Here are some of the things on my mind this week:
Team of Teams, New Rules of Engagement For A Complex World, McChrystal, Collins, Silverman, Fussell: I believe managing/dealing with complexity is one of the most profound issues facing leaders of all types in today’s world. Team of Teams provides and outstanding starting point looking at why complexity is so important, why our current methods and models for dealing with complicated fail in looking at complexity. I expected the book to have simply a “Special Forces” take on nimbleness, adaptability, and so forth, instead it takes a far broader view looking at examples far beyond Special Forces.
Excellence, Can We Be Equal And Excellent Too? John Gardner: This has to be about the 20th time I’ve reread this classic book. I first discovered it in 1982 and have literally worn out several copies. John Gardner was a cabinet secretary and founder of Common Cause. I’ve read virtually all of his books, he’s able to take some of the most fundamental issues, discussing them in deep and profound manner. One sentence in the introduction, “Is excellence possible, even in a democracy,” is particularly interesting given the current presidential campaign in the US. It’s becoming more difficult to get copies of this book, but it’s probably one of the most impactful books you can read and reread.
Lean Communication For Sales, Jack Malcolm. Words count. How we engage our customers in understanding what they value, how we articulate the value in the most impactful manner possible is critical to our success in sales. Jack’s one of the best people I’ve met in helping us understand how to engage our customers. His new eBook is a tightly written, as you would expect, guidebook to improving your own effectiveness and impact with your customers. It’s a fast, actionable read.
The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, Anthony Iannarino. I’ve been waiting, for some time, for Anthony’s first book. I think we first started talking about a book about 6 years ago. I know he has been writing and rewriting and rewriting for some time. On October 11, it finally hits the streets. I just completed an early release, it’s been worth the wait. It’s titled The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, actually that’s a little ambitious. But it’s the first book on professional selling that anyone should ever read. The material in the book provides the foundation for any career in selling. It starts with what it takes to be excellent in selling, then continues with the how. There are many other great books on selling, but with this as the foundation, the others take on new meaning. For those of us who have been selling for years, there are undoubtedly many bad habits we have to unlearn, there are things we have to rebuild from the ground up. Anthony’s book provides an outstanding framework for this. The link enables you to pre-order the book, as well as get some “extras.”
When I launched Sales Manager Survival Guide, I committed 100% of the profits in May, and 25% of the profits for June-August to Charity Water. I’m proud to say, through the great popularity of the book, we’ve raised several thousand dollars. There’s about another week in this campaign. If you haven’t gotten the book, order one this week. If you have it, make sure you recommend it to your friends and colleagues. Make sure your manager and your manager’s manager have copies of the book—it will make your life better and help you achieve more.
Earlier this week, I was speaking to a VP of Product Management. He’s been a long time friend. He commented, “Dave, I know the book was supposed to be for sales professionals, but many of the lessons in the book are things I need to be applying within my own organization.”
I launched the book with the theme, Get Smart and Do Good. I’d love to crush it in the next week and add at least another $1000 to the contributions we make to Charity Water. Please order a copy of Sales Manager Survival Guide this week, have your friends, managers, colleagues get copies as well.
(If you’ve bought it and read it, I’d love your feedback and an Amazon review!