Monday, April 27, 2009

The Business Book Jungle

With over 40 business books published each day, you and I can’t possibly keep up.

Strolling through business book sections at locales such as Chapters or Barnes & Noble and you quickly realize it is a jungle out there. You truly can't see the forest for all the trees piled on the shelves.

But, if you are unusually focused on building your personal and business brand, you need to know which are the best fountains of business knowledge to drink from. Because no matter how parched your business brain may be, you only have so much time to quench your insight thirst.

Today on TSB, we unveil our 2009 list for the Top Five Books for Seamless Branding in the 21st Century.

Our choices are based on three general criteria:

- Does the author make a good argument while presenting new material?
- Is the book’s premise relevant? Can it be applied to your business?
- Is the book well written? Easily digestible?

So here it goes ... TSB's Top Five Business Books:

#5. Purple Cow - By: Seth Godin

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Author Seth Godin suggests marketing as we know it, dominated by the TV-Industrial Complex churning out products to meet the market's need, and television advertising directing people to these products, is broken. The book that we have now moved into an era where markets are largely satisfied, and to be noticed a product and its marketing need to be remarkable to be seen at all, let alone to sell. Godin argues your brand is either a Purple Cow or it is not; that if your brand is not remarkable, it's invisible.

#4. Made to Stick - By: Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

This book by brothers Chip and Dan Heath continues the idea of "stickiness" popularized by
Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point, seeking to explain what makes an idea or concept memorable or interesting. A similar style to Gladwell's is used, with a number of stories and case studies followed by principles that you can apply to your brand.

#3. Good to Great - By: Jim Collins

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

James C. Collins aims to describe how companies transition from being average companies to great companies . "Greatness" is defined as financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period of time. Collins finds the main factor for achieving the transition to be a narrow focusing of the company’s resources on their field of competence. Collins and his Stanford research team started with 1,435 good companies. Examined their performance over 40 years. And found the 11 companies that became great. How great? After the leap, a company had to generate cumulative stock returns that exceeded the general stock market by at least three times over 15 years -- and it had to be a leap independent of its industry. In fact, the 11 good-to-great companies averaged returns 6.9 times greater than the market's -- more than twice the performance rate of General Electric under the legendary Jack Welch.

#2. The Wizard of Ads Trilogy - By: Roy H. Williams

The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words into Magic and Dreamers into Millionaires
Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads: Turning Paupers into Princes and Lead into Gold

Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads: Tools and Techniques for Profitable Persuasion

All three books in the trilogy have been featured on the Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestsellers lists. Based on Roy's Monday Morning Memo, the trilogy offers timeless insight on the life of business and the business of life.

Enough said.

#1. E-Myth Revisited - By: Michael Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It"

Michael Gerber's masterpiece is currently number 10 on the New York Times Paperback Business Bestseller list. Originally published in 1986 (as "The E-Myth"), and fully revised in 1995, The E-Myth Revisited offers a radically fresh business perspective that has been fervently embraced by business owners, scholars and is still the only book to be backed by the TSB money-back guarantee.

At the heart of The E-Myth Revisited is the concept that businesses are not started by entrepreneurs. According to Gerber, technicians -- people with narrowly defined skill sets, such as plumbers, doctors, accountants, contractors, and so on -- are accountable for most small business startup activity, and wind up trapped working in their business as opposed to on it. Thanks to the E-Myth many business owners eventually realize that just as they had to learn their technical skills, they have to learn business growth and management skills.E-Myth is also used as a verb, i.e., to 'E-Myth your business' means to build internal systems that control processes so that results are predictable.

You already know leaders are readers. The more we learn, the more we earn.

And reading about work, business, or leadership can change you and your business. Absorbing the pearls of wisdom offered by these authors can change the way you see the world; change the way you think about your career and where your brand is headed. It is treasures like these that help you sift through a jungle of ideas as you track down specific pieces of the puzzle needed to complete what you've been picturing for your brand.

And how it becomes seamless.

"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all"

p.s... The inclusion of "Made to Stick" on our list may have surprised some, so we thought you could watch these clips and understand where the brothers Heath are coming from.

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