Cannabis, Decisions, Empathy, Design Thinking & More [CEO Bookshelf]

25 CEO Nuggets, Business Tips & Lessons from the Entrepreneur’s Bookshelf

You’ve heard you are what you eat, well we believe that you are what you read. Teach a CEO presents lessons from our CEO Bookshelf on how you can improve and grow your venture. We have taken gems or nuggets from our library and provide them for CEOs, startups, entrepreneurs and business owners. Get your copy of these books and more at CEO Books.

Decisions – 5 Nuggets 

  1. Apply your talent wisely and where you can make a difference. (Decisions)
  2. Infuse as much creativity as possible into what you do. (Decisions)
  3. Do what is right, regardless of the cost. But recognize that you need to survive and take steps to make sure you do. (Decisions)
  4. Look around corners for problems and what might impede your progress and address it, if possible, before it happens. (Decisions)
  5. Be prepared to take full responsibility for your decisions and their outcomes. Ali did not hide behind anyone, no matter how vindictive public reactions were to his decisions. (Decisions)

Empathy – 5 Nuggets

  1. Empathy, introduced centuries later, is what we feel when we haven't necessarily had the same experience but can actively imagine what the experience might have felt like, and perhaps (but not necessarily) even feel some of their emotions ourselves. It's about putting ourselves in the shoes of another. (The Empathy Edge)
  2. Empathy spurs innovation: When you understand your customers, you can keep pace with changing needs and desires. (The Empathy Edge)
  3. For companies to live out empathy in real and meaningful ways, it must become the fabric of organizational culture. (The Empathy Edge)
  4. Empathy is all about getting out of your own head. And so is building a great brand. (The Empathy Edge)
  5. Injecting more empathy into your leadership style, company culture, and brand actions may seem like relatively insignificant steps, especially when you scroll through the daily news headlines and see war, famine, cruelty and ignorance writ large. (The Empathy Edge)

Disruption – 5 Nuggets

  1. To grow fast and create extraordinary amounts of value, companies no longer need to add large numbers of employees, incur fixed costs, or obtain large amounts of fixed assets. They only need imagination and technology, as well as the human talent to execute their idea. (Go Tech, or Go Extinct)
  2. In today's world, no one can achieve an ambitious five-year vision without taking risks…. The only way to defend against today's threats is to take risks. After all, making any decision is a risk–there is always a risk of making the wrong decision, even if the decision is to do nothing. (Go Tech, or Go Extinct)
  3. …capital is no longer the lever for creating company value that it once was. (Go Tech, or Go Extinct)
  4. The alternative to selling out (or dying) is to choose to adapt, even if your company is already at risk due to competitors who are fully technology-enabled and coming after your customers. (Go Tech, or Go Extinct)
  5. Regardless of whether you have a vision to transform your company with technology or not, I assure you that your competition does. If they implement their vision before you do yours, your market cap is more likely to shrink than to grow. (Go Tech, or Go Extinct)

Cannabis Industry – 5 Nuggets

  1. In all, copious amounts of opportunities exist for job seekers and entrepreneurs alike. For some time, industry insiders knew that much of the world's job functions could be replicated in the cannabis space. (Cannabis Jobs)
  2. The adverse effects of cannabis on some created another niche need in the market: rehabilitation. (Cannabis Jobs)
  3. Financial services are booming in cannabis. From full-service firms to boutique businesses, numerous companies provide ventures with the finance and guidance needed to steer a path to success in the burgeoning market. (Cannabis Jobs)
  4. The need for freelancers in cannabis is on the rise. Depending on the service provided, freelancers can find a wealth of opportunity or may have to be one of the early trailblazers in the space. (Cannabis Jobs)
  5. Entrepreneurs need to keep an eye out on emerging industries to see where their strengths may be best suited. Once they have determined their business and a hungry audience, the real work sets in. (Cannabis Jobs)

Design Thinking – 5 Nuggets

  1. Quota challenges often are not stand-alone issues but are connected with other sales effective issues. (Quotas!)
  2. Push your team to leverage Sales Design Thinking to come out with a solution that is differentiated for your business and solves the unique components of your challenge. (Quotas!)
  3. Build support for your change with the right coaching and systems. (Quotas!)
  4. Few organizations understand how to set quotas that reflect real market opportunity and sales capacity with enough transparency to motive the reps. For many organizations, setting effective quotas is elusive because they try to solve the quota problem with the same timeworn approaches or avoid the problem altogether. (Quotas!)
  5. Don't assume that your quota issue is about the numbers. Look at the people and process parts of quota setting and quota management. (Quotas!)

Books on The CEO Bookshelf

Descriptions are from Amazon.comCheck out this edition at CEO Books.

  • Decisions by Robert L. Dilenschneider – Sorting out our lives amidst chaos, confusion, and innumerable options is a process we all have in common. The decisions we ultimately make can affect our lives and the lives of others. It’s not always easy. In this empowering guide, an expert in business strategies shares the choices of notable, visionary decision-makers—from Harry Truman and Henry Ford to Marie Curie and Malala Yousafzai—and explains how you can apply their principles to your own personal and professional real-life scenarios. Resolve, patience, and practical thinking—take it from these politicians, scientists, economists, inventors, entrepreneurs, theologians, activists, and commanders of war and peace. Their inspiring counsel will give you the tools you need to help change your life. Both big and small, your choices can shape the minutes, days, weeks, and years ahead. This book is the first motivating step in the right direction.
  • The Empathy Edge by Maria Ross – Furious customers? Missed deadlines? Failed products? The problems your business faces may stem from a single issue: lack of empathy. Being empathetic at work means seeing the situation from another’s perspective, and using that vantage point to shape your leadership style, workplace culture, and branding strategy. Pairing her knowledge as a branding expert with proven research and fascinating stories from executives, change-makers and community leaders, Maria Ross reveals exactly how empathy makes brands and organizations stronger and more successful. Ross shows why your business needs to cultivate more empathy now, and shares the habits and traits of empathetic leaders who foster more productivity and loyalty. She gives practical tips, big and small, for how to align your mission and values and hire the right people, cultivating a more empathetic—and innovative—workplace culture. Finally, she gives you the goods on building your empathetic brand in an authentic and proactive way, and shows how doing so results in happier customers, innovative work cultures and increased profits. In this practical playbook for businesses of all types, Maria Ross proves that empathy is not just good for society—it’s great for business, and may transform you at a personal level, too.
  • Go Tech, or Go Extinct: How Acquiring Tech Disruptors Is the Key to Survival and Growth for Established Companies by Paul Cuatrecasas – Discover innovative acquisition strategies and mindset shifts to future-proof your company’s bottom line and market value.In Go Tech, or Go Extinct: How Acquiring Tech Disruptors Is the Key to Survival and Growth for Established Companies, Paul Cuatrecasas shares his revolutionary approach to transforming legacy companies into forward-thinking industry leaders through the strategic acquisition of disruptive technology companies. As the founder and CEO of Aquaa Partners, Cuatrecasas has facilitated more than forty-five global merger and acquisition transactions involving technology companies and ranging in size from $1 million to $1.5 billion. Leveraging insights gained from his one-on-one meetings with C-suite executives of over 300 large corporations during 2018 and 2019, Cuatrecasas explains why so many corporates are failing at innovation and why technology companies represent the new secret formula for non-tech corporate incumbents to delight their customers and leave their competition in the dust. Go Tech, or Go Extinct is an insider’s guide to the opportunities available for established companies willing to embrace rapid change without sacrificing their core goals. More encompassing than a “how-to” handbook, this resource is designed for ambitious C-suite leaders eager to implement the future-focused actions vital to survive and thrive. Armed with the same priceless wisdom that Cuatrecasas uses to create exponential returns for his clients, you’ll identify and seize smart ideas on how to invest and acquire to radically improve your positioning.
  • Cannabis Jobs: How to Make a Living and Have a Career in the World of Legalized Marijuana by Andrew Ward – As of 2019, eleven states (and Washington, DC) have legalized recreational marijuana use with another twenty-two having legalized medical marijuana, and those numbers will only continue to rise. Cannabis career opportunities are beginning to take off across the country and beyond. In fact, Forbes noted the industry is projected to create more jobs than manufacturing by 2020. With the rise in legalization, virtually any job in the American market can be replicated in the cannabis industry. From working in a dispensary to social media, IT to HR, marketing to quality assurance, millions of future professionals are looking at cannabis as a future career path. Andrew Ward, who has been covering the growing cannabis industry for over a decade, shares the vast stretch of potential careers. In addition to job opportunities, Ward supplies career growth, salaries, and first-hand knowledge from professionals who have made a career in the field. But as with any industry, there are pros and cons. While the market is expanding, every profession has growing pains, and Ward explains them in detail. In addition to potential jobs, Ward explores other options, such as freelancing and starting your own business. For those either looking to find a new career or preparing to join the workforce, Cannabis Jobs offers the most in-depth information available.
  • Quotas!: Design Thinking to Solve Your Biggest Sales Challenge by Mark Donnolo –Every quota challenge has a story. Sales quotas aren’t all about the numbers. Quotas! Using Design Thinking to Solve Your Biggest Sales Challenge sheds new light on quota challenges, the story behind them, and the methods to solve them. Many organizations struggle to reach effective, market-driven sales quotas, with more than half reporting quota setting as one of their top sales dilemmas. Instead of wrestling over the number, author Mark Donnolo contends that organizations can better achieve effective sales quotas by applying a problem-solving approach. With decades of experience working with major organizations on successful sales strategies, he offers engaging stories embedded with business problems and poses challenge questions to prompt a creative, five-step design-thinking process. Chapters feature quota design frameworks and a range of applicable, scalable methods. You’ll also find rare, expert guidance through the candid perspectives and advice of CEOs and other senior leaders. This book is a must-read for those who help set quotas as well as those who fulfill them.


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