Monday, March 18, 2013

Fred 2.0

You may have noticed I’ve been reviewing quite a few books lately.  I started off last week with a little pause in reading before the next one, just to be contacted about reviewing another brand new book.  And am I glad I said yes!

Mark Sanborn’s new book, Fred 2.0, is a follow up to his 2004 best seller, The Fred Factor.  Seldom have I ever read a success/leadership/motivation book that hits an emotional cord like this one.

The Fred Factor has been used by countless organizations, big and small, for the last decade, to impact their service and overall employee inspirations.  Fred 2.0 is bound for the same success.

Fred 2.0 is full of new, inspiring and energizing examples of people that are committed to taking ownership of their own greater service.  Mark, again, shows us that you don’t need any big budgets, training, or much of anything for that matter, to be extraordinary.  The chapter names themselves give you a good idea of what’s in store for you:
  • ·      Work with Passion,
  • ·      Develop Your Difference,
  • ·      Elevate the Experience,
  • ·      Renew Your Resolve.

The book starts right off with outstanding ideas to think about, like, “someone who does an ordinary job in an extraordinary way can have such a powerful impact on people”.  I doesn’t matter how small or “normal” you think your job may be, YOU can make it extraordinary and YOU can make a difference in others lives.  Just choose to be better than “normal”, choose to be extraordinary.

The Fred’s of the world do what they do because they know it’s the right thing to do.  Mark goes on to say that, “Being a Fred isn’t about the job you hold but how you do the job”.  You’ll learn this from “ordinary” people such as a forklift driver, a dentist, a butcher, and many more, that you have the tools you need to be extraordinary, inside of you already. 

This is a book that you’re going to want to jump on and get started.  And I wouldn’t doubt that you’ll end up picking up a few copies for your friends or co-workers.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Leadership and the Art of Struggle

Leadership is becoming more and more difficult and problematic . . . unless you have the right tools and resources.

In Steven Snyder’s new book, Leadership and the Art of Struggle, he gives you the insights you need to transform your leadership pitfalls into opportunities. Struggle happens, and you can’t be afraid to bring it out into the open. And as Chapter 1 is so rightly named, “Struggle is not a four-letter word”.

Snyder’s book is broken down into 3 building blocks:
Part 1 – Becoming Grounded – makes sense of your chaotic world and helps you to regain your “balance”.
Part 2 – Exploring New Pathways – teaches you to “reimagine the situation” and to overcome your blind spots.
Part 3 – Deepening Adaptive Energy – helps you prepare, harness, and celebrate what lies ahead.

Especially interesting to me is his explanation of blind spots – “anything that can hinder or undermine your performance that you are either unaware of or have chosen to overlook”. There are five different types (you’ll have to get the book to find out what they are). Like many other parts of the book, this makes you stop and think about things that you normally would overlook, consciously or unconsciously.

This isn’t a book to just sit, read, and put away. It’s full of hands-on practice exercises to help you immediately adapt the tools into your own implementation strategies. If you’re serious about wanting to become a better leader, you need to pick up this book today and get to work.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Customer Rules

Well I’ve just been a busy little reading hound lately.  I love having the ability to read books pre-release and watching how they do compared to my own reviews.  And every so often I come across a book that I know is going to do well, no matter what I say.  That brings me to, The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service, by Lee Cockerell.

This book had me hooked from the very start.  The common sense rules that Lee discusses are fundamental to service in ANY type of organization.  This book will make you go, “Hmmmm, that just makes sense”.  And isn’t that what you’re looking for in business book?

Lee Cockerell has been in the hospitality field for 40+ years, most recently retiring as VP of Operations at Walt Disney World, and uses this new book to teach us in short, bite-sized chapters, principles that he’s learned, sometimes the hard way, over those many years of experience.

Some of my favorite rules are,
Rule #5 - Ask Yourself, “What Would Mom Do?” - Always do the right thing and don’t do anything you would not want Mom to know about.
Rule #18 - Be a Copycat - You don’t need to try to reinvent the entire wheel.  Just improve on what others have done.
Rule #32 - Don’t Give the Responsibility Without the Authority.  How many times have you seen this go wrong?  Lee says, “It is not the problem itself that drives customers away; it’s how poorly you resolve the problem and how slowly you resolve it”.

This book is written in an easy to comprehend manner that keeps your attention.  It’s not a bunch of boring theories, but true life experiences with humor and unpretentious storytelling.  In other words, it’s the type of customer service and leadership book you’ve been looking for.  You and your service team will enjoy and value this book.

Log in to Amazon today, or go to your favorite bookstore tomorrow (March 5th) and pick up a couple of copies.  Oh - and don’t forget to pick up some highlighters also.