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Awesomely Simple: Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas Into Action Hardcover – September 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Named one of the Top 10 Small Business Books
Small Business Trends

"[Awesomely Simple] reminds us that a thriving successful business is about doing the basics right and not just doing what feels good. If you’re a small business owner, no matter what the size of your business, this is your bible. You will save yourself heartache, time, frustration, anguish and a multitude of other small business frustrations by simply taking this book and making it your roadmap."
Smart Business Trends, December 13, 2009

From the Author

I have worked very hard in this book to distill the very best ideas I have learned from more than 20 years of working to assist companies all over the world. My goal is to give the reader information, tools and action steps to help make it much easier to run a highly successful business. The book is easy to read and is filled with time-tested ideas that can have a dramatic positive impact on your business.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470494514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470494516
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

"Making the very complex...awesomely simple" is John Spence's mission in life.

At the age of just 26, John was named CEO of an international Rockefeller foundation, overseeing projects in twenty countries and reporting directly to the Chairman, Winthrop P. Rockefeller III. Two years later he was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of our country's "Up and Coming Young Business Leaders."

More recently, Trust Across America named John as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America and also recognized him on their global list of the "Top 100 Thought Leaders in the area of Trustworthy Business Behavior." Other recipients of this prestigious award included Sir Richard Branson and Howard Schultz. Additionally, John has been selected as a top 100 Small Business Influencer in America and as one of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world. The American Management Association named John as one of the top 50 leaders in America to watch along with Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.


John has presented workshops, speeches and executive coaching to more than 300 organizations worldwide from firms such as Microsoft , Apple, GE and IBM, to dozens of private companies, non-profits and associations.. John is also the author of four books and has been a guest lecturer at over 90 universities including Stanford, Cornell, the Wharton School of Business and is an instructor in the Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on October 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Simplicity is simple. Writing about simplicity is not. That was the big challenge facing John Spence when he sat down to write the book Awesomely Simple: Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action.

The result is a well-laid out, well-written book that makes 56 key points, asks you to audit 77 things in your organization. It suggests 41 items worthy of thought and discussion and a like number of suggestions for turning those ideas into action. And that's without getting to the meat of the chapters.

This book will be a good buy for you if you're looking for a short, well-written book that will help you review your business and come up with good ideas for improving the way you do things. If you're looking for a high level view, with a few good details thrown in, this is a good book.

The book may not be a good buy for you if you're seeking ways to improve your team or individual performance. The book is written about the whole organization and mostly high level issues. That leaves you with advice to do things like "Fully align all major strategies and objectives of the organization."

The book is written as if you can simply stop operations for a year or so and follow the book's ideas. You simply don't develop a high performance culture quickly and you don't have the luxury of chucking your old culture overboard and starting from scratch.

If that high-level overview is what you want, read on. Here's a review of the content, chapter by chapter.

The first chapter tells you to develop a "clear, vivid, compelling, and inspiring vision for the future of your business." That's simple to say and hard to do.

In the next chapter you are told to "create a corporate culture that attracts, grows, and keeps the best people.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tony Heath on June 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Spence may have a modern classic in his new book Awesomely Simple. Drawing on his years of consultation work and his study of the business literature, he has synthesized the best thinking in business strategy, leadership, and management. But the author doesn't stop here, he prioritizes the challenges for us.

I finished reading Awesomely Simple a few days ago and have found myself carrying it around with me as a reference. It's strange, but I feel almost proud to have it with me. I've cited it to my team and to the other managers with whom I work. I've copied a few phrases into email.

One feature I particularly love is that John Spence ends every chapter with a bullet point summary, a self inventory that helps apply the ideas to the reader's workplace, and a treasure trove full of examples and/or additional information. It's so difficult to translate what we read into action, but Awesomely Simple includes bridges to action for every key idea.

Awesomely Simple is a great example of a simple and clear view of what's important and what works in business. It assembles the best business logic of our time in one handy little guidebook. If everyone in my company would invest a single day to read it, my company might well achieve even more than it has.

Buy this book, read it, and then go back and work it. We'll all be better for the effort. And we'll owe John Spence a huge debt of thanks.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian K. Martin on September 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position. If you have a team of any sort, buy it for them and read it together. The six principles may be awesomely simple, but the execution and follow through are the true challenge. This book provides real life examples that everyone can relate to; that really help drive the points home. As I read this book, I couldn't help but relate my experiences and current challenges to the examples and ideas contained within. This really allowed me to refocus my efforts based upon the six principles. The interactive self-audits make this book an actual tool to use; for individuals, or for entire teams. This is a powerful book with simple, but powerful concepts. Read this book before you read any other business book. It can transform you and your business - it has for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Monika Oli on February 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
John Spence shared a story in the introduction of his book how he used "In search of Excellence", the #1 national bestseller by Tom Peters, at the outset of his career as his mantra (this first business book he ever read). As it turns out, many of the lessons and suggestions in this book did not hold up in the face of time and many of the great companies are no longer today.

After reading thousands of business books, John has mastered to simplify and unify the messages of many texts and he presents his findings and experiences in an interactive, suggestive way where every reader is guaranteed to gain insight from his book.

"Awesomely Simple" has become my new mantra for work, business and home and I would bet that John's strategies, approaches and suggestions have the potential to become a #1 bestseller, leaving a permanent imprint on the business community.

A must read for everyone, applicable to anyone, not just in the business world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Piehl on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
John really does keep it simple. He takes complex ideas and describes not only the what but also the why in easy to understand terms. His stories are also great and really bring the point he is making to life. I found myself referring back to this book as well as John's first book as situations arise in the workplace to determine how John would approach the situation to help frame up my approach. I would say this is a must read for any level manager.
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