Soundview Executive Book Summaries


Are You In The Biz?

Do you believe that good things or bad things come in sets of three? Let’s think positive and say that good things appear in groups of three. I bring this up because Soundview is now offering a third FREE e-newsletter: BizBook Review. This weekly e-newsletter provides readers with in-depth coverage of recently released business books. It’s a great way to keep up with titles that you may have missed.

BizBook Review solves a problem that many readers experience. The volume of business books, thanks in large part to independent publishers and e-publishers, has increased. Meanwhile the amount of time a person has to devote to reading has decreased. You want to make sure that you select only the most worthwhile business books, the books you know will deliver interesting and applicable takeaways. BizBook Review gives you the insight to help make your reading selection process a little more simple.

Sign-ups are starting now at Summary.com. Make sure you visit the site and click the tab on the home page labeled “Free E-Newsletters” to sign up and get your weekly delivery of BizBook Review.

Don’t forget, BizBook Review joins our roster of FREE e-newsletters, including Soundview Leadership Alert and Soundview Executive Book Alert.



The Untouchable Goal

One of my favorite Twitter feeds to keep tabs on belongs to our friend Marshall Goldsmith. Take a peek for yourself by clicking this link. He lives up to his reputation as one of the premiere coaches in business by providing daily insights and what I like to call “mini motivators.” I found myself thinking a little bit about a statement he put up today about the psychological perception of achieving a goal.

The original Twitter post said, “We think that achieving a goal will make us happy, ignoring the fact the goal line always moves slightly beyond reach.” Be honest. Do you feel this way from time to time? It’s no coincidence that Goldsmith concludes this thought with a link to his book Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It. Throughout this book, Goldsmith takes a different perspective on motivation and reward. There are some that theorize that successful people are driven by a state of perpetual hunger. It’s based on the notion that there is always a new mountain to conquer and successful people never rest on their accomplishments. Goldsmith’s Twitter post reinforces an idea he discusses in Mojo that searching for fulfillment solely based on achieving a goal can lead to the endless pursuit of the unachievable.

Would you like to know what Goldsmith really believes is the secret to Mojo? Check out Soundview’s summary of Mojo to learn more about what drives people to success and fulfillment. Also, if you’re adding Marshall to your “following” list on Twitter, why not add Soundview, as well? It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on new blog posts, E-Book news and the latest events at Summary.com.



A Can’t-Miss Conversation of Fierce Proportions

The world of business books is similar to today’s pop music world in one regard. It takes something special for a book or an album to have longevity. For every The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there are countless other titles whose reign lasts little more than a fortnight. In fact, that’s the reason that you won’t find certain “hit” titles at Summary.com. The criteria we use to select the 30 best business books each year include questions about a book’s long-term relevance. Our mission is to offer you titles that deliver a little more than a quick injection of trend-based knowledge.

One title that continues to deliver year after year is Susan Scott’s Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time.  This title, originally released in 2004, remains a strong seller due to its no-nonsense tips and Scott’s straightforward writing style.

Now you have the opportunity to get in touch with Susan Scott! She’s the featured guest on the next installment of Soundview Live. Live from Seattle, next Monday, August 2nd at Noon Eastern. She will discuss Fierce Conversations as well as answer audience questions. If you’re currently having difficulty communicating with someone in your organization, regardless of where that person stands in the company, this is your chance to find out how to connect. Scott will help you make sure your message is heard loud and clear. Soundview has interviewed Scott before and she pulls no punches during her enlightening commentary. I hope you’ll join us next Monday for Soundview Live!

And don’t forget … subscribers attend this event for FREE!



China, India … Facebook?

Houston … we’ve reached Zeitgeist.

On Wednesday of this week, I read a few stories online about social networking site Facebook reaching 500 million users. Later that day, I watched ABC World News devote the bulk of an entire episode to the company. That evening, I went to a movie where one of the preview trailers was for the film The Social Network, a “based on a true story” account of the company’s founding. I devoted so much time that day to reading and hearing about Facebook that I was only able to check out Soundview’s Facebook page six or seven times.

All kidding aside, the social media site’s growth is awe-inspiring. Several like-minded media outlets wrote that if the site were a country, its population would make it the third largest on Earth. While everyone else is chipping in with their two cents about Facebook, we thought it was an opportune time to profile David Kirkpatrick’s new book The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. You might be surprised at what we found out when we spent some time with this book.

Of course, the only place you’ll be able to see our exclusive coverage of The Facebook Effect is in the next edition of our e-newsletter Soundview Executive Book Alert. Never read it? It’s the best place to read reviews of books that are making waves, upcoming must-read titles, and books that may have escaped your radar. Here’s a link to a previous edition of Soundview Executive Book Alert.

Soundview Executive Book Alert is one of three e-newsletters currently offered at Summary.com. Best of all, they’re all FREE and you do NOT need to be a subscriber to read them. The Soundview Executive Book Alert featuring The Facebook Effect drops in less than 10 days. Sign up now and make sure you’re on the list!



The App You’ve Known For All These Years

I noticed this piece from PCMag.com that discusses Apple’s attempt to keep up with demand for the iPad and iPhone 4. Apple is blessed with a rare commodity built into its audience; its consumers have patience. While many businesses would love to be in the enviable position of having a backlog of orders, this can occasionally panic successful companies. The traditional theory states that every day a customer waits for an order is an opportunity for a vendor of a similar product to steal him or her away. However, since the iPhone is a much a status symbol as it is a technology tool, people are willing to wait.

But does the innovative company’s modern image as the king of cool equate to being bulletproof? Not necessarily.

I stumbled across a great video yesterday that offers a unique vision of what could happen to Apple. Rex Crum, a technology correspondent for The Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch Web site, found a way to tie together two entities that left massive footprints on the cultural landscape: Apple and The Beatles. Crum points out that Apple hasn’t really suffered a setback since it revolutionized music with the introduction of the iPod. He claims The Beatles also enjoyed an uninterrupted string of successes until the late-1967 television film Magical Mystery Tour. Longtime fans of either entity could easily poke holes in this argument, but I prefer to focus on the picture Crum is attempting to paint with his broad, broad brush.

Success, adoration and loyalty, whether in business or music, carry a heavy set of expectations. I think Crum misses a key point about the upside of groundbreaking success. Being a member of the absolute elite also endows those entities with an extra amount of forgiveness on the part of the audience. I don’t necessarily agree with Crum that the initial problems with the iPhone 4 could signal the start of a trend. Apple has a way of making even a bad situation work in its favor.

What’s funny about Crum’s comparison is that he ignores the long-standing feud between his two subjects. You can’t find an original album by The Beatles on iTunes. But guess what you can find? Soundview iPhone apps.Which one is your favorite?



A Spark of Workplace Light

In the current economic climate, the idea of a guaranteed job seems like an implausible concept. However, there is one company who has delivered on its promise of continuous employment for decades. If you checked out ABC News online over the weekend, you may have seen the profile of Lincoln Electric. The Cleveland-based company builds arc welders and is a survivor in a region where industry has expanded and compacted over the last 30 years. How the company has managed to make this possible is an interesting story. The dedication and drive of the family that founded Lincoln Electric helped separate the company from its competitors and provide it a very unique position in the corporate landscape. Lincoln has endured changes in leadership, eras of profit and recession and, believe it or not, the administrations of 21 U.S. Presidents.

The company’s commitment to not lay off workers, even during times of economic turbulence, means that it’s been forced to find creative solutions to budget issues. Lincoln does not rely on the common practice of increasing reducing one’s budget expenditures by decreasing staff. The ABC News story references a few quotes by Frank Koller, the author of Spark: Lessons from Lincoln Electric’s Unique Guaranteed Employment Program. Koller’s book provides a great history of Lincoln Electric and the company’s commitment to the ideas of its founders. The book also reveals some of the details about how Lincoln Electric has been able to make guaranteed employment an ongoing policy.

Sounds like a good read, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve got good news. Soundview just debuted our summary of Spark, and it’s now available for you! Click on this link to head over to Summary.com and learn more about this great new release.



July’s Must-Read Titles Now Available!

While tuning in to the evening news last night (yes, some of us still occasionally watch news on television), I saw a statistic that 2010 is the warmest year since 1880. For those of us who have been dealing with the heat this summer, there’s something to be said for staying indoors and enjoying a good book summary. Fortunately enough, Soundview has three great new summaries now available to help boost your skills and advance your business goals.

We start off with Spark: How Old-Fashioned Values Drive a Twenty-First-Century Corporation by Frank Koller. This title tells the interesting story of Lincoln Electric, a company whose “guaranteed continuous employment” policy is revolutionary in modern business. How does the policy work? What can your business learn from it? Check out the summary and find out.

Our trio of new summaries continues with a book from Marshall Goldsmith, a long-time favorite of Soundview subscribers. After altering the landscape with his classic best-seller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Goldsmith turns his insight to motivation with Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It. Goldsmith’s points will help you keep your torch burning bright while others’ waver and go dim.

Continuing on with subscriber favorites, the last of our three new summaries comes from John Maxwell. In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, Maxwell reveals the unique mindset and actions that can transform you into a better, more effective leader. Follow these tips and make yourself indispensable in the process.

To learn more about these great new summaries, visit Soundview online at Summary.com.



A New Brand Paradigm?

So … anyone heard anything lately about this guy named LeBron James?

All kidding aside, it seems as though every media outlet has weighed in on various aspects of James’ decision to play for the NBA’s Miami Heat next season. You might wonder why I’d decide to pile on and how it relates to the world of book publishing. Believe it or not, the saga of James’ announcement offers us interesting material for debate as it relates to branding. Can you think of another time in recent memory when what was essentially a press conference generated $6 million in advertising revenue?

For those who are curious about how the 60-minute, prime-time ESPN special came to fruition, here’s a link to a great article from Advertising Age. James’ agent, Ari Emanuel, argues that the broadcast proves that, “we’re getting closer to pushing the needle on advertiser-content programming.” The ratings for the program make it difficult to argue against its success. However, when I consider the special in context, several questions pop up. Are there other athletes or media personalities who would be capable of generating the same level of attention as James? Is this a one-time occurrence or would people tune in again if another athlete announced a team change in this manner? How much of the program’s success can be attributed to the fact that it occurred during a notoriously slow news period in the American sports calendar?

One aspect that should not be overlooked is that the special generated millions of dollars for charities. There are critics who view this action as a way to excuse what’s seen as unethical journalistic practices by ESPN and egomania by James’ camp. If anything, the actions of Emanuel’s William Morris Endeavor agency and ESPN are an attempt to momentarily harness a spotlight that is scattered amongst hundreds of cable channels and multiple social media sites. What do you think?

If you’re interested in more information on the shifts we’re experiencing in branding, I’ve got a must-read for you. It’s Soundview’s summary collection Branding Vol I. The collection contains three great summaries about branding, including John Gerzema and Edward Lebar’s The Brand Bubble, one of the best books on branding in recent memory. Visit us at Summary.com for more information on this great collection!



The Power of Purpose

If you tuned in to our recent Soundview Live event with Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, you might have heard his comment on the need for purpose. Of the three elements that comprise Pink’s Motivation 3.0 concept, purpose is the one that, in my opinion, proves elusive for many individuals. As Baby Boomers progress to the latter stages of their lives and careers, the sense of purpose with which they entered public life is returning as they eye a future beyond the walls of an office. However, as Pink points out in Drive, “Boomers aren’t singing alone in their chorus of purpose. Joining them, and using the same hymnbook, are their sons and daughters — known as Generation Y, the millenials or the echo boomers.”

Pink’s argument that purpose looms large in the minds of the newest generation to enter the workforce has considerable support. Over the weekend, I stumbled across this piece in The Wall Street Journal about the percentage of Ivy League graduates who forgo the path to the corporate ranks in favor of the Teach for America program. Teach for America sends the pinnacle of America’s college students to teach in 100 of the lowest performing school districts in the United States. According to the Journal, the most recent group of applicants for the program included 12 percent of seniors due to graduate from Ivy League schools.

Take a moment and think about this premise: An Ivy League senior walks off the riser after receiving his or her diploma and approaches two doors. Behind one door is a position with a Fortune 500 company and a comfortable salary that bubbles beneath six figures. Behind the second door is a two-year stint in an environment where education has often been secondary to survival. When facing this decision, one out of every 10 Ivy League graduates are applying for the second option. Makes you think about the power of purpose, doesn’t it?

For more information on Daniel Pink’s books, as well as other Soundview Live events, visit us online at Summary.com.



Debunking an E-Reader Myth

This week The Washington Post covered a story that was particularly relevant to us at Soundview. The piece originated in PC World magazine and put the spotlight on a study suggesting decreased (or slower) comprehension of material read on an e-reading device. The study, conducted by a product development consulting firm called The Nielsen Norman Group, is, in my opinion, a brutal misrepresentation of the positive impact of e-readers. It borders on guesswork disguised as science.

Full credit goes to PC World for calling into question the disputable “facts” of Nielsen Norman’s flimsy research. As the magazine points out, the so-called study involved a whopping 24 people who described themselves as “avid” readers. The claims made by the study are baseless and should be dismissed outright by any rational reader. With the amount of doom and gloom in the Nielsen Norman report, I half expected to read that e-readers were the cause of any number of natural disasters.

I thought the reporter did a great job of extolling the business benefits of an e-reader, regardless of the brand. The digital reading revolution continues to reshape the traditional world of publishing. One of the best points in the story is the storage potential of certain devices. When you purchase one of Soundview’s Premium Subscriptions, you gain access to our massive archive of digital summaries. This means you can read summaries of the best business books stretching back to the year 2000. A decade’s worth of knowledge at your fingertips is a business tool that anyone would want to possess.