The moment he asked the question I knew I wouldn’t be able to answer it as easily as one might think. My friend Winston asked me if I could recommend a book to him that would assist him with achieving his goals. My response was “I can recommend several!”

Winston is an avid reader and someone, like you, who is always looking to improve and grow. Excitedly he said, “send me a list”. Rather than let him have all the fun, I wrote the list here so you can benefit as well.

1. The Greatest Salesman In The World The Greatest Salesman In The World

Except for The Bible, no book has impacted my life as greatly as The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino. This book is full of strategies that not only work, they are easy to apply. So many books teach a process that works for the author but don’t translate to the reader as well. This is not one of them. This book teaches you how to focus, have the right attitude, and how to truly achieve your goals. It’s inspiring and easy to read. It forces you to remember what you’ve learned so that you can apply them daily. Read it once a year.

 

 

 

2. Think & Grow Rich Think & Grow Rich

I’m shocked by how many entrepreneurs and leaders haven’t read this book. This is required reading if there ever was any. A classic written by Napoleon Hill in the 1930’s, it’s just as important today as it was then. In fact, I’d argue it’s more helpful and needed now than during the Great Depression when it was originally published. Hill’s principles of success are universal and the examples he shares of who used them effectively also happen to be some of history’s greatest leaders.

 

 

 

3. As A Man Thinketh As A Man Thinketh

Right up there with The Greatest Salesman In The World, this book has impacted my life and business in a tremendous way. As a leader, everything starts with you. You start with your thoughts. If you don’t get control of your thoughts and habits, you’ll be an ineffective leader. This book is powerful and challenging. It will push you outside of your comfort zone and that’s a good thing.

 

 

 

 

4. Man’s Search For Meaning Mans Search For Meaning

This powerful book from Victor Frankl will pull at your heart. It will leave you with a new perspective on handling problems. Frankl tells how he survived a Nazi death camp and in doing so outlines how to keep focused and find purpose in all that we do. How does this book help you as a leader? You’re going to face challenges. How you react to those challenges will determine your effectiveness as a leader. Learning how to focus your thoughts during difficult times is a skill as leaders must acquire.

 

 

 

5. The Dip The Dip

Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors and this is without a doubt his most under-rated book. How long do you hang onto that idea or project before jumping to plan B? Godin tells you in The Dip. A short book that won’t take you more than an hour to read but will benefit you for years to come. You’ve faced ups and downs as a leader, now you’ll know when to stick with an idea and when it’s best to move on.

 

 

 

 

6. Psycho-Cybernetics Psycho-Cybernetics

A horrible title for a book that is one of the most helpful books every written. Dr. Maxwell Maltz writes in a way that you feel like he’s only talking to you. If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to believe in you either. Maltz educates on how to create and re-define your identity and self-worth. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem for the majority of my life. This book has helped me in that area more than any other. It is a life-saver.

 

 

 

 

7. The Art Of Selfishness The Art Of Selfishness

This little-known book was written by Dr. David Seabury decades ago. Don’t let the title fool you. This book is NOT about getting your own way all the time. It’s about not being a victim when it comes to your success. It dives deep into how to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Each chapter is more powerful than the next. Very few people of today’s generation know about this book. Those who do have a huge advantage in business and life.

 

 

 

 

8. The Success System That Never Fails The Success System That Never Fails

Can there be a self-improvement book that is practical and not full of cheesy inspirational quotes? There can and there is. W. Clement Stone wrote one of the most effective books of all time. It’s simple. It’s easy to understand the concepts. It flat out works. Leaders should read it, apply it, and teach it to their team.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Thou Shall Prosper Thou Shall Prosper

What does a book about money, written by a Rabbi, have to do with leadership? The answer is everything. If you can’t manage an inanimate object such as money, how can you expect to manage people? This book is the best book on money that I’ve ever read. Rabbi Daniel Lapin explains how to think about money and how to use money for good. Bonus: it’s the easiest to read book on finance I’ve come across. The rest bore me to death.

 

 

 

 

10. Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude

At number ten is a book written by two authors already on this list. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone co-wrote what is possibly their best work. As a leader, if your attitude isn’t right nothing else will be either. Attitude is contagious. Those you are leading not only expect a good attitude from you, they demand it. If you think your attitude is fine and that you don’t need to read an entire book on it, then you are who needs to read this book the most.

 

 

 

If you found this list helpful, you’ll likely enjoy this post as well: How To Get The Most Out Of The Books You Read

The post 10 Books Every Leader Needs To Read appeared first on John Michael Morgan.

Source: 10 Books Every Leader Needs To Read

Paul-Aversano.gif

Every firm talks a good game about their culture, but when you have the stats to back it up like Infinitive does, culture is much more than a buzzword. In the second half of 2015 alone, the Ashburn, Va.-based firm has racked up considerable recognition as a top employer. In addition to being named a 2015 Best Small Firm to Work For by Consulting magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Inc. Magazine, and The Washington Post all have praised Infinitive as a great place to work. We sat down with Denis McFarlane, the firm’s CEO, to talk about the firm’s culture and core values and how they help put it ahead of the pack.

Consulting: You’ve made culture a cornerstone of Infinitive from the very beginning, how does all of this recognition feel in light of that?

McFarlane: I’m feeling very lucky. We’re being recognized both locally and nationally for some of the things we’re doing. Sometimes for things we didn’t even know we were up for. Even when I started the company with 2003 with zero employees I knew I wanted it to be a great place to work. If I was lucky enough to hire people, I hoped to make it a place people can thrive and enjoy themselves and do work they’re passionate about. That takes a long time. You certainly make some hiring mistakes; some people don’t fit the culture or have the same goals but you don’t realize it until they’re on board. We haven’t done everything right but we always strive to keep getting better.

Consulting: How does your view of the CEO as ‘Chief Culture Officer’ manifest in the way you run the company? 

McFarlane: Somebody asked me a few years ago how we do culture. I remember thinking it’s not just one thing. There’s no magic bullet, it’s in almost everything we do. It’s in our hiring, it’s in our performance management framework of how we measure and assess how people are doing, it’s in our events both internal and external, it’s how we think about how we staff our projects. All that stuff fundamentally goes back to what sort of culture we’re trying to build.

We’ve learned to implement along the way certain things, the first day somebody joins, when they go through the interview process people clearly like what they see and we clearly like them. But the first day they join, that’s the opportunity to further reinforce the culture. So that first day we have an office-wide celebration. We give them swag, a bottle of champagne; we have their name on a TV screen saying welcome. So we really take care that first day to let them know how important they are to us. But we also go through the Infinitive 101 class, what are our core values? We do that so when they go to our clients they can continue to represent that culture.

Consulting: What are some of the ways Infinitive makes culture more than a buzzword?

McFarlane: Our core values have been in place for a couple of years. We jointly put them together with 30 or so people and they submitted words and phrases we thought we were important. But I would say our core values is the biggest thing. We assess recruits on the core values and we leverage them for the performance review process.

We do a really good job matching not just culture to infinitive, but also culture to the clients. We assess their culture when staffing engagements. In a lot of ways finding expertise isn’t hard, but finding people who can drive and create change and value in companies is the art, and that’s where clients really like us. When we’re screening people to fit our company we have to screen them too whether they can serve in different types of cultures clients might have.

I believe everyone at Infinitive has the opportunity to be the best in the world at something. You can create your own personal niche. We can’t guarantee every project you’re going to be on will be the greatest, coolest project in the world, but we can guarantee most of our projects are hard. Our clients hire us to do pretty hard stuff, otherwise they’d do it themselves.

Consulting: How can companies that want to overhaul their culture start on the journey?

McFarlane: They need to think about the culture they want to build. Even at zero employees if it’s just the founder or founders they have to consciously think about the culture they want to have. What type of people do they want to hire? What type of attitudes? And it goes beyond capable and competent. It goes to some places might not like people who are highly interactive, they might want people who are just heads down, get the job done and go home. You also have to think through how your real estate will impact your culture. In our offices we have glass walls, and everyone has window. My office door is always open. Literally. Everything is very transparent and it makes for an open and collaborative environment.

1. You didn’t follow up after the first session. After the consultation you could have introduced your other services in a the thank-you e-mail.

2. You didn’t deliver on your service in the about of time you stated. If they needed it in a hurry and you didn’t provide, they won’t rely on you again.

3. Your advice didn’t do as promised. If your advice didn’t accomplish their desired goal they’re not going to think a second session will either.

4. Your client couldn’t reach you in time when they had a follow-up question. You could have added extra lines of communication.

5. Your client doesn’t want to revisit your Web site because it didn’t offer much. You could have offered more original content or freebies.

6. Your competition is offering something free with their service. You should have been more aware of how they are targeting your clients.

7. Your client forgot your Web site address. You should have given your clients your Web site information in your product package.

8. Your support staff couldn’t solve a problem they had with your practice. Your support staff should be trained to handle most problems.

9. You didn’t up-sell when they were already in the buying mood. You can always try to sell your other services when they’re ready to buy your first one.

10. Your competition offers a stronger guarantee. You must always be thinking of better ways to remove the risk from your clients.

~ by Larry Dotson