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make-your-own-wavesIn Make Your Own Waves, Louis Patler explains that those starting their own businesses can learn a great deal from the rules followed by Big Wave surfers. Like surfers, successful entrepreneurs must have confidence and an understanding of their own unique strengths. They must prepare carefully and take calculated risks. Success comes from going all in. The marketplace, like the ocean, is unpredictable, so both innovators and surfers must constantly adjust to changing conditions. For those looking to move from start to startup, the surfers’ rules offer a strategic roadmap in 10 steps.

Innovators and entrepreneurs looking to move from start to startup can learn from the rules and strategies of Big Wave surfing, which include:

  • Learn to swim. Before a person can surf, he or she must learn to swim. Innovators must start with an understanding of their situations, including the trends, competition, and full potential of their products, among other things.
  • Get wet. In order to be a real surfer, a person has to leave the beach and get in the water. Innovators must take action to make their dreams come true.
  • Always look “outside.” The best surfers scan the horizon before committing to a wave. Innovators should watch for what is coming next before they take action.
  • Commit, charge, shred! There is a moment in Big Wave surfing in which surfers must rely on their preparation and, despite their fears, force themselves over the ledge. For innovators and surfers, success comes from going all in.
  • Never turn one’s back on the ocean. Business owners should never take their customers for granted, just as good surfers know never to turn their backs to the ocean, because they can never predict how conditions might change.
  • Stay stoked! Those who have the most success in surfing and in business are those who love what they do.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

what-great-trainers-doIn What Great Trainers Do, Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton target the underlying need for trainers to energize and motivate individuals to enact relevant change in their workplaces. They present an approach to attaining well-run training programs that ultimately drive future business for clients. Using time-tested techniques, trainers can deliver dynamic workshops that ultimately help boost profits and positively generate personal growth. From PowerPoint presentations to the effective management of group dynamics, this book offers no-nonsense advice to trainers seeking to create lasting and valuable learning.

Businesses spend upwards of $60 billion each year on training for employees. Despite this, studies have shown that scantily more than 10 percent of teaching material is incorporated into participants’ work environments. The ultimate task for an effective trainer is ensuring lessons learned during training translate to the workplace. This can be achieved by:

  • Creating a framework for training. To build a successful training program, a trainer must integrate content with how the group operates as a whole.
  • Developing a dynamic workshop. Effective trainers are enthusiastic, open-minded, and focused, and they maintain a conversational style.
  • Debriefing to gather the learning. Trainers attain feedback and learning from individuals when they debrief after activities, practices, or presentations.
  • Making presentations interactive. Great trainers involve participants early and often to create learning environments where thoughts are exchanged in a meaningful way.
  • *Evaluating and ending the workshop. Dynamic trainers have evaluation processes where sponsors and participants understand the degree of satisfaction.
  • Serving as a facilitator. Good trainers battle personal and group resistance by intervening when trouble arises.
  • Maturing as a trainer. First-rate trainers redesign failing workshops in real time, should groups feel that coursework is off the mark.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

the-social-entrepreneurs-playbookA business can generate revenue while producing a product or service that helps cure a social problem. The best way to plan such a business is by taking small steps and preparing for the unexpected. In The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook, Ian C. MacMillan and James D. Thompson set out a process for social entrepreneurs to follow.

Social entrepreneurs–individuals who want to start a business that will also help solve a social problem–face long odds. The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook advises that such entrepreneurs dedicate time and energy to thoroughly vetting ideas before wasting limited resources on ill-conceived ones. This process includes:

  • Defining the problem and determining if the proposed solution will work. Too often, social entrepreneurs from developed nations misread the needs or desires of intended users and ignore the appeal of alternative solutions.
  • Understanding the beneficiary experience. Entrepreneurs must learn what steps beneficiaries have to take in order for the solution to work, and they must determine how difficult making those changes will be.
  • Identifying operations realities. Social entrepreneurs must figure out how to access the skills, systems, assets, and resources needed to operate their organizations.
  • Dealing with sociopolitical issues. Social enterprises can encounter potential allies and opponents; organizers should have strategies for dealing with both.
  • Framing and scoping the enterprise. After determining that the plan is plausible, social entrepreneurs need to generate estimates of what it will cost to run a business large enough to have the desired social impact. Concepts should be tested with target customers.
  • Establishing checkpoints. Because so much of the planning for a social enterprise rests on educated assumptions, the entrepreneur must constantly monitor them to make sure they reflect reality. Checkpoints are designed to test assumptions.
  • Launching the business. The business should use a controlled launch, focusing on learning before making major investments.
  • Managing the downside. Social entrepreneurs must know when they are failing and have a disengagement plan that will not leave beneficiaries in a lurch.
  • Scaling up. Social entrepreneurs must be prepared for the growing pains that come with success. In order to help more beneficiaries, they should consider planning for an expansion of their enterprises.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

1469790828.jpgHenry M. Paulson Jr. has spent much of his career working with leaders in China to reform China’s unique economic system. As CEO of Goldman Sachs, he helped corporatize elements of the state-run economy. As U.S. Treasury secretary, he worked to resolve economic differences with China. Now, as head of the Paulson Institute, he continues to lend his expertise to improve China’s economic system. In Dealing with China, Paulson recounts his history of unprecedented access to China, offering insights to the system’s strengths and weaknesses, and the possible future of this economic superpower.

The author believes that:

  • China continues to undergo tremendous changes due to the economic reforms started by Deng Xiaoping.
  • Political and business success in China hinges on building strong relationships and identifying issues of common interest.
  • Financial reform remains a vital step for China. Additional reforms of its economic system are required for it to fully participate in the global markets.
  • Despite instituting reform, China retains its Party hold on citizens’ lives.
  • The urbanization of China has resulted in numerous and serious environmental concerns.
  • China and the United States must work together to solve issues in a mutually beneficial way.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

120660747Business leaders often become “human doings” rather than “human beings,” ignoring the inner landscapes that inform their decisions. In 4D Leadership, Dr. Alan Watkins presents the Enlightened Leadership Model, a framework that takes four dimensions of leadership into consideration: being, short-term doing, long-term doing, and relating. Multidimensional leaders who excel in all four areas are not just better at business–they are happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

The author believes that:

  • Business leaders face increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (also known as VUCA). As job descriptions change and organizational pressures mount, executives face burnout and fall out of touch with their inner lives.
  • Effective leaders excel in four dimensions: personal performance, commercial performance, market leadership, and people leadership. Too often, executives are evaluated only on their external actions and not on the foundational skills that they should cultivate.
  • Turning down the pressure can actually turn up performance in executives. Today’s corporate environment often relies on a pressure-cooker atmosphere at the expense of the mental and physical health of workers. This means that workers waste precious time and energy trying to meet unrealistic expectations instead of cultivating productive business relationships.
  • Leaders’ internal worlds are just as important, if not more so, than external actions. Sophisticated internal landscapes underlie all great leadership decisions. However, the interior is often ignored by both leaders and organizations.
  • Relationships are the most underrated facet of business leadership. Leaders should try to develop second-person perspectives instead of first-person outlooks.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

guidesuccessfulnegotiationNegotiations are the most difficult, dynamic, and even uncomfortable aspects of doing business. Reaching a deal that adds to the bottom line and builds lasting trust demands a thorough understanding of the process. In The Negotiation Book, Steve Gates draws on his 20 years of experience to help readers gain the skills and adopt the mindset of Complete Skilled Negotiators. He highlights the importance of self-awareness, emotional detachment, insight, and creativity to reaching a deal. He presents practical steps for maximizing opportunities in every negotiation while still building trust with the other party.

The author believes that:

  • Negotiation is one of the most challenging aspects of business. It sets up adversarial relationships that must be overcome to reach a successful deal. However, skillful negotiation contributes significantly to a company’s bottom line.
  • Whichever party has the most flexibility has the most power. Larger parties, particularly those with strong brands, have power over smaller ones. Skilled negotiators understand power and what factors influence its balance.
  • Skilled negotiators have 10 key traits: nerve, self-discipline, tenacity, assertiveness, instinct, caution, curiosity, numerical reasoning, creativity, and humility.
  • Skilled negotiators check their egos at the door, yet understand how ego drives the other party. They remain calm and manage their emotions.
  • Every negotiator enters each negotiation with a particular amount of authority to make a deal. More authority brings greater risk. Negotiating with someone who does not have the authority to make a deal is counterproductive.
  • Personal and organizational values necessarily influence negotiators. Those values may not be shared between the parties, which may place the party striving for a value like fairness at a disadvantage.
  • Negotiators always deploy certain tactics in making a deal. Skilled negotiators understand how their values impact the tactics they are willing to use. They also understand how the other party’s values determine the tactics available to them and recognize those tactics when they are used.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

 

120433648In Simple Is the New Smart, Rob Fazio emphasizes the importance of simplifying the pursuit of success. He offers working professionals and managers smart cuts for making inroads in their careers and achieving their goals, both at work and in life. His four foundations for success (psychological swagger, reading, leading, and accelerating) guide people to stay positive, be aware of their strengths and setbacks, build skills and abilities, and hold themselves accountable. Fazio develops these principles into 26 simple, straightforward strategies people can use to improve their focus and increase the probability of achieving their goals.

The author believes that:

In an increasingly complex world, it can be difficult for people to focus on what matters in life and in work. People can learn to reach their potential and achieve success through simplicity by following 26 small strategies, or smart cuts. These strategies constitute four foundations for success:

1. Psychological swagger. People’s attitudes greatly affect their ability to achieve their goals. It is important for professionals to banish doubts and insecurities, and instead focus on the positive. Learning to release control and adopting an ownership mindset can also help improve a person’s attitude.

2. Reading. People must be open to learning and able to develop self-awareness. They should acknowledge both their strengths and weaknesses, be aware of how others think of them, act with intention, and learn to be politically savvy.

3. Leading. Leaders are able to inspire innovation, motivate and persuade others, network, develop emotional intelligence, and master the art of conversation.

4. Accelerating. Effective leaders support a vision with a plan, build support for change, set priorities, refocus following setbacks, manage stress, and encourage others on the road to finding solutions.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com