30th Edition — September 1, 2019
I read a book every couple of years, and I’m actually a couple books behind.
1. I’m Inspired by a Great Rags to Riches Story
I now have another CEO I’d enjoy meeting–the founder of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Always short of money, growing up in a one-parent home, and dealing in drugs, Cameron Mitchell was headed down a road of self-destruction.
And then something happened. The lights flipped on in Cameron’s young mind. Mitchell describes in his memoir how he came to writing down his goals as a teen which marked a time of clarity and renewal. But the road to success was long and difficult.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and learning how to run a restaurant for several years, his yellow pad was the starting point for building something very special. He writes on those yellow pages how the customer comes second. Care to guess who comes first?
Of the 80 books I’ve read in 2019, Yes is the Answer is becoming one of my favorites. Should you read it, I’m confident you’ll revisit chapter 3 multiple times.
2. The One Thing
Cameron Mitchell was both lucky and good. His first 9 or 10 restaurants were spitting out cash like a malfunctioning ATM machine. But he had too many dining concepts and ultimately decided to focus on a single brand.
Mitchell’s decision reminded me of one of my favorite books in 2018 which included this quote –
Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too.
Gary Keller in The One Thing adds that “extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.”
3. The Best Business Books in 2019
For books published in 2019, I’ve expended the most brain calories on Loonshots and Range. I wrote many notes and ideas in these two creative works were mind-bending as these authors challenged old paradigms.
Inc. lists these two titles at the tail end of their 16 best books of 2019. Their number 1 pick went to The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff. The author has been a leading voice on information technology and has been hailed a management guru and prophet of the information age according to this intriguing article at The Nation.
4. Friendly and Firm
When I’m asked to be a sounding board to younger managers trying to improve their game, we ultimately get around to a short discussion that includes 3 index cards and pairs of circles.
On the first index card, I draw two circles with equal circumferences. I label the first one friendly, and the second one firm.
On the second card, I make the first circle much smaller and the second one much larger. The smaller circle is friendly, and the bigger circle is firm. I ask what that manager-team member relationship looks like. I move on to the third card but transposing the circles making the friendly circle much bigger and the firm circle much smaller. Same question, “What does this relationship look like and what results do you expect?”
By accident, I came across a book that teaches something similar in manager-staff relationships. I haven’t started the book, but I’m confident that the 2R Manager by Peter Friedes does a far better job at offering advice to young, and growing managers than my friendly-firm conversation does.
5. Donald Miller on Running a Company
If you have teen kids, I would be surprised if they have not read Blue Like Jazz, a favorite of my kids when they were younger.
After hearing Michael Hyatt and the folks at Copyblogger interview the author, I was hooked on Donald Miller and subsequently read his next two books. I highly recommend his StoryBrand workshop to every client I work with.
Donald Miller knows a thing or two about money, and he puts his great storytelling skills to work in this digestible video below that you can fly through in less than 5 minutes.
Thank You For Reading. Did you realize the open rate with these newsletters has been hovering around 50%? I think we’ll keep writing until you tell us to stop.
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Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.