There’s a Mad Men scene where Harry Crane where learns that a colleague makes $100 a week more than he does. He believes he deserves a raise, and he ultimately receives a slight raise from his intimidating boss. Do you believe he was happy with the outcome? How about you? Are you paid fairly? In this episode, compensation expert David Buckmaster is going to unpack this fascinating topic based on his book Fair Pay.[Read more…] about What is Fair Pay?
Four Banking Frameworks for Any Industry
CFO Bookshelf does not sit in the seat of judgment, nor does it play the role of pundit in the midst of the 2023 banking crisis. We’ll let the regulators and the media handle those duties. Instead, CFO Bookshelf is about old and revolutionary ideas we can test and apply in our organizations. In response to this banking crisis, we share four impactful banking frameworks that can be applied by any senior leadership team in any industry.[Read more…] about Four Banking Frameworks for Any Industry
8 Upcoming Book Releases
I like finding obscure business books, biographies, and well-written historical pieces that read like narratives. I’m also constantly watching upcoming releases that fit these criteria. The list below is in release date order.
The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder
This is not a business book, but Endurance (12k reviews, 4.8 rating) is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and The Wager reminds me of this tale. The release date is April 18, 2023, and ‘I’ve already pre-ordered my copy.
Are you a baseball fan? I’ve listened to several interviews with Jesse Cole, the lead author, and I’m anxious to get the backstory of his quirky story about the Savannah Browns. I’m all in on this title:
The Family-First Entrepreneur
I’m estimating that I’ve read between thirty and forty books by startup founders. In many cases, the business survives, but the marriage perishes. The subtitle of this book is How to Achieve Financial Freedom Without Sacrificing What Matters Most. I feel as though I know Steve Chou, my fellow Missourian, because his podcast is outstanding, and I still remember the early days of his blog. The release date is May 16, 2023.
InteGRITy: My Slow and Painful Journey to Success
The wildly successful entrepreneur and the star of Undercover Billionaire has a book coming out in May. According to the sales page, Glenn Stearns will be sharing many memorable anecdotes from his roller coaster life and career. The release date is May 23, 2023.
The subtitle provides a good hook; an unstoppable force has changed how we work and live. Gallup’s solution to the biggest leadership issue of our time. Jim Clifton is one of the authors, and I’m sure it’s well-researched.
One of the questions both authors will answer is, “How will you maintain your customers’ commitment when you’re struggling to create a culture of dedicated employees who build and strengthen relationships with those customers?” The release date is May 30, 2023.
The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy
My favorite book genre is narrative non-fiction, and some of my favorite titles include American Kingpin, (certainly) Bad Blood, Educated, Extraordinary Circumstances, and many others. I usually wait to push Buy Now, but I couldn’t help it. The release date is June 6, 2023.
The Experience Mindset
Tiffani Bova has name clout, and she’s the global growth evangelist at Salesforce. I’m more than intrigued to read what she has to say in her new book that comes out on June 6, 2023.
Billionaires’ Row: Tycoons, High Rollers, and the Epic Race to Build the World’s Most Exclusive Skyscrapers
“Deeply informative, delightfully entertaining, and addictively readable,” according to the author of Wizard of Lies. the release date is June 13th, 2023.
Monthly Bookmarks –
153rd Edition – March 19th, 2023
The Business Every Professional Should Manage for a Year
I have a very strong opinion about the restaurant industry. Before starting their careers, every professional should run or manage a restaurant. That’s because a restaurant encompasses manufacturing, service, and retail in the midst of intense competition. Add in the people element, where it’s hard to find and keep great people for the long game, and your management skills could reach new highs that will be difficult to experience in any other environment.[Read more…] about The Business Every Professional Should Manage for a Year
My 15% vs Ownership Thinking
Numerous CEO friends continually extol the employee virtues of ownership thinking. I’ve never jumped on that bandwagon. I’ve met my share of passive and disengaged, country club-like, and unsophisticated owners. With that jaded imagery nestled in my mind, I don’t want employees thinking like owners, even if the bad ones represent a small minority of all entrepreneurs. Instead, I prefer a stewardship mentality.
My favorite example of stewardship is the banker who takes our funds that she does not own, protects that precious asset, and tries to grow it for her and the rightful owner. As a steward, we own nothing but guard, protect, foster, and grow what has been given to us until the owner returns for it.
For the ownership-thinking acolytes who find stewardship thinking offputting or too lofty, consider the My 15% framework. I’m not sure who innovated the mental model. I found it on a page of The Applied Critical Thinking Handbook (formerly The Red Team Playbook).
What is this framework or mental model? Here is the entire chapter on this impactful tactic that is included in The Applied Critical Thinking Handbook.
Most people have about 15 percent control over their work situations. The other 85 percent rests in the broader context, shaped by the general structures, systems, events and culture in which they operate. The challenge rests in finding ways of creating transformational change incrementally: By encouraging people to mobilize small but significant “15 percent initiatives” that can snowball in their effects. When guided by a sense of shared vision, the process can tap into the self-organizing capacities of everyone involved.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a General Officer or an enlisted soldier, a Senior Executive or a member of the team. You still have only your 15 percent.
Where do you have freedom to act? What’s in your 15%?The Applied Thinking Critical Handbook, page 162
I’m a fan of pairing. That is, when I recommend a book, I suggest a complimentary read to reinforce my suggestion, even if it has an opposing viewpoint.
Similarly, I like pairing a mental construct with another. I will not define it here as I’ll let you do it but pair My 15% with a concept innovated by the founder of Patagonia, the 5-15 report.
Red Team Thinking
My 15% is one of many frameworks included in The Applied Critical Thinking Handbook. If you would like to learn more, I’d start with the history of red teaming, and I cannot think of a better person to discuss this than Bryce Hoffman, who wrote one of my favorite books, American Icon.
Bryce also wrote Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything, which we discussed on a CFO Bookshelf podcast episode.
Alan Mulally is an American Icon in Business
With Bryce Hoffman – Listen Here
Includes the what, why, and who of red teaming.
Accounting’s Impact on Human Capital
Author and HBR contributor Peter Cappelli asserts that accounting and financial reporting are wreaking havoc on damaging HR decisions by corporate leaders. In this conversation, Peter reveals that 90% of all company vacancies were filled internally prior to 1980. Today, that number is just over 20%. He adds that there were very few layoffs more than 40 years ago. Today, layoffs make headlines weekly. We’ll learn how accounting is driving these trends in the wrong direction.[Read more…] about Accounting’s Impact on Human Capital
Return to the Little Kingdom
Many business readers who are fans of Apple will probably state that Walter Isaacson’s book on Steve Jobs is the best starting point for learning about the business he co-founded with Steve Wozniak. Thanks to my guest and his unique insights on this episode, I now believe that Return to the Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz is the go-to book for learning both the backstory and the early days of this unicorn.[Read more…] about Return to the Little Kingdom
Behind the Scenes of One of Our Favorite Podcasts
Occasionally, I’ll scour the podcast universe looking for other podcasts that focus on great business books. I recently found Business Books & Co. created by three friends who went to college together. There are ten to twelve shows per season, and they recently wrapped up their third season. I listened to one show and then another. In about three weeks, I listened to their entire episode catalog. I love this show, and I’ll continue to be a loyal listener.[Read more…] about Behind the Scenes of One of Our Favorite Podcasts
How One Founder Turned $80k Into $400 Million
Jeff Polovick started Canadian-based The Driving Force with just $80,000 and only a few years of experience in a narrow market niche – vehicle rentals. That modest investment has been parlayed into $400 million in revenues with 675 employees. Jeff’s book is Why Can’t We, and like many startup stories, there’s drama, adversity, success, more adversity, and even an exit. In this conversation, we talk about continuous and lifelong learning, family, adversity, exiting a business, and Jeff’s value system.[Read more…] about How One Founder Turned $80k Into $400 Million