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The Commitment Engine: Making Work Worth It [Kindle Edition]

John Jantsch
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.95
Kindle Price: $16.14
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Why are some companies able to generate committed, long-term customers while others struggle to stay afloat? Why do the employees of some organizations fully dedicate themselves while others punch the clock without enthusiasm? By studying the ins and outs of companies that enjoy extraordinary loyalty from customers and employees, John Jantsch reveals the systematic path to discovering and generating genuine commitment. Jantsch's approach is built on three foundational planks, which he calls the clarity path, the culture patron, and the customer promise. He draws on his own experiences and shares true stories from businesses like Threadless, Evernote, and Warby Parker. His strategies include these: Build your company around a purpose. People commit to companies and stories that have a simple, straightforward purpose. Understand that culture equals brand. Build your business as a brand that employees and customers will support. Lead by telling great stories. You can't attract the right people or get them to commit without telling a story about why you do what you do. Treat your staff as your customer. A healthy customer community is the natural result of a healthy internal culture. Serve customers you respect. It's hard to have an authentic relationship with people you don't know, like, or trust. As Jantsch says, "Have you ever encountered a business where everything felt effortless? The experience was perfect, and the products, people, and brand worked together gracefully. You made an odd request; it was greeted with a smile. You went to try a new feature; it was right where it should be. You walked in, sat down, and felt right at home. . . . Businesses that run so smoothly as to seem self-managed aren't normal. In fact, they are terribly counterintuitive, but terribly simple as it turns out." As a follow-up to The Referral Engine, this is about more than just establishing leads- it's about building a fully alive business that attracts customers for life.

Editorial Reviews


 “The Commitment Engine is a no-nonsense, hard-driving locomotive that can help turn dreamers into doers. Get on board!”

—Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art and Turning Pro

“Wow! This book hit me deep. It dives into the deepest core of meaning—the side of business that other books are scared to touch. A powerful mix of why and how.”

—Derek Sivers, founder, CD Baby,

“John Jantsch does it again! I’ve recommended The Referral Engine over and over again, and The Commitment Engine is another great resource to grow your business. Step 1: Commit to read this book—soon.”

—Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup

“Not often enough does a book come along and inject a breath of fresh air into the world of business. This is one of those books.”

—Guy Kawasaki, bestselling author of Enchantment; former chief evangelist of Apple

“Jantsch’s book is required reading for small-business owners. It will help you with lofty things like finding your higher purpose as well as the practical steps of making a commitment plan.”

—Nancy Duarte, CEO, Duarte, Inc.; author of Slide:ology and Resonate

“As I read John’s book I kept thinking of Steve Jobs’s admonition that you must follow your heart first—and that if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll give up just when the going gets tough. John has extended this idea to the entire company and shows business leaders how to ignite this same kind of passion and commitment throughout an organization.”

—Verne Harnish, author of The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits

About the Author

John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology consultant, an award-winning social media publisher, and the acclaimed author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine. He blogs at the and lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

Product Details

  • File Size: 452 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591844878
  • Publisher: Portfolio (October 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007X636ZK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,971 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inner Marketing October 11, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have never read a marketing book like this one. Everyone knows a business needs customers and until John's book, every marketing book I saw started with the customer. This one ends there; but it starts elsewhere, with Purpose.

Making money these days is hard and it gets so frustrating trying to figure-out what has to be done to get your customer's attention and then their money. The internet is totally spammed-over with people trying to "message" out what they think others want to hear in the hopes they can make some money from it. The Commitment Engine is for those tired of all the spam-like approaches, whether it's digital or real world cold calls. It calls for us to first look inside our business and ourselves to identify why what we do is important to us. If it's important to us; it's also important to others. Building on that knowledge of why we do our work, John develops a step by step process of how to take that purpose to people who "get it".

A global Enterprise can afford to be a financial entity crunching marketing numbers to get ahead; but not the individual business owner. A person needs meaningful income or they fail from either lack of money or burn-out from lack of meaning. This book describes a vital path, from business meaning to business income.

It's an obvious read for anyone in business for themselves; but the treasure trove is when every employee of a business can also experience purpose through their work. John Jantsch calls this a Fully Alive Business and the book is populated with examples of them. If any business has a desire to grow, there are footsteps to follow here.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be called "Making Entrepreneurship Worth It" October 11, 2012
By JR Fent
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The title throws you a little: 'Making Work Worth It" because this book is so much about shaping the attitudes of an organization and creating a 'tribe' sensation/motivation among employees and customers. So 'work' may be the wrong word. I'd leaned towards 'Making Entrepreneurship Worth It" as the title.

Where Seth Godin's book "Tribes", was about why to create 'tribes', I feel like "The Commitment Engine" gives you steps toward actually creating a product or service 'tribe'. I enjoyed it and plan to read it again (with a highlighter in my hand).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Building businesses with people-ness October 11, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read a lot about startups and building businesses. John made a link between people and businesses that most books miss. Businesses flow out of people. The truer businesses can be to the people who create them and the people who buy from them, the more the businesses will thrive. People-ness builds commitment inside and out. I was struck by Nancy Duarte's comment that the book covers "lofty things" and "practical steps." I had exactly the opposite reaction. The book challenged me to make sure my business is profoundly people grounded.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read October 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John started by writing about the importance of clarity and he demonstrated its important by making each of his points in a clear and concise way. The only point he made that I take exception with is his view of the purpose of a business. I see the purpose of a business involving more elements than he identified. Even having said that, clearly this book is a must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Whatever their source of power (e.g. wind, weather, coal, nuclear fission), the most effective engines throughout human history share common attributes: they are well-designed and conscientiously maintained. Moreover, whenever appropriate, they have been modified. For example, steam power enabled Welch coal companies to remove water from their mines, then remove and transport coal to mills from which steel was transported to harbors at which steam-power ships delivered it to other harbors.

John Jantsch makes brilliant use of the engine metaphor when explaining how to formulate a strategy that drives a system that achieve and then sustain a high level of employee engagement and commitment, whatever the size or nature of their organization may be. In other words, a workplace within which employees are what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba characterize as "evangelists" for the given enterprise. The "commitment engine" really is a process and a system rather than a mechanism.

As he explains in the Introduction, "The businesses that enjoy commitment the most radiate and generate loyalty by awakening the sense of internal purpose first and fo0remost. These businesses then draw from a collection of definable sore characteristics both internally and externally. These same characteristics exist in every business to some extent, but the level of personal intention acts as a potent measure of the degree of commitment one company enjoys over another. These guiding characteristics come to life in the form of habits and define the business through the actions they take when they execute strategy, express culture, and create customer experiences." Jantsch perhaps channels a comparable insight from Aristotle: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Look Toward The Future October 27, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Edward Deming once said, "It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." Today, change is occurring at a blinding speed in business. If you hope to survive, you will need to change. It is no longer enough to offer a good product or service at competitive prices. Markets are more and more competitive and are demanding more from providers. But often what they are demanding is intangible. Customers, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders are seeking to do business with companies who are driven by purpose.

At one time, owners were willing to put in long hours and sacrifice quality of life in return for an adequate living from their company. Now owners are looking for more than just financial return from their company. Likewise employees are no longer just seeking a living wage.

So how does a company satisfy the diverse interest of all the stakeholders? How can a company "make work worth it"? That is the question John Jantsch sets out to answer in the Commitment Engine.

According to Mr. Jantsch, "There can be no life, passion or purpose in a business that lacks commitment. It is what drives us forward and drives us away. It is what drives us to take the road less traveled or herds us into the deeply rutted path." Commitment is the heart and soul of the business.

Mr. Jantsch believes there are three parts to having a committed business. The first is clarity - you must be crystal clear about what one thing you do better than others in the same field. As you gain clarity, you find a clear path for charting the course of business.

The second part is culture. Every business has a culture. Is the culture aligned with the purpose?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
came clean and arrived quickly
Published 2 months ago by Abbey Autry
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book for John Jantsch
John always writes GREAT books and this one is excellent too. A wonderful book that examines how committent is a main driver of success in any business. Read more
Published 15 months ago by John B. Spence
5.0 out of 5 stars A successful approach
Just what I was needing as I develop my own coaching skills. This is a good resource for salespeople and others interested in improving their business whatever it may be.
Published on March 19, 2013 by Laura J. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shifts That Will Grow Your Success
John is a friend, so you can discount this a bit accordingly. My take is this: you'll have no finer teacher, especially if you're an entrepreneurial kind, for finding a path that... Read more
Published on January 26, 2013 by ChrisBrogan
5.0 out of 5 stars John does it again
I have followed John's work for several years and find him right on target with the emerging world of marketing in the "interweb age"
Published on December 30, 2012 by Mike Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Work
This is a manual that requires thoughtful chewing, especially for those of us who are in business for ourselves, and who are playing catch-up in the world of online sales and... Read more
Published on December 11, 2012 by C. Martinez
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
This book has helped me refocus on the why and not so much the what. I recommend this to all business owners.
Published on November 5, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Meaning of Commitment
"Without commitment, there is very little reason to start an endeavor, let alone toil away day after day in an attempt to fashion something substantial from the seeds of an idea. Read more
Published on October 16, 2012 by Vicki long Long's Antiques
5.0 out of 5 stars Find your higher purpose for being in business
This book needs bigger margins so I can have more room for notes! Every page seems to articulate a truth about my own business and the ways I've been thinking about it. Read more
Published on October 14, 2012 by Rosiemedia
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More About the Author

John Jantsch has been called the World's Most Practical Small Business Expert for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies.

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine.

He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world.

He frequently consults with small and mid-sized businesses helping them create marketing plans and organized marketing systems that smooth the way for steady growth.


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