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The Sweet Spot in Business Books

Summer is a time for reading. Lower Alabama is too hot  to stay outside long so vacations and books always go together in my mind. This year is no exception.  The exception for me is the pattern beginning to form around all my recent reads. The more I read about the latest and greatest new perspective on business practices, and I do marvel at the insights each book provides, the more I see something at the center of each message.

As a golfer with an inconsistent swing, I relate this common theme to hitting the sweet spot on the club. You know without ever having to look at the results. The sweet spot has a feel that is so obvious you know it immediately. The golf professionals demonstrate this by twirling their club or picking up their tee without looking up to see the end result.

So what’s the sweet spot in, The Ultimate Question, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, The 15 Laws of Growth, and Give and Take? Serving others first runs throughout these books.   It’s the Golden Rule with intentionality. I will treat you as I would like to be treated FIRST.

The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld focuses on customer loyalty and illustrates time and time again that companies that treat their customers like long-term friends not only prosper but also sustain.

You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader by Mark Sanborn points out the leadership and sales value of understanding   employees and customers first.  His focus on your contribution instead of your accomplishment was right in the middle of my service sweet spot.

The Fifteen Laws of Growth by John Maxwell includes example after example of his Law of Multiplication. Mentoring others and teaching them how to mentor others multiplies your influence. I don’t think John has to look up too often to see if he is serving others.

Give and Take by Adam Grant illustrates how givers gain and their motivation is always to be the first to demonstrate the golden rule. His study of Adam H and his motto of doing anything for someone you can do in five minutes is a wonderful relational productivity tip.

And my favorite summer read If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg is all about stretching your comfort zone in serving others. He makes me feel guilty about lounging in my favorite chair reading all these books. I guess that’s why they invented audio books.

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. As you read this summer, notice any patterns that connect the dots of the authors’ insights. If you do, you will understand John Maxwell’s twist on Julius Caesar’s maxim on experience, “Evaluated experience is the best teacher.”

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