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23 Entrepreneur & Business Owner Tips from the CEO’s Bookshelf

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You’ve heard you are what you eat, well we believe that you are what you read. Teach a CEO presents lessons from our bookshelf on how you can improve and grow your venture. We have taken gems or nuggets from our library and provide them for CEO’s, startups, entrepreneurs and business owners.

  1. God brought something out of nothing. He brought order out of chaos. God was the first entrepreneur. (Called to Create)
  2. Good leaders know that their people will only truly thrive not when they are pushed to be perfect but when they are encourages to be their natural best. (Permission to Screw Up)
  3. Embrace the power of Personal Accountability. If you have established True North then the other cardinal points quickly become opportunities you will learn to navigate. Ignore Personal Accountability, and People, Process, and Perspective will be forever out of sync. Without the lodestar you will be left to wander. (The Compass Solution)
  4. God crated us to be co-creators with him. God is calling us to be entrepreneurial. (Called to Create)
  5. The Diamond Process Model (DPM) is a holistic model that can be tailored to any organization, large or small. It is a recipe for success for any size organization and is a great tool for any leader who desires to maintain organizational control in oder to meet expectations and increase efficiency and effectiveness. (The Diamond Process)
  6. The highest calling is not being a pastor but becoming all God called you to be. (Called to Create)
  7. In Mission Control, it is a great leadership luxury to have such a clear and compelling purpose with such a readily discernible moral component. That clarity simply make it easier to see the imperative for us to align to our core purpose. It does not weaken the value in other venues. Some may just have to work harder to answer the question, “How does this matter to us?” (Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom)
  8. Get used to it—you are the most important brand you will ever represent. No one else will help you promote yourself more than you will help you promote yourself. Don’t assume there are benevolent overloads in the corridors of power who are constantly trolling to help the next generation succeed. Oh, here are people who who will care who will help–but the sooner you divorce yourself from the old paradigms the better equipped you will be to navigate your own career path. (The Compass Solution)
  9. Giving a pep talk can be powerful. But there’s a time for pep talks and a time for reality checks. And a good leader knows when and how to give both. Giving people room to make mistakes doesn’t mean excusing bad behavior, ignoring poor decisions, or avoiding the feedback they need to hear to be better. Teaching people to problem-solve on their own is important, but so is helping them grow from their mistakes. (Permission to Screw Up)
  10. Following the call to crate means that we no longer work to make a name for ourselves: we work for the glory of the One who has called us. (Called to Create)
  11. By maintaining proper focus on current operations, leaders will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the company and understand why the organization is performing or lacking in certain areas. These insights will aid planning, both in the current state of the business as well as the future. (The Diamond Process)
  12. If we see our creating as a means of revealing God’s character and loving others, then we have proper ambition to crete like w are running out of time, because, in fact we are! (Called to Create)
  13. The hardest realization for leaders to make is that we are the problem, if we are not choosing to be the solution. (Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom)
  14. Train the way you fly. Fly the way you train. Unfailingly. (Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom)
  15. When critical events demand it, someone has to lead. Groups don’t just automatically walk in the same direction through telepathic communication. Sometimes it requires courage to step into the void and to say to peers, “Follow me.” (The Compass Solution)
  16. I was starting to understand that my responsibility as a leader wasn’t to party with my people, and it wasn’t to shut them out either. I was there to support them every chance I got. And the better I got to know them, the more I came to truly care about them. (Permission to Screw Up)
  17. There is perhaps no clearer way for Christians to set themselves apart from the world than by prioritizing people over profit. (Called to Create)
  18. We define process leadership as the iterative act of developing a process, applying appropriate resource to the process, and monitoring the performance of the process. Process leadership is more science than art, which make it more appealing to the left-brained folks. (The Diamond Process)
  19. I’d admit that there’s no guide that explains exactly what it’s like to lead and that no one gets it right the first time. You don’t mess up a couple times and then skip your way to success. You mess up, get a little closer to achieving something, and then make another mistake that puts you ten steps back again. Sometimes you make the same mistake twice. Sometimes you feel like you want to give up. Sometimes you you o to bed crying. These are the things I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out. They’re things I wish more leaders would get comfortable acknowledging. Because let’s face it, leadership is really, really hard. And I’ve learned that if it’s not hard, chances are you’re not doing it right. (Permission to Screw Up)
  20. You cannot be a person of influence if you don’t take the time to listen to those around you, to appreciate their viewpoints, to tap into their strengths, and to demonstrate true empathy for what is important to them. Your foundation is built on credibility and not on what you think you know. Your challenge is not always going to be in providing answers. More often than not, it will be in asking the right questions. The very best help others to look at their own mirror. (The Compass Solution)
  21. A leaders, we must remember that our real goal is for the team to handle every situation well and succeed in our core purpose, not for the leader to be the loudest (or only) voice in all discussions. (Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom)
  22. The Diamond Process Model resembles a zero sum game where changes to one area must be countered with changes to another area to maintain the balance an organization need to be successful. For example, if you change a process to support a line of business, then you must also look at applying resources to the process. Those added resources must either be new resources (which require capital adjustments) or they need to be shifted from another are of the organization. The DPM forces you , the leader, to answer all of these questions and simultaneously commits you to a decision-making process. Having a sound process for making good decisions is an absolute necessity for any leader wanting to successfully lead an organization. (The Diamond Process)
  23. The Power of Story is the First Cardinal Rule of Communication. Compelling presentations are made by the metaphors and similes hat help vividly express your points by engaging the often misunderstood right brain of your audience–the creative side that hungers to be aroused but often slips into the shadows in the corporate world. The very best communicators are first great storytellers. (The Compass Solution)

CEO Bookshelf

 

Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk – We were created by an infinitely creative God to reflect his love and character to the world. One way we do that is by continuing his creative work. In this energizing book, serial entrepreneur and bestselling author Jordan Raynor helps artists, entrepreneurs, writers, and other creatives reimagine our work as service to God and others, addressing such penetrating questions as (1) Is my work as a creative really as God-honoring as that of a pastor or missionary? (2) What does it look like to create not to make a name for myself but to glorify God and serve others? (3) How can I use my work to fulfill Jesus’s command to create disciples? (4) Will what I make today matter in eternity? To answer these questions, Raynor shares compelling stories from an eclectic group of 40+ Christian entrepreneurs, including the founders of TOMS Shoes, Charity: Water, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Guinness, HTC, and Sevenly, as well as nontraditional entrepreneurs such as C. S. Lewis, Johann Sebastian Bach, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Raynor’s “show” rather than “tell,” story-driven style makes you feel as if you are sitting at the feet of some of the godliest and most successful entrepreneurs of all time. Perfectly poised to reach today’s growing creative class, this unique work restores God’s position as the first entrepreneur, helping readers see the eternal value in the work they do today.

Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong – The inspiring, unlikely, laugh-out-loud story of how one woman learned to lead–and how she ultimately succeeded, not despite her many mistakes, but because of them. This is the story of how Kristen Hadeed built Student Maid, a cleaning company where people are happy, loyal, productive, and empowered, even while they’re mopping floors and scrubbing toilets. It’s the story of how she went from being an almost comically inept leader to a sought-after CEO who teaches others how to lead. Hadeed unintentionally launched Student Maid while attending college ten years ago. Since then, Student Maid has employed hundreds of students and is widely recognized for its industry-leading retention rate and its culture of trust and accountability. But Kristen and her company were no overnight sensa­tion. In fact, they were almost nothing at all. Along the way, Kristen got it wrong almost as often as she got it right. Giving out hugs instead of feed­back, fixing errors instead of enforcing accountability, and hosting parties instead of cultivating meaning­ful relationships were just a few of her many mistakes. But Kristen’s willingness to admit and learn from those mistakes helped her give her people the chance to learn from their own screwups too. Permission to Screw Up dismisses the idea that leaders and orga­nizations should try to be perfect. It encourages people of all ages to go for it and learn to lead by acting, rather than waiting or thinking. Through a brutally honest and often hilarious account of her own strug­gles, Kristen encourages us to embrace our failures and proves that we’ll be better leaders when we do.

The Compass Solution: A Guide to Winning Your Career – Most people will spend—at minimum—100,000 hours building a career. This represents the greatest financial investment of their life. Unfortunately, a great many consider that investment with the same degree of critical thinking as they might the purchase of a lottery ticket—effectively gambling away their future. The Compass Solution was written for those who want to win their career, not just endure it. This is the definitive guide to successful career navigation. A practical resource that balances personal experience with proven theory. A guide for both the newcomer struggling to get started, and the veteran lost and effectively wandering.This book will introduce you to the four cardinal points of The Compass. These are the basic principles you can use to change your career trajectory; explained in practical terms and brought to life with personal stories.But The Compass Solution is more than just a career survival guide. The latter half of the book focuses on three keys that can accelerate your climb. Master them and you will move far beyond the masses. The clock is ticking on your 100,000 hour narrative. The decisions you make today will dictate the outcome. This is the ONE guidebook that can actually help you write YOUR career story with a happy ending. A lifetime of experience in one book, sharing the secrets most never learn. Why gamble your future when you don’t have to?

Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom: A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance – Failure is always an option, and so is choosing to lead your team into an environment that helps them avoid catastrophe and pull off miracles. For more than fifty years, NASA’s Mission Control has done just that. Take the ultimate insider’s look at the leadership values and culture that made that track record possible. Paul Hill paints a vivid picture, candidly portraying the critical cultural connections in human spaceflight triumphs and failures. By demonstrating how his Mission Control team learned to steward this culture into their management roles, Paul provides a guide for any organization to boost their own performance by leveraging the core ideas and values that have delivered “impossible” wins for decades. Whether failure means cost and schedule overruns, quality escapes, loss of market share, bankruptcy, or putting people’s lives at risk, how we lead can determine whether even small mistakes snowball out of control and destroy an enterprise. Discover how to take Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom, and enable this leadership environment in your team.

The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People – Effective Leadership—It’s a Process. Good leadership is about more than inspiring people. Effective leadership stands on two pillars: excellent people and efficient processes. Through well-tested models and a series of structured metrics, The Diamond Process will help you identify weak points in your work flow so that you can retroactively fix your organization and make it more efficient.Using the Diamond Process Model, you’ll learn how to—IDENTIFY and REFINE your organization’s key drivers or primary motivations. INTEGRATE resources like people, equipment, and funding with the processes that achieve the key drivers. BALANCE the key drivers, resources, and processes. CREATE new processes for long-term SUCCESS. Authors Mike Diamond and Chris Harding pull on their considerable experience in the corporate and military worlds to share a wholly innovative approach to effective leadership. Whether you are a small business owner or a shift manager, The Diamond Process will help you transform your organization and lead your team more effectively.

Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom: A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance – Failure is always an option, and so is choosing to lead your team into an environment that helps them avoid catastrophe and pull off miracles. For more than fifty years, NASA’s Mission Control has done just that. Take the ultimate insider’s look at the leadership values and culture that made that track record possible. Paul Hill paints a vivid picture, candidly portraying the critical cultural connections in human spaceflight triumphs and failures. By demonstrating how his Mission Control team learned to steward this culture into their management roles, Paul provides a guide for any organization to boost their own performance by leveraging the core ideas and values that have delivered “impossible” wins for decades. Whether failure means cost and schedule overruns, quality escapes, loss of market share, bankruptcy, or putting people’s lives at risk, how we lead can determine whether even small mistakes snowball out of control and destroy an enterprise. Discover how to take Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom, and enable this leadership environment in your team.

Do you have any gems or nuggets from any of the books above? Please let us know in the comments below and if you know a book that should be on our bookshelf, please let us know!

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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