Soundview Executive Book Summaries

A Plan for Social Media Marketing

Over the past year or so, it seems like social media has been examined from every angle in terms of its business applications. One of the most obvious business applications is in the marketing realm. I was doing some reading on the topic for an upcoming project and I came across this article on B2C Marketing Insider. The piece details SAP Community Network’s “Four Steps to Social Media Marketing Excellence.” I thought step four (“Define meaningful metrics and report monthly results”) was one of the best pieces of advice any business could receive about using social media for marketing purposes.

One of the areas that tends to be overlooked when companies dive into the social media pool is how to measure success. The instinct is to attempt to monetize the equation as quickly as possible. A company may look at using a social media tool such as Twitter and base its decision to use such a tool on whether or not it will generate sales. In many cases, social media technology isn’t a direct line to profit, but rather it’s a conduit by which you can reach your customers in the hopes of driving them to purchase from another platform (such as your company’s Web site).

While marketing is the obvious connecting place when it comes to social media, we’re equally fascinated by the idea of the role it plays in leadership. To that end, Soundview has a brand-new summary that will give leaders a great perspective on how to effectively connect using social media. Make sure you pick up a digital copy of Soundview’s summary of  Charlene Li’s Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead. It’s available now at!

Can Southwest Continue to Overdeliver?

One of the big headlines today is Southwest Airlines’ purchase of budget competitor AirTran Airways. As this article from Businessweek indicates, the prevailing thought is that Southwest had little choice but to buy AirTran. Sources have indicated that AirTran offers Southwest the opportunity to put its planes into previously unavailable airports in Mexico and Latin America. In light of the fact that Southwest will soon face the massive United/Delta merger, the company needs every advantage to still maintain its position as a moderately priced domestic carrier.

One aspect of its business that has always separated Southwest Airlines is its commitment to customer service. This is probably best highlighted by the company’s recent (and emphatic) campaign to promote its lack of fees for a customer’s first checked bag. I personally love the latest ad in which a Southwest employee, posing as a law enforcement officer, states that a competitor’s full plane means that Southwest’s rival makes “$20,000 profit” from its baggage fees. While viewers who read the commercial’s disclosure will see the scenario which creates the $20,000 figure, Southwest is relying on the fact that the average person will listen rather than look. When put in those terms, a “greedy” competitor scams passengers for $20,000 worth of baggage fees while Southwest graciously lets their bags fly for free.

This ties into Soundview’s new summary of the revised edition of author Rick Barrera’s book Overpromise and Overdeliver: How to Design and Deliver Extraordinary Customer Experiences. Barrera points out that business frequently underpromise customers in the hopes of overwhelming them by overdelivering during the transaction. Southwest is recognized as a company that follows Barrera’s strategy to overpromise as well as overdeliver. The no-fee policy for the first checked bag is rapidly becoming the hallmark of overdelivering in the airline industry.

The summary of Overpromise and Overdeliver is a must-read. For more great summaries, don’t forget to stay up to date at Soundview’s Web site,

What Makes a Great Career

How often during the course of a year do see an article about job satisfaction? While no one would ever say that there is an upside to our current economic situation, it is interesting to note that times of economic hardship can sometimes quell the discussion of happiness on the job. In tough times, any job appears to be a great job.

However, there are those that would argue that even economic hardship is no excuse to stay in a job that doesn’t bring satisfaction. After all, in the relationship between a dissatisfied worker and his or her employer, neither side is truly getting what it wants. Wouldn’t  it be more satisfying to have a career that not only brought personal satisfaction but also helped a company to achieve its goals? Nothing should prevent an individual from attempting to find this type of career now. Why wait another day?

Fortunately, one of Soundview’s newest summaries addresses this idea. Our long-time friend Stephen R. Covey and co-author Jennifer Colosimo provide a must-read guidebook to finding one’s way to a better, more fulfilling career in the Soundview summary of Great Work, Great Career: How to Create Your Ultimate Job and Make an Extraordinary Contribution. If you’ve ever wanted to go beyond the traditional role of employee and find your way to your ultimate job, this summary is a great place to start!

If you’re not currently a Soundview subscriber, Great Work, Great Career is a terrific reason to start a subscription. Don’t forget, all of Soundview’s summaries are available in eight digital formats.

Fall Into Three New Summaries!

As summer fades into fall, so many businesses hunker down for the push toward the end of the year. Why should children be the only ones to go back to school this season? Now is a great time to increase your executive learning portfolio. Soundview has three great new summaries that are now available to get you started:

Great Work, Great Career by Jennifer Colosimo and Stephen R. Covey: Do you have a good career, a mediocre career, or a great career? How do you know? And how do your create a great career? The most respected business thinker of our time, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, and change consultant Jennifer Colosimo offer a complete handbook for anyone seeking answers.

Open Leadership by Charlene Li: In Open Leadership, Charlene Li (the coauthor of the bestseller Groundswell) offers the next step resource that shows leaders how to tap into the power of the social technology revolution and use social media to be “open” while maintaining control.

Overpromise and Overdeliver by Rick Barrera: The old cliché in business is that smart companies underpromise and overdeliver. But in a crowded marketplace, underpromising is a one-way ticket to oblivion. In Overpromise and Overdeliver, Rick Barrera shows that today’s most successful companies master Touchpoint Branding — the art of making sure that every point of contact between a company and its customers is well executed and fulfills an over-the-top brand promise.

Be sure to visit to learn more about these and other great summaries!

Last Chance: Soundview Live is Tomorrow!

Just wanted to put up a quick reminder to everyone that you still have time to sign up for Soundview Live featuring Brian Tracy! The event takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, September 21 at Noon (Eastern). It is your exclusive chance to hear one of the world’s foremost experts on business and excellence give you all-new insights into how your business can make even this tough economy one in which to shine.

Brian will deliver his presentation “Seven Ways to Maximize Your Profits” and debut content from his upcoming, sure-to-be bestseller Now Build a Great Business. Don’t forget that Soundview Live is your unique opportunity to ask best-selling authors questions that relate directly to your own company. Needless to say, Brian’s schedule demonstrates that he’s one of the most in-demand business and personal consultants on the planet. Grab the opportunity while you have it and sign up to be a part of our online audience.

And as I always remind everyone, if you are a current Soundview subscriber, this event is FREE! Also, if for some reason you miss your chance to hear the event live, an archived link of the event will be made available in the coming weeks.

E-book Accusations: What’s Your Take?

Who doesn’t love a little controversy? While preparing some notes for an upcoming presentation I’ll be delivering, I took a break to see what was new with my fellow WordPress bloggers. Every so often, I like to check in on the nameless ‘Net denizen who pens Me and My Kindle: An Excited Chronicle. Soundview understands the attachment and passion people feel for their devices. You should have heard our office’s debate over whose device had the best stream of our recent Influencing for Change video Webinar. This type of techno-fervor is why we offer our Soundview Executive Book Summaries in eight online formats (including the blogger’s beloved Kindle).

Imagine my surprise when I read the blogger’s post yesterday in which he or she speculates that Amazon is misleading the public about e-book sales outpacing printed book sales. [Editor’s Note: The nervous Nellie in me feels it prudent at this point to state that the opinion of the author of Me and My Kindle is his or her own viewpoint. It in no way represents the views of Soundview Executive Book Summaries or Concentrated Knowledge Corporation.]

The blogger’s opinion actually provides an interesting insight into how a company’s marketing department can help put its best foot forward. We live in a world that relies on the instant dissemination of facts. The policing of those facts eventually arrives, but not at the speed with which the statistic reaches the public. As the blogger states, the ripple effect of Amazon’s press release became fodder for morning talk shows. It’s far more difficult to extinguish a fire if you have to invent water after the fire has been burning.

While others wrangle over the details, Soundview is happy to provide its product to lovers of all digital formats.

For more e-book news, make sure you follow Soundview’s exclusive E-BookNews alerts on Twitter. Follow Soundview @businessbooks for more information!

Tweet and Stick, Tweet and Stick

Are you a regular Twitter user? What do you usually do after reading one of the billions of 140-character messages that fill your screen? Do you move immediately on to the next Tweet on the list, or do you click a particular Tweet’s shortened link and spend the next few moments viewing the content that appears?

According to this article from TechNewsWorld, more and more people decide to click the link and leave the little blue bird behind. That’s something that is not sitting well with the site’s creators nor the legions of potential advertisers who are attempting to figure out how in the heck to turn a steady stream of inane babble into an equally steady stream of revenue.

This is leading Twitter to redesign its site and offer new features, including a two-pane display. The hope is that it will keep users tuned in to the site longer, which provides more opportunity for a reader’s eyes to fall upon a carefully placed space ad. To me the changes represent one of the best parts of the new world of product development. Earlier in 2010 when Soundview premiered its summary of Chris Anderson’s FREE: The Future of a Radical Price, we discussed with him the unique pattern of product development that occurs in today’s marketplace. Customers are in love with customization and the pace of technology means that companies are working feverishly to keep up with the instant feedback that describes desired changes. Twitter is in the midst of its first round of changes now, and I am among the millions of people who are anxiously awaiting the new features.

In the meantime, we’re perfectly fine with you wanting to click the little link at the end of our Tweets. Maybe you clicked one that got you to this post in the first place. If you’re not currently following Soundview on Twitter, now is a great time to start!

When Innovation is Crystal Clear

I always enjoy seeing the different subjects of the books that pile up on my desk. You can almost see what trends will overtake meeting rooms and management conferences around the world a few months after these books hit the shelves. The stacks are a good indicator of trends. In recent years, we’ve seen the rise and fall of many a subject. However, one of the most intriguing topics that continues to appear in book after book is the subject of innovation.

We’ve featured titles on innovation from time to time in our monthly edition of Soundview Executive Book Summaries. We’ve even featured the occasional collection of summaries on innovation. One particular title that always sticks out in my mind is Adam Richardson’s Innovation X  in which the author, correctly, many say, argues that innovation is one of the most misunderstood terms in business.

However, sometimes innovation is so easy to spot that anyone can see it. In fact, one might say that true innovation can be as clear as water. I saw this great piece from Technology Review that discusses an amazing innovation that could help millions. Researchers at Stanford University are developing a water filter that uses cotton treated with nanomaterial inks to remove bacteria from water. Access to clean water is one of the biggest problems in the developing world. One of the most important aspects of this innovation is that it uses less power than other types of water filters. Check out the article and let me know what you think!

For more information on how innovation is changing the world of business, visit us at

Next Tuesday: Become the Influencer!

We often discuss the latest edition of Soundview Live during our blog posts. But I wanted to make sure that no one forgets our other, equally powerful series of Webinars: The Influencing for Change Series. This video Webinar series, produced in collaboration by Soundview and the innovative corporate training and organizational performance experts at Vital Smarts, has already educated thousands through its first two successful installments. The latest edition debuts on Tuesday, September 14 at 1 p.m. (Eastern).

Soundview is pleased to give attendees the opportunity to hear Vital Smarts’ David Maxfield discuss Influencer: The Power to Change Anything. Maxfield draws on 25 years of leadership achievements ranging from successful research projects to impressive culture change outcomes. The book Influencer, a highly noted best-seller that continues to feature in many a corporate library, was the recipient of Soundview’s 2008 Harold Longman Award as best business book of the year. A top leadership expert combined with an award-winning business book? Sounds like an event you can’t afford to miss!

We’re especially proud of our video Webinar series because it signals the next chapter in Soundview’s efforts to provide executives with a more comprehensive set of tools with which to educate both themselves and their direct reports. I also wanted to mention that if you missed the first two events, featuring Ron McMillan and Al Switzler, fear not! Thanks to repeated requests from attendees (particularly those who signed in a little late), we’ve made archived editions of both Webinars available at

Whether you want to sign up Influencer featuring David Maxfield or wish to view one of the archived segments of the Influencing for Change series, simply visit this link. Hope to see you on Tuesday!

Courage, Greatness and Your Business

It’s easy to admire someone for his or her business accomplishments. Magazines tout the visionaries who lead both the traditional brand superpowers and the up-and-coming houses of innovation. The press also enjoys shining the spotlight on “rock star” CEOs whose personalities often enhance an already prolific amount of business intelligence.

However, from time to time, we hear about someone whose bravery extends beyond the boardroom. The other day I was reading Brian Tracy’s blog and I found myself struck by the power of his simple message. Tracy, for those that aren’t aware, has been battling throat cancer over the past several months, a point he addresses in this blog post. For all of his achievments as a strategist, consultant, author and business visionary, one of his finest moments may be his taming of a very serious illness with equal parts courage and positivity.

I can admit here that Soundview had been in contact with Tracy during the period of his treatment. He spoke with determination and had an upbeat attitude the entire time. Despite undergoing treatment, Tracy gladly spoke of his book Now Build a Great Business. This book and its inspiring contents will be the subject of an upcoming edition of Soundview Live!

Tracy will speak on the topic of “Seven Ways to Maximize Your Profits.” I had the opportunity to review some of the material during our planning sessions, and I can honestly say that Tracy’s perspective amazes me. I really hope you can join us on Tuesday, September 21 at Noon (Eastern) for the next installment of Soundview Live. You’ll have the exclusive opportunity to ask Brian questions about your business, a value to which the thousands of organizations with whom Brian has worked can attest.

Don’t forget, if you’re a Soundview subscriber, you get to attend Soundview Live for FREE!