Category Archives: #BookReview

Book Review – Win Every Day

Mark Miller has long been one of my favorite leadership thinkers and authors.

Mark serves as Vice President of High Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His career in developing the people that have made the chain a recognized and trusted brand has given Mark incredible insight that he lends through his teachings, mentorship and books.

As he states on his website, “My approach to writing has always been to find what is true in principle and figure out how to make it applicable to the real world.”

Mark’s latest book, Win Every Day, follows this same blueprint.

Win Every Day, the fifth book of Mark’s High Performance Series, continues the narrative style of the series with a story about how Blake helps transform the culture and leadership of his organization.

The story centers around one of the most key daily concepts in order to succeed each day – execution.

As the story progresses from a viral video review that wasn’t very positive, Mark centers on Blake’s discovery of creating three essential behavior mindsets for leaders to win, with the help from his son’s football team.

The book details those behaviors as: Pursue Mastery, Own the Numbers, and Help Others Win. As simplistic as it sounds, Mark Miller provides basic principles for successful leadership in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand, grasp … and execute.

I also like the book’s other theme of personal accountability, Mark realizes that the modelling of any behaviors begins with the leaders. Quotes such as these help us realize that mastery, ownership and helping others are a daily decision.

“Arrogance and complacency are my nemeses”

“We can encourage you and even challenge you, but if you want to be great, you will have to decide.”

Win Every Day applies to all leaders in all industries at all levels. The planning, preparation and positioning of processes and procedures means nothing without the ability to execute at a high performing level each day.

Win Every Day is a great book, and a fantastic capstone to Mark Miller’s other books in the High Performance Series.


Book Review – Creating Constructive Cultures

Creating a company culture is one thing.

Identifying the right culture and making it a constructive one is another.

In their book “Creating Constructive Cultures”, authors Janet L. Szumal and Robert A. Cooke from Human Synergistics International outline what over 30 years of study have revealed in the various types of culture in the workplace.

They describe 12 “Cultural Norms” that exist in modern companies and within that dozen further define three styles that these norms fall into:

Constructive Styles – consisting of cultures of achievement, self-actualization, humanistic-encouraging and affiliative traits. These culture all contribute to improvement and development of individuals as well as the whole.

Passive/Defensive Styles – comprised of approval, conventional, dependent and avoidant cultures, these merely maintain and protect the organization and/or individual(s).

Aggressive/Defensive Styles – made up of oppositional, power, competitive and perfectionistic personas. Cultures of these characteristics make for a company that while hostile and/or forceful also finds a need to protect and maintain at it’s core.

What the authors portray is not just the explanation of each culture and style, but how these styles are met through varying global demographics.

Their studies show how different societal cultures can pervade an organization and work towards a default culture within that company. And that’s where the brillaince of the authors’ work comes to fruition.

Through a dozen case studies across the world, they show the cultural transformation from passive/defensive and/or aggressive/defensive company and demographic cultures and how each company found out their unique path to becoming a constructive culture.

Szumal and Cooke take the reader through each company’s journey of challenge, self-awareness, and barrier identification to the realization and actualization of a new improvement culture and the results in achieving a constructive model.

The book is well stocked with charts, case study notes and metrics that show the positive financial impact once the transformation was in place.

Creating Constructive Cultures is a great read and one that will make leaders think more on how to apply the right brand of culture that is productive, effective and sustainable.

(book image:; quote images: twitter @HSInternational)

Book Review – “Customer Understanding” by Annette Franz

Annette Franz is founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. She’s a respected voice in Customer Experience and Coaching, and has just published her new book “Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the ‘Customer’ in Customer Experience”.

The book is written to enable organizations and leaders within them to understand their customers and not pay lip-service. In addressing the either/or customer service versus product development (or any other initiatives we put first in our organization), she sets the framework from the very start to have leaders think about the customer in all aspects, and centrally, of their work. Products and services, in Annette’s words, are being commoditized, but customer experience should not.

Are you ready to put the “customer” in customer experience? In this new book, learn the three ways to do that – including instructions on how to properly execute the journey mapping process! #custexp #cx #customercentricity #journeymapping #voc #personas

Annette break each chapter down very succinctly, which is great to digest in smaller pieces in today’s pace or work. But the most important thing she does in her work is giving great applications and resources to make the change real. Many books give theory with little application, and yet Franz packs a great amount of workable solutions into this book to help leaders assess, plan and implement the next steps on their customers journey.

Customer-centric businesses don’t happen by accident. In this new book, learn how to put the “customer” in customer experience – and at the heart of everything your business does! #customercentricity #custexp #cx #culture #leadership #customerunderstanding

Annette’s writing is very conversational and easy to relate to. She speaks plainly but effectively, and you can easily see how she relates to common obstacles in organizations and guides you through them in her coaching style of writing.

#Customerunderstanding is the cornerstone of #customercentricity. In this new book, learn why and how to put the “customer” in customer experience – and at the heart of everything your business does! #custexp #cx #journeymapping #voc #personas

A great book and practical to provide your customers with what they need to experience the journey of what your company brings to the table. I highly recommend it.

If interested, here’s the link below to get your copy:

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