Books Gary Recommends

The Ultimate Motivated Employee! by Gary Brose

The Ultimate Motivated Employee! By Gary Brose

GARY’S COMMENT:  This book is the greatest book in the history of mankind!!!!  OK, sorry, got carried away there.  Obviously commenting on my own book is probably inappropriate.  But let me say this:  I wrote this book for the business owner or people manager who needs to find the light switch to flick on for their employees and they feel like they are in the middle of a dark room.  The Ultimate Motivated Employee! helps you to delve a bit deeper into YOURSELF and understand how to adjust the way you interact with your employees.  The path to creating a motivated workforce truly starts with YOU and once you understand that, you are on your way!

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Beyond Success by Jeff Gitterman

Beyond Success By Jeff Gitterman

GARY’S COMMENT: Jeff has written a great book entitled “Beyond Success” that deals with the Four Pillars of Success.  It is a bit on the spiritual side but what it does best is prepare you to “right yourself” so that you have your thinking straight and are truly ready to be a success.  In my own book, I briefly touch on the concept of “knowing yourself” before you attempt to be a business success, but Jeff takes it to a whole extra level!  You know, it really does start with YOU.  If you are not sure what you are really destined to do in life or how you are going to do it, Jeff’s book is a must!

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Balancing the Generations by Bob Mason

Balancing the Generations by Bob Mason

GARY’S COMMENT:   Balancing the Generations is a unique book on a largely unaddressed topic by Bob Mason.  Bob analyzes each generation to dispel myths and help leaders recognize and take advantage of their strengths to build more successful organizations.    Have you ever wondered why the ability to communicate between older people and younger people is so difficult?   How does each new generation think and why?  Bob looks at those kinds of angles and asks some hard questions.  The book will help you solve some of those communication mysteries about how to handle the different generations on your team! Become a more effective leader by understanding the generational differences.

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True to Your Core by Jay Rifenbary

True to Your Core by Jay Rifenbary

GARY’S COMMENT:  True to Your Core by Jay Rifenbary is a great read that falls into the Square One category.  Honestly, you cannot expect to be a good leader if you don’t even know yourself yet.  The reality is that too many of our people managers out there are “walking wounded” who have a lot of their own issues to deal with.  Jay isn’t saying you have to have your life in perfect order in order to be successful but he is saying that you need to be squared away in those parts of your life that affect your ability to manage others.  Having principles that you adhere to, being able to show respect for others, being accountable, honest and balanced are all things that lead to being a better leader.  Jay shows you how to reach that point.  For a veteran manager who wants to write himself or a new supervisor who is just getting her feet wet, this is a good read!

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Understanding Other People by Beverly Flaxington

Understanding Other People by Beverly Flaxington

GARY’S COMMENT:  Bev Flaxington has written a little treasure here.  She uses her experience as a professor, consultant and hypnotherapist to identify why people have communication problems.  She explains things such as how you can: Understand what people are really saying when they talk to you; deal effectively with difficult people in your life; excel in your personal and business communications; come across confidently in interviews; lead high performing teams; work effectively with almost anyone; take charge of your own actions and reactions and finally — understand other people!

One reviewer exclaimed “Everyone on planet earth should read this book”.  Yow!  Now that is what I call a recommendation!

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“power 10″ LEADERSHIP by Linda Oien

"power 10" LEADERSHIP by Linda Oien

GARY’S COMMENT:  Sometimes I think there is nothing in this world more important the communication.  It has been my experience that whenever something goes wrong in my business and I gather the team to analyze it and figure out why it happened, the answer is almost invariably the same:  someone did not communicate well.  That’s it!  It’s the root of every problem and the mother of every success.  And, yet, did we ever attend any classes in grade school or high school that taught us how to communicate clearly and effectively.  NO.  We are expected to know … and then we get into the business world and find out the high price of poor communication. Linda Oien’s book includes a chapter on communication, one of the ten universal success factors covered in her book, which is an in-depth analysis of the art of communication; everything from one on one chats to meeting agendas, Linda uses her vast experience in this field to help us understand how to be more effective communicators, actively engage our people in the business and lead our teams to success.  An absolute must for the successful businessperson!  Buy today and communicate clearly tomorrow!

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Maximum Influence by Kurt Small

Maximum Influence By Kurt Mortensen

GARY’S COMMENT:  What strikes me most about Kurt Small’s book, “Maximum Influence” is the detail and specific techniques that he teaches.  It’s an easy read and he has an entertaining style.  I can’t help but think how well I could have done in my early business years if I had read up on the techniques and used them throughout my career.  And if these were combined with some of the other info in all these other books about creating a motivating atmosphere for your employees, well, WOW!  You’d really have something then.  It’s a good read. Click on the link to Amazon and buy today!

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Sit. Stay. Succeed! by Michael Patterson

Sit. Stay. Success! by Michael Patterson

GARY’S COMMENT:  Mike Patterson’s “Sit. Stay. Succeed!” is a very cleverly written book focused on treating your employees like dogs.  Ah, just kidding.  Mike kids a lot too and amusingly enough, there are a lot of similarities between people and canines that help Mike make his points.  If you love dogs and enjoy business, you’ll find a treasure trove of human nature insights here.  Mike makes his points and makes you laugh along with him as he examines the most effective methods of getting what YOU want and helping others reach their goals as well.  Grab yourself a milkbone and enjoy a good read.

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Ignoramos by Rann Amos, MBA

Ignoramos by Rann Amos, MBA

GARY’S COMMENT: Rann Amos is a very smart fellow with an MBA and a wealth of business experience and he has written a gem that walks a new business owner through the process of expanding a business. This is very specifically written for people who already own their own small business and are faced with the same problems that every growing company meets head on. Rann covers a series of “Lessons Learned” and you can tell when he writes about it that he experienced it all himself. The thrust of the book is to guide you through the best techniques for expanding your business. Not just from the “How do I increase sales” side but also from the very crucial “How do I manage cash flow” angle too. Rann covers it all and there are many business owners out there today who can thank him for their fatter bank accounts. You may be next. Available at Amazon today!

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Sales Meetings That Work by Richard Cavalier

Sales Meetings That Work by Richard Cavalier

GARY’S COMMENT:  Did you know that structuring meetings is a science?  Well, Richard Cavalier certainly knows.  Richard is a very seasoned business veteran who has made a career out of counseling businesses worldwide in the art and science of meeting management.  And, particularly SALES meetings!  His very detailed book, Sales Meetings that Work, leaves no stone unturned as he dissects the structure and process of a productive sales meeting.  If your career depends on firing up the troops and getting them ready to have record-breaking months, then Richard’s book is the one you need.  Check it out on Amazon today.

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What Are People Skills, Anyway? by Sue Maciak

What are People Skills, Anyway? by Sue Maciak

GARY’S COMMENT:   Sue Maciak wrote a beauty of a book, “What are People Skills Anyway?” and it is so true that we all talk about it but defining People Skills is a bit more daunting.  Sue breaks it down into easy-to-understand, very readable segments that examine people skills and actually train you how to develop them.  And, let me tell you, for those of us who are a bit awkward in interpersonal relations, this book is a godsend!

If you read Sue’s excerpt, you can get a great idea about her writing style and see the very clear examples of how to make some effective small talk and put people at ease.  And here is the best part, when you are trying to motivate your employees, 90% of the effort is in communication and communication style.  Sure, some folks are motivated by seeing you roll up your sleeves and work hard like everyone else, but, truthfully, almost all other motivation is a result of your ability to communicate effectively with your employees.  Sue’s book starts at square one and helps you understand how to really reach people and create an engaged workforce.  So, better communication is but a click away.  Go to Amazon and get your copy now.

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The Essential Performance Review Handbook by Sharon Armstrong

The Essential Performance Review Handbook by Sharon Armstrong

GARY’S COMMENT:  I have to admit, I was a bit leery when I first approached Sharon Armstrong about adding her book to my website.  She was writing about Performance Reviews, something near and dear to my heart.  I sensed there might be a real conflict there.  But my fears were totally unfounded.  First of all, it never hurts to have some dissenting viewpoints and Sharon and I do differ on a few but her book “The Essential Performance Review Handbook” goes into far more detail than I ever have and on a few key issues, such as “de-linking” we are in agreement.

Sharon wrote a gem here.  Honestly, when it comes to motivating people to do good work, few things are as critical as giving a fair and informative performance review.  The interesting thing about it is that a) every manager seems to hate doing it and b) new managers are rarely trained in the art.  We just love throwing our managers into the fray and making the assumption that they can give a good review.  Hmmm, maybe that’s why they hate doing it so much!    Sharon’s book is a dynamite training manual for supervisors and managers who need a little guidance and structure.  She covers guidelines, legal issues, compensation concepts and much more.  There are also sample forms to use in case you are a new business and haven’t even got a standard evaluation form available yet.  Much to like here, pick up your copy today and you can review with confidence tomorrow.

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Organizational Development by Stephen Balzac

Organizational Development by Stephen Balzac

GARY’S COMMENT:  Stephen Balzac’s “Organizational Development” does not sound like a book about motivation but it truly is.  Stephen has seized on the roots of problems and opportunities within an organization and found that many relate to creating an atmosphere where employees perform at their peak.  And he is right on!

So much of motivation is created by the “little things”:  The attention to detail and the very structure of your organization.  Stephen discusses how a company should take proactive steps to creating a culture, goal setting, finding the right motivational keys and the role of leadership throughout each of those steps and more.  And in case, you forgot, dear reader, YOU are the leaders here.   Once again, we see a respected author’s view on how to create an organization where the employees are engaged, motivated and productive.  Working through others effectively is what brings about success in the business world and Stephen’s book provides a great blueprint to follow.

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Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work by Paul Marciano, Ph.D.

Congratulations, Great Job! by Steve Lyons

GARY’S COMMENT:  Congratulations  Great Job! is a fabulous book by Steve Lyons that is really written for young adults just entering into the job market.  Steve focuses on helping first time job hunters find the best job for them and then goes on to help the young adults to understand the dynamics of the workplace.  I remember how clueless I really was when I was 16 and starting to work on a regular basis. When it came to understanding the relationship between me and my boss, I was dumber than a bag of rocks.  Those of us who now manage people tend to forget those early years and the feelings of mystery that a first time new-hire experiences.  So, although this was written primarily for young people just entering the job market, there is a lot of value for business owners and managers who need to fully understand where their employees are coming from.

In fact, I’d go a step further.  As a young kid just starting out in the workforce, I would have really appreciated a book like this to help me get my head on straight.  Take a read of the excerpt and you’ll see how a young adult could really relate to this. I’d say, buy a handful of these books and give them to your new-hires with a personal note inside.  It won’t take long to reap the benefits, believe me!

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Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work by Paul L. Marciano, Ph.D.

Carrots and Sticks Don't Work, Building a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT By Paul L. Marciano, Ph.D.

GARY’S COMMENT:  Paul Marciano and I started out disagreeing with each other.  Paul’s book, “Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work” sounded like the opposite of my first book “Bonus Your Way to Profits!”.  In a nutshell, Paul believes that rewarding employees financially in a “pay for performance” system is not the right way to motivate people.  So I bought his book and had a good read through.  Bottom line is, Paul is a brilliant writer and makes a very good case for that argument.

The tagline to his book is “The latest research on what really gets people to go the extra mile” and that, my friends, is what it is all about.  How do we draw the best from our employees?  Paul’s premise is that true motivation stems from the Principles of Respect.  The best bonus programs or motivational techniques you may choose to utilize cannot work without a foundation of respect between the manager and his/her employees.  And as I read, I found I totally agreed with him.  He explains his thoughts with cogent arguments and supporting stories.  He provides self-assessment tests that the reader can take to determine if they are already in compliance with the principles of Respect.  And he writes in an easy to read and understandable style.

Paul’s book is an excellent primer for beginning managers and veterans alike.  Showing respect is not really an optional arrow in your management quiver.  It’s a must.  After a full read, I am impressed with his understanding of the mind of the worker and how you best can reach it.  We disagree mildly on a few issues but the last time I was right about EVERYTHING was , um,  … just a minute, don’t  tell me.  Oh yes, now I remember, NEVER.  So I welcome Paul’s book as an outstanding addition to our motivationstudies.org website and I encourage you to buy a copy today!

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Employee Engagement 2.0 by Kevin Kruse

Employee Engagement - By Kevin KruseGARY’S COMMENT:   Kevin was kind enough to send me a digital copy of his book, “Employee Engagement 2.0”, and I read it through voraciously.   His book is a short 66 pages, right to the point and delivers a real punch.  He does a great job of walking the reader through the thought process of what it takes to motivate employees and then he backs it up with some powerful stats and links to other reinforcing research on exactly the same topics.  If you are still wondering about the “cost” of motivation and whether or not it is worth it, Kevin’s book will help you get way past that issue.  He has great credibility as he has started many companies and built them up to significantly large players in the market.  What did I like best about the book?  In each chapter, Kevin lays out some clear and specific steps a manager can take to move closer to a goal of a totally committed and engaged work force.  Not theory.  All practice.  Check it out today on Amazon.

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THE GO-GIVER by Bob Burg

The Go River by Bob BurgGARY’S COMMENT:   What a unique read!   I have to say, I have read a ton of business books but really never read one quite like this.  When I got “The Go-Giver” I intended to page through it and then read it fully later.  Instead, it caught me from the first page and I could not put it down.  I read the whole book on the same afternoon I got it in the mail.  It’s a short and easy read and I got within 50 pages of the end by 6pm that night.  I headed home but stopped at a favorite watering hole and finished the book over a beer.  I’m not going to describe it here to you, but I will say that I was touched.  It struck a chord and made me want to recommit myself to some of the original people management concepts that I believed in when I first started in business (but wasn’t always true to).  Anyway, when I finished I saw a casual acquaintance of mine at the same bar and I gave her the book.  I knew it was something that would really help her.  After you read it, you’ll know why.  Treat yourself to a business book that reads like a story and will help you rekindle some of your original beliefs about yourself, your management style and the amazing impact you can still have … every day!

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THE GREAT GAME OF BUSINESS by Jack Stack

The Great Game of BusinessGARY’S COMMENT:   When I first read the Great Game of Business in 2010, I was angry with myself.  I had done something very similar with my company in Seattle, but not nearly as effectively as Jack had done.  I involved my supervisors and managers in my style of open book management and designed bonus programs for the rank and file that helped them to drill down to their core mission and understand how every action they took affected the company’s bottom line AND their paycheck.  It worked well, but honestly, Jack’s system takes it to a much higher level.  I could have done that in the 80’s and 90’s if I had been smarter.

In the “GGOB”, Jack explains how to teach the employees how to read a balance sheet and a P&L and understand business on a much higher level.  He outlines the steps to take to huddle your people and bring them right into the decision making process.  And his latest version of the book adds even more information (more than 30% more!) with a new introduction, and interactive game guide and access to a private resource site filled with tools, templates, spreadsheets, videos and more.  When you buy Jack Stack’s book, you get even more bang for your buck.  If you own your own business you are truly missing the boat if you do not buy this book today and give it a chance to re-energize your business tomorrow.

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