Last Friday, we published the first nine books on our “To Read” list for 2012. We promised at least 12, so here’s the rest of the list.
What’s on yours? (Disclosure: None of these books were sent to us for review by the publisher or by any book store.)
Here’s the rest of the dozen plus a couple more.
10. Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz
How can you resist not reading through an opening page that reads like this:
“One Tuesday afternoon in February 2008, Starbucks closed all of its US stores.
A note posted on 7,100 locked doors explained the reason:
“We’re taking time to perfect our espresso.
Great espresso requires practice.
That’s why we’re dedicating ourselves to honing our craft.”
Schultz goes on to relate how they decided to retrain 135,000 baristas to pour the perfect shot of espresso as part of its comeback plan.
The plan to close all of its stores all at once to retrain their baristas was a difficult one. They would lose millions of dollars of sales, their stock would tumble further down, and it would be tantamount to admitting that Starbucks wasn’t good anymore. Perfect fodder for the critics. But Shultz felt strongly about the retraining: “Pouring espresso is an art; one that requires the barista to care about the quality of the beverage. If the barista only goes through the motions (and)…does not care…then Starbucks has lost the essence of what we set out to do 40 years ago: to inspire the human spirit.”
Sold? We are interested to find out how Starbucks reconnected its brand with its customers and came back from what looked like a Borders kind of impending bankruptcy stemming from over-expansion.
Would be a good read while you sip a Tall Latte at the corner Starbucks. Here’s more from the book description.
“In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chair of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chair.
Concerned that Starbucks had lost its way, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore not only its financial health, but also its soul.
In Onward…, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the company’s ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity.
Offering readers a snapshot of a moment in history that left no company unscathed, the book zooms in to show, in riveting detail, how one company struggled and re-created itself in the midst of it all. The fast-paced narrative is driven by day-to-day tension as conflicts arise and lets readers into Schultz’s psyche as he comes to terms with his limitations and evolving leadership style. Onward… is a compelling, candid narrative documenting the maturing of a brand as well as a businessman.”
(Onward was voted Best Book for April 2011 by Amazon and was a No. 1 New York Time Bestseller.)
11. 8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs
If we are to raise a new generation of Filipinos with a heart to lift up the Philippines out of poverty, then we need to encourage our kids who show an entrepreneurial spirit bent to go for it.
The younger they are trained and encouraged, the better. “Teacher Joy,” who is an early child educator, school owner and proponent of the multiple intelligence education movement, writes a creative book that parents can read together with their children.
Go Negosyo founder and publisher of the book, Joey Concepcion, in his blog about the book says, “I hope that all parents will learn from 8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs and be able to guide their children to be the best that they can be. Some of our children may not turn out to be what we expect them to be, but never underestimate them. Who knows? They may turn out to be the next multimillionaires. God blesses each one in different ways. As parents and teachers, we have the duty to bring out the best in our kids or students. In the end, what is important is that they realize the value of hard work, love of family, love of country and love of God.”
12. Poor Economics by Abhjit Banerjee (Perseus Books, UK)
Ever since we got involved in social marketing (not the social media marketing, but using marketing to change or influence public behavior toward a better world), books like this have a special place on our reading list.
Poor Economics champions “radical new ways of tackling global poverty.” It was awarded the 2011 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, said he had been “blown away by the thoroughness of [Banerjee and Duflo’s] empirical research. This is going to be a real basis for innovation in policy, innovation in government, and a guide to intellectual debate. This is a business book in the broadest sense.” As a companion reader with this book, watch out also for Dr. Ned’s Social Marketing Research book in the Philippine setting.
If you receive a -13th or even a 14th-month bonus every year, then you should invest in yourself more and read a couple of more titles. Who knows, the investment will result in you getting the equivalent of a 15th- or 16th-month bonus!
13. The Zappos Experience by Joseph Michelli.
This would serve as a good reading companion to the book Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, who just became the newest billionaire when he sold his company to Amazon.
The online retailer of shoes and other merchandise has become known through word-of-mouth marketing. It simply had the policy of creating a great customer experience and going the extra ten miles in making its customers the happiest they could be. For Zappos, they made customer happiness the new marketing.
Here’s more from the book description:
“The Zappos Experience” takes you through—and beyond—the playful, offbeat company culture Zappos has become famous for. Michelli reveals what occurs behind the scenes at Zappos, showing how employees at all levels operate on a day-today basis while providing the “big picture” leadership methods that have earned the company $1 billion in annual gross sales during the last ten years—with almost no advertising. Michelli breaks the approach down into five key elements:
•Serve a Perfect Fit—create bedrock company values.
•Make it Effortlessly Swift—deliver a customer experience with ease
•Step into the Personal—connect with customers authentically
•S T R E T C H—grow people and products
•Play to Win—play hard, work harder.
When you enhance the customer experience, increase employee engagement, and create an energetic culture, you can’t help but succeed.
Zappos has woven these five key components into a seamless strategy that’s the envy of business leaders.
14. What else should be on your reading list?
We have (How to drive sales, engagement and loyalty through mobile devices) by Jeff Hasen, The Best of Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor.
All of the books listed should be available at National Bookstore, Powerbooks, Fully Booked and Amazon Kindle as e-books. I’ve resisted listing our own books here as it might be perceived as self-serving. (And we’ve already read them too!) So, go ahead and read and grow your business. We’ve always found good books to re-energize our spirits when the dips and valleys come in our own businesses. We hope and pray that you find inspiration and wisdom in the books we listed.
Happy reading and God bless!