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- Quotable: They Said It
- The Top 10 Business Books: What Are Your Top 3?
- Avoiding Bad Hiring
- Readers’ Forum: Your Observations
- Subscription Information
Quotable: They Said It
“If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars.” – J. Paul Getty.
“I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.” – Mark Twain
THE TOP 10 BUSINESS BOOKS: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3?
Because I am in the business of advising business people, people often ask me if I’ve read the latest bestselling business book. Most of the time I haven’t. They are writing business books faster than I can read them.
To be honest, the books that have influenced my approach to business haven’t necessarily been about business.
That got me wondering what the top-selling business books are on Amazon.com. And I’m wondering what the top 3 books are that have made an impact on your approach.
Here are the Top 10 books from Amazon’s Business and Investing Category:
- Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.
- The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century.
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t
- Create Your Own Future: How to Master the 12 Critical Factors of Unlimited Success
- Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World
- Now, Discover Your Strengths
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
If you think for a moment, you probably can identify the top 3 books that have influenced your approach to business. I’d like to know what those 3 top books are. If you reply to this e-mail, I will compile the results and publish it in the next Leadership Update. I look forward to hearing from you!
The top 3 books that have influenced my approach to business are:
- 1. Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II, by Robert Kurson. Read about it here: http://www.reviewsofbooks.com/shadow_divers/
- Selling the Invisible, by Harry Beckwith. Read about it here: http://www.beckwithpartners.com/bookone.htm.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. Read about it here: http://www.stephencovey.com/.
AVOIDING BAD HIRING
Hiring a new staff member is a lot going on vacation with friends. Everyone goes into it with good intentions, but it doesn’t always end well.
Here are some common problems in hiring processes:
- Lack of preparation time. A vacancy occurs with little warning, and there isn’t time to plan a replacement strategy.
- No central management. The effort is managed by several people, instead of one.
- Inefficient systems. Members of the hiring “team” are not aware of what others are doing.
- Lack of information. Candidates don’t know enough about the firm, its culture or the position. The hiring firm doesn’t know enough about the candidate.
- Pressure to fill the position. The best candidate is not always there when the position must be filled.
Here’s the good news: It’s simple to correct bad hiring practices.
First, include hiring and succession planning in your overall strategic or business plan. Assess your company’s needs, and confirm that those needs fit well with the open position description. If not, change the description. Look at your organizational chart and try to predict who you will likely have to replace soon. Prioritize your materials based on that chart.
Don’t have a job description for each position? Write them. Aside from specific responsibilities, include general skills needed in the position, such as client service skills, the ability to collaborate well, or delegating effectively.
Second, recognize that evaluating an applicant begins before they appear at your office. Study their resume and cover letter. Think about the conversation you just had with them on the phone. Watch for warning signs like:
- Poorly organized resumes. If they can’t organize that, how will they organize projects at your company?
- Mistakes. Poor proofreading at this stage probably won’t improve later on.
- Failure to provide requested information, like salary requirements or work samples. Responding to requests is a basic work skill.
- Poor phone skills. If they put you on hold or answer the phone unprofessionally, that’s bad.
- Delays in returning your phone calls. How would you feel if that happened at the office?
Finally, notice how applicants act in your waiting area before the interview. Are they reviewing their own resume or reading about your company? That’s good. Are they pestering your receptionist about whether or not she’s free for lunch? That’s a no-no.
If you tighten up these aspects of your hiring process, you will improve your success at making long-lasting matches for your company.
If you have an interesting experience you’d like to share, confidentially, about a hiring that didn’t go quite as expected, I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know if I have your permission to share it in the next Leadership Update.
ABOUT DR. WEIMAN
David A. Weiman, Psy.D. is a psychologist who specializes in executive assessment, development and consultation. For information or a confidential consultation, please call 610/642-3040.
333 East Lancaster Avenue, Suite 202
Wynnewood, PA 19096-1929
(610) 642-3040; Fax (610) 642-3041
Reader’s Forum: Your Observations
Have a comment about something you read in this month’s newsletter? I want to hear it! Mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like me to use the question on my website or in a future issue of Leadership Update, let me know and I’ll include it!
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© 1999-2012 David A. Weiman, Psy.D., PC