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Archive for the ‘Book Summaries’ Category

116502594Investing in the stock market has always been risky. Even the most conservative of investors have had their shares of ups and downs. In Wall Street’s Just Not That Into You, Roger C. Davis shares a less traditional way of investing in the stock market, one in which current market trends are given a more important role in deciding where to invest. This tactical investment strategy reduces losses that many of the long-term-hold strategists accept as a normal part of the market.

Stock market investing can seem like a nauseating roller coaster ride at times. While the ups and downs of the market are inevitable, the losses seen by most long-term-hold investors can be minimized when they take a more tactical approach. The basics of this tactical investment approach include:

  • Analysis of current market conditions. There are trends in the marketplace that can be observed and recorded and that can expose critical information. Investing alongside these trends rather than against is crucial.
  • Availability of favorable investment opportunities. The traditional rules of investing, where older people nearing retirement must stay away from riskier stocks and younger people must stay away from safer stocks, are no longer valid. What makes an investment favorable is much more complex than that the investor’s age.
  • Risk management. While no one can predict the future, certain indicators have historically preceded significant tops for both individual stocks and the market in general. Understanding these indicators goes a long way in reducing risk.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Elon Musk

Thanks to pioneering firms like SpaceX and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk has become one of America’s leading businessmen. He is often compared to Steve Jobs in terms of his vision and drive. Many are curious how Musk attained his success and what is next for his companies. In Elon Musk, Ashlee Vance provides a biography of the business giant and offers insight into his work and personal life.

  • Childhood. Elon Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. At age 17, Musk left for Canada. He attended Queen’s University in Ontario and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he earned degrees in economics and physics.
  • First start-up. Musk and his brother, Kimbal, founded Global Link Information Network in 1995. The company created a searchable directory of businesses and integrated the information with maps. The company was rebranded as Zip2 and was eventually bought by Compaq Computer.
  • PayPal. After leaving Zip2, Musk founded the online bank X.com in November 1999. X.com merged with Confinity—a startup that offered the PayPal service. Musk was pushed out of the CEO role. He stayed on as an advisor and received $180 million after taxes when eBay purchased PayPal in 2002.
  • SpaceX. After the PayPal sale, Musk founded SpaceX. The company’s goal was to build its own rocket engines more cheaply than others by applying lean startup methods. In 2008, the company launched the first privately built rocket to reach orbit. In 2012, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station.
  • Tesla Motors. Tesla has successfully developed electric cars that consumers are eager to own. Tesla has released the Roadster, the Model S, and the Model X. It plans to release the more affordable Model 3 in 2017.
  • SolarCity. Musk is the chairman and largest shareholder in this company founded by his cousins. SolarCity installs and leases solar panels to consumers. By 2012, it was the largest solar panel installer in the United States.

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The Power of Being Yourself.jpg

In The Power of Being Yourself, Joe Plumeri challenges people to be truly authentic in both their professional and personal lives and not shy away from emotion and passion. He gives readers eight universal principles to live by to achieve lasting success, fulfillment, and self-actualization.

Plumeri challenges people to be themselves in their professional and personal lives by using eight principles:

  1. Everyone has the same plumbing.When business is conducted across nations and cultures, it can be easy to overemphasize the differences between people. Differences are just distractions from aspects of humanity that unite people.
  2. Show the way to grandma’s house. Realizing visions requires bringing them to life by associating them with smells, sounds, and all the senses.
  3. Cut your own path. Respect and destiny are attained by courageously following a passion and working hard to be the best and most capable within that passion.
  4. Let sadness teach you. Loss can be a difficult but effective teacher. When people care for their employees, coworkers, family, and friends, they learn what is truly valuable in life.
  5. Look up, not down. Difficult times are a true test of people’s ability to rise above circumstances and stay positive. The willingness to look up and believe that anything is possible brings transformation.
  6. Play in traffic. Getting excited about the other principles will not matter much if people do not then go out and apply them and take action. “Play in traffic” means exposing oneself to opportunities for serendipity.
  7. Make your heart your teleprompter. The heart should be the primary compass in decision making. Tools like data, technology, market research, and consultants should remain tools; they should never be substitutes for what people’s hearts are saying.
  8. You gotta have a purpose!People need a reason to begin each day and to do their work beyond making money.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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What Great Service Leaders Know & DoIn What Great Service Leaders Know & Do, James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser Jr., and Leonard A. Schlesinger leverage their extensive research and personal experience at the forefront of the service industry to pinpoint what makes standout service firms like Southwest Airlines and IKEA so successful. The book takes an analytical approach but keeps the human element at its core, recognizing that success in service begins and ends with front-line employees.

According to the authors:

  • The goal of any business is to provide the highest value at the lowest cost. Service companies need to remember to deliver value to not only their customers but also their employees and their investors in order to remain profitable.
  • Companies need to have a clear understanding of their target markets. Just as they must know who they are selling to, service leaders need to understand who they are notselling to. All marketing strategies and subsequent support systems should be developed with the target market in mind.
  • Most businesses rated as the “best places to work” also rate highest in customer satisfaction. Customer engagement is dependent on employee engagement.
  • Employees are more important to service companies than to any other kind of business. Employees must be hired carefully based on their attitudes, trained effectively to become knowledgeable in their roles, and provided with a support system that keeps them engaged.
  • Technology makes up a powerful and effective component of a support system, but care must be given to prevent employees from relying on it to do their jobs for them. Technology should make employees more efficient and effective. The level of appropriate technology is highly dependent on the type of service business in question.
  • Customer ownership is about making customers feel as though they have a stake in the company. Customers feel a sense of pride in participating with companies, and studies have shown that the loyal minority of repeat customers are worth far more than first-time customers.

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QuittingIn Quitting, bestselling author Peg Streep and social worker Alan Bernstein expose the defects in the culture of persistence, and explore the science of healthy quitting in life situations, from relationships to work choices to recreation. They reveal that truly successful people are masters of both persistence and quitting, which includes the understanding of when to continue a course of action and when to disengage from it.

According to the authors:

  • Common wisdom holds that winners never quit, and quitters never win. This myth of the power of persistence has a deep hold in American culture, and leads people to remain in relationships, jobs, and situations when the healthier choice would be to leave.
  • Healthy quitting–stopping a course of action in a thoughtful, deliberate manner in order to pursue a new, more fitting goal–is a life skill that everyone needs to learn.
  • Truly successful people are masters of both persisting and quitting. When they quit, they completely detach from their previous goals and devote themselves to pursuing new ones.
  • Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to understand and work with their emotions. Emotionally intelligent people can deal with the feelings caused by quitting. They also understand what makes them happy, which is essential to establishing attainable goals.
  • People need to understand themselves, and their approaches to challenges, in order to set attainable goals. Mapping, or writing down goals, helps people keep track of their progress and determine whether a goal is worth pursuing or whether it is time to disengage from it.
  • True goal disengagement is complete only when a person re-engages with a new, attainable, suitable goal that furthers his or her personal development and happiness.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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InBecoming the Boss Becoming the Boss, Lindsey Pollak provides insight on leadership styles, communicating, and resolving people issues for those who aspire to become business leaders, especially individuals in the millennial generation. The book covers preparation, personal branding, essential leadership qualities, prioritizing, delegating, and career growth. It also discusses the value of having mentors and mentoring others.

According to Pollak:

  • Before leading others, leaders must learn to lead themselves. They can build the right mind-sets and attitudes by reading, networking, training, and practicing leadership in their everyday lives. They must then craft their own personal leadership brands that incorporate four essential elements: visibility, differentiation, consistency, and authenticity.
  • By attending to their online personas, leaders can work to eliminate negative information and build positive virtual brands. Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be useful places to post professional biographies and links.
    The best leaders are good listeners. Listening helps leaders learn about their employees, communicate their expectations, and show others that they value outside input.
  • Leaders must communicate using the most effective and appropriate methods available. Conveying very sensitive information in person is usually the best choice. Emailing is appropriate for nearly all communications, but phone calls work best for urgent matters. Texting and instant messaging are quick and effective communication methods, but they should be reserved for casual interactions.
  • Leaders must delegate and prioritize tasks in order of their importance. They should give their full attention to each task rather than multitasking, and assign any work that does not require their personal attention to their employees.
  • Mentors help leaders achieve their career goals. There are five types of mentors: traditional, co-mentors, sponsors, peers, and parents.
  • Professional growth never ends. Leaders who decide to be great, stay humble, make committed decisions, and make their own rules are the most likely to reach their goals.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Conquering the Seven Summits of SalesIn their book Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales, business experts and elite mountain climbers Susan Ershler and John Waechter examine the parallels between climbing the Seven Summits, the seven tallest mountains on each of the seven continents, and journeying to the peak of sales performance. The authors explore the key aspects of successful sales campaigns, and provide insights and practical approaches that will help sales professionals reach their goals and resolve obstacles in highly competitive marketplaces. The methods, skills, and perspectives needed to accomplish revenue objectives are illustrated using anecdotes based on the authors’ experiences conquering formidable mountains, including Mount Everest.

According to the authors:

  • Staying ahead of the competition requires perseverance, self-motivation, positivity, and a reliable network of support. With the right perspectives and resources, sales leaders can always be prepared to conquer the next sales summit.
  • By projecting ambitious visions of success and establishing objectives that will help achieve those visions, sales leaders come one step closer to reaching their personal sales summits.
  • Objectives should be both ambitious and practical. When creating objectives, sales leaders should eliminate non-essential tasks from their workflows, focus on duties that contribute to the fruition of their visions, set priorities, and aim for personal and professional balance.
  • Careful planning ensures that objectives will be completed successfully. To plan mindful goals, leaders must review past performances, educate themselves about their businesses and services, and research potential targets and marketplaces.
  • Pushy sales tactics are not the key to sales success. Sales leaders must strive to be guides, like the individuals who lead groups on mountain climbing expeditions. Guides endeavor to provide customers with knowledge and the right services, an approach that will make everyone involved in the campaign successful.
  • No climbers should attempt to climb the Seven Summits alone. Similarly, sales leaders should not try to close deals by themselves. Instead, they should appoint people with the right skills and perspectives to ensure the success of the sales operation.
  • When it is time to create new sales strategies, The Competitive Sales Route (TCSR), a comprehensive step-by-step process, can help sales teams carry out efficient and organized campaigns.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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