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Required Reading:

Continuous self improvement and development is critical to the success of all professionals. This bibliography is intended as a source of a variety of ideas to stimulate your thinking. 

Some of these are handbooks and practical texts, some represent the latest in management "fads," some stimulate thought on the philosophy of business and leadership. We don't agree with all the ideas presented in these books and don't subscribe to the "trendy management fads" presented in a number of these publications. They all, however, present notions worth considering.

As a convenience to you, we have become an Amazon.com associate.  You can purchase any of these books conveniently just by following the "Buy It Now" link.

We provide our clients selected books, reprints and magazines addressing key issues they face. In addition, we provide our analysis of the key issues addressed in the book. To join the EXCELLENCE Book Group, please follow the link.


[New!]The Speed Of Trust:  The One Thing That Changes Everything, Steven M.R. Covey, et. al, 2006, Free Press.  A great book on developing and maintaining trust---critical for any organization.  Buy It Now

[New!]Sales Coaching:  Making The Leap From Sales Manager To Sales Coach, Linda Richardson, 1996, McGraw-Hill.  This has been around for a long time, but it's a great guide for any sales manager.  Buy It Now

[New!]Reality Check:  The Irreverent Guide To Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition, Guy Kawasaki, 2008, Portfolio Hardcover.  The title really says everything.  I would add that it's the only guide an entrepreneur needs.  Buy It Now

[New!]A Sense Of Urgency, John P. Kotter, 2008, Harvard Business Press.  A must read for any leader or executive.  Focuses on creating real urgency in a company, not meaningless activity.  Buy It Now

[New!]Selling To Big Companies, Jill Konrath, 2005, Kaplan Business.  A great pragmatic guide about how to get into new customers and sharpen your approach to selling.  This book has won wide and well deserved acclaim.  Buy It Now

The Four Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss, 2007, Crown Books.  At first this is deceiving, the more you get into the book, Tim's insights are very interesting.  Worth reading and adapting.  Buy It Now

 The Ultimate Question, Driving Good Profits and True Growth, 2006, Bain and Company.  This provides the most focused approach in Customer Satisfaction I have ever encountered.  The approach and lessons of this book are critical to every business executive.Buy It Now

An Inconvenient Truth:  The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming And What We Can Do About It, 2006, Rodale Books.  Fantastic tutorial on an issue that impact all our lives.  Read it, pass it around, take action.  Buy It Now

Alliance Advantage, Yves L. Doz and Gary Hamel, 1998, Harvard Business School Press.  Just reread this book.  While this is an older book, it's insights on the value of alliances and partnering are very good.  A good tutorial or refresher for any business development manager or alliance manager.  Buy It Now

One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China (Wall Street Journal Book)


One Billion Customers, James McGregor, 2005, Wall Street Journal Books.  The China market is the largest and fastest growing in the world.  This book provides interesting insight into doing business in China.  Buy It Now


Measuring the Value of Partnering, Larraine Segil, 2004, AMACOM.  A little disappointing on the metrics piece, but some interesting case studies.  A good read on partnering.  Buy It Now

The Four Obsessions Of An Extraordinary Executive, A Leadership Fable, Patrick Lencioni, 2000, Jossey Bass.  A fast read, recommended by a client.  Some simple lessons, too often forgotten. Buy It Now 

The Art Of The Start:  The Time Tested, Battle Hardened Guide For Anyone Starting Anything, Guy Kawasaki, 2004, Portfolio Hardcover.  This is mandatory reading for all start-ups.  It's a great guide to help new entrepreneurs focus on the most critical things in starting their company.  Buy It Now 


Strategy Maps:  Converting Intangible Assets Into Tangible Outcomes, Robert Kaplan and David Norton, 2004, Harvard Business School Press.  Extensions of their work on Balanced Scorecards.  Provides valuable tools to help assure company processes are aligned in creating customer value.  Buy It Now .

CustomerCentric Selling, Michael Bosworth and John Holland, 2003, McGraw-Hill.  I have to admit, I still prefer Mike's Solution Selling, but this is a powerful guide to helping improve your focus on the customer and creating value for them.  Buy It Now .

Fierce Conversations:  Achieving Success At Work And Life, One Conversation At A Time, Susan Scott, 2002, Viking Books.  This is a must read for anyone in business.  It is a practical guide to improving the quality of the conversations you have with your customers, peers, superiors, subordinates, family and friends.  It is results oriented and helps focus discussions around clear and compelling communication.  Buy It Now .

To Begin The World Anew, Bernard Bailyn, 2003, Knopf.  This is a fascinating analysis of the thought processes and debates of the American leaders at the formation of the US.  The struggle in balancing idealism, realism and pragmatism in creating the foundation for the establishment of the Constitution and the American form of government provides valuable lessons for any organization.  Buy It Now .

A New Kind Of Science, Stephen Wolfram, 2002, Wolfram Media.  An interesting discussion of Wolfram's insights into cellular automata and other topics.  Reasonably easy for the layperson to skim, I wouldn't recommend detailed reading to all but the most serious.  However it provides provocative thinking about new ways to look at and analyze problems.  Many useful business and social applications.  Buy It Now .

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance, Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround, Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., 2002, Harper Business.  A lot has been said about this book that I don't need to repeat.  An interesting read that you can learn from.  Buy It Now .

Rath and Strong's Six Sigma Pocket Guide, Rath and Strong, 2000.  A useful guide to the tools used in Six Sigma.  Using these tools is critical at all levels of management.  Buy It Now .

The Logic Of Failure, Recognizing and Avoiding Error In Complex Situations. Dietrich Dorner, 1996, Perseus Books.  Though this was originally published some years ago, I just picked it up and found a great diagnosis about why we fail, as well as ideas for avoiding it.  A thoughtful book worth reading.  Buy It Now .

Execution, The Discipline Of Getting Things Done, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, 2002, Crown Business.  If only for the title as a constant reminder that execution is all that counts.  Buy It Now .

Good To Great, Jim Collins, 2001, Harper Business Books.  The fundamental premises of the book are important to think about in building businesses.  Some of the examples are unclear or stretched a little, but still this is worthwhile to read.  Buy It Now .

Jack, Straight From The Gut, Jack Welch with John Byrne, 2001, Warner Business Books.  From Jack Welch, about Jack, GE, leadership!  Jack's views with examples throughout his career.  Great book by a great business leader.  Buy It Now 

Managing Channels of Distribution, Kenneth Rolnicki, 1998, AMACOM.  For people new to developing and implementing sales channels, this book offers a good tutorial.  Buy It Now 

Bread and Butter : What a Bunch of Bakers Taught Me About Business and Happiness, Tom McMakin, 2001, St. Martins Press. I've met with Tom several times and am impressed with his insight, value system, principles and down-to-earth approaches to leadership and business.  This book is an outstanding articulation of those approaches.  Buy It Now 

Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value, Neil Rackham and John R. Deincentis, 1999, McGraw Hill.  Sound thinking on building high performance sales organizations. Buy It Now 

The Six Sigma Way, Pande, Neuman, Cavanagh, 2000, McGraw Hill.  Good summary of Six Sigma and implementation of the approach in an organization.  Buy It Now

Confessions Of A Venture Capitalist, Ruthann Quindlen, 2000, Warner Books.  Entertaining and informative view of the world of VC's.  Must read for start-ups in developing their business plans and thinking about raising capital.  Buy It Now

Simplicity:  The New Competitive Advantage, Bill Jensen, 2000 Perseus Books.  Great message, we all have a tendency of making things more complicated than they need be.  Buy It Now

The Channel Advantage, Lawrence G. Friedman and Timothy R. Furey, Butterworth-Heineman, 1999.  Buy It Now

The End of Marketing As We Know It; Sergio Zyman, Harper Collins, 1999.  Great pragmatism in developing and implementing marketing strategies.  Buy It Now

New Rules For The New Economy, Kevin Kelly, Viking, 1998.  Provides a nice perspective of some of the new business models behind much of the "new economy."  Good ideas, but blend them with some of the old rules, as well.  Buy It Now.

A Business And Its Beliefs, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., McGraw-Hill, 1963. Still appropriate thoughts on business.

Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte, Vintage Books, 1995. Stimulating thoughts on what might be.  Buy It Now

Benchmarking, The Search For Industry Best Practices That Lead To Superior Performance, Robert C. Camp, ASQC Quality Press, 1989. The classic handbook on benchmarking.  Buy It Now

Blur, The Speed Of Change In The Connected Economy; Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer, Warner Books, 1999.  Buy It Now

Built To Last, Successful Habits Of Visionary Companies, Collins and Porras, 1994, Harper Books.  A classic on characteristics of EXCELLENCE companies.  Must read.  Buy It Now

Competing For The Future, Prahalad and Hamel, 1994, Harvard Business School Press.  Another classic that introduced the concept of building companies around core competencies.  Must read.  Buy It Now

Consultative Selling, Mack Hanan, Amacom, 1990. This is the current edition. The first edition was better. One of the original texts on becoming customer focused and solutions oriented.  Buy It Now

Control Your Destiny Or Someone Else Will, Noel M. Tichy & Stratford Sherman, Currency-Doubleday, 1993. We are always interested in what drives GE and Jack Welch.  Buy It Now

Crossing The Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore, Harper Business.  Critical to developing and introducing new technologies.  Buy It Now

Dialogue, Rediscover the Transforming Power Of Conversation; Linda Ellinor and Glenna Gerard, John Wiley and Sons, 1998.  In the very least, read the foreword, and example of great conversation and interesting thinking.  Buy It Now


Fast Company, How Smart Business Works, this magazine breaks the mold of traditional business magazines and provides provocative thoughts on many topics important to business. Includes leadership, creativity, strategy, organizational development, success, money, change management, the future of business. Must read. 

Father, Son and Co. My Life At IBM and Beyond, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Peter Petre, Bantam Books, 1990. Good bio.  Buy It Now

Flight of the Buffalo, Soaring To Excellence, Learning To Let Employees Lead; James A Belasco and Ralph C. Stayer, Warner Books, 1993.  Buy It Now

Genius, The Life & Science Of Richard Feynman, James Gleick, Pantheon Books, 1992. For those interested in "out of the box thinking."  Buy It Now

Green Eggs and Ham; Dr. Seuss, Random House, 1960. One of the best books on basic selling I've ever read. Must reading for all new sales people, an entertaining refresher for experienced sales people and great for your children. Buy It Now

High-Tech Marketing Companion; Dee Kiamy and the Editors of Apple Directions, Addison Wesley, 1993. This collection of essays is marketing 101 for technology businesses.  Buy It Now

Ideas and Information, Managing In A High-Tech World, Arno Penzias, WW Norton & Company, 1989.  Buy It Now

Inside The Tornado, Geoffrey A. Moore, Harper Business, 1995.  Companion to Crossing The Chasm.   Must read for fast growing companies or those who want to have a fast growing company. Buy It Now

Jamming, The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity; John Kao, Harper Business 1996. Read this, then read books about Richard Feynman.  Buy It Now

Kaizen, Masaaki Imai, McGraw-Hill, 1986. Classic on continuous improvement.  Buy It Now

Leadership and The New Science, Learning About Organization From An Orderly Universe, Margaret J. Wheatley, Berret-Koehler, 1992. Must read and think. If you like this, read Niels Bohr's essays.  Buy It Now

Major Account Sales Strategy, Neil Rackham, McGraw-Hill, 1989. Handbook on selling to major accounts.  Buy It Now

Making It Work; Alan Weiss, Harper Business, 1990. In our experience, organizations seldom fail because they have developed a bad strategy, more often, they fail because the do not execute their strategies. This book offers advice focusing on execution and implementation.  Buy It Now

Marketing High Technology, William H. Davidow, The Free Press, 1986. Classic, but still applicable.  Buy It Now

Mass Customization, B. Joseph Pine, Harvard Business School Press, 1993.  Buy It Now

No Excuses Management, TJ Rodgers, William Taylor, Rick Foreman, Currency-Doubleday, 1993. Many did not like this, we like the underlying notions of accountability and responsibility.  Buy It Now

Only The Paranoid Survive, Andrew S. Grove, Currency-Doubleday, 1996. We believe in paranoia. It works and keeps you on your toes.  Buy It Now

Out Of Control, The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World, Kevin Kelley, Addison Wesley, 1995. Lessons from the natural world.  Buy It Now

Permission Marketing, Seth Godin, Simon & Schuster, 1999.  Buy It Now

Real Time, Preparing For The Age Of The Never Satisfied Customer; Regis McKenna Harvard Business School Press, 1997.  Buy It Now

Re-Engineering The Corporation, Michael Hammer and James Champy, Harper Business, 1992.  Buy It Now

Relationship Marketing, New Strategies, Techniques and Technologies To Win The Customers You Want And Keep Them Forever, Ian Gordon, John Wiley, 1998.  Buy It Now

Relationship Marketing, Successful Strategies For The Age Of The Customer; Regis McKenna, Addison Wesley, 1991. One of the classics in changing the way we view customers.  Buy It Now

Rules For Revolutionaries, Guy Kawasaki, Harper Buiness, 1999.  Buy It Now

Sales, Marketing and Continuous Improvement, Daniel M. Stowell, Jossey Bass, 1997. Dan is a colleague. He's produced a nice book on quality in the selling process.  Buy It Now

Sales Re-Engineering from the Outside In; Mark Blessington and Bill O'Connell, McGraw Hill, 1995.   An interesting look at re-designing your sales model based on a customer point of view.  Buy It Now

Selling In The Quality Era; George H. Peeler, Blackwell, 1996.  A brief but good discussion on applying many quality principles to selling.  Buy It Now

Selling Through Independent Reps, Novick, 1988, AMACOM.  Handbook for assessing and managing manufacturers representatives.  Good tool for people new to reps.  Buy It Now

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman, Adventures Of A Curious Character, Richard P. Feynman, Penguin Books, 1985. If you want to understand creativity.  Buy It Now

The Art Of The Long View, Planning For The Future In An Uncertain World, Peter Schwartz, Currency Doubleday, 1991. Great for strategy and scenario planning.  Buy It Now

The Balanced Scorecard, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press, 1996.  We first became interested in scorecards and personal dashboards in work with Motorola in the mid 80's.  This book is an outstanding guide to implementing a scorecard in your own organization.  Buy It Now

The Customer Driven Company, Richard C. Whiteley, Addison Wesley, 1991. We like this book and its pragmatic approach to developing a customer focus.  Buy It Now

The Discipline of Market Leaders, Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market; Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, Addison Wesley, 1995.  Buy It Now

The Fifth Discipline, The Art And Practice Of The Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge, Currency-Doubleday, 1990.  Buy It Now

The 500 Year Delta, What Happens After What Comes Next, Jim Taylor and Watts Wacker, Harper Collins, 1997. Great view on what drives us now and where we might go.  Buy It Now

The Mind of The Strategist, The Art of Japanese Business, Kenichi Ohmae, McGraw-Hill, 1982. A classic on business strategy. Must read.  Buy It Now

The One To One Future, Building Relationships One Customer At A Time, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Currency Doubleday, 1993. Classic on relationship marketing, good companion to Joe Pine's book. Must read.  Buy It Now

The Philosophical Writings Of Niels Bohr: Vol. 1: Atomic Theory and The Description of Nature; Vol. 2: Essays 1932-1957 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge, Vol. 3: Essays 1958-1962 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge, Niels Bohr, Reprint Ox Bow Press, 1987. Must read, but you have to translate it into applying the thoughts to business.  Buy It Now

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey, Simon and Schuster, 1989. We sometimes need to be reminded.  Buy It Now

Top Grading, How leading Companies Win By Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People; Dr. Bradford D. Smart, Prentice Hall, 1999.  A systematic approach to identifying and developing your "A-team."  Buy It Now

Warfighting, The US Marine Corps Book of Strategy, Currency-Doubleday 1989. For those of you who are into the Sun Tzu school of business strategy, marketing warfare or guerilla marketing, this presents an interesting perspective.  Buy It Now





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