Oct 21, 2020

Continuous Learning

Part 4: Publications

Written by Kirk Hoaglund, Chief Executive Officer

Growing and improving as a company means having dedication to continuous learning – learning how to be a better community member, employer, and service provider. In my first post on this topic, I wrote about “Clients”. In Part 2, “Employees”. In Part 3, “Vendors & Partners”. Here, “Publications”.

In my 40 years (so far) I’ve benefited from many others. Mentors have been important throughout this time and I am deeply indebted to them all. One of the ways they’ve helped me grow is through their recommendations for reading material. Books.

Listed below are some of my favorites, that have strongly influenced my thinking, introduced me to new ways of approaching opportunities, and reminded me of how to run a business with honesty, respect, and integrity.

  • The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. One of the first business-focused books I read more than 30 years ago. It remains relevant today. Mr. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints was developed further, and he forwarded Critical-Chain Project Management and other great thinking/planning tools. The Goal is a business novel that sneaks important concepts into your thinking as you read.

  • Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni. Mr. Lencioni has published a number of excellent, approachable business books. I think this is his best. Another business novel that tells a story about transparency and confronting the three Big Business Fears: fear of losing business, fear of being embarrassed, and fear of feeling inferior. This is a quick and entertaining read.

  • Value Focused Thinking by Ralph Keeney. Mr. Keeney often writes about effective decision-making techniques. In this one, he clearly outlines the ways to analyze value and use it to prioritize your work. We’ve fully adopted his suggestions at Clientek and are better for it.

  • Drive by Daniel H. Pink. “Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does…”. If you are like me, you’ll find yourself shifting to a better understanding of how to motivate yourself, your staff, and your customers.

  • The Sandler Rules by David Mattson. Mr. Mattson condenses 49 rules derived from the Sandler Sales Training programs. Such as “#35: If your competition is doing it, stop doing it right away.” The writing is very approachable, and each rule stands on its own. Some are simple reminders of things you already know and practice. Others will surprise you.

  • Running & Being: The Total Experience by George Sheehan. Dr. Sheehan was a Navy doctor, physician, runner, and author. The book is about running, but worth a read even if you aren’t a runner. It is also about planning for and achieving success.

Continuous learning is more effective when is it done explicitly with attention and care. Working with a mentor can be very rewarding. My favorite reminder of that is through the books they’ve suggested I read.


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