Category Archives: Book Round-Ups

Lead Right: Management and Leadership Resolutions for 2017

New Year’s resolutions tend to be personal–lose weight, call your mother on the phone every week, read more books (we certainly won’t fight you on that one!)–but, as you’re considering how to make 2017 your best year yet, consider the atmosphere you create as a leader in the workplace.

How can you make 2017 a better year for those around you? Asking that question is the first step. Five of our authors, experts on leadership, management, presence, and all of the skills you need to propel your organization and your career forward in 2017, share their 2017 resolutions or suggested resolutions.

Kristi Hedges, author of The Power of Presence and the forthcoming The Inspiration Code: How the Best Leaders Energize People Every Dayout this June, knows that the key to motivating people is truly being there when you’re with them:

My resolution this year is to be present and fully invested in the conversations that matter, both at work and in life. Having spent the last year doing research and having conversations for The Inspiration Code, I am even more convinced. A few behaviors, applied with intent, have a remarkable impact on others. Be the spark!

Paul Zak, author of Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies, knows that business leaders see results when they create a culture of trust:

I recommend shared leadership as a resolution.  Empowering colleagues to execute projects as they see fit fully engages those doing the work.  To share leadership, you have create a culture of trust and the freedom to fail.  In Trust Factor, I show how the neuroscience of interpersonal trust can be used to create a high-engagement culture in which colleagues are fully engaged and highly innovative.

Jathan Janove, author of Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches, has a highly memorable and useful resolution for managers: Make 2017 The Year of the EAR!

George Bernard Shaw was spot-on correct when he said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” However, you can change this sad reality by making 2017, The Year of the EAR. When engaged with your employees and colleagues, commit to following the EAR sequence: Explore, Acknowledge & Respond. And watch how quickly and effectively you break down the barriers to real and meaningful communication.

Alan Willett, author of Leading the the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People, is encouraging his mentees to resolve in 2017 to mentor an upcoming leader themselves:

The act of helping and coaching others pays the time invested back many times over. Through your mentorship of others, you learn about your own strengths and weaknesses, and you hone your leadership power in unexpected ways. It is also very rewarding seeing your mentees begin to thrive. Resolve in 2017 to grow more leaders!

For his resolution, Robert Bruce Shaw, author of Extreme Teams: Why Pixar, Netflix, Airbnb, and Other Cutting-Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail, focuses on the power of the group:

I will view and manage my organization as a collection of teams versus a collection of individuals. As a result, I am committed to experimenting with creative approaches to enhance team behavior and performance. This starts with bold innovations in how my own team operates–but also includes improvements in how we operate as a company to support team life. Only teams move the world forward.



Books for Small Businesses

If you’re running or helping to run a small business, you’ve encountered unique challenges (and, we hope, many unique rewards!). It can feel like you’re doing it all yourself–which means you could use as much help as you can get from the experts. Below, check out some of our most helpful recent books for small businesses.

The Crowdfunding Handbook: Raise Money for Your Small Business or Start-Up with Equity Funding Portals by Cliff Ennico

Jacket cover

Until May 2016, the act of offering securities (stocks, bonds, and more) in exchange for investment was extremely limited. The arduous and expensive process for companies and the strict regulations for investors left countless hopefuls out. That has now changed with equity crowdfunding. This isn’t your average Kickstarter campaign–you’ll need Cliff Ennico’s comprehensive handbook–but, if the timing is right for your small business, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small by Nick Westergaard

Jacket cover of Get Scrappy

While Get Scrappy‘s digital marketing wisdom applies to businesses of any size, small businesses will find it especially crucial. Marketing without a significant budget may feel like an uphill climb, but you can see results without a gargantuan budget if you follow Nick Westergaard’s essential advice on constructing your brand, sticking to your strategy, creating content that answers your potential customers’ most urgent questions, measuring your results accurately to hone your tactics, and more.

75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees by Paul Falcone

Jacket cover of 75 Ways by Paul Falcone

Not all small businesses have human resources departments, but that doesn’t mean the procedures and issues that HR departments handle just disappear. HR rock star Paul Falcone‘s new book delivers key human resources strategies to managers and executives. Small business owners will appreciate Falcone’s attention to each step in the employee cycle, readable explanations of the legal implications of key management decisions, and focus on hiring and managing effectively in the first place (because it’s much harder for small businesses to bounce back when hiring goes wrong).

When the Pressure’s On: The Secret to Winning When You Can’t Afford to Lose by Dr. Louis S. Csoka

Jacket cover of When the Pressure's On

Small business owners face an extraordinary amount of stress, and with the weight of a whole company on their shoulders, it’s not always possible to shrug it off. No one knows how to manage stress better than Dr. Louis S. Csoka, founder of West Point’s Center for Enhanced Performance and creator of the first ever Peak Performance Center for a Fortune 500 company. He shared his five-pronged strategy for performing under pressure–which small business owners face regularly–in his remarkable book, When the Pressure’s On.

Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale by Paul Smith

Jacket cover of Sell with a Story by Paul Smith

Small businesses pitching products might not always be able to offer the lowest price right away, and they might not have the highest brand recognition–so what’s going to get their prospects interested? The most important tool in any salesperson’s kit, but especially that of a salesperson from a smaller firm, is the story. In Sell with a Story, acclaimed author Paul Smith details how to craft narratives that will strengthen relationships, make the product memorable, increase product value (really!), and more. When it comes to storytelling, small businesses likely have a leg up on the competition–take advantage of it!


Spring has Sprung: 3 Books on Starting Something New

Even humans tend to hibernate in the winter. That makes spring the perfect time to think about switching jobs, switching whole careers, or just switching your mindset.

Take advantage of the vernal equinox, the longer days, the greener trees–and try one of these three books for motivation.
Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone, & Create the Success You Want by Katie C. Kelley (AMACOM March 2016)

Jacket cover of Career Courage by Katie C. Kelley

Katie C. Kelley put just the sort of change we’re talking about into action in her own life. After years of striving and succeeding in the field of psychotherapy, she realized something wasn’t fully clicking–so she found her career courage, and sought a new path. The book will guide you through that very process. It’s full of questions to help you discern your true calling, exercises to create the skills that will help most as you boldly stride forward, and stories of the fascinating experiences of seventy others with remarkable career-change journeys.

Check out a preview on the AMACOM blog: Katie C. Kelley on Taking Risks to Further Your Career

What To Do When You’re New: How to Be Comfortable, Confident, and Successful in New Situations by Keith Rollag (AMACOM September 2015)

Jacket cover of What To Do When You're New by Keith Rollag

“Rollag presents fresh strategies for making everything new less scary, more manageable and much more rewarding.” —Joyce Lain Kennedy, Chicago Tribune/Tribune Media Services
“…well-organized, comprehensive book. A must-read for newcomers in all areas.” —Library Journal

Everyone wanted to share Keith Rollag’s wisdom when his book emerged, as evidenced by his appearances in Fortune, Fast Company, The Harvard Business Review, and many more, but you can have it all to yourself with a copy of What To Do When You’re New! Whatever you choose for your big spring change, you’ll ace it with everything you learn from this book.

No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You A Lifetime of Fitness by Michelle Segar (AMACOM June 2015)

Jacket cover of No Sweat by Michelle Segar

“…not merely a weight-loss guide but rather a motivational manual to self-care and sustainable change… for persons wishing to set goals, change behavior, and/or improve their lifestyle.” –Library Journal (starred review)
No Sweat is the ultimate guide for changing your mindset. It’s primarily about fitness (certainly a great option for making a change this spring), but Dr. Michelle Segar’s stunning research and insights into the science of motivation can help you achieve innumerable positive shifts in your life. This was one of our best sellers of 2015, and we think you’ll see why after only a few pages. Dr. Segar offers an excerpt here.

3 Books for International Women’s Day 2016

international women's day

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day meant both to celebrate women’s achievements and to call for further advances in gender parity. This year’s official United Nations theme for the day is #PledgeForParity. The official IWD website explains:

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

To promote equality in the working world, we’ve rounded up three of our best recent books for women in the workplace.
The Confidence Effect: Every Woman’s Guide to the Attitude that Attracts Success by Grace Killelea

Jacket cover of Confidence Effect by Grace Killelea

Named one of the 7 Most Important New Books of 2016 by Geoffrey James of Inc., predicted to “spark discussion and drive change throughout the business world” this year, The Confidence Effect addresses the gap between women’s abilities and their reticence in putting them on display. Grace Killelea offers strategies and motivation for women to speak out, take risks, and assume leadership positions with assurance. Sounds like a perfect match for this year’s International Women’s Day theme.


Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business by Pamela Ryckman

Jacket cover of Stiletto Network

“Emboldening, encouraging, and entertaining, this book is essential reading for any woman who wishes to further her career while remaining true to herself.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“…Ryckman recognizes a new power trend in business: women banding together to bust through those barriers that continue to impede an individual woman’s progress.” —800CEORead

What more can we say? Stiletto Network is all about dynamic, ambitious women who help each other. Ryckman tells the stories of impressive existing networks and offers insights into how to create one’s own.

Your Own Terms: A Woman’s Guide to Taking Charge of Any Negotiation by Yasmin Davidds

Jacket cover of Your Own Terms by Yasmin Davidds

Negotiating is rough terrain for everyone, but a double standard makes it especially tough for women: play hardball and be seen as overly aggressive, or make concessions and expect far fewer rewards than male colleagues. Yasmin Davidds, a negotation expert who has worked with thousands of corporate leaders across the globe, has poured her expertise into illuminating the psychology of negotiation and helping women make the most of their skills in this difficult process.

Book Round-Up: Paul Falcone, HR Rock Star

75WaysMgsHireDevKpGrtEmpsOne of our most anticipated titles in 2016 is Paul Falcone‘s 75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees (AMACOM June 2016). His HR expertise and the skill with which he communicates it to others have earned him great respect and glowing comments, like this one from Falcone’s recent profile in SHRM:
“He’s got up-to-date grounding in HR theories, he understands the levers of the business he is working in and he develops good relationships with people,” [Kim] Congdon says. For those reasons, everybody in the profession seems to know his name. “He is an HR rock star.”
In honor of Falcone’s upcoming book (a soon-to-be hit), take a look at a few of his currently available titles–books published in recent years that continue to pick up steam and provide aid to human resources professionals and managers across the nation.
One of Falcone’s greatest strengths: throwing a lifeline to managers when they need it most. If you need to deliver the performance review for a poor team player, delicately address an employee’s personal hygiene, or bite the bullet and let someone go, Paul Falcone is your coach. And if you’re a manager who hasn’t yet had to have any of these conversations–well, you will. This resource will stand you in good stead in times to come.


2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews: Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases that Really Get Results

As Falcone explains in this book, “Annual performance appraisals are not meant to be a paper chase–a mandatory exercise that creates a snapshot of your impressions as a supervisor about a subordinate’s work. Instead, they should be a collaborative effort that builds on open communication and constant feedback.” This book gives managers and HR professionals the language to get there.


2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals: Ready-to-Use Phrases that Really Get Results

Hand in hand with 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews comes 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals–because by the time the next performance review rolls around, ideally your employees will have set and strove for meaningful goals. You can make sure they do with the help of this book.

96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire 

Before you can exercise all of your newfound knowledge on having tough conversations, conducting performance reviews, and guiding your employees to the perfect performance goals, you’ll need to find those employees. With more than 100,000 copies sold, 96 Great Interview Questions has proven itself an essential resource for anyone evaluating job candidates.

Need more evidence of Paul Falcone’s HR and managerial genius? Check out his articles on AMA Playbook:



PAUL FALCONE has served as vice president of human resources for NBC Universal Entertainment Production, VP of employee relations for Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles, and VP and West Coast head of human resources for Nickelodeon. He is the author of many top-selling books, including those listed above.