Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review – Good Comes First

What makes a book on leadership and organizational culture good, versus one that sucks?

It is, not ironically, the same thing that makes leadership and work culture not suck. By taking a hard and compassionate look at what you want to accomplish, defining what is good, aligning action off from the theoretical and into the practical, then refining the process until you have the desired results.

Mark Babbit and S. Chris Edmonds have joined their experience of guiding leaders and organizations over a combined 50 years to bring the best book about post-Covid-19 leadership. What they have created in this book is a real guide to transform one’s organization into a place that creates value, respect and results. In a time where failed leadership has had a magnified impact on its constituents, Babbit and Edmonds cut through the malaise to show in real and direct terms how one can change to meet the needs of people in the Social Age.

Good Comes First brings to light the reality that organizational respect for others can be combined with a culture to achieve great results. It cuts through the leadership failings of the top-down Industrial Age and brings to the reader an understanding of where leaders have recently failed us, what a post-pandemic workforce (and people) desire, and, most importantly, how it can be achieved.

And it all starts with the core foundation to make, as the book is named, Good Comes First. Babbit and Edmonds strip down the pretenses of the outmoded leadership styles that don’t apply today and bring from their experience the real-life results of those who have actually made the change to a Good Comes First Culture. They show time and again that when leaders make good come first, and do it correctly, there becomes a transformation in not just results, but also culture that leads to a more sustainable ability to be good, stay good, and do good.

Business leaders struggling to find employees are blaming a labor shortage when what we really have is a RESPECT shortage. The new book Good Comes First helps leaders embed respect daily. Learn more at GoodComesFirst.com. #GoodComesFirst #culture #leadership

Chris and Mark take the reader through the good, the bad and the ugly of various leaders and the resulting impact to their organization (and the leader themselves) through a myriad of clients they have worked with and other case studies from around the world. With a three-phased approach of Defining, Aligning and Refining, they lay a simple and attainable path to change culture and transform the workplace to a culture that simply “doesn’t suck.” Unfortunately, far too many organizations’ culture doesn’t currently meet the needs of today’s workforce. Yet Babbit and Edmonds take their proven model to show leaders the way forward.

As we emerge from the pandemic and seek a world in where our political, business, faith and local leaders can truly be a force for good, Chris and Mark take the opportunity to show us what good truly looks like. And they very nicely sum up their message with the last line of this great book:

“Do good. Inspire good. And at every opportunity, make sure good comes first.”

A highly recommended book for every leader of scope, place and desire for change that moves forward.

(image: https://goodcomesfirst.com/)

Book Review – Positive Influence

Positive influence is a term I’ve used many times over the years. And now authors Michael Parker and Glenn Parker have put together a practical book that brilliantly defines the term.

The premise of Positive Influence is summed up very succinctly in the subtitle “The Leader Who Helps People Become Their Best Self“. Leaders who use their platform to make other people the best that they can become in a powerfully positive manner end up leaving an incredible legacy. And as the authors point out, not just in the leader’s life, but in the countless lives of others they have influenced.

Michael and Glenn take you through a variety of business people, entertainers, politicians and everyday people form all spectrum and facets of life to support their studies of positive, influential leaders.

The four portions of the book are simple and fundamentally sound for transforming the leadership impact you can create.

They start by establishing the interconnected world and symbiosis we all need and have in one another. They show how teamwork (one of Glenn’s hallmark focuses in his career) and leaning on others are the basis for anything worthwhile that is accomplished.

They then explain and elaborate on the four types of positive leaders – the Supportive Leader, the Teacher Leader, the Motivating Leader and the ROle Model Leader. They show great examples of these types and how their impact is still felt in present day.

The next section shows the leaders how they can help other people become their best self during times of crisis and in transforming negative influences into positive ones. Michael and Glenn emphasize the importance of serving others as an integral part for this to succeed.

Finally, the authors sum up the last section with the various tools and resources leaders need to be impactful in making others better.

The book is written in a positive, motivational and conversational style, with a number of lists laid out to make it easy to take notes and keep in mind the steps to change your leadership influence in a lasting and gratifying way.

Positive Influence is recommended reading if you want to truly make a difference in others’ lives and leadership. It will change the way you look at both your role and leadership as a whole.

(image: https://thepositiveinfluenceleader.com/)

Book Review – Inside Your Customer’s Imagination

Legendary customer experience speaker and author Chip R. Bell has released another great tome to lift your customer innovation to another level.

Inside Your Customer’s Imagination takes a circle of co-creation with customers to discover what’s needed and partner with them to create those products, services and experiences that have yet to be discovered.

Chip instructs and challenges leader and companies to start where we know we should but often forget: at the customer level.

By establishing a “Be The Customer” framework of Curiosity through proper listening, he lays out a plan to map out the process to discover breakthrough solutions, even when the customer doesn’t know what they want (which is often).

Chip takes us through the Grounding phase which separates clear focus from unrealistic aspirations, then establishes a Discovery phase which encourages risk taking after those realistic focuses are understood.

The last two phases of Trust and Passion secure a partnership that’s pure and mutual while creating an excitement that creates reciprocity and generosity among all parties.

Chip’s writing style continues in his unique observations, fun stories and illustrations, all the while offering practical methods to enable leaders to adopt these principles and create an innovation partnership with customers in a world craving breakthrough ideas.

I recommend Inside Your Customer’s Imagination to not only map out a new journey in customer experience and innovation, but also help understand how to become a better listener to customers and create a better dynamic in world needing both innovation and connection.

(images: https://www.chipbell.com/books/)

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