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Essential Reads

3HAG Way Shannon Susko Dominic Monkhouse

3HAG Way: The Strategic Execution System That Ensures Your Strategy Is Not a Wild-Ass-Guess!

Every company needs a 3HAG—a 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal! The 3HAG WAY is a prescriptive framework that takes the guessing out of your strategy and ensures that you and your whole team are confident in where you are going. It breaks your strategy down into a clear and simple picture—so clear and simple that the whole team will be able to see where the company is going and where it will end up in three years’ time. This strategic clarity will align, engage, and empower your team to make confident decisions in order to achieve your 3HAG.

You’ll find step-by-step instructions to gut out your first 3HAG while building the confidence required to execute with speed toward your goals. The core purpose of this book is to have a significant impact on CEOs, leaders, and their companies and enable them to confidently realize their goals more quickly than they thought possible. And by achieving these goals they will positively impact their families and their communities.

Whether you run a team of four, forty or 40,000, the tools and framework in this book will help you articulate your company’s strategy in simple terms and create a Strategic Execution System that works. We’re going to take each step of the strategy and break it down for you so that you know exactly how to take these steps and why they’re critical to achieving your goal.


Scaling Up: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits 2.0

It’s been over a decade since Verne Harnish’s best-selling book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits was first released. Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t is the first major revision of this business classic.

In Scaling Up, Harnish and his team share practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. These approaches have been honed from over three decades of advising tens of thousands of CEOs and executives and helping them navigate the increasing complexities (and weight) that come with scaling up a venture. This book is written so everyone — from frontline employees to senior executives — can get aligned in contributing to the growth of a firm. There’s no reason to do it alone, yet many top leaders feel like they are the ones dragging the rest of the organization up the S-curve of growth.

The goal of this book is to help you turn what feels like an anchor into the wind at your back — creating a company where the team is engaged; the customers are doing your marketing, and everyone is making money. To accomplish this, Scaling Up focuses on the four major decision areas every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. The book includes a series of new one-page tools including the updated One-Page Strategic Plan and the Rockefeller Habits Checklist™, which more than 40,000 firms around the globe have used to scale their companies successfully — many to $1 billion and beyond.

Running a business is ultimately about freedom. Scaling Up shows business leaders how to get their organizations moving in sync to create something significant and enjoy the ride.


The Machine: A Radical Approach to the Design of the Sales Function

In The Machine, Justin Roff-Marsh shows readers how to follow the intrepid executives on three continents who have implemented his ideas over the last 15 years, building ridiculously efficient sales functions–and market-dominating enterprises–as a consequence.

Roff-Marsh calls these executives his silent revolutionaries.

This revolution has been brewing for a long time. For the last 20 years, organizations’ ability to produce has overtaken their ability to sell, and, for at least as long, customers have unfailingly embraced every opportunity to avoid interacting with traditional field salespeople.

Applying the division of labor to sales might not seem controversial, but this innocent-sounding idea decimates the sales management orthodoxy and replaces it with a strange new world where sales is primarily an inside activity, where salespeople earn fixed salaries and focus their attention exclusively on selling conversations, where regional sales offices become redundant, and where marketing and engineering become seamlessly integrated with sales.

The Machine is a field guide for the executive who’s prepared to wrestle sales away from autonomous field-based artisans in favor of a tightly synchronized team of specialists. Readers will embrace The Machine either to exploit the new sales order or to avoid falling victim to it.


The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World

In the first edition of this landmark book, business loyalty guru Fred Reichheld revealed the question most critical to your company’s future: “Would you recommend us to a friend?” By asking customers this question, you identify detractors, who sully your firm’s reputation and readily switch to competitors, and promoters, who generate good profits and true, sustainable growth.

You also generate a vital metric: your Net Promoter Score. Since the book was first published, Net Promoter has transformed companies, across industries and sectors, constituting a game-changing system and ethos that rivals Six Sigma in its power.

In this thoroughly updated and expanded edition, Reichheld, with Bain colleague Rob Markey, explains how practitioners have built Net Promoter into a full-fledged management system that drives extraordinary financial and competitive results. With his trademark clarity, Reichheld:

  • Defines the fundamental concept of Net Promoter, explaining its connection to your company’s growth and sustained success
  • Presents the closed-loop feedback process and demonstrates its power to energize employees and delight customers
  • Shares new and compelling stories of companies that have transformed their performance by putting Net Promoter at the center of their business

Practical and insightful, The Ultimate Question 2.0 provides a blueprint for long-term growth and success.


The Value Profit Chain: Treat Employees Like Customers and Customers Like Employees

James Heskett, Earl Sasser, and Leonard Schlesinger reveal powerful new evidence that paying close attention to the employee-customer relationship will enable any organization to be a low-cost provider and achieve superior results — proving that you can have it all, a goal thought inadvisable just a few short years ago.

At the heart of this bold assertion is the authors’ indisputable conclusion supported by thirty-one years of groundbreaking research: today’s employee satisfaction, loyalty, and commitment strongly influences tomorrow’s customer satisfaction, loyalty, and commitment and ultimately the organization’s profit and growth — a quantifiable set of associations the authors call the value profit chain.

In what may be the most far-reaching study ever undertaken of the strategic importance of the employee-customer relationship, Heskett, Sasser, and Schlesinger offer profound new insights into the life-long value of both employees and customers and the increasingly important concept of employee-relationship management. Readers will discover how organizations as diverse as aluminum maker Alcoa, travel agency Rosenbluth International, and the Willow Creek Community Church treat employees like customers (in the case of Willow Creek, volunteers as well). Conversely, the authors show how advertising agency Merkley Newman Harty and financial services provider ING Direct treat customers like employees, pursuing the ones they want most.

At the Vanguard Group, Cisco Systems, and Southwest Airlines, both practices are common. The authors explain how these organizations and many others — whether large or small, public or private, or not-for-profit — achieve profitability and growth or the equivalent by leveraging results and process quality to deliver differentiated products and services at the lowest cost.

Timely, essential, and important reading, The Value Profit Chain should be readily accessible on the desk of every forward-thinking manager.


Topgrading, 3rd Edition: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance

Great companies, large and small, rise or fall because of their talent; the more high performers on your team, the more successful your organization will be. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Research shows that only about 25% of all new hires turn out to be high performers. But companies that have used Brad Smart’s Topgrading system over the past two decades have boosted their hiring success rates dramatically-sometimes even to 90%. Three huge problems account for the typical poor results in hiring: dishonesty (via deceptive resumes), incomplete information (via shallow interviews), and lack of verifiability (via biased references).

Topgrading shows how to solve all three problems. Instead of hiring by your gut reactions to resumes and interviews, you can start using a scientifically honed process that compels candidates to be totally honest. Smart, one of the world’s foremost experts on hiring, has personally helped hundreds of companies double, triple, or even quadruple their hiring success rates. His clients have ranged from global giants such as General Electric and Honeywell to midsize and small businesses in every field imaginable, and to not-for-profits such as the American Heart Association. And hundreds of thousands of readers have applied the lessons and tools of the first two editions of Topgrading.

The Topgrading system makes hiring easier, faster, and more successful than any other process. And it works at every level, from the front lines to senior management. For the first time in seven years, Smart has fully revised and updated Topgrading with many new tools, techniques, and case studies. This edition now features 40 companies of all sizes, across a wide range of industries and home countries. It’s the most advanced and useful version of Topgrading ever. The third edition includes:

  • Simplified Topgrading methods for entry-level jobs
  • The new Topgrading Snapshot, which screens out weak candidates in just 15 seconds
  • The latest version of the acclaimed Topgrading Interview script
  • Case studies from 35 companies not featured in any previous edition
  • Many additional innovations created by Topgraders.Topgrading isn’t just about hiring and promoting-it’s also about developing talent

It enables leaders to reward their A Players, coach their Bs to become As, and weed out the Cs who are beyond improvement.Many great leaders know that Topgrading works. Find out how it can help your company gain a big competitive advantage.


First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

The greatest managers in the world seem to have little in common. They differ in sex, age, and race. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They do not believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help people overcome their weaknesses. They consistently disregard the golden rule. This amazing book explains why.

Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small entrepreneurial companies. Whatever their situations, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup’s research were invariably those who excelled at turning each employee’s talent into performance.

There are vital performance and career lessons here for managers at every level, and, best of all, the book shows you how to apply them to your own situation.


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t

After a five-year research project, Jim Collins concludes that good to great can and does happen. In this book, he uncovers the underlying variables that enable any type of organisation to make the leap from good to great while other organisations remain only good. Rigorously supported by evidence, his findings are surprising – at times even shocking – to the modern mind.

Good to Great achieves a rare distinction: a management book full of vital ideas that reads as well as a fast-paced novel. It is widely regarded as one of the most important business books ever written.


Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people – at work, at school, at home. It is wrong. As Daniel H. Pink explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.

Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation, and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.

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