Ten Books To Read In September

The Entrepreneur

By Marc Kramer, For The Bulletin Newspaper
Sunday, September 06, 2009
As we head into the home stretch for 2009 and we begin to see light at the end of a very dark time in the American economy, it’s a good time to read books that will improve your company’s and your own competitive position.

1.    “Never Make the First Offer” by Donald Dell.  Mr. Dell was a champion professional tennis player and one of the first major sports agents.  His book talks about how to negotiate a successful deal.  It is a fun read with great examples.

2.    “Jam! Amp Your Team, Rock Your Business,” by Jeff Carlisi, founder of the rock group 38 Special, and Dan Lipson, founder of Camp Jam, rock and roll camps for kids and adults.  People who are interested in the music world will learn lessons from one of the toughest businesses about how to build success in a very competitive market.

3.    “Love Leadership,” by John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE.  The resounding theme is don’t focus on just making money, but on what you love to do and success will come. Mr. Bryant built a successful non-profit social investment banking fund, which taught him many valuable lessons.

4.    “The Score Takes Care of Itself,” by Bill Walsh.  A perfect book to read during football season.  Deceased football coaching great Bill Walsh, who won three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, provides insight into his leadership and management philosophy. 

5.    “How Did That Happen,” by Roger Connors and Tom Smith.  Today, people require reasons for why they should follow a directive from a leader before agreeing to be held accountable.  This book provides leaders with best ways of selling ideas and getting people to follow.

6.    “Just Listen,” by Mark Goulston.  Dr. Goulston is a reknown psychiatrist who works with corporations and law enforcement.  The book provides advice with examples on how to become a good listener and interpret what people are saying in order to make good decisions.

7.    “Karmic Management: What Goes Around Comes Abound in Your Business and Your Life,” by Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally and Michael Gordon.  It’s a sequel to another famous business book called “The Diamond Cutter.”  This is a quick read about how to use karma to make business decisions.

8.    “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” by C.K. Prahald.  This book is very similar to books like “The Long Tail” in that you focus on customers that spend less than the big boys, but when added up the amount becomes staggering. It’s the same principal as microloans.  What is interesting about this book is that it talks about the value of helping people escape poverty and how money can be made by improving people’s lot in life.

9.    “Professional Services Marketing,” by Mike Schultz & John Doerr.  A good book that provides methodologies and examples of how to market professional services by two very experienced marketers.

10.    “The Road to Financial Reformation,” by Henry Kaufman.  The former chairman/CEO of Salomon Brothers.  For those interested in why Wall Street imploded and what needs to be done to prevent this in the future will find this book thought provoking.  Another reason I recommend this book is that it provides ideas for potential business opportunities.

Great books teach unforgettable lessons!  Don’t waste your time watching unreality shows when you can stimulate your mind and further your career and your colleagues. 

Marc Kramer, who is the author of five books and project faculty at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, is a serial entrepreneur

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