29th Edition — August 25, 2019
Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.
1. How Do You Handle Criticism and Setbacks?
Early in my career, I had just received a modest promotion and a small bump in compensation. I did something I rarely did, and that was to speak out because I thought the pay increase was way too small. My bosses, all three of them, shot back. I was licking my wounds for several days after two of them stated I was way too analytical and arrogant at times when communicating to others. They recommended that I attend charm school training. I was crushed, but accepting their challenge was one of the best investments I ever made in myself.
Before attending that 13-week Dale Carnegie program, I started deeply probing the arguments and specifics shared by those three people who cared enough to speak the truth to me. I probed some more. Their comments were valid. And that led to many positive outcomes with other professionals over the following years.
The author of Loonshots has a name for the ability to investigate failure and learn from it. Safi Bahcall says all great innovators and inventors listen to the suck with curiosity. Do you when you experience times of adversity?
2. Stupid and Embarrassing Book Titles
I believe that a person who writes about books should be transparent with the titles that they read. Are exceptions allowed?
Since 2001, I’ve worked with a number of ag-related businesses, so I enjoy reading about farming. The book I’ll be reading this week is about a couple who grew their chicken farm from 5 backyard hens to more than 2,000. The title? Do I have to tell? It’s Locally Laid by Lucie B. Amundsen.
Don’t say it. Please wipe that smirk off your face.
3. Great Sales Advice from the Founder of Salesforce.com
My biggest pet peeve with small B2B business owners is not focusing on the breadth or width of their sales teams. If only they could hear these words directly from the founder of Salesforce.com on building such a sales organization:
“Nine times out of ten, companies fail because they don’t set up a large enough sales force and thus have no way to collect enough revenue. Don’t skimp on sales reps: 25 to 50 percent of the employee base should be salespeople who report to the head of sales. (Half of our company is in sales.)” Benioff, Marc. Behind the Cloud (pp. 79-80). Wiley. Kindle Edition.
4. Have You Heard What the Former Vice Chairman of GM is Writing About You?
What would your company’s business be like without the CFO, the controller, or financial analysts? We may not be the primary means to the end, but we play a critical support role in any company’s overarching purpose and aim.
You will not hear that from Bob Lutz who wrote Car Guys Vs Bean Counters …
“It’s time to stop the dominance of the number crunchers, living in their perfect, predictable, financially projected world (who fail, time and again), and give the reins to the “product guys” (of either gender), those with vision and passion for the customers and their product or service.”
Mr. Lutz, I’ve yet to meet a CFO who isn’t passionate about his/her company’s purpose and the customers/clients they serve.
5. What are you reading on Medium?
One of the craziest bits of social media trivia is that two of the founders of Twitter (ultra-short content) later launched Medium (marathon-long content). This week, my inner analyst uncovered that the top Medium publication is The Startup at nearly 500,000 followers. Out of curiosity, I searched for ‘books’ in their Medium publication. Here are some excellent posts resulting from that query:
– Stop Trying to Memorize – A Good Book Will Change You
– How to Teach Yourself to Read an Entire Book in a Single Day
– Elon Musk’s Reading List: Every Book He Mentioned on Twitter (with tweets!)
– How I Finish a 300-Pages Book Every Week and Remember the Key Ideas
– Five of the Most Inspirational and USEFUL Books I’ve Ever Read
– 30 Book Recommendations From Iconic People
– 2019 Must-Read Books for Millennial Entrepreneurs
Thank You For Reading. Did you realize the open rate with these newsletters ranges from 40 to 51 percent?
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Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.