Here’s what I think about John Jantsch’s new book (and two others you’ll like)
John Jantsch is all about serving small business owners, so not typically an author a time-crunched manager might come across in her weighing up of business books. And certainly, his previous books - which are very good – are all about how to market to and engage with your customers.
I’ve just finished The Commitment Engine: Making Work Worth It and if you’re guessing from the subtitle that he’s strayed into the world of Great Work then you’re absolutely right.
And quite frankly, a good deal of what he says can and should apply to anyone who’s working. Reframe your position to be less “I’m a manager” and more “I’m running my own small business within my organization” – not a big shift when increasingly it’s the entrepreneurial spirit that flourishes – and this book is spot on.
There’s much that’s good here and John focuses on the three core drivers he sees for creating commitment in yourself, in your people and with those you serve: Clarity on what and why you do what you do, the importance of Culture in embedding the right behaviours and Community as a the way of finding and nurturing a committed tribe of customers.
It can feel a little bit “bitsy” at times, so within a couple of pages you’ve jumped from the value of solitude in business to how to be really good at everything you do. The price that John pays for getting a lot in is a lack of depth in some of the places where I could have done with a little more “… and here’s how.”
Certainly worth picking up and I’m thrilled to have John join the “gotta get the purpose thing sorted” tribe, of which I’m a paid up member.
Everything’s changing: Nilofer Merchant’s new book
Nilofer’s 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era is not the snappiest title you’ll ever come across. It’s a short Kindle ebook, published by Harvard Business Review, and despite the title it’s worth a look if you’re wrestling with what your business will look like, and a perfect title to review with our focus on innovation this month
Nilofer is a very savvy commentator on the evolution of strategy in the new world, and the book is full of insight, stories of people who are doing things differently, and indeed those 11 rules, on how businesses is being done differently now – and why you need to know.
The stories I found particularly useful. In fact, I’m now noodling on a new strategy and business model for Box of Crayons are a result of being reminded about how Evernote run their business…
Mark Bowden’s Winning Body Language for Sales
I spend a lot of time with Mark. He’s a co-facilitator with a number of the bespoke programs we run and we created the Presentation Genius card pack together.
He truly is the bees knees when it comes to understanding how body language influences and persuades, hence the success of his first book Winning Body Language, which introduces us to such tools as The Truth Plane and The Yes State – tools I use everyday in my own work.
He’s now shifted the focus on the spotlight to the world of sales in this new book. If you’re a sales professional, this would certainly be worth picking up.