20 Tips from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf for Entrepreneurs, Startups & Business Owners

You’ve heard you are what you eat, well we believe that you are what you read. We receive hundreds of books to read to help out entrepreneurs and business owners but more than just offering a chance to hear about a book we believe we want you to walk away with some wisdom just like we did from reading these books.

Teach a CEO presents lessons from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf on how you can improve and grow your business venture. We have taken some nuggets from our library and provide them for entrepreneurs and business owners and to help your ventures.

  1. In forming team, you want people who are passionate. those are the ones who will spend all the extra hours on a project; who will think about that problem or product on the weekends, in the shower, wherever they go. Every great invention, every significant advance in human history began with passion. (The Soft Edge)
  2. Strategy formulation still requires the willingness and ability to make the tough choices about what to do and what not to do. You still need to define where you want to compete, how you intend to win, and how you plan to leverage your advantages–the timeless, transient, competitive, and exceptional advantages that have consistently helped you outrun the competitions up until now. (Challenge the Ordinary)
  3. Being the chief chooser and artist of your life allows you at any point to embrace a blank canvas, pick up a brush, and paint the picture of who you want to become! (The Power of Nothing)
  4. Learning organizations expect failure. They realize that if failure doesn't happen, the company isn't pushing hard enough. (Challenge the Ordinary)
  5. All of the “busyness” often makes us feel out of control and scattered in our thinking and our approach, forcing us to make decisions in the moment, sometimes at the risk of the future. Control for our actions and our ideas will remerge if we consciously force, even short moments, to step back and think before we act. (Consider)
  6. Exceptional organizations serve as magnets to star performers who, by their very nature, require excellent performance of themselves and those with whom they associate. (Challenge the Ordinary)
  7. The spirit and life force within all of us seeks ongoing expansion and growth. It is like a child searching for new meaning and exploring ways to be creative. The problem is that many work environments restrict, and even forbid, this powerful flow of energy. (The i In Team)
  8. Trust is the price we pay when we want to enable engagement, creativity, and great work. (The Soft Edge)
  9. If we make perfection the goal, we will never experience triumph, and we'll seldom be satisfied. Stars thrive on achievement and accomplishment because both bring satisfaction. (Challenge the Ordinary)
  10. Interdependent thinking reminds us to think we-opically and find solutions that are win-win. It does us little good to solve one problem and create more problems in the process. Look carefully at great teams and you will find another i in play. (The i In Team)
  11. Moreover, the smartest people in business are not those with the highest g. Instead they're those who regularly put themselves in situations that require grit. Those acts of courage accelerate their learning through adaptation. (The Soft Edge)
  12. As time goes on, we tend to accumulate more things. Stuff begins to clutter our lives and fill all the space. We become so overloaded and overburdened that we can't see through the clutter to create the life we truly want. (The Power of Nothing)
  13. With the tethering to technology that happens to us throughout the course of a day, it is clear that we treat time with our thoughts as a low-level priority. (Consider)
  14. To tap the ingenuity of the team, we have to accept that no one alone has all the data or all the answers. We have  to listen to one another. We have to share our ideas and insights and build on them. We have to speak up and be hones with one another, even if this feels uncomfortable. (The i In Team)
  15. But to increase smarts, both on an individual and organizational level, we need to acknowledge our performance bleep-ups. As counterintuitive as it may sound, more bleep=ups lead to greater improvements and faster innovation. (The Soft Edge)
  16. High-performing teams recognize that we must unite as one to deliver synergistic results. We must interact in harmony, like a disciplined symphony orchestra or a creative jazz band. We, indeed, have different roles to play with different responsibilities attached, but it is the synergistic interaction that leads to the quality and delivery of the music. We play as one. (The i In Team)
  17. We seem to understand, at least intellectually, that we will excel only by leveraging strengths, not by mitigating weaknesses. Of course, we should try to minimize weaknesses, but only to the point that they no longer undermine our strengths. In other words, working on a weakness will help us prevent failures, but it won't ensure virtuosity. (Challenge the Ordinary)
  18. Smart leaders think laterally. They love to learn from innovative thinkers in different industries. (The Soft Edge)
  19. Our misguided purpose of doing so much to achieve is often counterproductive. It takes away from our relationships and our ability to be an effective leader, mother, father or friend. (The Power of Nothing)
  20. If you really want to create fans of your business, the people who'll become apostles and advocates, you need to use narrative. We consumers are hardwired to receive a good story. (The Soft Edge)


Books from the Library

Excerpts from

  • The i In Team (Missing Ingredients for Team Success) – Cultivating high-performance teamwork is like growing a garden. We get out of it what we put into it. The i in Team challenges common misperceptions about teamwork and exposes the critical ingredients missing from many of today's teams, businesses, and organizations. In it, authors Michael McMillan and John Murphy show you how to experience a paradigm shift, transcending independent thinking and unleashing interdependent power. This book will show you how to tap the unique potential, inputs and talents of the individuals on your team, while creating more intrigue, involvement and interaction among team members. In reading The i in Team, you'll discover that not only is there an ‘i” in team, there are many.
  • The Soft Edge – High performance has always required shrewd strategy and superb execution. These factors remain critical, especially given today’s unprecedented business climate. But Rich Karlgaard—Forbes publisher, entrepreneur, investor, and board director—takes a surprising turn and argues that there is now a third element that’s required for competitive advantage. It fosters innovation, it accelerates strategy and execution, and it cannot be copied or bought. It is found in a perhaps surprising place—your company’s values. Karlgaard examined a variety of enduring companies and found that they have one thing in common; all have leveraged their deepest values alongside strategy and execution, allowing them to fuel growth as well as weather hard times. Karlgaard shares these stories and identifies the five key variables that make up every organization’s “soft edge.”
  • Consider – “Stop, Think, and don't do something stupid!” This is the warning Dr. Robert Bea drills into his Civil and Environmental Engineering students at the University of California in Berkeley. Bea wants to dramatize what he terms the inevitable “oh shit” moments that present themselves—before an actual engineering calamity like the Deepwater Horizon/BP disaster happens. There’s an intangible and invisible marketplace within our lives today where the products traded are four fold: attention, distraction, data and meaning. The stories and examples within Considerdemonstrate that the best decisions, insights, ideas and outcomes result when we take sufficient time to think and reflect. While technology allows us to act and react more quickly than ever before, we are taking increasingly less time to consider our decisions before we make them.  Reflection supplies an arsenal of ideas and solutions to the right problems.  Including interviews with leaders such as General David Petraeus, attorney Brooksley Born and global investor Kyle Bass, Forrester shows us that taking time and giving ourselves the mental space for reflection can mean the difference between total success and total failure.
  • The Power of Nothing – How “Nothing” Makes Everything and Anything Possible! – Whatever your background, you can choose to create the future you desire from a blank sheet of paper. The past doesn’t exist, and the future hasn’t happened yet.
  • Challenge the Ordinary – There's little room for error in today's global economy. It does not allow for mediocrity; the rules and players have changed; and ordinary simply won't work anymore. If companies don't have the best products and services and the top people delivering them, their competition will–and they will do it all over the world. As companies expand and grow, the skills that led to their success often won't sustain further development in a more complex, high-stakes environment. Yet few resources exist to help them. They frequently flounder in their attempts to create a competitive strategy, work with the board, and keep other talented executives, managers, and employees on board, all while endeavoring to navigate the turbulent waters of leadership. They need a roadmap to success.


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