General Ruminations on Business Reading (Part 4)

(Don’t miss the first three in this series.  Here are the links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Predictably Irrational – Dan Areily
You may wonder how a book titled Predictably Irrational could have anything remotely connected to a small carpet cleaning business. You need to read no further than the first chapter to get information that may increase your profitability tenfold. The success of the book Freakonomics popularized this field known as ‘behavioral economy’. Standard economists presume that people are rational but Dan Ariely proves that most people are irrational AND predictably so. When you understand this you can use it to eliminate these mistakes from your own decisions and to plan your marketing strategy.

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job – Patrick Lencioni
Normally I am not a big fan of fables written as business books but Lencioni changed my mind after reading/listening to three of his books. This is another book that will help you in the battle to retain good employees. I actually drove further than I had to just to finish this one!

Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message- Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell
The authors have written a short but well researched book on the power of blogs in the larger field of social media and networks. While this sounds like the playground of teens and twenty-something’s it was written for people who may not even know what a blog is, or care. The target audience is business people who don’t necessarily wait in line at Best Buy for the latest techno weenie gadget to arrive.

Regardless of if it is a blog or a discussion board the world has become ‘democratized’. It doesn’t matter if your company is Dell, a truck mount manufacturer or a small cleaning company business has become transparent. You cannot hide problems! Online companies like Angie’s List ( where (theoretically) you must be referred by a consumer who has used the service are becoming more common. (Not too mention Google reviews too!) Customers can now research any service company and read reports from neighbors (as in the newer site concerning your company.

As stated in the book Cluetrain Manifesto “the Web is enabling the market to converse again, as people tell one another the truth about products and companies and their own desires.” The take away? A few unhappy customers can destroy a large advertising budget quickly.

In addition, read anything by these authors:
Tom Peters,
Al Ries & Jack Trout
Seth Godin
Michael J. Gelb
Dan Kennedy
Harry Beckwith
Marcus Buckingham
John C. Maxwell

The difference between school and your ongoing education is you can choose what to read today. If you aren’t reading or listening to books you are slipping behind. Check your local library. Many great books are available to download for free!

But hey, that is enough opinions from me. What ‘Transformational’ books have you been reading lately?  Share your comments below or recommend a book to Bill here.

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