The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference

the-power-of-small

The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference
by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

You may not be familiar with their names, but you are probably familiar with the authors’ work. They are the founding partners of the Kaplan Thaler Group, the advertising agency responsible for the Aflac duck campaign. One of them wrote the “I want to be a Toys R Us Kid” jingle earlier in her career. Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval previously wrote The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness.

This book is about paying attention to little things which have a big impact. Continue reading

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Strengths Finder 2.0

strengths-finder-2-0

Strengths Finder 2.0

by Tom Rath

The premise of this book is that people are happiest and most productive when their work is well suited to their strengths. Conversely, many people pursue the “path of most resistance.” The book includes a code to access an online assessment which will identify your top five strengths.

“Gallup has surveyed more than 10 million people worldwide on the topic of employee engagement… People who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.” Continue reading

The Power of Nice

the-power-of-nice

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness

by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

You may not be familiar with the authors’ names, but you are probably familiar with their work. They are the founding partners of the advertising agency responsible for the Aflac duck campaign.  One of them wrote the “I want to be a Toys R Us Kid” jingle earlier in her career.

Their message is that being nice (but not phony) in personal and professional encounters builds goodwill, which can lead to big and small rewards.  Many examples are included in the book. Continue reading

The One Thing

the-one-thing

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

This book is about finding your focus and making it your top priority in order to achieve extraordinary results.  Identifying your focus comes from asking The Focusing Question: “What’s the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

“The Focusing Question is a double-duty question. It comes in two forms: big picture and small focus. One is about finding the right direction in life and the other is about finding the right action.” Continue reading

The No Asshole Rule

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t

by Robert I. Sutton

Assholes create a toxic work environment, destroying productivity. Sutton introduces the Total Cost of Assholes (TCA) metric. In the case of a salesman named Ethan, the cost was estimated at $160,000, including time spent by Ethan’s manager, HR professionals, senior executives, outside counsel, as well as the costs related to high turnover of support staff.

Sutton warns not to hire wimps and polite clones. “A series of controlled experiments and field studies in organizations show that when teams engage in conflict over ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect, they develop better ideas and perform better. For this reason, Intel requires all new employees to take “constructive confrontation class.”

Order from Amazon

Sutton, Robert I. The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. New York: Business Plus, 2010. Buy from Amazon.com

18 Minutes

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done

by Peter Bregman

Peter Bregman writes, “The world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards productivity.”  18 Minutes is a book about choosing your priorities and getting things done.

The author suggests finding your focus based on your strengths, weaknesses, differences, and passions. “Assert your differences… Don’t waste your year trying to blend in… Understand your obsessions and you will understand your natural motivation.” Continue reading