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Book Review: Start with Why

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek is a thoughtful read on business leaders and political visionaries who have shaped history. A few of the examples in Sinek’s story: Walt Disney, Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King Jr., Herb Kelleher, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. Sinek argues that some did not have first-mover advantage, the best product, nor the most talented team, rather he attributes their success to focusing on the “why.”

The paradigm shift of starting with “why do something” rather than “what are we doing” can be a game-changer. According to Sinek, “the why” is a more effective way of defining your business objectives, which enables the team to clearly understand the mission and how to get there. This is part of the golden circle framework, which has three layers. First, “the why-” the core purpose/cause, then “the how-” the processes to get there, and lastly “the what-“the products or services offered. When the golden circle is properly executed, the team has a greater sense of purpose and appreciation for the cause, which leads to more trust, loyalty, and profitability. 

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Book Review: Bold Brand 2.0

Bold Brand 2.0 by Josh Miles is a refreshing read on rebranding/repositioning a company, so your firm can stand out amongst the sea of competition. The Bold Brand’s niche is the A/E/C marketplace; however, the bulk of the book is applicable to nearly any industry. Bold Brand 2.0 encourages a company to periodically distill its brand down to its core, then evaluate your brand on how it is reflected across the company’s ecosystem, to ensure the branding is consistent and coherent throughout. Moreover, it advocates evaluating a customer’s journey to identify opportunities, which can be a tedious exercise, but totally revealing.

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Book Review: Building a Story Brand

One of my favorite reads on brand marketing is Donald Miller’s Building a Story Brand. Miller writes persuasively on how to build a brand and how to elevate it. In other words, whether your company is in its infancy stage, or it is a mature company looking to expand into another market, there are some useful tools throughout the book. How does Miller’s brand strategy teachings effectively cover such a wide spectrum?

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Book Review: Good to Great

Good to Great is a classic business management book based on Jim Collins’ team researching hundreds of companies and distilling the list down to a handful or so that all have “greatness.” Collins is a leading management researcher and consultant who works out of Boulder, which adds to his coolness factor. So, why should a marketer read “Good to Great,” when in fact it is more of a management than a marketing read...?

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Book Review: Atomic Habits by James Clear

“If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t YOU. The problem is your system.” Sound too good to be true? Well, in Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, James Clear explains that we repeat bad habits not because we don’t want to change badly enough, but because we don’t have the right system for change in place. He offers a practical framework: don’t focus on the outcome; focus on the process. Changing your focus to your system means creating tiny, “atomic habits,” which compound over time and naturally lead to remarkable results. Think a 1% change, compounded over time (365 days), leading to exponential change (37x better in a year)!

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