Business Book Summaries

  • This ebook offers a summary of «FIRST, BREAK ALL THE RULES», by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

    Managing employees productively is exceptionally hard to achieve. It takes a deft touch to be able to balance all the competing interests: the company's, the customer's, the employee's and the manager's own interests to name just a few. Yet some managers consistently do just that, while others flounder and fail.

    Over a 25-year period, the Gallup Organization surveyed employees and managers to try and identify the patterns of success great managers' use. In fact, there emerged four keys that great managers use to draw exceptional performance from those they are responsible for. If these keys to unlocking world-class performance work for the great managers, it makes sense for everyone interested in producing similar results to study these keys and implement them in the context of their own business requirements.

  • A wonderful summary of the rags to riches story by Richard Tedlow. The book describes Andy Grove's early childhood in war-torn Hungary, and how his departure along with thousands of other refugees landed him in America. From his humble beginnings his career led him to a central position in silicon valley working at Intel. From a young age Andy understood the value of getting an education and was determined to get one even if he could not afford the fees of more prominent institutions. «In 1998, Andy Grove said that 'a lot of what is good in America I learned at City College. They accepted me with respect, without condescension. They gave me a start, and they gave it in a classy way. It's an institution that is crucial to the working of America, and America should be proud of it. I am.'» We learn about the challenges Andy faced during his time at Intel, and the incredible decisions he made with his colleagues when faced with major competitors like IBM. The summary ends with a few key principles that Grove presented to the board of directors at Intel. They in themselves summarize his winning business strategy, making this an interesting read for directors, managers and technology fans.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «AOL.COM: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web» by Kara Swisher.

    This summary starts with the story of Bill Von Meister, a telecommunications entrepreneur. In his early days von Meister's career looked somewhat like an exercise in trial and error. He spotted opportunities to develop useful telecoms business models but had a series of failures before finally joining up with right man, Steve Case, and landing on the right path.

    The company we now call AOL was built on the shaky foundations of a declining gaming industry. In its early days it worked fiercely against all odds, faced with harsh competition from Microsoft, and frequent technical slip ups which put them out of favor. But there was one thing they did exceedingly well, thanks to the guidance of their marketing executive Steve Case. AOL focused on communications, community and clarity - three areas which would enhance their users' online environments and their interaction with each other. They also launched an extensive marketing program in 1993 which received a phenomenal response and sent their stock price soaring. The summary concludes with a useful list of the factors that led to AOL's success, as well as giving some insight into the challenges which face it in the current market.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «BEATING THE MARKET, 3 MONTHS AT A TIME: A Proven Investing Plan Everyone Can Use» by Gerald Appel and Marvin Appel.

    Gerald Appel is publisher of Systems and Forecasts, an investment newsletter. He is also founder of Signalert, an investment advisory firm with more than $300 million in client assets under active management.

    Marvin Appel is CEO of Appel Asset Management Corporation and Vice President of Signalert. Dr. Appel currently serves as the editor of Systems and Forecasts.

    In Beating the Market, 3 Months at a Time, they argue that savvy, active investing works. Instead of handing all your money over to a financial planner or investing everything in a mutual fund and hoping for the best, you should become a self-sufficient investor.
    The key to making it happen is actually quite simple: they advise you to follow 5 steps in order to manage your investments so well that you end up beating the market.

    Beating the Market, 3 Months at a Time offers well researched strategies that are likely to increase you investment returns significantly while reducing risks associated with buying, hoping, and holding. A must read for investors (experienced or not).

  • 12: The Elements of Great Managing is the long-awaited sequel to the 1999 runaway bestseller First, Break All the Rules. Grounded in Gallup's 10 million employee and manager interviews spanning 114 countries, 12 follows great managers as they harness employee engagement to turn around a failing call center, save a struggling hotel, improve patient care in a hospital, maintain production through power outages, and successfully face a host of other challenges in settings around the world.
    Authors Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter weave the latest Gallup insights with recent discoveries in the fields of neuroscience, game theory, psychology, sociology, and economics. Written for managers and employees of companies large and small, 12 explains what every company needs to know about creating and sustaining employee engagement

  • This work offers a summary of the book «A NEW BRAND WORLD: 8 Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century» by Scott Bedbury.

    Scott Bedbury is the CEO of Brandstream, a global brand development consulting practice. Before that, he was senior vice president of marketing at Starbucks, easily one of the most recognisable brands in the world. A strong set of brand values can be a company's most important asset. They allow a company to distinguish itself from competitors and to gain the trust and loyalty of its clients over a period of time. Bedbury talks about a brand being like a company's conscience. It needs to be relevant, consistent and coherent. But more importantly, it needs to be cared for and brought to life by humans who care about its future and longevity.

    This summary of A New Brand World outlines eight principles to creating a solid 21st century brand, giving useful and well-known industry examples to highlight the main points. An impressive amount of information has been condensed into this neat and digestible format, making it a great guide for anyone looking to build a memorable brand for the 21st century, whether you are building on existing foundations or starting entirely from scratch.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «ABCs OF e-LEARNING: Reaping the Benefits and Avoiding the Pitfalls» by Brooke Broadbent.

    With computers and Internet being so widely accessible, the digital space a perfect vehicle for cost-effective learning. Electronic learning, or e-Learning as it is known, has not been half as successful as it could be. Apart from its wide reach and cost effectiveness, it has many other benefits including its adaptable structure, its interactive nature, its flexibility, and most interestingly the fact that it is non-linear meaning participants can skip material or specify the order in which they learn, something that cannot be tailored in the classroom. Thanks to all these advantages, e-Learning is becoming increasingly popular, at all levels of education.

    In this summary of ABCs Of E-Learning, Brooke Broadbent helps to dissect the different forms of e-Learning and explains how to plan and roll out successful e-Learning courses with solid, measurable results. «.e-learning can enhance the bottom line by making an organization more productive, saving money, and providing learners more access to more training.»

  • This work offers a summary of the book «A STAKE IN THE OUTCOME: Building a Culture of Ownership for the Long-Term Success of Your Business» by Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham Jack Stack is president and CEO of SRC Holdings Corporation (formerly Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation), an employee owned company since 1982. Bo Burlingham is editor-at-large of Inc. Magazine.

    According to Stack and Burlingham, «to succeed in creating an employee-owned and operated company, employees have to be taught how to think and act like owners». A Stake in the Outcome advises business managers to go beyond the traditional ways of rewarding employees, and teaches them how to build a sustainable ownership culture which provides employees with the right tools and attitude to carry out their responsibilities with the goals of the wider company at heart.

    This guide outlines 14 Rules of Employee Ownership, and systematically addresses each point often illustrated with examples. At the end of this summary you should have a clearer understanding of how to empower your employees with the trust and intelligence they need in order to act in the company's best interests, without necessarily handing out company shares.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «THE SPEED OF TRUST: The One Thing That Changes Everything» by Stephen M. Covey.

    Stephen M. Covey is CEO of CoveyLink Worldwide, a learning and consulting practice. He is the son of Stephen R. Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen M. Covey is a highly accomplished keynote speaker and advisor on trust, leadership, ethics and high performance.

    Trust is not something which is merely «nice-to-have». Rather, trust is a hard-nosed business asset which can deliver quantifiable economic value. For that and other sound reasons, it makes good financial sense to consistently find ways to enhance trust levels both within and external to your business organization.

    According to Stephen M. Covey, you need a workable mental model to build and enhance trust. Visualize trust as being like the «ripple effect» which occurs when a drop falls into a pool of water. That drop will generate a number of concentric waves. In The Speed of Trust, the author describes five waves, each of which represents a context in which trust is established.

    The Speed of Trust is a valuable book which provides many practical examples of how greater trust produces better results.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «YES! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways To Be Persuasive» by Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini.

    When it comes to your ability to persuade others, sometimes just a small and subtle change can have a huge impact on your success in being more persuasive. In Yes!, the authors present 50 persuasion strategies which have been scientifically proven to work. Many of these strategies are disarmingly simple and easy to implement but they have all been validated and rigorously proven to work in the real world. If you understand and then properly employ these strategies, you will become more persuasive in your work, in your personal life and everywhere else.

    Most people are perfectly comfortable relying on their gut instincts and therefore overlook the large body of research which has been carried out on persuasion. In Yes!, however, the authors argue that even people who consider themselves persuasion lightweights can learn to become persuasion heavyweights by understanding the psychology of persuasion and by using the specific persuasion strategies that have been scientifically proven to be effective.

    Yes! Is therefore a very interesting and useful book for those that wish to learn to persuade efficiently.

  • This work offers a summary of the book "Talent is overrated" by Geoff Colvin.

    Talent is not born, it is made, argues Geoff Colvin. Outstanding performance is based on what researchers call «deliberate practice» - activities world-leaders do to achieve at the highest level. Others may begin deliberate practice, but give up, whilst key performers persist. It follows, therefore, that high-achievement is possible for everyone, if they practice in the right way.


    Colvin suggests there are 5 key elements to deliberate practice: 1. That it's repeated; 2. That feedback is continuously available; 3. That it's highly demanding mentally and that 4. It's not always fun. There are a myriad of ways that deliberate practice is beneficial, including being able to anticipate better (because they have more experience), seeing indicators that others miss and being more innovative.

    Talent is Overrated also advises on how best to apply deliberate practice to organisations. Good managers should identify talent early, and nurture so that people hone their skills (and stay). Good managers also understand that the workplace must have high morale and be given the mental space to think. Colvin has written an inspiring book: Talent is Overrated is useful on a personal level - how can you best meet your long-term goals? - but also for corporations looking to fulfill their potential.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «THE RICHEST MAN IN BABYLON: Success Secrets of the Ancients» by George S. Clason.

    The Richest Man in Babylon is composed of a collection of parables all taking place in the ancient city of Babylon. The main message of The Richest Man in Babylon is that ahead of any person lies their future with ambitions and dreams and, to fulfill those ambitions and realize those dreams, people need to learn how to be successful with money. This book gives precious guidance and presents basic principles of effective money management.

    George Clason also tells the story of different characters that need to manage household finance. Through these experiences, the reader can identify himself with the situation. Indeed, even if the story happens in ancient times, it contains wisdom which applies to any time in history.

    The Richest Man in Babylon, described as «the most-inspiring book on wealth ever written», is a valuable book for businesspeople, even more specifically for those willing to learn the basics. But it is also very handy for those seeking to acquire timeless financial principles that can help their business thrive.

empty