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  1. Top 12 Halloween-Titled Business Books of All Time
  2. How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century
  3. Do You Have Rookie Smarts?
  4. Book Review: The Responsible Entrepreneur
  5. The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Possibility
  6. Search Soundview Executive Book Summaries
  7. Prior Mailing Archive

Top 12 Halloween-Titled Business Books of All Time

Happy Halloween from Soundview! Today we are celebrating by counting down our Top 12 Halloween-Titled Business Books of All Time. Covering a wide range of subjects and proficiencies, we find these books to be some of the best and most helpful for business professionals in every field.

1. The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field
by Mike Michalowicz
2. Be Different of Be Dead: Your Business Survival Guide
by Roy Osing
3. Breaking the Fear Barrier: How Fear Destroys Companies from the Inside Out, and What to Do About It
by Tom Rieger
4. The Orange Code: How ING Direct Succeeded by Becoming a Rebel with a Cause
by Arkadi Kuhlmann & Bruce Philp
5. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
6. The Soul of the Corporation: How to Manage the Identity of Your Company
by John Kimberly & Hamid Bouchikhi
7. The Wizard and the Warrior: Leading with Passion and Power
by Lee Bolman & Terrence Deal
8. Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics
by Jackie Huba
9. Treat Your Customers: Thirty Lessons on Service and Sales That I Learned At My Family’s Dairy Queen Store
by Bob Miglani
10. Selling Is Dead: Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Roles & Practices to Revitalize Growth
by Jason Sinkovitz & Marc Miller
11. Angel Customers & Demon Customers: Discover Which Is Which and Turbo-Charge Your Stock
by Larry Selden & Geoff Colvin
12. Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America
by Adam Penenberg

We’d like to know: what do you think of our Halloween countdown? Did we miss any of your favorite Halloween-titled books? What are some of your favorite business books of all time?


How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century


In 1798, English cleric and economist Thomas Malthus declared that the world was careening toward a population disaster that would lead to widespread famine on a scale never seen before. There were simply not enough resources to accommodate so many people. In contrast, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations in 1776 argued that through the three inputs of capitalism — labor, capital and land — humans would be able to adapt to the requirements of any age and provide the resources needed for survival.

Adam Smith, note Stefan Heck and Matt Rogers in their new book Resource Revolution, would prove to be right. The two industrial revolutions — the first in the late 1700s to the mid-1800s and the second from 1850 to 1920 — seemed to portend at their beginnings massive problems of sparse resources, supply unable to meet exploding demand and pollution damage on a scale never before seen. But somehow the countries at the heart of these industrial revolutions not only survived but thrived, becoming the economic leaders in the world.

In terms of Adam Smith’s three elements of capitalism, the authors write, the success of the first industrial revolution was driven in large part by a reconfiguration of labor, launched as it was by the perfection of the steam engine. The success of the second industrial revolution was driven in large part (but not solely) by a reconfiguration of capital, with the development of the corporation and corporate banks to manage the massive scale of infrastructure investment — from roads and cars, to the electric grid, to cities filled with skyscrapers — required in this period.

There Is Hope

As with the first two, the authors predict in the third industrial revolution a period of incredible challenges but at the same time incredible opportunities. In this industrial revolution, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population will industrialize for the first time, mostly in China and India, as well as other parts of Asia and South America, representing an astounding 2.5 billion people who will be adding their impact on resources.

Nevertheless, the authors are confident that history will repeat itself, with an emphasis this time on the third of Adam Smith’s inputs: land, or more broadly, the resources that come with land. “We are confident a step change in resource productivity will not only allow the economy to work its way through the resource challenges but deliver new opportunities for creating wealth and cementing the position of leading companies for the coming decades,” the authors write.

One example of a step change in resource productivity offered by the authors is the new process of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas (also known as fracking).The authors acknowledge that there are some environmental challenges with fracking — in which massive amounts of water are used to break up the shale formations in which oil and gas deposits are trapped — but are convinced that energy companies will develop innovative solutions to address these issues.

Innovation will also occur on the demand side of the equation, meaning that technological innovators will find ways to reduce demand for scarce resources, either by finding substitutes for those resources or finding ways to reduce consumption, the authors write.

Resource Revolution offers a detailed but compelling argument for Adam Smith-inspired optimism. The resource revolution is not only about resources but also involves new technologies and new management models. But as with automobile manufacturing at its beginnings, which featured hundreds of car manufacturers that were eventually whittled down to a relative handful, the innovators will come out on top, and, the authors argue convincingly, much of the world will as a result lead better lives.


Do You Have Rookie Smarts?

For many years now, I have considered my greatest strength as an employee to be my experience. As young people join our company, I can tell them about our history of 36 years in the summary business and all that we’ve learned over the years. But these days, things are just moving way too fast for experience to be enough!

Liz Wiseman, in her book Rookie Smarts, has it right when she makes the point that “In a time of constant change, success depends on seeing the world through rookie eyes”. Wiseman explains why we are often at our best when we are doing something for the first time—and how to reclaim and cultivate this curious, flexible, youthful mindset called “Rookie Smarts”.

Fortunately for those of us who’ve been around for a while, Wiseman also identifies a brand of leader she calls a “perpetual rookie”. Despite years of experience, they retain their rookie smarts, thinking and operating with the mindsets and practices of these high-performing rookies.

Whether you are a true rookie looking to stand out at work, or a seasoned veteran who needs to keep up your game, Wiseman’s words are for you. So we’ve invited Liz to join us for our Soundview Live webinar How to Retain Your Rookie Smarts on November 5th.

I’ll certainly be listening in, and I would invite you to join me. If you’re a Soundview subscriber, you can attend the webinar Free as always. If you’re not yet a subscriber, you may want to consider subscribing now. For the cost of just two webinars, you’ll have a year of book summaries and can attend our weekly webinars free as well.


Book Review: The Responsible Entrepreneur


by Carol Sanford

Entrepreneurship goes beyond starting your own small business. Many larger businesses exhibit innovative and entrepreneurial ways of thinking. Anyone starting or bringing in new business fulfills the role of an entrepreneur. Carol Sanford brings her vast experience in helping executives and corporations to entrepreneurs looking to launch and scale a venture by mapping out four archetypes in The Responsible Entrepreneur. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“Archetypal roles provide a roadmap for taking on bigger challenges, making bigger promises, and focusing the energy and resources needed to get bigger results,” writes Sanford. The four archetypes are The Realization Entrepreneur, The Reconnection Entrepreneur, The Reciprocity Entrepreneur, and The Regenerative Entrepreneur. The archetype required to change an industry is a Realization Entrepreneur. The Reconnection Entrepreneur is the archetype required to change social systems. The Reciprocity Entrepreneur is the archetype required to change cultural paradigms. The archetype required to change connection to foundational agreements is the Regenerative Entrepreneur. By understanding what archetype aligns with your goals, you will learn how to grow your business into a powerful platform that can leverage change. Sanford provides readers with examples of how extraordinary people changed business for the better, including Kipp Baratoff, Annalie Killian, and Shainoor Khoja.

All four archetypes can be found in established organizations. Beyond learning how to leverage business with your archetype, you will learn how modern archetypes can alter the future. With The Responsible Entrepreneur, entrepreneurs can build businesses that will make the world a better place.


The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Possibility


We are not rewarded for not knowing, write veteran consultants Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner in their fascinating book Not Knowing. We are not expected to  not know. People look for certainty in their leaders. But beyond the expectations of others, there is our own comfort, the authors explain: not knowing is uncomfortable, and it’s better to know. And when you don’t know, the answer, for the sake of ourselves or for the sake of those who believe in us, is to fake it. We pretend to know.

Another danger of the tyranny of certainty is, according to the authors, to have unwavering faith in the experts. For 1,400 years, the ancient Greek physician Galen of Pergamon was the ultimate authority in medicine; it wasn’t until the mid-16th century that Flemish physician Andreas Vesalius finally dared to question Galen, whose mistakes and discrepancies should have been apparent to all by that time (the authors note that a medical school professor holding up a human heart after a dissection would comment on the three ventricles as described by Galen, although there were clearly four in the heart he was holding).

Darkness Illuminates

In truth, the authors explain in the second part of Not Knowing, “darkness illuminates.” D’Souza and Renner tell the story of the tragic Burke and Wills expedition in Australia. Robert Burke and William Wills were the first men to cross the continent but died of starvation on their way back home. They died of starvation despite the fact that the Aborigines in the area had thrived for thousands of years and did everything they could to help the white men. But Burke and Wills didn’t want their help; they didn’t, in their opinion, need the people whom they considered savages to tell them what to do to survive.

Burke and Wills died staying at what the authors call “the edge” of their knowledge, refusing to go no further. It is the willingness to not stop at the edge that allows artists to create, scientists to discover and entrepreneurs to launch their enterprises. How does one find the value in the unknown, especially when in so many domains — areas such as business, politics or even social situations — not knowing is viewed as a weakness or a barrier?

The answer lies in what the authors call “negative capability.” This is the ability to “negate” rather than add: the ability to clear the mind rather than fill it. “This idea of negative capability,” the authors write, “is powerful because it captures the need for making space in the mind to allow new thought to take root. It clears the mind of existing knowledge, clichés or existing assumptions.” The concept also emphasizes that clearing the mind is as much a “capability” as filling it. Building on academic research, the authors note that silence, patience, doubt and humility are all examples of negative capabilities.

Empty Your Cup

In the final section of their book, the authors group negative capabilities under four headings (each earning a separate chapter):“empty your cup,” “close your eyes to see,” “leap in the dark” and “delight in the unknown.”

“Empty your cup” is a metaphor for seeking to make room in a mind that is filled with knowledge. Experts are rarely revolutionaries because their minds are already filled with what they think they need to know. Thus, it was a non-banker who revolutionized the industry with microbanks. Grameen Bank founder Mohammad Yunus didn’t know that it was wrong to do what he was doing, including lending to the poor instead of the rich and focusing on women instead of men. If his cup had been full, he would have known and abided by the rules, and never launched the microbank revolution that made him famous.

“Close your eyes to see,” is the art of observing, listening and questioning. Improvising, experimenting and embracing mistakes are some of the activities associated with “leap in the dark.” Finally, the authors encourage readers to “delight in the unknown” by, among other ideas, unleashing their curiosity and creativity and not being afraid of foolishness and play.

A learned mix of academic studies and scores of compelling stories from a wide variety of domains, this brilliant, inspiring book will have readers leaving their desks (figuratively, one hopes), finding their way to the edges of their own world, closing their eyes and opening their minds, and waiting for the ideas and insights that will come from “not knowing.”


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