Self-Education Keeps Your Business In the Game

If you know anything about The Newsletter Pro, you know we’re not a group that simply sits back and lets life happen. We like to take action, and since we’re growing rapidly, that means constantly making adjustments to fit our team’s needs. To ensure that we’re making the best decisions and staying on top of the direct mail game, we have to take a few lessons from the best of the best.

self-education starts with the turn of a page

We’re self-education addicts, meaning our library is growing almost as quickly as we are. You can learn a lot about a company by the kinds of books on their shelves, and we’d like to share with you three of the best books we’ve read recently. May we recommend …

EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches

by Dave Ramsey

One of the leaders we love to quote most here at The Newsletter Pro is Mr. Dave Ramsey, who defines Entreleadership as “the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper.” Ramsey uses his own real-world business experiences to coach readers through everything from hiring and firing, to making tough decisions, delegating, and dealing with money.This playbook is a must-read for any leader or team.

In fact, our team recently found the chapter on Unity to be particularly useful. By recognizing that common workplace problems like poor communication, gossip, and lack of shared purpose are actually “enemies of unity,” we were able to identify as a group some areas of weakness on our own team and take action to correct them.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

by Patrick Lencioni

Anyone who works on a team can benefit from this book. Told in the form of a fable, Lencioni explains how teams can overcome dysfunction by first identifying what those dysfunctions are, and how they’re interconnected. The dysfunctions domino into one another.

The first dysfunction, for example, is absence of trust. Without vulnerability, leaders cannot gain the trust of their team, and the team will suffer by feeling unable to voice their opinions. The second dysfunction, fear of conflict, creates  artificial harmony where members of the team are uncomfortable but quiet.

The third dysfunction, lack of commitment, results from team members not having the chance to speak up in the first place. This lack of commitment causes the fourth dysfunction: unwillingness to hold one another accountable. Low standards among team members means there will be a distinct lack of focus on how the company is doing, and the fifth dysfunction, inattention to results, is where the team ends up. Without giving attention to results, team members care only about their ego and status.

This book is a must-read for executives of all kinds, because it teaches us to be aware of behaviors that can seriously hurt the operation. By creating an environment of trust, you can overcome these dysfunctions and be the best example of leadership you can be.

Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives

by Kip Tindell

Conscious Capitalism is at the heart of this fascinating look at the retail success of The Container Store. CEO Kip Tindell approaches his ideas by going over the company’s principles and how those principles inspire his team members to strive with passion toward the company’s goals.  Tindell preaches the need for businesses that will thrive through hiring people with passion and creativity, and truly admiring the people you work with daily. Tindell makes his employees and his customers top priority — even higher priority than his bottom line, which he maintains is the reason for the company’s incredible success.

By taking better care of his employees through higher pay and better appreciation, his employees have taken care of the company and reached the profit goals they have set out to reach. Employees are hopeful and excited about their opportunities within the company, which has made The Container Store one of the best places in the country to work.

Up Your Self-Education Game

self-education continues with this No BS GuideBy now you have probably heard about the release of this year’s much-anticipated new marketing book, “The No B.S. Guide to Maximum Referrals and Customer Retention.” This project has been a collaboration between Dan Kennedy and me, and it includes guest chapters from other marketing experts. This book is, by far, one of the best resources that I can offer you for generating sustainable growth within your business. Make sure you read our teaser blog, and get your copy of the book on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, or at other major bookstores.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly judge a company by the books they’re reading. If you haven’t made a reading list, now is the time to start!

What top three books has your company has read? What are you reading now? Share with us in the comments below!

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