Great leadership is behind every successful business.
And at Sage, ensuring you’re successful in businesses is what we’re all about.
So, for this month’s book club, we’ve something very special.
We’ve got together with Sage Business Expert Jenny Garrett to explore her hand-picked favourite business titles.
An award-winning career coach, author and leadership trainer, Jenny was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2021 for services to Entrepreneurship and Women in Business.
She has the highest honorary award of Companion from the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Together with her team, she uses more than 15 years of experience in coaching and leadership to support women and help ethnically diverse leaders progress at work.
Check out Jenny’s selection:
1. Profit First: Transform Your Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
You may be used to the formula of Sales – Expenses = Profit. This is taught at every business school because it’s logical.
The problem is businesses are run by humans.
And humans aren’t always logical.
Mike Michalowicz is a serial entrepreneur who realised that the formula works better when flipped: Sales – Profit = Expenses.
Placing profit first means you apportion only what’s left for expenses.
The application of this simple rule, as described in this book, has been described as life changing—even among those who’ve spent a lifetime in business.
Unprofitable businesses have been turned into cash cows.
Mike’s sense of humour and approachability help make this medicine go down in what’s becoming an essential business bible.
2. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
As a coach, I consider personal effectiveness as integral to business success.
Stephen R Covey’s first book, published in 1989, is a classic in this regard. It’s one I return to time and time again, as do millions of others.
It uses a principle-cantered approach for solving both personal and professional problems.
Packed with insights and anecdotes, Covey describes how to live the best of lives—to move through the world with fairness, integrity, honesty, and dignity.
With these principles on your side, you’re equipped to adapt to change and gain the wisdom to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
3. Scaling Up: How A Few Companies Make It… And Why The Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
People often get stuck when it’s time to take their business to the next level.
Verne Harnish’s book really helped me understand what I had to put in place to do so for my own business.
Scaling Up focuses on the four major decision areas every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.
The book includes a series of straightforward guides including the One-Page Strategic Plan and the Rockefeller Habits Checklist.
The publishers say more than 40,000 firms around the globe have used these tools to scale their companies successfully.
4. The Strategy Workout: The 10 Tried-And-Tested Steps That Will Build Your Strategic Thinking Skills by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal
One of the best pieces of business advice that I ever received was to work on my business, not in my business.
Strategic thinking is central to making that happen and that’s what this amazing book is all about.
If nothing else, I really enjoy how practical this book is. It’s clear, simple, very easy to follow and highly effective. As its title suggests, its goal is to move your mind into a zone where strategic thinking about your business comes naturally.
You’ll learn how to plan but also how to deal with failure, and how to take this out into your organisation.
A key highlight of the book is its 10-step improvement plan that will show you how you can quickly boost your skills.
5. 7 Traits Of Highly Successful Women On Boards: Views From The Top And How To Get There by Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE
I don’t need to tell you that for a woman in business there are many challenges to career success.
Referred to as “the board woman’s bible”, Yvonne Thompson’s excellent book provides a route forward with insights from the hearts and minds of 22 women who have smashed through the glass ceiling to take a place on corporate boards across the UK.
Yvonne’s own moving story is included, and she describes her 15 years as the only woman in a corporate boardroom.
Where do these women get their inspiration from? How do they achieve a work/life balance? Yvonne’s book shows how diversity is not only the right thing to do, but shows how it always makes businesses stronger.
6. The Business Survival Kit: Your No-BS Guide To Success by Bianca Miller Cole & Byron Cole
In any business there will inevitably be ups and downs.
Written by serial entrepreneurs and spouses Bianca Miller and Byron Cole, this book helps you answer the most profound question of starting a business: can you handle what will probably be the ride of your life?
The book helps you navigate issues such as stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Via expert input and straight-talking advice, it explains how to build your confidence and tackle the inevitable impostor syndrome.
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is vital, of course, as is creating strong interpersonal networks and relationships. All this is included, as is advice about how to stay motivated when it feels like things aren’t going right.
7. Rocking Your Role: The ‘How To’ Guide To Success For Female Breadwinners by Jenny Garrett OBE
A fifth of women in business today are the main earner compared to their partner. This is something to celebrate.
Yet it’s a profound change compared to even just a decade or two ago.
My book seeks to help women navigate social and internal pressures they may experience as a result of this—and maintain their wellbeing in the process. I explore relationships and careers by seeking lessons from women in business, and present transformational exercises for readers to engage in.
My goal is to help women stand tall and be proud in their skin. You have support. You should not feel isolated.
Recommended Next Read
Sage Book Club: 9 must-read books to boost business owner productivity
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