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My Favorite Business & Motivational Books

Larry Underwood "Author - St Louis Cardinals IQ - The Ultimate Test of True Fandom"
The list author says: "After a successful 26-year career with Enterprise Rent-a-Car (1974-2000), I developed a theory on how successful companies engage its employees to produce at their maximum capacity; using what I simply referred to as "common sense"---show that you care about your employees, give them a clear set of core values to follow, and let them have fun on the job. Micro-management is not a part of this scenario; teamwork is a very large part of the plan. Most of all, having motivated employees enthusiastically performing their duties is the key ingredient to a company's long-term success.

My favorite business and motivational books agree with this philosophy, and help show the way things should be done in business; which is unfortunately, quite the opposite way things are now being done. It's time for a change; the sooner, the better!"
Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance
Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance
"This book unravels the five social appetites that drive employee motivation, using over 30 years of research to back up its findings.  In essence, happy, motivated employees, will also be the most productive employees."
Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power
Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power
"This book guides the reader through the perilous environment of 21st Century business, and how to avoid those nasty individuals who only seem to want to create havoc for everyone but themselves."
Instant Turnaround!: Getting People Excited About Coming to Work and Working Hard
Instant Turnaround!: Getting People Excited About Coming to Work and Working Hard
"If any company is able to attain the goal set forth in the title of this book, they will more than likely prosper in today's business environment.  Happy, motivated employees are productive employees."
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
"This is a fascinating look at what makes people great at what they do, and how even the greatest of the great are always striving to improve.  Resting on one's laurels is not acceptable in this environment."
Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success
"Every now and then, a book comes along that covers an issue so eloquently, it becomes a phenomenom.  This marvelous story of success, by Malcolm Gladwell, is such a book."
Thank God It's Monday!: How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love
Thank God It's Monday!: How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love
"I was fortunate enough to have spent an entire career in a positive work environment; I loved my job, and in turn, was able to get the vast majority of my employees excited about coming to work on Mondays, too!"
Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results
Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results
"A common sense approach to running a business; make your employees love coming to work by showing them you really care about them!  The results will usually be terrific, and everybody loves to be hugged."
How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In
How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In
"This book captures the essence of why some corporations have stumbled in recent years and why some have rebounded.  Two big lessons:  No company is invincible and building mutual trust between employer and employee is essential for any company to sustain growth & profitability."
CEO Material: How to Be a Leader in Any Organization
CEO Material: How to Be a Leader in Any Organization
"D.A. Benton's latest masterpiece, which every business leader needs to know, to run the big show."
Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism
Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism
"This book, which deals with the affect human psychology has on global capitalism, reminds us that primal instincts are more powerful than we probably thought just a few years ago.  Understanding that is critical if we're going to recover from the current economic turmoil."
The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance [Updated & Revised]
The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance [Updated & Revised]
"Employee engagement is an ongoing theme these days, and this book is a sound guide to treating employees right."
Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn't Work and Other Surprising Lessons fromthe Latest Brain Science
Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn't Work and Other Surprising Lessons fromthe Latest Brain Science
"This revolutionary perspective of brain science shows the importance of understanding the psychological forces that drive human behavior & performance on the job."
SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good
SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good
"In this groundbreaking study, we find that social responsibility & high performance go hand in hand."
Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst "Best" Practices of Business Today
Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst "Best" Practices of Business Today
"Being a leader requires a very aggressive "can do" attitude.  Be fierce in your endeavors; wimps need not apply."
Managing
Managing
"This comprehensive study on the art of management is as good as it gets; any manager at any level would benefit from reading & heeding the advice in this book."
Surviving the Toxic Workplace: Protect Yourself Against Coworkers, Bosses, and Work Environments That Poison Your Day
Surviving the Toxic Workplace: Protect Yourself Against Coworkers, Bosses, and Work Environments That Poison Your Day
"How to thrive on the job, despite the toxic workers and/or bosses trying to make life miserable for you."
The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE
The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE
"For Tom Peters, one of the best ways to pursue excellence is by treating everyone in the organization with respect, and by thanking them for their efforts; every day."
Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It
Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It
"If you've got your "mojo", you'll find success and happiness; how to make sure you maintain it."
Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
"Leadership stategies from the legendary Lee Cockerell; a former Disney CEO."
The Right Fight: How Great Leaders Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value
The Right Fight: How Great Leaders Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value
"For any organization to be successful, it must foster an open environment of innovation; always question everything."
Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works - 2nd Edition
Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works - 2nd Edition
"Great advice for recognizing your employees' contributions, to keep them engaged in the process called work."
The Inspiration Factor
The Inspiration Factor
"How to inspire people to accomplish remarkable things."
How the Best Leaders Lead: Proven Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Yourself and Others
How the Best Leaders Lead: Proven Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Yourself and Others
"Great advice for getting the most out of yourself and your employees."
Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently
Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently
"If you connect, you get results."
Go-Givers Sell More
Go-Givers Sell More
"Learn to give value and you'll sell more & have greater influence."
The Pursuit of Something Better
The Pursuit of Something Better
"How US Cellular rose from mediocrity to become a worldwide leader."
Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done
Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done
"By keeping things simple, you can focus on the things that are really important, and get things done."
The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain Research
The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain Research
"Our brains are very complex bundles of neurons and gray matter; understanding the way they work can help us become better leaders; the research is all right here to do just that."
Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
"An iconoclastic perspective along the lines of Godin, Goldsmith, or Gladwell.  To rise above the competition, you must offer unique value."
The Right to Lead: Learning Leadership Through Character and Courage
The Right to Lead: Learning Leadership Through Character and Courage
"Another John C Maxwell gem; how courage & conviction have defined so many great leaders throughout history."
Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
"Cutting through red tape & bureaucracy to get things done."
Robert's Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival
Robert's Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival
"A 10 step program that strangely enough, spells I-N-N-O-V-A-T-I-O-N with the first word of each step; brilliant strategy."
The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up
The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up
"Memo to the CEO:  Lighten up; you'll create a more engaging corporate culture & breed success; it's that simple."
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
"Understanding the complexities of motivation will help any organization improve its productivity."
Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face---and What to Do About It
Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face---and What to Do About It
"If the CEO can't face reality, there's trouble brewing; unfortunately, this happens with an alarming degree of frequency."
Never by Chance: Aligning People and Strategy Through Intentional Leadership
Never by Chance: Aligning People and Strategy Through Intentional Leadership
"Developing the best strategies for success doesn't happen accidentally; most accidents are disasters."
Rework
Rework
"Great strategies for a new corporate America paradigm."
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
"For any business to be successful, it must understand how to fascinate its employees and customers alike; to stand above the crowd."
Life Under the Corporate Microscope: A Maverick's Irreverent Perspective
Life Under the Corporate Microscope: A Maverick's Irreverent Perspective
"My hilariously profane memoir about my 26 year-career in corporate America, and why we love to hate it."
Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation
Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation
"Creating a strong set of core values & delivering that message throughout the organization is critical to success."