
* Is culturally aware, connected and engages with people globally

For me, the power of the book is how Subroto Bagchi redefines and the very meaning of what it means to be a true professional. Going far beyond mere job titles and basic principles, the author presents and entirely fresh code of conduct that transform an individual from being skilled in a role to being professional in that role. The author guides the person who aspires to be a professional in the new global reality in the behaviors and ethical codes essential for a reputation of integrity. A professional must not only succeed today, in the global world, but leave a legacy that leaves that same world a much better place.

For the author, being a true professional goes beyond merely being paid. Instead, professionalism is a way of living, working and behaving that touches all areas of the individual's personal and public life. The accepted standards for professional practice are simply a starting point for Subroto Bagchi. His concepts move far beyond the basics, and encompass the entire person as a holistic philosophy of living. For Subroto Bagchi, anyone in any walk of life can and should be a professional, and embrace and live the principles of true professionalism at all times. Indeed, in the modern global world, Subroto Bagchi points out that there is no other alternative but true professionalism at all times.

I highly recommend the transformational and wisdom filled book The Professional: Defining the New Standard of Excellence at Work by Subroto Bagchi, to anyone seeking an intelligent and ethics based guide to becoming a true professional in today's globalized economy. Your journey toward professionalism begins here, and will last for a lifetime.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

 

NO: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home by Jim Camp - Book review




NO

The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home


By: Jim Camp

Published: June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0307345742
ISBN-13: 978-0307345745
Publisher: Crown Business











"In order to understand the power of "no", you must first understand that "no" rejects the compromise- and assumption-driven reigning paradigm in negotiation today", writes renowned negotiation coach and founder of the Camp Negotiation Institute (CNI), Jim Camp, in his results oriented and revolutionary book NO: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home. The author describes why receiving no as a response to a negotiation proposal is liberating in its honesty and as a true beginning to the real process of reaching an agreement.

Jim Camp understands that most people want to hear a yes in their negotiations. For Jim Camp, that yes sought after by most negotiators is precisely the worst response a negotiator can hear from the other side. Instead, the author considers a no reaction to be the best response. The counter-intuitive concept that hearing a no is the best answer to a proposed offer is the basis of Jim Camp's system. The concept of a no actually protects the negotiator from dangerous and unsupported assumptions of the other side's needs and objectives. The no prevents making unilateral and unnecessary concessions to the other side. Jim Camp calls seeking compromise and yes based negotiations fear based negotiating resulting from a fear of not getting a deal made.



Jim Camp (photo left) proposes an alternative negotiating system that removes the fear and other emotions from the process. The author points out that emotionally based negotiators make assumptions about what the other side wants and will do in the negotiation process. For Jim Camp, this is not only wrongheaded but dangerous as it can easily result in disastrous concessions being made to appease the other person. These unasked for concessions are not likely to make any positive difference, and are much more likely to lead to other demands. The next steps in that emotion based negotiation are usually disastrous, according to Jim Camp.

For Jim Camp, using his no-based system removes the dangers posed by emotion and needless concessions. The author believes firmly that anything from multi-million dollar transactions to parent-child relations can be negotiated successfully with his system. The no response removes the emotion from the negotiation process. Instead of letting emotion and fear induced compromises take over the negotiations, Jim Camp recommends a series of good decisions. The author also reminds the reader that the negotiation is not about you. It is about them. The no removes the neediness to make a deal, or any deal regardless of the concessions.

For me, the power of the book is how Jim Camp describes the problems associated with the usual negotiation process. The author dispels the myths of tactics and techniques as being counter-productive and dangerous. At the same time, Jim Camp emphasizes the need for a decision based system, as opposed to an assumption, fear, and emotions based foray into the unknown. Jim Camp outlines his system for utilizing a series of decisions as the basis for successful negotiations.

Receiving an no response is the start of the real negotiating process, and it frees the negotiator from emotion and neediness to make a deal of some sort. With Jim Camp's system, the would be negotiator is ready to prepare their vision of a deal and act upon it rationally without fear. The end result of applying the repeatable system is better and more satisfying negotiation outcomes.

I highly recommend the essential and paradigm changing book NO: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home by Jim Camp, to anyone seeking a no nonsense and straight talking book book on the reality of negotiations, and the critical importance of utilizing a system based on a series of good decisions. Readers of this book will no longer look at a no response as the end, but as the true beginning of real negotiations. Instead of negotiating in a fear based mode, you will be better prepared to make good decisions that will lead to a superior agreement in both your professional and personal life.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

 

Ann Tardy: Moxie For Managers - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Founder and Chief Catalyst of LifeMoxie Mentoring, and author of the transformational and inspiring book Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader, Ann Tardy, describes how as a middle leader you have more power than you may think to influence behavior and to create change. Ann Tardy points out, however, that power only works if you operate with the knowledge of influence. Ann Tardy shares her ten Influencing Tenets to facilitate change; and even iconoclastic action., Ann Tardy reminds you that even though you are in the middle leadership role, you have the power to influence change within your organization. Learn how to utilize the power of moxie to be catalyst for change within your organization. That is the true power and strength of moxie as you make the transition from manager to leader.

Ann Tardy is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, March 29, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Founder and Chief Catalyst of LifeMoxie, and author of the transformational and inspiring book Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader, Ann Tardy, describes how as a middle leader you have more power than you may think to influence behavior and to create change. You will learn:

* What it means to manage with moxie

* Why you are a m middle leader and not a middle manager

* Why you have more power to influence events than you think

* What are the ten influencing tenets for middle leaders



Ann Tardy (photo left) is the Founder and President of LifeMoxie Mentoring, Ann combines the art of mentoring with the science of behavioral economics to turn mentoring from a missed opportunity into a strategic advantage for teams and organizations. By using proven processes and technologies, Ann prepares leaders to drive organizational and behavioral change using mentoring.

From Silicon Valley corporate attorney to mentoring expert and advocate for
managers, Ann Tardy has never met a dull moment. Sally Jesse Raphael calls
her “energetic!”

Ann first experienced the power of mentoring while closing over $2 billion of venture-backed financing at two of Silicon Valley’s largest law firms. While leading her entrepreneurial clients, Ann was surprised to discover that mentoring separates the magnificently successful from the mediocre. Ann went on to lead the legal departments of two high-tech start-ups, taking one company public and the other to acquisition. Following her in-house tenure, Ann launched her own law firm, growing it to 75 loyal clients before merging it with a larger firm.

Ann now helps visionary companies unleash mentoring where they need it most – in the middle. Ann and the LifeMoxie Mentoring team are creating mentoring cultures in companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Kaiser Permanente, Hitachi Data Systems, Southern California Edison, and Metro-North Railroad.

Ann is also the founder of The Mentoring Council, connecting leaders of mentoring initiatives to share best practices. In addition she served for 5 years as the volunteer Director of the Entrepreneurial Education program at a middle school, training 12-year-olds how to start and run businesses through a community-based mentoring program.

Ann passed the CPA exam upon graduating with an accounting degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She then graduated with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law and passed the Bar exams in Illinois and California.

Ann was honored as an Outstanding Business Woman of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association and honored with the Vanguard Award from The McGraw-Hill Companies for her contributions to their employees.

Ann is the author of Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader – 9 Strategies for Taking Life by the Horns (2007, Fish Head Publishing)

The Mentoring Playbook – Making Mentoring a Strategic Advantage (forthcoming March 2012)

In summer 2011, Ann rode 4,200 miles from San Francisco to New Jersey in The Moxie Ride, a cross-country bicycle ride she created to discover what people love about their jobs and how bosses influence their success. The Moxie Ride documentary highlighting the people she met puts your finger on the professional pulse of the country.

My book review of Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader by Ann Tardy.

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 Founder and Chief Catalyst of LifeMoxie Mentoring, and author of the transformational and inspiring book Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader, Ann Tardy, describes how as a middle leader you have more power than you may think to influence behavior and to create change. Ann Tardy points out, however, that power only works if you operate with the knowledge of influence. Ann Tardy shares her ten Influencing Tenets to facilitate change; and even iconoclastic action., Ann Tardy reminds you that even though you are in the middle leadership role, you have the power to influence change within your organization. Learn how to utilize the power of moxie to be catalyst for change within your organization. That is the true power and strength of moxie as you make the transition from manager to leader on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

 

The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane - Book review




The Charisma Myth

How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism


By: Olivia Fox Cabane

Published: March 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1591844568
ISBN-13: 978-1591844563
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin












"Contrary to popular belief, people are not simply born charismatic - innately magnetic from birth. If charisma were an inherent attribute, charismatic people would always be captivating, and that's just not the case", writes keynote speaker and executive consultant Olivia Fox Cabane, in her very practical and groundbreaking book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism. The author describes how charismatic people are not born that way, but learned the attributes and behaviors of charisma, making those developed skills appear second nature.

Olivia Fox Cabane recognizes that people who are deemed to be charismatic are thought to behave magnetically at all times. The author demonstrates that is not the case with personal attraction at all. Instead, people who behave in a charismatic manner actually learned the skills, behaviors, and actions from a very early age. Olivia Fox Cabane points out that if highly magnetic leaders and celebrities could learn the attributes of the charismatic individual, that anyone else can develop those skills too. The author presents a complete overview of the types of charismatic person, and shares the behaviors and actions that will enhance a person's own abilities to become magnetic and noticed in all areas of their lives. With the concept of charisma as a learned skill in place, Olivia Fox Cabane provides the details for adding those abilities to one's own public behavior.



Olivia Fox Cabane (photo left) deconstructs the entire concept of charisma and what it means for the individual. The author presents the basic components of charisma as simply different aspects of a person's behavior. She points out what charisma really is in the overall personality of a person. The author stresses that the most effective form of learned charismatic behavior is that which is in harmony with the individual's own personality traits. Olivia Fox Cabane offers advice and hands on exercises for developing charisma that fits into an individual's already existing characteristics.

Olivia Fox Cabane points out that the most effective charisma is that which is part of a person's existing personality. With that concept in mind, the techniques and actions of a magnetic personality are simply enhancements and refinements of already existing personal traits. The author shares four styles of charisma and recommends that the one most closely related to one's own personality be studied, practiced, and added to the personal leadership tool kit. At the same time, Olivia Fox Cabane shares the strengths, weaknesses, and impressions created by each style. The four charismatic styles are as follows:

* Focus charisma: Presence and confidence
* Visionary charisma: Belief and confidence
* Kindness charisma: Warmth and confidence
* Authority charisma: Status and confidence

For me, the power of the book is how Olivia Fox Cabane combines a compelling analysis and breakdown of the key elements of charisma, with practical and easy to understand advice and exercises for developing one's own charisma. Instead of taking the drastic step of attempting the perhaps impossible task of remaking one's own personality, the author recommends choosing the charisma style that dovetails best with that personality. Olivia Fox Cabane demonstrates the importance of charisma for leadership and career success. At the same time, she provides evidence that charisma is valuable in personal and family life as well. Along the way, the author dispels the most frequently encountered myths and misunderstanding surrounding the concept of charisma, what it is, and how it works.

The author presents the behavioral science based techniques for developing personal charisma skills in understandable chapters, complete with exercises and methods for practicing and improving the skills. The book also contains very useful additional chapters and sections for further study and enhancement of charismatic abilities. Olivia Fox Cabane also provides examples of well known people who utilized the four different charismatic styles successfully, as illustrations of how each style blends and fits into the already existing personality. The author also describes the potential downsides and problems of charisma, and how to overcome them.

I highly recommend the comprehensive and leadership boosting book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane, to anyone seeking an easily approachable and engaging guide to developing their own charismatic skills. This book will not only improve your own leadership abilities, but the same techniques can be applied to entire organizations to empower employees and boost their job performance as well.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

 

Sundown Two by E. Don Harpe & Phil Whitley - Fiction book review




Sundown Two

By: E. Don Harpe, Phil Whitley

Published: July 2, 2011
Format: Paperback, 248 pages
ISBN-10: 0615504779
ISBN-13: 978-0615504773
Publisher: Flint River Press











In late 2012, a runaway moon crashes into the Sun, and the resulting electromagnetic pulses and shock waves devastate the planet. In a world without an electrical grid, and where all electronic devices no longer function, the United States transforms into a desolate wasteland where people kill one another for food and the basic necessities of life. Marty Cross, cult leader Gideeon Cross, and President of the United States Margaret Ames discover that a defense bunker, known as Sundown Two, has been activated by the destructive events, and is counting down to destroy all remaining life on Earth. In their frantic race against time, hungry marauding bands, and renegade Colonel Frank Cassidy who is dedicated to ensuring that the Sundown Two destruction sequence takes place, there is no time to lose to save the human race, in the science fiction and distopian thriller Sundown Two by acclaimed novelists Phil Whitley and E. Don Harpe.



E. Don Harpe (photo left) and Phil Whitley provide a plausible scientific scenario for the destruction of modern civilization on a global scale. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections are well known phenomenon, and an extremely powerful one could indeed create massive electromagnetic pulses and shock waves. While the disaster aspect of the novel is an intriguing one, the real force of the novel is how people react to the disaster and the permanent disruption of civilization as they understand it. The authors extrapolated the anarchic and dangerous conditions that followed large scale natural and man made disasters. The looting, hoarding, and inhuman behavior would be, as the authors describe, multiplied exponentially.



It's into this nasty, brutish, and short Hobbesian world that Marty and Brenda Bishop, and their daughter Jenna awaken. Their quest to survive while attempting to maintain their basic human dignity and spirit of hop is a crucial theme element of the novel. Phil Whitley (photo left) and E. Don Harpe provide a human drama that forms a microcosm of the larger scale mass destruction and human tragedy that takes place around them.

The authors reflect the prophesies of the Mayans, the Book of Revelation, the I Ching, and Nostradamus within the novel, creating parallels to the mythology of the end of the world. The apocalyptic narrative provides both a Pilgrim's progress seeking the Promised Land, and a reversal of that narrative as the main characters make a descent into Hell. It is in that darkest and deadliest of places that the characters must rise above their personal demons and transcend their egos for the benifit of all humanity.

The authors leave it to the reader to determine if the quest into the darkness of the soul, to redeem mankind, was worth the sacrifice. The novel contains the powerful themes of a hero's journey to self discovery in the form of Jenna. Her quest is in a long line of heroic characters, and her journey is critical to the understanding of the goodness of humanity, even if they must commit evil for survival. Indeed, as the authors make clear, the former rules and concepts of what can be considered good or evil, no longer apply in the new and chaotic world.

All human creations, including ethical and moral codes imposed by society, no longer apply in the new state of nature world. What matters in that dark world is the hero's own personal code of honor and duty to others. There is still room for love, family, and personal sacrifice, even in a world gone insane. That alone present hope for humanity, and the eventual return of civilization and peace for all.

I highly recommend the enjoyable and page turning novel Sundown Two by E. Don Harpe and Phil Whitley, to anyone seeking an adventure thrill ride through a very possible and very dangerous future. This novel gives you an insight into how the veneer of civilization is very thin, and both the dark side and the best side of humanity are not very far beneath the surface.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

 

The Growth Map by Jim O'Neill - Book review




The Growth Map

Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond


By: Jim O'Neill

Published: December 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1591844819
ISBN-13: 978-1591844815
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin












"The ascent and continued success of Brazil, Russia, India and China as surprised many - myself included. it is a phenomenon that has begun to transform the lives of millions of people in these nations, lifting them out of poverty and revolutionizing their ambitions, and it is increasingly touching us all", writes Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Jim O'Neill in his perceptive and visionary book The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond. The author describes how the tremendous growth of what he coined the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - are continuing to grow and exceed all expectations. Along with these growing economic powerhouses, the author provide a list of eleven other countries that he calls the Next Eleven, which will offer exciting opportunities for investors over the next decade.

Jim O'Neill understands that the BRIC nations are the most important success story in in the globalized economy. Their incredible rates of economic growth have both amazed and frightened leaders of the more established Western G20 countries. The author makes the bold forecast that the economies of the of the four BRIC nations will overtake the largest Western economies within forty years. Jim O'Neill shares his personal story of how the BRIC juggernaut began, evolved, and continues to roll along after an explosive decade of growth. Along with his incisive analysis of the BRIC economies, Jim O'Neill provides analysis of the potential of eleven other growth economies that he calls the Next Eleven.



Jim O'Neill (photo left) points out that these new engine of growth may not appear as impressive as the four BRIC economies, but they possess real potential to break out with exciting growth opportunities within the next decade. The author describes the ability of the New Eleven to achieve high rates of growth based on what he calls their willingness to play. That concept rests on the desire and openness of the eleven to enact policies that encourage economic growth and prosperity; as well as their willingness to engage and participate in the overall global economy. At the same time, Jim O'Neill provides insights into how the established G20 countries must better incorporate the growth potential of both the BRIC nations and the Next Eleven into their own economic future plans.

Jim O'Neill recognizes how the past decade, and the 2008 financial crisis, were very tumultuous times for the global economy. Instead of fearing crisis, however, Jim O'Neill offers the alternative view that times of crisis create fresh opportunities for investors of all types and sizes. For Jim O'Neill, globalization is an opportunity to be embraced, and not feared. More economic growth creates more jobs, new wealth, and more overall prosperity across the globe. The author believes that the economic problems of recent years are ones that can and will be fixed, creating an even more robust and prosperous global economy. The addition of the New Eleven countries - Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam - to the growing world economy will only increase the amount of global trade and economic opportunity.

For me, the power of the book is how Jim O'Neill provides a clear eyed analysis of the current and future global economies. The author combines a real world based assessment of the the emergence and growth of the BRIC nations, including an examination of their ability to sustain their rapid expansion into the future. Jom O'Neill also considers the current and potential challenges facing the BRICs including the need for ever increasing levels of scarce resources. While the BRIC economies have many observers skeptical of their ability to sustain their growth and acquire the necessary natural resources. Jim O'Neill considers these obstacles as ones that can and will be overcome.

Jim O'Neill also examines the growth potential of the New Eleven countries. While most are smaller then the BRIC economies, the N-11 do have the potential to be important players and investment opportunities in their own right. Jim O'Neill outlines the potential for investors in both the BRIC and N-11 countries and considers them to have tremendous investment and growth potential for the future. The author even provides the economic plan that he believes will add to their already considerable economic success in a globalized market.

I highly recommend the important and must read book The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond by Jim O'Neill,to anyone who is serious about understanding the growth and importance of the BRIC and N-11 economies. This book will guide investors, corporations, entrepreneurs, and policy makers in their decision making process as the current global crisis is creating unlimited investment opportunity.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

 

Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibilty Changes Everything by John Izzo - Book review




Stepping Up

How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything


By: John Izzo, Ph.D.

Published: January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1609940571
ISBN-13: 978-1609940577
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers











"Responsibility changes everything. The moment we decide that we are the ones who are capable of and responsible for changing things everything shifts", writes speaker, workplace consultant and personal change agent John Izzo, Ph.D., in his inspirational and life transforming book Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything. The author describes how through the taking of responsibility for all areas of our lives, we can be the catalyst for change on our own terms, rather than waiting for someone else to make changes on their terms.

John Izzo understands that taking responsibility ourselves is crucial for facilitating change in our workplaces and in our personal lives. The author refers to this taking of responsibility as stepping up. Through the act of stepping up, people can become the agents of change, rather than passively awaiting change to be made by other people. John Izzo points out that making real change within a corporate workplace requires people to step and take responsibility. In today's difficult economic climate, stepping up is a necessity, as imposed change can be very harmful to those who fail to take responsibility. Acting as a victim will not achieve positive results; and more likely end with an even worse situation. For John Izzo, taking responsibility is within the power of everyone, and making real and beneficial change through stepping up matters.



John Izzo (photo left) presents two main points in the book. The first thrust of the book is about the value and importance of taking responsibility and of stepping up. The author demonstrates why stepping up matters, and how it empowers the individual to create change that works. The second aspect of the book offers the keys to stepping up and having more influence in our workplaces ad in our personal lives. John Izzo shows the reader that anyone can learn how to step and and be a real change agent.

The author provides how people can step up, through a focus on what he calls the five rows of responsibility. The concept is based on the sphere of influence that a person can impact positively or negatively through their actions. For the author, people talk about how others should do something to solve the problem. He expands that principle to include every problem faced in the workplace, in one's personal life, or in society as a whole. To make real and lasting change, John Izzo challenges people to step up and take responsibility for changing the immediate five rows of their own lives, and act as if everyone else were changing their five rows of influence as well. It's all about claiming one's own personal power, and stepping up to act upon it as a leader of change.

For me, the power of the book is how John Izzo combines the reasons for taking personal responsibility for change with some practical attitude changes to step up and make those changes a reality. The author presents a compelling case for stepping up and becoming empowered in life. He also makes a powerful case for rejecting the all too frequent choice of playing the victim and placing oneself into to the control of other people.

John Izzo offers practical and readily applicable techniques for stepping up in the workplace and becoming a catalyst for change. The concepts are easy to understand, and the author makes clear that stepping up isn't a choice reserved for only the select few. John Izzo demonstrates clearly that stepping up is a choice that anyone can make to create change in every aspect of life. The author underlines his concepts with real world examples of the principle of stepping up in action. Overall, the book is an excellent guide to taking responsibility, personal empowerment, and taking control of one's own life.

I highly recommend the empowering and change creating book Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything by John Izzo, Ph.D., to anyone seeking a well grounded and hands on book for facilitating real change in every area of a person's life. The author guides you toward taking responsibility and stepping up to be the agent of change. This book is about the real power that individuals possess. All they have to do is step up and take control of it.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

 

Running Lean, 2nd Edition by Ash Maurya - Book review




Running Lean

Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition


By: Ash Maurya

Published: March 6,2012
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1449305172
ISBN-13: 978-1449305178
Publisher: O'Reilly Media












"So, what separates successful startups from unsuccessful ones is not necessarily the fact that successful startups began with a better initial plan (or Plan A) , but rather that they find a plan that works before running out of resources", writes entrepreneur and founder of Spark59,Ash Maurya, in his inspirational and visionary book Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition. The author describes how most of the innovative products fail, and provides a systematic process for rating and examining product ideas and their potential, raising the overall rate of success.

Ash Maurya recognizes that the current age is one of unlimited innovation and new product ideas. More products are being designed and produced than ever before. The problem, writes the author, is that most of them fail as they are simply the wrong product. For start-up companies, this product failure results in the exhausting of their business resources of money, time, and effort. With that product failure, the start-up goes out of business, taking its innovation skills with it. To counter this challenge of innovative product failure, Ash Maurya provides an entire systematic process for ensuring that the products are the right ones for the market before they fail in the marketplace. The author shares his process for developing and producing products that fit the market and save resources, greatly increasing the odds that the start-p venture will be a success.



Ash Maurya (photo left) understands that the problem for many start-up companies is developing and implementing a workable and effective plan before they run out of resources. For start-up entrepreneurs, when their Plan A fails to reach fruition, they are left scrambling for any alternative plan at all. Instead of providing a rigorous and intensive examination of the original Plan A, the entrepreneurs continue to throw money, time, and resources into that ineffective plan despite its failings in the marketplace.

Ash Maurya points out that the mythology of the visionary leader and a seemingly invincible product is all too prevalent in the culture. At the same time, the author points out that stressing the product first results in gathering the wrong market information from the very beginning. There is also a time lag between the information acquisition phase, and the release of the final product into an unforgiving marketplace. Instead of building the product that customers really want, the start-up entrepreneurs build what the potential customers think they want. To counter this disconnect, Ash Maurya provides his comprehensive Running lean system that iterates changes when needed, and not after it's too late to save the company.

For me, the power of the book is how Ash Maurya provides a complete and ready to implement process for innovation, development, and marketing of successful products. The author offers the tools to vet and examine the innovation ideas before production begins and uses up scarce resources. The author begins by asking what problem really needs a solution, and then finding the answer to that problem. Instead of simply gathering information from customers at the start of the process,

Ash Maurya recommends keeping customers engaged throughout the entire process, gaining their insights and ideas, enabling a new iteration if and when it is required in the product. Most importantly, the author demonstrates the need for flexibility and nimble responses to the need to change plans to a new one when indicated by the marketplace. To be lean in a start-up is to minimize the waste of resources on ineffective and failed products, providing the time and money to change course without failing beforehand. The author shares his very workable and repeatable system for ensuring that changes and iterations are made at the right time, before disaster strikes, and resources are depleted for the company

I highly recommend the practical and process driven book Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition by Ash Maurya, to any start-up entrepreneurs seeking a repeatable and lean systematic approach to innovation, production, and marketing a product. The process provided in this book could save many companies that need not have failed due to a lack of resources, resulting in a stronger economy and more vibrant marketplace.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

 

Jim Camp: Start With NO - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Renowned negotiation coach, founder of the Camp Negotiation Institute (CNI), and author of the eye opening and negotiation strategy filled book Start with NO: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know, Jim Camp, describes why the conventional win-win concept of negotiation is a myth. The author demonstrates that the ideas is really win-lose as tough negotiators will gain unnecessary compromises, as the win-win concept is emotions based. Jim provides an alternative decision based system where you don't have to make needless concessions or lose in a negotiation. Jim Camp guides your through his repeatable and effective system that focuses on your activities and behavior, and not on needs and emotions. Learn how to negotiate and get the outcomes you want in both business and in life.

Jim Camp is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, March 22, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Renowned negotiation coach, founder of the Camp Negotiation Institute (CNI), and author of the eye opening and negotiation strategy filled book Start with NO: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know, Jim Camp, describes why the conventional win-win concept of negotiation is a myth. You will learn:

* Why the conventional win-win concept is very often one of win-lose

* How to avoid emotional negotiation and focus on behavior and activities

* How to utilize a decision based system for negotiation

* How always have a mission and purpose for your negotiations



Jim Camp (photo left) s the leading global expert on negotiations. Over the last 25 years, he has trained and coached over 100,000 people to negotiate better, more profitable agreements in more than 500 multinational organizations.

Camp is the best-selling author of two negotiation books, Start with NO: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know and No: the Only System of Negotiation You Need for Work and Home.

He is also the author of the Nightingale-Conant Audio Program, The Power of NO. Jim is founder and CEO of the Camp Negotiation Institute and inventor of the Camp Systems of Negotiation, including Camp Negotiation Management, Self-Management and Project Management systems. Jim Camp negotiation training is not compromise-based. It is the only system of its kind that teaches students how to recognize, neutralize and overcome predatory negotiation tactics that result in poor outcomes. Hundreds of organizations, including numerous Fortune 500 companies and the FBI Hostage Crisis Negotiation Training Unit have used his training system with astonishing results.

Jim Camp’s unique approach to negotiation training has been featured on CNN, CNBC, numerous radio shows, and in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc., Cosmopolitan, San Francisco Chronicle, The Columbus Dispatch, The Christian Science Monitor, and San Jose Mercury News.

A frequent conference keynote speaker, Jim Camp has also lectured on negotiation at many prestigious graduate schools in the US and has taught his training methods in nine countries on three continents.

Jim Camp served his country for seven years as a Vietnam Veteran and Air Force pilot. He holds a degree from Ohio State University in Education, Biological Sciences, and Health and Physical Education, and lives in Vero Beach, Florida and Dublin, Ohio with his wife Patty. They have five children and eight grandchildren.

My book review of Start with NO: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know by Jim Camp.

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 renowned negotiation coach, founder of the Camp Negotiation Institute (CNI), and author of the eye opening and negotiation strategy filled book Start with NO: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know, Jim Camp, as he describes why the conventional win-win concept of negotiation is a myth. The author demonstrates that the ideas is really win-lose as tough negotiators will gain unnecessary compromises, as the win-win concept is emotions based. Jim provides an alternative decision based system where you don't have to make needless concessions or lose in a negotiation. Jim Camp guides your through his repeatable and effective system that focuses on your activities and behavior, and not on needs and emotions. Learn how to negotiate and get the outcomes you want in both business and in life on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

 

Start With NO by Jim Camp - Book review




Start with NO

The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know


By: Jim Camp

Published: July 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover:, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0609608002
ISBN-13: 978-0609608005
Publisher: Crown Business










"Based on my nearly twenty years of experience as a negotiation coach, I believe win-win is hopelessly misguided as a basis for good negotiating, in business or your personal life or anywhere else", writes renowned negotiation coach and founder of the Camp Negotiation Institute (CNI), Jim Camp, in his eye opening and negotiation strategy filled book Start with NO: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know. The author describes why the conventional wisdom of the win-win outcome of a negotiation is a myth, and replaces it with a real world proven system of decision based negotiation.

Jim Camp understands why negotiators prefer to consider the win-win solution to negotiation to be the ideal result of a bargaining session. The author points out that the entire concept is mistaken and results in one side gaining the advantage over the other negotiator. Instead of being partners in a mutually beneficial agreement, one side ends up with a much worse outcome than they had planned for at the outset. For Jim Camp, win-win is an excuse by the stronger negotiator to gain concessions and compromises, while offering very little in return. The author provides an alternative negotiating system, through a change in behavior and activities, to gain control of the negotiations to avoid being left the loser at the end of the bargaining event.



Jim Camp (photo left) recognizes that the desire for a win-win outcome is natural for many people. The author provides evidence that for professional negotiators, that emotional attachment to fairness is seen as an opportunity to gain unreciprocated concessions. Jim Camp stresses that win-win is all too often win-lose, as it's based on emotion and not on decisions. Because it's based on what the author considers unnecessary compromises, win-win fails against tougher opponents and because it is not based on a repeatable and effective system. Jim Camp introduces an effective system, based on rational decisions and effective negotiating behavior.

The author demonstrates how to be better prepared for the reality of actual negotiations, with a mission and purpose, and with the ability to say no at any time. The various strategies include:

* Avoiding being needy
* Starting with No
* Developing a mission and purpose
* Focusing on your behavior and activities
* Knowing what to say
* Knowing when to say it
* Creating a quiet blank slate with no assumptions
* Knowing the other side's real problem
* Knowing the real budget
* Getting to the real decision maker
* Having your agenda and working it
* Presenting your best case

For me, the power of the book is how Jim Camp takes an effective and contrarian position on what he considers the failed strategy of win-win negotiation. The author demonstrates that while that concept may work well in theory, it is very flawed in the real world due to its reliance on emotion. Instead of entering into that likely doomed negotiation, based on the assumption of fairness, the author provides a decision and behavior based strategy that removes emotion from the event.

Jim Camp breaks his system down into a series of techniques that are both readily applicable to any business or personal negotiation. Those same tactics are also repeatable in every subsequent negotiation, as they are based on following the steps of the system. With this book in hand, a person need not ever make unnecessary compromises, and fall prey to a negotiator who prefers that they win and you lose in any bargaining agreement with them.

I highly recommend the definitive and real world proven book Start with NO: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know by Jim Camp, to anyone who is serious about being a successful and skilled negotiator. This book will prepare you to achieve better than expected outcomes in any negotiation, whether in your business or personal life.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

 

Mindfire: Big Ideas For Curious Minds by Scott Berkun - Book review




Mindfire

Big Ideas for Curious Minds


By: Scott Berkun

Published: October 26, 2011
Format: Paperback, 196 pages
ISBN-10: 0983873100
ISBN-13: 978-0983873105
Publisher: Berkun Media LLC












"Most days we avoid big thoughts. We stay busy with small things. Despite our wishes, we know real thinking takes us places we may not be prepared for", writes educator, thought leader, and blogger Scott Berkun, in his thought provoking and provocative essay collection Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. The author presents the definitive anthology of his previously published essays where he challenges readers to think freely, create new ideas, question previously held beliefs, and live with passion.

Scott Berkun understands the importance of challenging the beliefs that many people consider universal truths. The author sometimes takes a contrarian position. He presents a completely alternative mode of thought in other essays. He shares life lessons and fresh approaches to living in still more entries. In each of the essays, Scott Berkun endeavors to reawaken thought in everyone, even if that new way of thinking is painful and difficult. Scott Berkun states at the very beginning of the collection that he is fine with people disagreeing with his point of view. He considers it almost a certainty that not everyone will agree with everything he writes. The point is to get people thinking, creating, and becoming independent in their entire mindset and worldview.



Scott Berkun (photo left) recognizes the value of being provocative to stimulate thinking and reassessing existing ideas. For the author, that desire to light a fire in the mind is reflected in the three overall essay categories. The three main essay categories are:

* Gasoline
* Sparks
* Fire

The author created the book title from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, notably the landmark essay Self-Reliance. Scott Berkun points out that Emerson considered the creative mind to be a fire, and offered suggestions to ignite the creative spark. With that inspiration in mind, Scott Berkun presents his own version of creative inspiration to others.

For me, the power of the book is how Scott Berkun utilizes the essay genre so effectively in conveying his wisdom. While the entries have already appeared as blog posts, the thoughts and ideas they contain are timeless, providing relevance for readers at all times. The author divided the book into three overall groupings of ideas, but despite that framework, the essays can be read and contemplated in any order, and over as much time as required by the reader.

The author's stated goal was to provoke the readers, and make them think and reconsider their pre-existing ideas. The collection succeeds very well in achieving that goal. The writings were never intended by Scott Berkun to bring forth instant agreement, although in some cases that would be result. Instead, the author prefers to have readers ignite the flames of thought and creativity, and develop entirely new lines of thought and action. This book does precisely that; and more.

I highly recommend the wisdom filled and creative thought inducing book Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds by Scott Berkun, to anyone seeking an engaging and mind stimulating collection of essays. This anthology of writings and ideas will generate your creativity and light your mind on fire. That is a good thing.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

 

Moxie For Managers by Ann Tardy - Book review




Moxie for Managers

The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader


By: Ann Tardy

Published: July 2, 2011
Format: Paperback, 354 pages
ISBN-10: 0979585716
ISBN-13: 978-0979585715
Publisher: Fish Head Publishing












"Mediocre managers operate as if people have jobs only to serve managers. Moxie leaders, on the other hand, operate as if their job is to serve other people", writes thought leader, Founder and Chief Catalyst of LifeMoxie, Ann Tardy, in her transformational and inspiring book Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader. The author describes how instead of underestimating themselves and their staff members, middle leaders should take the initiative to influence real change within the organization, and shares the techniques for moving from manager to leader.

Ann Tardy recognizes the importance of changing the mindset of the leader and of the staff to achieve peak performance. The author encourages changing the labeling of the middle manager to that of middle leader. While manager is simply descriptive of a position on an organizational chart, a leader demonstrates their commitment and motivation from within. When the person changes their outlook from one of manager, to one of leader, they are ready to influence and facilitate real change within the organization. Ann Tardy demonstrates how to make the transition, from the limiting mindset of a middle manager, to the empowered and and revolutionary moxie mindset of a middle leader.



Ann Tardy (photo left) understands that potential leaders very often underestimate their own abilities, including their capacity to instigate change. At the same time, managers lack confidence in the abilities and potential of their staff members. They are satisfied with mediocre results, and expect little more from themselves or their employees. Ann Tardy challenges leaders to end this limiting view of people, and replace it with a vision to achieve extraordinary results. The author points out that potential leaders believe incorrectly that they lack any real power to influence change, or to motivate people beyond their very average performance.

Ann Tardy shares the strategies to change this counterproductive mode of thinking, and replace it with her ten influencing tenets of moxie. The ten tenets are as follows:

* We believe we are the center of our own worlds
* We seek meaning in our work and lives
* We want to make a difference
* We all want to win; and be seen as winners
* We want control over events and our lives
* We want to feel as if we are important
* We want to be respected, appreciated, valued, and heard
* We all risk becoming part of the mediocre herd
* We let our thoughts and beliefs dictate our ambition
* We all fear rejection

Foe me, the power of the book is how An Tardy combines her concept of moxie based management with the the actionable strategies for achieving peak performance. The author provides the powerful catalyst of changing one's mindset from middle manager to middle leader. Instead of simply managing the plans of others, Ann Tardy encourages the iconoclastic behavior of influencing and enacting change in the behavior and outlook of everyone, including the leaders themselves.

Ann Tardy guides leaders, toward goals they never before imagined achieving, through a deeper understanding of people's emotions, fears, hopes, and needs. Through this richer understanding of people's true motivations, and also the reasons they may resist change, the moxie leader is able to not only overcome resistance, but create the conditions where change and innovation are embraced. Ann Tardy shows leaders how anyone can cause meaningful and productive change through a change in their own mindset of expectations of themselves and others.

I highly recommend the mindset altering and top performance creating book Moxie for Managers: The Secret to Evolving from Manager to Leader by Ann Tardy, to any leaders seeking a practical and hands on guide to achieving outstanding results in any organization. This book will help you make the personal transformation from middle manager to that of highly effective leader with moxie.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

 

Antonia Mantonakis: Perception Of A Winery Name - Interview



Antonia Mantonakis, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing at Brock University Faculty of Business, was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about a recent study she conducted about how consumers perceive the quality of a winery and its products, based on the name of the winery.

Antonia Mantonakis described the background to the study, its methodology, and some of the findings from that study.

Thanks to Antonia Mantonakis for her time, and for her responses to the questions. They are greatly appreciated.

What was the background this study to discover whether or not the name of a winery had any effect on people’s perception of its quality?

Antonia Mantonakis: This is a popular topic in consumer research: How does the ease with which something is thought of related to how much consumers like it?



Antonia Mantonakis, Ph.D. (photo left)

What methodology did you employ for the study to measure people's perceptions?

Antonia Mantonakis: We had people read the name of a winery -- either an easy to pronounce winery name (Titakis) or a difficult to pronounce winery name (Tselepou) -- associated with a wine. Participated then evaluated their perception of the taste of the wine.

What real surprises arose from the study and its results that no one was really expecting?

Antonia Mantonakis: Well we did hypothesize that the wine associated with the more difficult-to-pronounce winery name would be associated with higher evaluations. The reason for this is that consumers tend to place a higher value on things that are rare, and this is especially the case for wine. So, we expected that a wine with a more difficult sounding name might be perceived to be superior.

Why should business people be especially concerned about their company and product names and the perceptions they carry with them?

Antonia Mantonakis: Well we have to keep in mind that this is just one study, and we used only winery names.. so any other brand would need to be examined experimentally, compared to a relatively fluent (or disfluent) name comparative name, in order to determine the boundary conditions of this finding.

What is first step a business decision maker should take toward ensuring their company name offers a good perception with their potential customers?

Antonia Mantonakis: What I would suggest is running a simple experiment! Test out different names, and see what consumers' perceptions are about those names.

What is next for Antonia Mantonakis?

Antonia Mantonakis: My research will continue to focus on these types of incidental factors that can affect a consumer's evaluation of a product or a brand.. It really is a fun and exciting part of my job as a professor at Brock University!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

 

Zero-Time Selling by Andy Paul - Book review


Zero-Time Selling

10 Essential Steps To Accelerate Every Company's Sales


By: Andy Paul

Published: December 1, 2012
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1614480508
ISBN-13: 978-1614480501
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing










"For any business the speed of selling is inextricably linked to responsiveness", writes consultant, sales trainer, and founder of Zero-Time Selling, Andy Paul, in his straight talking and sales results oriented book Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps To Accelerate Every Company's Sales. The author describes how it's critical for a sales representative to provide a complete answer to a customer's question quickly, and provides the techniques to ensure that both elements of a successful sale are in place.

Andy Paul recognizes that that the zero-time selling concept is not a replacement for standard sales training; nor is it a reason to abandon proven sales strategies in which the organization has a major investment Zero-time selling, according to Andy Paul, is about what is missing from those basic sales strategies. Zero-Time Selling is about what a salesperson can do from the very beginning of the transaction, using existing resources, to create an increase in sales. Many sales techniques fail to understand the importance of responsiveness which is comprised of the elements of content and speed. One without the other will result in lost sales, as the lack of one or the other brings the sales presentation or sales cycle to an unsatisfactory dead end.



Andy Paul (photo left) provides the basis for combining the principles of content and speed to produce the necessary responsiveness that comprises Zero-Time Selling. The principle of responsiveness has always been a key to successful sales, but that need for speed is more crucial than ever in the contemporary marketplace. For customers, further information and a potentially more responsive competitor is only a click away on the internet. Customers are simply better informed than ever before. For Andy Paul, the ability to combine information with speed is essential to demonstrate total responsiveness.

Andy Paul understands that responsiveness is often difficult to measure, but the concept is well ingrained into the customer; if not for the salesperson. Zero-Time Selling overcomes the expectation on the part of the customer that sales representatives will not be responsive. This element of surprise creates a positive competitive sales advantage for the sales rep. In place of relative responsiveness, Andy Paul recommends the more valuable and value adding concept of absolute responsiveness. The author calls this idea one of Selling With MILT - Maximum Impact in the Least Time possible.The author then provides his ten solutions based on the MILT principle to achieve Zero-Time Selling responsiveness.

For me, the power of the book is how Andy Paul provides a very practical step by step process for putting the MILT principle to work to achieve Zero-Time Selling excellence. The author doesn't criticize standard sales techniques, as he acknowledges that they are very effective. The Zero-Selling concept addresses the area that is missing for so many sales people. That area is the combining of information with speed. Sales people very often are good at one or the other. This book offers the link that puts urgency and information together to achieve the necessary absolute responsiveness that is demanded by today's customer. Overall, this book is a fine and timely addition to any sales reference library.

I highly recommend the hands on and sales boosting book Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps To Accelerate Every Company's Sales by Andy Paul, to any sales managers and sales representatives who are seeking a guide to overcoming the unmet demand of absolute responsiveness in sales representatives. This book will transform an ordinary sales team into one geared for absolute responsiveness to the demands of all of their customers.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

 

Degrees of Strength by Craig W. Ross & Steven W. Vannoy - Book review


Degrees of Strength

The Innovative Technique to Accelerate Greatness


By: Craig W. Ross, Steven W. Vannoy

Published: January 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 126 pages
ISBN-10: 0979376823
ISBN-13: 978-0979376825
Publisher: Wister and Willows, Publishers Inc.







"Those who are most skillful at ensuring a vision becomes a reality know that everyone is capable of doing extraordinary acts. And, of this group, the most exceptional are developing this skill in others in every interaction of every day", write CEO of Versus Global, Craig W. Ross; and Founder of Versus Global, Steven W. Vannoy, in their innovative and transformational book Degrees of Strength: The Innovative Technique to Accelerate Greatness. The authors describe how leaders must inspire greatness in others, and create a world changing vision. They provide their revolutionary leadership building concept of Degrees of Strength as the strategy for achieving leadership goals.



Craig Ross (photo left) and Steven Vannoy understand that people within organizations have untapped potential for achieving extraordinary results. That potential, however, is not always fully realized, and the organization does not operate at peak performance. The employees also know that their potential is not being utilized to the fullest extent. They would welcome leadership that would help them develop their skills to achieve accelerated levels of improvement and unlimited results.

To achieve these outstanding performance results, the authors ask the candid and challenging question of how well would the team perform if it had no weaknesses. The result is what the authors describe a complete paradigm shift in the way that the entire organization approaches leadership and potential.



Steven Vannoy (photo left) and Craig Ross recognize that organizations already possess the talent for extraordinary performance. The authors provide evidence that the traditional methods of leadership and motivation no longer work. There is a need for a fresh approach to leading and inspiring employees to greatness. The author share their Degrees of Strength strategy of leadership based on transforming both the mindset and action. The concept considers that everyone has at least a baseline ability in any given skill.

What Degrees of Strength does is accelerate the development of that skill into one of excellence. The strategy also recognizes the importance of accepting the need for change, and for facilitating that change in an entirely new way. At the same time as the employees develop their new abilities, the leader must grow as a person as well. The leader must adapt and develop a fresh vision that works for the entire organization, and not just for the ego of the leader.

For the authors, that means that leaders must get over themselves, and transcend their personal ego for the benefit of all. The leader as accelerator is one who places development and change, for the achievement of peak performance, ahead of themselves. The result is a complete transformation in the organizational mindset and culture to one of excellence and achievement of never before imagined results.

For me, the power of the book is how Craig Ross and Steven Vannoy present the theory of the Degrees of Strength principles in a case study scenario. The narrative demonstrates the concepts in action, serving to better illustrate the techniques and change in mindset involved in the process. The authors present a compelling case for a complete transformation of the company culture, through a fresh approach to change. The authors don't simply put the onus for change on the employees either. They emphasize the necessity of the leader getting over themselves and their own ego for the good of the entire organization. Overall, this is an excellent book that can be read quickly, but can be reread over and over again for even more practical and transformational ideas.

I highly recommend the practical and engaging book Degrees of Strength: The Innovative Technique to Accelerate Greatness by Steven Vannoy and Craig Ross, to any business leaders seeking a book that will really accelerate change and growth of their organizations toward peak performance. This book will change the mindset and the actions of any company that puts the Degrees of Strength principles to work for their firm.

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