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best books of 2013, favorite books of 2013

list of my 13 favorite books I read in 2013

Here’s a list of a few of my favorite books from 2013.  Forgive me, but due to my short timeframe I’m publishing in no particular order. Love to hear your thoughts and your favorite book from the year.

13. Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library) – Marcus Aurelius

Good book about old principles and practices from a leader of years past. Old school knowledge dropped on building of character.

12. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Metaxas

One of the leaders of our generations past. This man stood in the face of a government going the wrong way and stood for something. His beliefs in the face of persecution and his stance against Nazi Germany is a fascinating one to experience in this biography by Eric Metaxes.

11. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose – Tony Hseih

Enjoyed Tony’s perspective on business. Early on in the life of Zappos a line of credit from Wells Fargo helped get this business on its feet and Tony was able to turn the focus of his company from Shoes to Culture and caring for the Customer.  He repeats his ten principles over 50 times during the book, but his company’s culture book and his leadership haunt me daily (in a good way). Worth the read.

10. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Dan Pink

Dan always has an interesting perspective about things that motivate others. I grew interested in this book listening to his TED Talks, he’s just as interesting in his books.

09. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches – Dave Ramsey

Good look at Ramsey’s outfit. I enjoyed the look at his hopes to hire half leaders and half entrepreneurs. His principles and policies about building his business around culture are great.  I love that he holds multiple interviews with his potential hires and even invites the hire’s spouse to dinner before hiring to hear “the other half’s” perspective. Mad respect for Dave, even in light of Acuff leaving this year.

08. Bossypants – Tina Fey

Hilarious look at Tina’s life and career. Definitely a different stance on life, but I enjoyed it anyhow. She’s hilarious.

07. The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes – Brian Burrough

Stories about the growth of wealth from the oil boom of the early 1900’s. This book highlights 4 families; the Bass’, the Cullens, the Murchisons and the Hunts.  Fascinating track from finding oil at Spindle Top, to the opening of the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, to the decline and changing of the guard.  Many lessons here.

06. CRUSH IT! – Vaynerchuck

I’ve avoided Gary for years, until this year.  I listened to his 2011 inc.500 presentation, where he speaks on stage without powerpoint or props for a little over an hour and he’s actually really engaging. Got this book, loved it. Gary’s perspective is interesting, funny and really practical. His views around business, social and the new generation of business are revolutionary. Worth the read.  Got me signed up for JJJRH this year too.

05. Free: The Future of a Radical Price – Chris Anderson

The founder of TED Talks, walks you through the origins of free, from recipes for Jello, to today, free is a fascinating sales technique, but may have a greater psychological effect than you realize.  Loved this book, listened to it for FREE on Audible.

04. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God – Keller

One of the best books I’ve read on marriage.  This book helped work on me through the season of life of having our first child and can help you at any time.  Keller provides wonderful biblical advice on marriage and great tips to follow through on.

03. Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy – Newberg, Waldman

Fascinating talk about compassionate communication and real life methods to improve your  methods of talking. Slowing down your speech to remove emotion in argument and other practices have refined my Conflict communication.  Not a book from believers, but a good practical book to work on consensus and collaboration in professional situations.

02. Gates of Fire – Pressfield

Great book about old school spartan warfare and the battle of Thermopylae told from a squire’s perspective for the great leader.  Overall might be my favorite read of the year, just great last stand battlefield speeches, firey practice sessions and the remembering of a season of my life where training was everything. SUPER FUN READ.

01. Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids – Sarah Young

Read this with my daughter and @ladyavance every night possible this year.  Best moments of my year.  Greatest lessons, most relevant applications and simplest message that was ultimately earth shattering truth dropped in the sweetest time of my day.  Plus, it was right at my level.

All links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon associates.

Information on the Wells Fargo Loan that Launched Zappos, from a tough spot.  I think the book clarifies better than this article, but it’s great to see how Tony Hsieh’s company really took off after a small risk from Wells Fargo.  More than that, Zappos has truly validated that we are in an age of true differentiation by customer experience.  I have also attached my book notes and an article below.

http://customerville.com/learning-from-the-guys-at-zappos/

He chose Zappos.

 

And throw himself in he did. Until this time, his investment company had earned approximately $50 million. He began putting that money toward Zappos, slowly pulling out of other assets. Then, his involvement grew even more. He moved Zappos into one of his own San Francisco apartments—a loft above his own home—and joined the company full-time.

 

The results weren’t what he expected, however; in just two years, Hsieh had drained his investment fund completely. And so, he did what any truly passionate person would consider: he began dipping into his personal bank account to keep the company afloat. Eventually, Hsieh sold every property he owned except the one he lived in and the Zappos loft (formerly known as “the party loft”).

And that’s when the real risk-taking began. Because it was only after almost failing that it started to dawn on Hsieh and his team that in order to dig themselves out of their hole, they would have to do something radically different. They’d have to offer something that none of their competitors could.

 

Hsieh describes it this way: “Little did we know that this was actually a blessing in disguise . . . In 2003, we would decide to make customer service the focus of the company.”

 

This decision wasn’t made out of the clear blue, of course; the focus had been there already. Just the year before, they had done away with the most profitable sector of the company: their drop-ship department. Due to logistics problems, customers were often disappointed in the availability of the drop-shipped products and the speed at which they received them. After chucking it completely, they were able to reach 70 percent of customers within two days by UPS ground.

 

But when it came to improving their customer service, they still had a long way to go.

 

Then something happened that changed everything: a loan from Wells Fargo Bank. No longer did they have to sit down every week, deciding which vendors to pay and which to put off.

 

The company was saved.

 

And now, for the first time, it was ready to become profitable. It was ready to grow—not just financially, but in other ways as well.

 

It was ready to become a legend.

 

Soon after the Wells Fargo loan, Hsieh and his team decided that some changes were in order. First, they rethought their location. Believing the California culture prevented people from viewing customer service jobs as careers, partly due to the high cost of living there, they decided while on a business trip to Las Vegas that they needed a new home—and that Vegas would do just fine. Incredibly, of the 90 employees they had, 70 decided to relocate with the company—a place some of them described as “a family unit.”

 

The changes didn’t stop there. After they moved, the managers decided to take a hard look at the way they chose who to hire.

 

“To keep our culture strong, we wanted to make sure we only hired people who we would also enjoy hanging out with outside the office. As it turned out, many of the best ideas came about while having drinks at a local bar,” Hsieh wrote. He includes in this list of innovations the Zappos Culture Book, which features descriptions of the Zappos company culture in the words of the employees themselves.

 

These changes weren’t the result of random barroom insights, though. They were a calculated part of their overall corporate goal: to create their ideal company culture.

 

“We thought that if we got the company culture right, then building our brand to be about the very best customer service would happen naturally on its own,” Hsieh writes.

 

And that philosophy remains at the core of the company today, and is responsible, Hsieh believes, for most if not all of their success.

 

In July 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion, soon after celebrating their ten-year anniversary. Though this decision meant that he would no longer have a controlling stake in the company, for Hsieh, it was a time of deep fulfillment—the kind of fulfillment that he’d been seeking for so long.

 

Section Two

Nine month plan email.

CrashVc’s won’t invest in b2c, growth is constrained.

National ad campaign, features in site,

Get to profitability. Stay focused to get there. Stay on plan.

Watch expenses.

Follow hiring goal carefully.

Maximize gross profit, order size per customer, conversions,

Had to do a round of layoffs.

Laid off under performers and nonbelievers.

All for one, one for all.

 

Make customer service the focus of the company.

Figure out a way to grow sales.

Deus ex machina. A Greek miracle.

Right product, right time, right quantity.

Brick and mortar, take inventory risk,

changing business model, triple sales, daunting list.

1. Hire and grow buying team.

2. Convince brands to sell to us.

3. Update software

4. Staff to ship shoes.

5. Open physical store.

6. Get cash to purchase inventory.

 

Improvising inventory.

Elogistics, ship from KY.

Distributor, reach 75% of customers within two days.

 

Problem with elogistics, Keith flew out on a dime.

Fred needed more brands.

Inventory couldn’t sit on loading dock.

 

Hiked Kilimanjaro, five different climates: rainforest, desert, snow, midlands,

End of an era.

 

What to do about Zappos.

One month of payroll left.

Sold loft for 40% below first purchase.

Bought a warehouse.

Never outsource your core competency.

Combine inventory with drop ship.

 

Audacious longterm goal, sell 1b of profit,

Greater purpose and bigger vision beyond business.

Best customer service and customer experience.

Apply service mentality to vendors.

Zappos library, 100 books available in lobby for free.

How serious are you about making this the best customer service?

 

Brands weren’t drop shipping with quality.

Easiest and hardest decision to cancel drop shipping.

 

Had enough money to pay vendors or employees, teetering between debt, and death.

Extended payment terms from vendors.

Wells Fargo gave them a $6M Loan- Revolving Line of Credit, first negative income loan in years.

Emailed employees, vendors and customers to share the good news.

Friends of Zappos,

Income/ Sales Record – 1999, 0/ 2000. 1.6/ 2001, 8.6/ 2002, 32/ 2003, 60? (actually did 70M)

Can’t celebrate past successes, must look ahead to the future.

Will reach 1B in sales by 2010.

Relentless focus of improving the customer experience.

Little things that keep the customer in mind will pay huge dividends.

Email me with your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think about Zappos.com

Brandon Avance

 

 

Delivering Happiness – A Path To Profits, Passion, and Purpose | by Tony Hsieh.

Sharing my broken, personal notes on Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.  Loving this Customer Experience movement and the direction corporations are moving to be customer centric and motivated to please people.  Totally drives me toward a higher calling.  Where does it drive you?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

You made all this money, what will you do now.

Not for the money anymore, now about the passion.

Shoes was fragmented and not tech savvy market.

Intro Zappos

At first we were drop shipping,

How to ship?

Returns?

throw ideas against the wall, see if they stick.

We made 27 investments, meet every two weeks with companies.

Poker, *hold’em poker.

Mathematics behind poker was like betting on

Fun challenging, books and experience.

Short term thinking and long term thinking.

Evaluating market opportunities.

Marketing branding activities.

Financials, always be prepared for worst possible.

Go for:

Figure out the game when the stakes aren’t high.

Differentiate yourself.

Hope is on tilt.

Learn by doing.

Surround yourself with talented players.

Don’t be afraid

Most important decision is choosing which table to sit at.

What business to be in.

You could be the most efficient vendor of 7 finger gloves, but won’t have volume.

Compete against big competitors, you will lose.

Choose to change tables.

Same players every time, after time hold’em became normal.

Without focus or concentrated effort, inertia always wins.

Be able to change tables.

Craving building something.

Higher risk investment for Venture Frogs

Have them to move into the incubator.

Hustled for a full year, while tony decided to invest every four months.

Connectedness

Tribes.

Number and depth of relationships for friends.

Experiences are much more important than things.

Bought 810 to gather friends.

Deep connection at a rave, no judgment, appreciate each person for who they were.

Losing a sense of self leads to greater happiness.

Converse with strangers, people are interested in knowing

Always be willing to converse with others.

Focus on getting to know people as people.

Build relationships with those outside of business,

Almost always something happens to bring together that relationship.

Zappos had zero sales in 1999, 1b in 2008

Stop networking in the business sense, make friendships, genuine friendships.

Envision, create and believe in your own universe.

Raise a second fund, emailed to see how many were interested.

Peckerts law – * quotes at end of section one.

Section Two

Nine month plan email.

Vc’s won’t invest in b2c, growth is constrained.

National ad campaign, features in site,

Get to profitability. Stay focused to get there. Stay on plan.

Watch expenses.

Follow hiring goal carefully.

Maximize gross profit, order size per customer, conversions,

Had to do a round of layoffs.

Laid off under performers and nonbelievers.

All for one, one for all.

Make customer service the focus of the company.

Figure out a way to grow sales.

Deus ex machina. A Greek miracle.

Right product, right time, right quantity.

Brick and mortar, take inventory risk,

changing business model, triple sales, daunting list.

1. Hire and grow buying team.

2. Convince brands to sell to us.

3. Update software

4. Staff to ship shoes.

5. Open physical store.

6. Get cash to purchase inventory.

Improvising inventory.

Elogistics, ship from KY.

Distributor, reach 75% of customers within two days.

Problem with elogistics, Keith flew out on a dime.

Fred needed more brands.

Inventory couldn’t sit on loading dock.

Hiked Kilimanjaro, five different climates: rainforest, desert, snow, midlands,

End of an era.

What to do about Zappos.

One month left.

Sold loft for 40% below first purchase.

Bought a warehouse.

Never outsource your core competency.

Combine inventory with drop ship.

Audacious longterm goal, sell 1b of profit,

Greater purpose and bigger vision beyond business.

Best customer service and customer experience.

Apply service mentality to vendors.

Zappos library, 100 books available in lobby for free.

How serious are you about making this the best customer service?

Brands weren’t drop shipping with quality.

Easiest and hardest decision to cancel drop shipping.

Had enough money to pay vendors or employees, teetering between debt, and death.

Extended payment terms from vendors.

Wells Fargo gave them a $6M Loan- Revolving Line of Credit, first negative income loan in years.

Emailed employees, vendors and customers to share the good news.

Friends of Zappos,

Income/ Sales Record – 1999, 0/ 2000. 1.6/ 2001, 8.6/ 2002, 32/ 2003, 60? (actually did 70M)

Can’t celebrate past successes, must look ahead to the future.

Will reach 1B in sales by 2010.

Relentless focus of improving the customer experience.

Little things that keep the customer in mind will pay huge dividends.

Out Amazon, Amazon in the category of customer experience.

Focus on constantly improving the customer experience.

Never outsource your core competency.

CLT, customer service renamed Customer Loyalty Team.

Relocated headquarters to Vegas to keep the Team together.

Culture became the #1 priority.

Only hire people you would also enjoy hanging out with outside of the office.

Asked each person to talk about the Zappos culture.

– Zappos culture book. Every employee writes 1-2 paragraphs, 100-500 words, about the culture.  Reproduced every year.

For orientation package of every new hire.

Transparent, none censored or edited.   Includes both good and bad.

Document the evolution of culture.

Not every employee was excited about growth – Criticism being harder than before, expense reports necessary.

– Ask Anything.

Employees encouraged to ask anything, and answered at the monthly meeting.

Built out board of directors.

Invested time money and effort

Customer service, Culture, and Employee Development.

Brand, Culture, People. BCP

Cultivating a culture book.

If you had to describe your company in 2-3 paragraphs, what would you say?

“What does Zappos mean to you?”

Counter intuitive and somewhat risky.

Ten core values weren’t established yet.

This has become the brand book.

1. Culture book is not about the book, it’s about the culture.

If someone asked you to recite your mission statement at your company, could you?

How do you apply the same values in and out of the office?

– Would you be comfortable printing everything your employees, customers and vendors have to say about your business?

No culture book is worth much, unless it reflects culture and values already in place.

2. Short term investment, long term value.

Printing a book doesn’t necessarily pay for itself.

The investment paid off many fold.

3. Make it available to everyone.

www.deliveringhappinessbook.com – Available here.

Why do people want to know the idea of what’s behind the culture book?

4. Give your evangelists a voice.

Asked customers to get involved in the process.

People want to be in a book associated with a company like Zappos.

Lets customers and vendors know how important they are.

5. Brand

Brand – words and images speak for themselves.

The employees become the brand to the world.

A cult revolving around making people happy.

Pictures.  Share what happens around the company every day.

6. No culture book is the same.

7. Ask employees, culture and others what your company means.

Take it and evolve it into something interesting.

Branding through Customer Service.

#1 driver of revenues.  Repeat customers and word of mouth.

Invest advertising in customer service and referrals.

Offer free shipping both ways.  – View those costs as a marketing expense.

Contact information is buried deep.  Put Phone number at the top of every single page of the website.

The telephone is one of the most awesome experiences out there.

Call center is a huge untapped value in a company.  LTV is a moving target, that can increase if we improve overall experience with us.

Not about buzz, it’s about engagement and trust.

Most of our efforts happen after the sale.

– Surprise upgrades to overnight shipping.

– Run warehouse 24/7, not the most efficient way, maximizing customer experience.  Get orders to customers as quickly as possible.

– Create a WOW experience.

– View each contact as an opportunity to expand the brand.

– No scripts, no call time, goal is to create a Personal Emotional Connection, PEC.  Empower your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter what it takes.

– Reps trained to research at least 3 competitors websites if a shoe is out of stock.  Build a lifelong relationship with the customer one call at a time.

– Calls for a return, fashion advice, or a friendly conversation.

Social media and integration marketing.

Top Ten ways to instill customer service into your company.

1. Make customer service a top priority for the whole company, not just a department.

Customer service attitude needs to come from the top down.

2. Make wow a verb, part of everyday vocab.

3. Empower and trust your customer service reps.

Trust that they want to provide great service.

Escalations to a supervisor, need to be rare.

4. Realize it’s ok to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse employees.

5. Don’t use scripts, don’t measure call time, don’t force employees to upsell.

6. Don’t hide your 1800 number, a message to customers and employees.

7. View each call as in investment to build your customer service brand. Not an expense to minimize.

8. Have everyone celebrate great service, build your experience. Tell stories of wow experiences to everyone in the company.

9. Find and hire passionate people about great service.

10. Give great service to everyone.  Customers, employees and vendors.

Give free tours to the public.  Let’s people feel the culture.  Employees chose to embrace and take to the next level.

Groups began to brainstorm how to make the tour a wow experience.

#1 priority at Zappos is the company culture.

– Have all employees walk through a central reception area to build more of a community, and increase chances of interaction.

– Second step to login, password, then a pic of an employee is displayed, keep a record of everyone’s score.  “The face game.”

– Regular employee surveys.  Agree or disagree. “I believe I have a higher purpose at Zappos.” etc.

– Research says using swearing as a method to release stress.  Happier employees.

– The brand is a lagging indicator of a company’s culture.

Great experiences can be shared as much as bad experiences today.

Didn’t want the brand to be about shoes, clothes or retail but about customer experience.

Brand of Airline industry? Bad Customer service/ experience.

How do you build a brand for the long-term?  Culture.

How do you build and maintain the culture yo want?

Hiring-

1. Hiring manager hires. – experience, skills,

2. HR interviews for culture fit.

Training-

Everyone goes through the 4 week training program.

History. Philosophy.  Phone for two weeks, taking customer calls.

Offer the employees $2k to quit. (less than 1% take the offer)

Ten Core Values.

1. Deliver wow through service.

2. Embrace and drive change.

3. Create fun and a little weirdness.

4. Be adventurous, creative and open minded.

5. Pursue growth and learning.

6. Build open an honest relationships with communication

7. Build a positive team and family spirit.

8. Do more with less.

9. Be passionate and determined.

10. Be humble

Committed to these.  Most are never heard after day one of orientation.

You must be able to hire and fire based on these.

Let all your employees be your brand ambassadors.

Get the culture right, the rest will fall into place on its own.

No formal core values for first 6 or 7 years.  Very corporate thing.

Original list had 37 core values.

“Bottom up meets top down.”

“Over communicate”

“Built for change”

Emailed employees and asked for their input over a year.

Integrity comes from committing to and living out the core values.

Tested commitment in hiring process.

Willing to make short term sacrifices for longterm gain.

Emailed entire company to describe values.

Company employees must sign and live up to these values.

Mission statement

to live and deliver wow.

All ten core values should be reflected in everything we do.

Think, act and communicate.

Processes and strategies will change, but core values will not change.

Serve as framework to learn and grow.

Change employee handbook to make it sound like zappos.

Make at least one improvement to make zappos reflect core values.

Add a sentence to make a form more fun.

50k small changes if every employee makes one change a week.

Delivering wow through service.

To WOW you must differentiate yourself.

Something above and beyond what’s expected.

Something not average.

Wow with service and experience.

How could you wow more people.

Random act of Wow-ness.

Embrace and drive change.

Must be prepared to deal with constant change.

Embrace, encourage and drive it.

Plan for constant change.

Important that change is driven from the bottom up. From those dealing most closely with the customer.

Ever evolving.  Must continually change to keep them guessing.

How do you plan and prepare for change?

How do you encourage and empower change from the bottom up?

Improve 1% per day, 3776% better at the end of the year.

Create fun and weird.

Unique and different.

Celebrate diversity, even in work.  We function best when we can be ourselves.

What can we do that’s fun and weird?

Be adventurous, creative and open minded.

Develop and improve decision making skills.

Take risks, fail.  If you’re not failing every now and again, you’re not working right.

Approach situations and solutions with an open mind.

How to infuse core values in process?

Dance music, drink, standup comedy, open moment, give away swag, 5 minute interviews.

Themed interview rooms.

Burnout comes from environment, rules and

See if you can think and act outside the box.

How’d you solve a problem without being asked to?

When was the last time you broke the rules to get the job done?

Unlock potential of employees.

There are no experts except for us.

We must be experts at figuring new things out.

Core value 5: pursue growth and learning.

Come up with ideas and just do.

Build open and honest relationships with communication.

Build trust.

How can you make your relationships more open?

The best team members take ownership of issues.

Do more with less.

Be passionate and determined.

True core values can align an entire organization.

Good to great.

Tribe leadership.

Vendor relations

Partners align to same goals and seek to achieve them.

People are your greatest asset.  If you lose people, then you lose an asset.  Focus on building a pipeline of sr leaders within the company.

Entry level, then pipeline.  Pipeline is the asset.

Bcp strategy- brand, culture, pipeline.

Section 3: profits, passion and purpose.

Chtp 6: PR and Public Speaking.

Improve customer experience, employee training.

Focus on making sure your product or service continually wow’s people. PR is a byproduct of delivering a great experience.

Write out speeches, then began to speak off the cuff, slowly improving. Got to Flow.

Allowed other employees to share their individual stories, no censorship or corporate power-point.

Apply core values in talks.  Share about how we do things.  Allow audience to pursue growth and learning.  Happy to share numbers and otherwise.  Combine profits passion and purpose.

Began to change other companies and others lives.  Can change the world.

– Implement core values.

Zappos insights and Zappos insights live, a two-day session.

Share rather than hoard brand.

Had to work with shareholders to understand efforts.

Called “Tony’s social experiments”

Alignment

Important

Ten Questions you should ask when seeking investors:

1. Do you really need investors? Do you need investors, could you grow more slowly?

2. How actively involved do you want/will investors be?

3. What value add besides money do you provide to the deal?

4. What is the time-line you’re expecting?

5. What are you hoping to get beyond financial return?

6.

7. Would you except less profits if vision could be fulfilled faster?

10. Do core values of investors align with company?

Jeff Bezos

Started Amazon from his basement.

Had to string electric cords to get enough power there.

When they launched the store, they made an early mistake.

Could order a negative quantity of books, we would credit their card.

Learned alot, body covered in scar tissue.

Initially had a bell to ring when every order was happening.

Everything I know:

1. You need to obsess over customers.  Only reason amazon.com exists.

Put customer first, obsess over competitors, but customers first.  Then work backwards.

2. Invent.  Never accept either or thinking, find a solution that gets both things.  Invent on behalf of customers.  Not a customer’s job to invent for themselves.  Kindle.  EC2, Elastic Compute Cloud.

3. Think Long-Term. Must be willing to think long term.  Rare.  Initiatives might take 5-7 years before paying dividends, think in 5 to 7 year timeframes.  Requires and allows a willingness to be misunderstood.  Tolerate misunderstanding.

If we think we’re right, we continue, if we think we’re wrong, we change it.

End Game – Delivering Happiness

Actively Participate

What is your goal in life?

Why?

If you ask yourself why enough times, you will get to… they believe that what they pursue in life will make them happier.

All pursuing happiness.

Interested in the science of happiness.

Positive psychology.

Read books and articles about happiness.

*Happiness Hypothesis

*Happier

Always had customers tell us about happiness in a box.

Vision and Purpose, 2009, Delivering happiness to the world.

Fun to watch the purpose statement change.

People are bad at predicting what will provide sustained happiness.

Winners of the lottery, happiness reverts to before.

What you think you want to pursue will get you the goal it will get you?

Apply research to own life.

Apply knowledge to company.

Ran first marathon in 2006.  Something I just wanted to check off.

Can preform better in a marathon, if you preform slower runs for long sustained periods.  Common knowledge among M runners, but uncommon to us.  Must train yourself in ways that go against your gut instinct.  Probably can do the same thing with happiness.

Frameworks of happiness, for Tony:

1. Happiness is about four things:  perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness, vision or meaning.

Perceived control: Used to give raises once per year, implement skill-set system with a small bump in pay for each skill.  Let the rep decide which to attain, when.

Perceived progress: Used to promote from Merch assistant, to Buyer every 18 months, now we give 3 six month promotions, of the same value.  Increase # and shorten timeframe for promotion.

Connectedness:  Happiness hypothesis, happiness is from between, not within.

Vision or Meaning: Doing something that matters.

2. Peak, Chip Connelly, Maslov’s Hierarchy of needs, Once those are met, we are then driven by social status, creativity,

Expectations, desires, unrecognized needs.

Employee: Money Recognition and meaning

Investor: Transaction alignment, Relationship alignment, Legacy

Customer Hierarchy: Received correct item, Shipping,

3. Pleasure, Passion and higher purpose.

Pleasure: Always chasing the next high.  Hard to maintain.  Shortest lasting.  When stimulus leaves, happiness leaves.

Passion: Peak engagement, second longest lasting, in the zone.

Purpose: Be part of something bigger, that has meaning to you.

Strategy, figure out and pursue higher purpose, passion then pleasure.

Happiness as a fractal.  Any part is similar to another shape, if you zoom in or zoom out, the object looks similar.

Parallels great long term companies.

A simple mathematical formula draws them out.

Start companies with happiness at their core.

Hope that more companies will apply concepts in this field.

When you walk with purpose you collide with destiny.

Epilogue

Join the movement.

What would the world look like if everyone acted in the same way?

Dr. Bennis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Bennis

http://mda365.usc.edu/instructors/

Tony Heish

At what time in your life have you been happiest?

Moments-

 

March 09, speech, how do you define happiness?  why so important?

 

Delivering Happiness – A Path To Profits, Passion, and Purpose | by Tony Hsieh.

 We all live our lives exploring what we can give, how we can collaborate and what we should keep.  

This book gives us a wonderful breakdown of the new economy of free. This book explores the history of free, analyses the demographics of old and new free, explores TNSTAAFL, and gives you a reason to give something away.

This book is 100% worth the read, and it’s FREE.  So what have you got to lose?

 

FREE: The Future of a Radical Price | [Chris Anderson]

Play FREE: The Future of a Radical Price

FREE: The Future of a Radical Price

 

 

 

 

 

FREE: The Future of a Radical Price Audiobook | Chris Anderson | Audible.com.

I had to repost this for all the lifechnr lovers out there, because I’ve personally read 15 or so of these books and am impressed by this list.  I’d probably add a Godin book or two, and a Pressfield book or two.  My top three from what I’ve read on this list from First Friday Book Synopsis are Switch, The World is Flat, Wooden on Leadership and Outliers.  I know that’s four, so deal with it.  check out this great list of books:

Over the last 30 days, I have written a blog post every day on significant books that I have presented over the first 15 years of the First Friday Book Synopsis.  We meet every month, so that means I did not write about 10 books from each year. My selections include my choices for two significant books from each year.  I had to skip some terrific books, and may pick some of these up in coming days.

Here’s the complete list.  It is in the order I presented them — so, #1  was from 1998, and #30  is a book I presented in 2012.

I really do think these are worth reading.  I certainly learned/remembered as I wrote these posts.

30 Books in 30 days – Remembering 15 years of the First Friday Book Synopsis (click on the title to take you to the article on that book):

#1 – The Circle of Innovation, Tom Peters

#2 – The Argument Culture, Deborah Tannen

#3 – Encouraging the Heart, James Kouzes and Barry Posner

#4 – The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman

#5 – The New New Thing, Michael Lewis

#6 – The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

#7 – The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley

#8 – Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich

#9 – Getting Things Done, David Allen

#10 – Execution, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

#11 – The Power of Full Engagement, Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr

#12 – Moneyball, Michael Lewis

#13 – Women Don’t Ask, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

#14 – The Wisdom of Crowds, James Suroweicki

#15 – The World is Flat, Thomas Freidman

#16 – Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne

#17 – Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden

#18 – Never Eat Alone And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time  (The Ultimate Networker Reveals How to Build a Lifelong Community of Colleagues, Contacts, Friends, and Mentors) by Keith Ferrazzi

#19 – Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Chip Heath & Dan Heath

#20 – Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams

#21 – The Future of Management, Gary Hamel

#22 – The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria

#23 – Outliers:  The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell

#24 – Womenomics: 1. Write Your Own Rules for Success {2. How to Stop Juggling and Struggling and Finally Start Living and Working the Way You Really Want}, Claire Shipman (Good Morning America) and Katty Kay (BBC News) 

#25 – Switch:  How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Chip Heath and Dan Heath

#26 – The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Atul Gawande

#27 – Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System, Joseph Michelli

#28 – Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck — Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen

#29 – Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson

#30 – Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain

via All 30 Books Listed, and Linked – 30 Books in 30 Days, Highlights from the 1st 15 Years of the First Friday Book Synopsis « First Friday Book Synopsis.

Seth Godin shared a great talk at Winspear, the day before Valentines 2013.  One thing I noticed is that he had very little script on his slides.  I remember two slides with script,  one was the final slide saying what everyone says to you today, “WE NEED YOU TO LEAD US.”  All of the other slides had pictures, showing a visual image of what he was talking about.  Some still, some short videos.  It was a genius presentation, well shared, if you ever get the chance to see Seth speak, I suggest it.  He’s wonderful.  I have shared my notes below:

Learning how to see.

1. Learn to see
2. Connect
3. Grow
Betty Crocker logo used until 2003

Betty Crocker logo used until 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old school advertising: Betty Crocker, created a brand.  By the time the brand was at its peak 240 people who looked like her and could write with her handwriting.
Brands
The age of Mad Men
Old Ideology: You have something to sell, if you interrupt enough people
You are rich.  You have so much, if you just understood the bounds are few.
We have a system based on more.
We are reaching a turning point.  We need ridiculous.
New Ideology:  Ridiculous is the new remarkable.
Not capitalism, the age of industrialism… Is going away.
Record album.  Remember this?  A record?
Store, rolling stone, all factors all aligned.  Record industry is over in 5 years.
Revolutions destroy the perfect and enable the impossible.
 
In today’s connection economy.  We’re good at connecting.
Working together.  Connecting.  What does it take to connect?
1. Connection
2. Trust
3. Permission- talk to people who want to be talked to
4. Exchange of ideas.
All this comes together under two standards.
1. Generosity
2. Art -connect to irreplaceable
Bob Metcalf-  the power of a network goes up, with a square of those in it.
Connection.
What did the first person with a fax machine do with it?
Pay more for experience of saving time.
Sugar/ flour(.22c), cake mix(.44c), Walmart cake (.84c), restaurant(8$).
Beethoven- Furmata- play as you want to.
On Winning on Price: Cheapest, problem of race to the bottom is you might win.
In the days of Bethlehem steel, and others, they grew and grew, but mini mills started popping up.  When the industry became cheaper overseas, Mini steel mills took over the giants.  Do something special.
Not going to succeed by fitting in.
Japanese, Kama laza
Cheeta is full cheeta.
Artists.
Frank Lloyd Wright, full artist.  Designs a house, then decides how to do it.  Deal with that later.
Wright brothers.

1902 Wright Brothers' Glider Tests - GPN-2002-...

1902 Wright Brothers’ Glider Tests – GPN-2002-000125 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deadalous-  not too high, sun melt; not too low, you’ll get wet and die.
Industrialists left out the second part, in the hopes that you would be ok with the normal, average.
Play at own risk.
Need grit.  *habitatitudes
Picasso. 100 unbelievable paintings, 10k overall
Internet gives is the chance to fail cheaply.
Run some ads to sell this average stuff.  No one needs average stuff.
Ads, distribution, sales, profit- average
Typical supermarket has 30k items.
Branded ourselves to death.
On the threshold of something extraordinary.
Scarcity/ connection economy is about abundance.
Shifting from scarcity mindset to connected economy.
In an age of Infinite shelf space.
Cows are boring.  If your product is a well advertised cow, don’t be suprised if no one cares.  But a purple cow.
A purple cow is remarkable.
Ridiculous things grow.
Someone took the chance to do something remarkable.
Idea was built to spread.
Permission- lets tell your story, consumers want to hear it.
Anticipated, personal, relevant.
Short run stock market is a voting machine, long run a weighing machine.
Tribes.  We like to connect.
Please clap in unison until I say stop.
Every group has a different rhythm.
If you want to lead them, connect, culture, challenge, communicate, change,
Groups connected, but not connected enough.
Normal distribution is on danger, Internet, culture, knowledge, life is amplifying the outlier.
Weird.  We are all weird.
We didn’t wake up with an average problem for average product
Farming worked great until 175 years ago, no unemployment.  A job.  Is going away.
Art is risky.
Art of a stall in a museum, the second guy was a plumber.
Risky work you did when you were seven.
27 of 29 in a pic won Nobel prize in physics.
People want step by step instructions so they don’t fail. (Even raising invisible sheep, FarmVille for dummies.)
Regulate free hugs, hugs 5k
Stop bowling.  Quest for 6sigma
Exposé yourself to risk.
Kryptonite makes superman worth reading.  Just the fact that he has a weakness makes him human.
Jump off cliffs and make wings on the way down.
Today, We are handing people a microphone and saying go.
If failure is not an option, neither is success.
The guy who invented the ship also invented the shipwreck.
The heckler in the back of our head is eating us.
Lizard brain instantly goes to defcon four.
Steve Pressfield, calls it the resistance.
We don’t go into the world the right way because we’re afraid of being vulnerable.
We spend way too much time worrying about fitting in.
Do you know how many people wish they had your ability, resources, your time, to ship work.  To overcome the voice in the back of your head of shame.
I can organize, I can convene.  I can ship.
I can make a difference.
They are all around you saying:
We need you to lead us. 
THE END
Questions answered:
Kick starter.
This is the last step.
Pick yourself.  Earn the privilege with your tribe.
You don’t need many true fans.  Start with a few.
Tribes-
How do I build a tribe of the smallest possible number?  People will want more
Overcoming fears.  Beginning, the fear was I was playing in a league I didn’t belong.  Now, that I’m not doing this platform justice.  Is there something more I could do.  Be judged on what the people learned from what I taught.
Everyone has their own radio station, but not many are broadcasting.
Broadcast.
Rand Fishkin-  SEO, while the SEO community is hush, hush. Rand shares everything, here’s what I know, now he’s the expert.
Publish what you fail at.
How do we get past fear of the average work?  We all know clients are idiots.  Introduce us to your object.  Let us help you there, not just in the marketing.
Marathon runners get tired.
We’re all afraid, where will you put the fear.
Who will help the kids?  Kids don’t need to cope.  Change is the new normal.  Kids want to solve interesting problems, we’ve just been keeping them from it.
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At the recommendation of a good friend, I read Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield, about the Persian attack on Sparta that the movie 300 was made, The Battle of Thermopylae.  This mountain pass called Thermopylae would become historically the place of one of the most valiant stands in ancient history.

 

Λεωνίδας / 300 the movie

Λεωνίδας / 300 the movie (Photo credit: Σταύρος)

This book takes you through the experience of a squire, Xeones or Xeo, and his life and experiences growing up as an outsider in Sparta.  Xeo is the squire to Dienekes, the father of three girls,

 

Sparta was the birthplace of democracy.  The beginning of freedom in the new world. This brilliant book lines up where Xeo tells the story to King Xerxes of Persia after the defeat of the Spartans.  Xerxes is so wrapped in this story and amazed at the example of King Leonidas of Sparta and the bravery of the men who went into an unwinnable battle, courage in the face of insurmountable odds.

 

Two big takeaways from this book:

 

1. The analysis of fear.

 

There is an analysis, a breakdown of fear before the beginning of the big battle, here are a few of my favorite quotes and the start of the discussion:

 

“Fear arises from this: the flesh. This is the factory of fear.” -Dienekes

Λεωνίδας / 300 the movie

Λεωνίδας / 300 the movie (Photo credit: Σταύρος)

 

“Remember what I told you about he house with many rooms. There are rooms we must not enter. Anger. Fear. Any passion which leads the mind toward that ‘possession’ which undoes men in war.

 

Habit will be your champion. When you train the mind to think one way and one way only, when you refuse to allow it to think in another, that will produce great strength in battle.” -Dienekes

 

Then Dienekes begins with this question, saying it has haunted him, “What is the opposite of fear?” He says calling it a-phobia is nothing more than a label… This discussion continues throughout the book and has been a topic around our house that’s worth debating.

Great thought lines and conversations to have.

 

2. Contrast of Kings. Xerxes vs. Leonidas

 

There is a stark contrast of kings in this book. One is ruled by his want for more and his desire to have more. The other is driven by his desire for others to have more, to be free and happy within the rule of order. Powerful analogy.

 

Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here obedient to their laws we lie.

 

This is a beautiful tale and I suggest to all that you give it a read. I read the kindle version, but I might suggest this on an Audible book.
Here’s an affiliate link to the book on Amazon:
Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

 

 

Photo via Success.com
Enchantment- Guy Kawasaki
CHAPTER ONE- WHY ENCHANTMENT?

YOU HAVE FIRST TO EXPERIENCE WHAT YOU WANT TO EXPRESS. – VINCENT VANGOGH

WHEN IS ENCHANTMENT NECESSARY?

  1. ASPIRING TO LOFTY, IDEALISTIC RESULTS.

    1. WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
    2. CONVINCE PEOPLE TO DREAM THE SAME DREAM YOU DO.
  2. MAKING DIFFICULT, INFREQUENT DECISIONS.

    1. FACTORS THAT CAUSE FRICTION

      1. COST
      2. RISK
      3. POLITICS
  1. OVERCOMING ENTRENCHED HABITS.

    1. MOST ENABLE SIMPLE, FAST, SAFE, GOOD DECISIONS.
    2. CAN PREVENT A BETTER STATUS QUO.
  2. DEFYING A CROWD.

    1. NECESSARY TO CONVINCE THEM EITHER WAY.
  3. PROCEEDING DESPITE DELAYED OR NON-EXISTENT FEEDBACK.

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER IS THINKING.

  1. WHAT DOES THIS PERSON WANT?
  2. IS THIS WORTH THE EFFORT?

    1. BENEFIT-COST ANALYSIS  

      1. SHOW THE BENEFIT OF CHANGE > THE BENEFIT OF STATUS QUO
      2. SHOW THE COST OF CHANGE < THE COST OF STATUS QUO
  1. CAN I CHANGE?
    1. EXPENSE, EFFORT, RISK.


      Click here to see the full breakdown of the notes. 

We Are All Weird – Seth Godin

I love Seth’s simple approach to writing books.  Not being too wordy or over the top with stories to fill space.

Weird gives one the solid reminder that the world is changing around us.  Standard is no longer good enough for the masses, we’ve begun to all look for customized.  As information exchange increases, Globalization continues and Currency balances world-wide, we’ll begin to see more and faster changes occurring all around us.  Seth gives you a decision to make early:

Decision to make:

1. Create, market-to, embrace weird or fight, normal and status quo?
2. Are you confident enough to encourage right, joyful and useful or follow the system?
Should we make our own choices or let others make them?

Basic Premise of Weird

Seth’s basic premise in Weird is:  The choice to push all toward a universal normal to sell more junk to masses is inefficient and wrong.
Human beings prefer to organize into tribes, groups that define normal.
Opportunity today:
– Support Weird.
– Sell Weird.
– Become Weird.

Find my Evernote Notes Here.

You can buy the book by clicking on my affiliate link below.  The Kindle version is only $2.99 today.

Sidenote: Seth only printed 100k hardcover copies of the book, to continue making his book “Weirder.”

We Are All Weird

Seth Godin

Do the Work

Absolutely loved this book. The simplicity, the message, the genius. Love the simple methodology to make things happen. Ways to produce. To SHIP.

Loved the definition of resistance and steps to battle it.

One of my favorite reads in the last six months.  I definitely recommend reading this book.

Real Quick, here are my major take-a-ways:
If you want to make things happen line them out with a Beginning, Middle and End. Start with a title and when you know what you want to do, provide a theme. Start with the end. Then the beginning and middle. Finally Theme and Title. Any project can be sketched out on one page of yellow legal paper. Your outline could look like:

Title:
Theme:
Beginning:
Middle:
End:

Then Get ready to battle the Dragon of Resistance. Know before you go, and get ready to fight. The pros press through. Even if you fail, it just proves you have places to improve and growth will ensue.

To your journey, my friends.