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The Best Books of 2004
All of the book covers and reviews featured on the site are highly recommended as we only feature reviews and press releases of the books we believe are valuable. These are the best of 2004 as rated by the editors of The CEO Refresher.
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Best Books



The Best Business Books
of All Time!


Bull's Eye Investing by John Mauldin
Bull's Eye Investing - Targeting Real Returns in a Smoke & Mirrors Market - by John Mauldin
reviewed by Ian Bullock
What worked during the 1980s and 1990s won't work over the coming decade. An investment return relative to the market may have been satisfactory back then, but in today's market we have to focus on absolute returns, and that is the essence of Bull's Eye Investing. This is one of the most comprehensive analysis of the markets and the new bible for investors for the next decade and beyond, and one of the best business books of all time!
The Feiner Points of Leadership
The Feiner Points of Leadership: The 50 Basic Laws That Will Make People Want to Perform Better for You
by Michael Feiner
Most people think that you can't learn leadership like you can learn arithmetic. You're either a born leader or you have to earn leadership through decades of experience. But as teacher of "High-Performance Leadership", one of the most popular classes at Columbia Graduate School of Business, Feiner passionately believes that anyone can learn leadership. In The Feiner Points of Leadership, fifty laws of leadership based on Feiner's twenty years of experience at Pepsi-Cola show anyone how to lead effectively in almost any situation.
Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Sage:
Five Keys to Becoming a More Effective Leader

by Susan J. Bethanis
Focused on the real-life reflections and struggles of Max Sinclair - a composite of the author's own corporate clients - the book is based on actual coaching conversations with executives. Dr. Bethanis, the story's coach and narrator, offers Max timely questions and insights in a simple, yet ingenious way, showing readers five keys to becoming corporate sages.
Leadership Passages
Leadership Passages: The Personal and Professional Transitions That Make or Break a Leader
by David L. Dotlich, Norman Walker and James L. Noel
This book lays out thirteen specific “leadership passages” based on research, interviews, and coaching of senior executives in many well-known companies. For each passage, the authors describe what to expect, how the passage constitutes a choice point, and what effective leaders do to navigate and grow from the challenge. The authors provide a wealth of practical tools and techniques to improve your leadership, along with real-life examples from recognizable leaders and breakthrough ways in which companies can use the concept of leadership passages to grow talent.
The Art of Winning Commitment
The Art of Winning Commitment, the: 10 Ways Leaders Can Engage Minds, Hearts, and Spirits
by Dick Richards
The Art of Winning Commitment identifies ten crucial competencies leaders must master to win extraordinary commitment from others and inspire them to devote their energy to a common purpose. By covering the full spectrum of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of leadership, The Art of Winning Commitment will help you achieve a deeper and more profound level of commitment than you ever thought possible.
Radical Leap
Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership
by Steve Farber
The Radical Leap is an inspirational tale based on author Steve Farber's 14 years of experience in helping people become extreme leaders. An extreme leader, says Farber, is one who is not only unafraid of challenges, but actively seeks them out. Like extreme athletes who thrive on adventure, extreme leaders are willing to take risks while demonstrating high levels of passion, determination, and dedication. Their enthusiasm becomes so infectious that it motivates others who see it in their leaders' actions, not just their words.
Beyond the Brand
Beyond the Brand: Why Engaging the Right Customers Is Essential to Winning in Business
by John Winsor
Through his company Radar Communications, and in Beyond the Brand, John Winsor advocates the “bottom-up” approach he’s used to help some of the country’s most progressive companies—from Nike to Levi Strauss to Patagonia. Borrowing tools from investigative journalism and anthropology, and providing case studies to illustrate his points, Winsor details a seven-step method in Beyond the Brand that readers can follow to develop their own intuitive and aggressively innovative marketing strategies.
The Rainmaker's Toolkit
The Rainmaker's Toolkit: Power Strategies for Finding, Keeping, and Growing Profitable Clients
by Harry Mills
The Rainmaker's Toolkit gives readers the tools, techniques, and strategies to help win and close bigger deals, helping them dramatically increase the odds of success, and sustain that level of accomplishment from year to year. Harry Mills helps readers identify and maximize the potential growth opportunities in their companies and provides a step-by-step system for building a high-profit practice. This is the new bible for professional service firms!
The Prime Solution
The Prime Solution
by Jeff Thull
Whether in technology, manufacturing, professional services, health care, or finance, this is a guide forprofessionals involved in creating, marketing, and delivering complex B2B products and services. Senior management, sales and marketing managers, technical specialists, product managers, customer service and account managers will find new ideas and tactical solutions in The Prime Solution that will go a long way in closing the "value gap" and increasing revenue.
Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean
by Norman Bodek
Kai kaku are Chinese characters meaning a ‘transformation of the mind,’ ‘working with others to achieve radical change,’ and ‘to bring new and vital energy to your organization.’ Kaikaku is the central theme of this book to help you change your mindset. Norman Bodek discovered and published the works of the truly great Japanese manufacturing geniuses and introduced to the western world new manufacturing methodologies that have helped companies improve their quality, and productivity.
Lean Manufacturing That Works
Lean Manufacturing That Works: Powerful Tools for Dramatically Reducing Waste and Maximizing Profits
by Bill Carreira
Far from a dry explanation of theory that simply looks good on paper, Lean Manufacturing That Works brings all the principles of lean manufacturing to where they're needed most: the shop floor. Engagingly written and easy to put to work, the book is specifically aimed at the people whose daily work involves the manufacturing floor, and it features essential tools that can help streamline operations in any manufacturing environment.
How to Grow When Markets Don't
How to Grow When Markets Don't
by Adrian Slywotzky and Karl Weber with Richard Wise
From the author of The Art of Profitability (our best book of 2002) comes this eye-opening look at the business dilemma of unsustainable growth with insights on what you can do about it. The authors offer a solution, complete with many fascinating examples of companies that have succeeded where others have failed. Think about 'demand innovation' for growth - and this book provides an excellent road map to get there.
The Mother of all Minds
The Mother of All Minds:
Leaping Free of an Outdated Human Nature

by Dudley Lynch
The cardinal question that The Mother of All Minds seeks to answer is: where does the explosive advance in information, change and complexity of our modern times leave human thinking skills—leave the mind itself? This highly resourceful work's confident answer: doing what it always does best! On the leading edges of the envelope, the human brain has been busy rewiring itself so as to prepare the mind for keeping pace with a restless, demanding, ever-changing world.
Fire in the Corporate Belly
Fire in the Corporate Belly: Renewing the Company - Body, Soul & Bottom Line - by Tom FitzGerald
reviewed by Rick Sidorowicz

Fire in the Corporate Belly is an insightful outline of the Preemptive Turnaround process. It describes the almost magical adventure of re-igniting the spirit of an enterprise to unleash creativity and talent, and achieve unprecedented levels of performance. See Tom FitzGerald's excellent articles in The CEO Refresher Archives here. (ed.)
Mastering the Complex Sale
Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes are High!
by Jeff Thull
Thull presents the Prime Process, a new business paradigm that gives you a solid system, as well as unique skills and the mental discipline needed to execute it. The Prime Process is a diagnostic, customer-centered approach that clearly sets you apart from your competition and positions you with respect and credibility as a valued and trusted advisor. If you're one of the millions of professionals competing in complex sales, this is the only book that shows you a step-by-step process to compete and win when the stakes are high.
partnering Intelligence
Partnering Intelligence
by Stephen M. Dent
In his book organizational consultant Stephen M. Dent shows how to develop the power of  partnerships in any organization and take the lead in 21st century business.
Business Process Management is a Team Sport
Business Process Management is a Team Sport
by Andrew Spanyi
Business Process Management is a Team Sport is a book on the lighter side, but with a compelling message about the resurgence of business process thinking for competitive advantage. In a quick and easy to read format, the book outlines why thoughtful CEO’s and leadership teams need to manage business processes as the means to competitive survival. Indeed, BPM is a team sport — Play it to win!
Measuring the Value of Partnering
Measuring the Value of Partnering: How to Use Metrics to Plan, Develop, and Implement Successful Alliances
by Larraine Segil
Measuring the Value of Partnering gives readers a system for measuring a relationship's contribution at every stage of the alliance, from creation to implementation to termination. This essential book features case studies drawn from interviews with key players at companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Starbucks, Staples, and Hyundai. Weaving these and other real-life examples together, Author Larraine Segil helps readers develop the appropriate metrics and then shows how and when to use them accurately and intelligently to achieve the greatest impact.
Power Selling
Power Selling: Seven Strategies for Cracking the Sales Code
by George Ludwig
George Ludwig has made it his life's work to study the selling DNA -- the specific skills, thinking patterns, and actions -- of the world's greatest sales professionals. In doing so, he's cracked the elusive code for success in sales. From Zig Ziglar to Anthony Robbins, the most influential achievers among us, he says, all share the powers of reputation, real passion, research, rapport, resource management, resiliency, and relationships.
Powerhouse Partners
Powerhouse Partners: A Blueprint for Building Organizational Culture for Breakaway Results
by Stephen M. Dent and James H. Krefft, Ph.D.
From the author who introduced the groundbreaking concept of Partnering Intelligence come the next-generation strategies and tools to transform any business into a dynamic, world-class partnering organization. Powerhouse Partners focuses on getting back to basics - releasing the art of connecting and collaborating with competitors, departments, divisions and other strategic partners - and delivers unique assessments, models and maps to unleash the power of partnering for success in the digital age.
The Myth of Leadership
The Myth of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations
by Jeffrey S. Nielsen
The author's words are very timely and powerful - "When we use the word "leadership," we immediately create a ranked division of people in ways that do not serve healthy organizational relationships. It also produces privileged elite who, no matter how sincere they are, will eventually be seduced by their position. In a peer-based organization, there are ways to perform the functions of management without rank-based leaders and in a manner that evokes the talents and diverse abilities of everyone in the organization."

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