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The Best Books of 2007
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 2007 as rated by the editors of The CEO Refresher.
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Best Books



The Best Business Books
of All Time!


Human Sigma: Creating Value at the Employee - Customer Encounter
by John H. Fleming and Jim Asplund
The groundbreaking methodology Six Sigma changed the face of manufacturing quality. Now, HumanSigma is poised to do the same for sales and service. It incorporates cutting-edge research in the neurosciences and behavioral economics — including brain imaging research into customer’s emotional connections to the companies they love — with proven techniques for improving workforce performance and revenues generated from existing customers. This practical handbook appeals to senior leaders and line managers alike who are looking for a way to dramatically increase productivity, retain high value customers, and enhance organizational performance.
Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins
Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate With Power and Impact
by Annette Simmons
People float in an ocean of data and disconnected facts that can often overwhelm them with choices. A meaningful story can feel like a life preserver that tethers you to something safe and important - at the very least, to a trace of humanity. Filled with enlightening anecdotes, this practical guide gives readers the tools they need to persuade, inspire, and influence others through the power of story. This is an exceptional work!
Executive Intelligence
Executive Intelligence: What All Great Leaders Have
by Justin Menkes
Executive Intelligence is indeed a breakthrough in the science of leadership, identifying the critical-thinking skills and the rigor of the thinking process common to the most successful leaders in business. Menkes argues that what star leaders do is not magic, and their accomplishments are made possible by specific, identifiable skills that can be measured - and learned. He provides an excellent and very useful summary of the specific individual skills that comprise Executive Intelligence in terms of tasks, people, and oneself.
Brazen Careerist
Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success
by Penelope Trunk
It's okay to move back in with your parents. And it's okay to work at a string of menial jobs or even take off to Asia for a year. Why? Because eventually these seeming detours will lead not only to a great career but a great life as well. Penelope Trunk gives anything but standard advice to help the new workforce succeed on their own terms in any industry. Trunk asserts that a take-charge attitude and fresh perspective are the only ways to make it in today's job market. These 45 tips will get you thinking bigger, acting bolder, and blazing trails you never thought possible.
The Voice of Authority
10 Communication Strategies Every Leader Needs to Know
by Dianna Booher
Dianna Booher has written over 40 books and this one in my opinion, is her best ever. She is a renowned expert in communications and has put it all together in a focused, insightful, "head twisting", candid and practical guide to getting it 'right.' Is it correct? Is it complete? Is it clear? Is it purposefully unclear? Are you credible? Does your communication make you look competent? This book is an excellent guide to applying
the most effective communications strategies.
The Flip Side
The Flip Side:
Break Free of the Behaviors That Hold You Back

by Flip Flippen
This is an incredibly personal, moving and inspiring book. You are guaranteed to be guided to have a good look in the mirror and see the attitudes and behaviours that keep you from attaining real success - the top "killer constraints" that most of us are confronted with everyday. And there's good news, in the very practical approach presented to conquer your constraints. This one will twist your head and that's a good thing. (ed.)
Hidden in Plain Sight
Hidden in Plain Sight:
How to Find and Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy

by Erich Joachimsthaler
This is a most mindful work! The author presents a "demand-first innovation and growth methodology that begins with an understanding of the day-to-day behaviours and unmet needs of customers. It's an "outside-in" approach to identify untapped customer needs and then develop sweet-spot solutions to satisfy them. Get this one on your agenda fast to discover the growth opportunities that are right in front of you. (ed.)
Happy Hour is 9 to 5
Happy Hour is 9 to 5: Learn How to Love Your Job, Create a Great Business and Kick Butt at Work
by Chief Happiness Officer Alexander Kjerulf
This book is about happiness at work. About loving your job - or finding one you can love. Because today, happiness at work is no longer a luxury - it's essential. People are discovering, that when they love their jobs, they are more productive, creative and motivated. They're also happier in life. Similarly, happy companies find they are more efficient, innovative and make more money than their unhappy competitors. (This one will challenge you to greatness! ed.)
The Innovative Leader: How to Inspire Your Team and Drive Creativity
by Paul Sloane
How can you transform your people from cubicle dwellers into innovation warriors? How can you turn your complacent organization into a powerhouse of invention and entrepreneurial achievement? How can you replace a culture of comfortable incremental progress into one of hungry adventure? Paul Sloane is a recognized expert on innovation, lateral thinking and leadership, and his book is an adventure. It's about two hundred pages of "bite-sized chunks" that will twist your head to see what is possible. So, do as the author suggests and "start biting and start the revolution."
Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking - The Scientific Thinking Mechanism
by Shigeo Shingo
Once again Dr. Shigeo Shingo will amaze you. Along with Taiichi Ohno, Dr. Shingo co-developed TPS (LEAN) with his deep understanding of how to improve the overall process of production. Dr. Shingo reveals how he taught Toyota and other Japanese companies the art of identifying and solving problems. Many companies in the West are trying to emulate Lean but few can do it. Why not? Possibly, because we in the West do not recognize, develop and support the creative potential of every worker in solving problems. Toyota makes all employees problem solvers. Dr. Shingo gives you the tools to do it. Fascinating book (ed.)
The Definitive Drucker
The Definitive Drucker
by Elizabeth Haas Edersheim
For sixteen months before his death, Elizabeth Haas Edersheim was given unprecedented access to Peter Drucker, widely regarded as the father of modern management. At Drucker's request, Edersheim, a respected management thinker in her own right, spoke with him about the development of modern business throughout his life-and how it continues to grow and change at an ever-increasing rate.This is a celebration of this extraordinary man and his life's work, as well as a unique opportunity to learn from Drucker's final business lessons how to strategize, compete, and triumph in any market.
The No Asshole Rule
The No Asshole Rule:
Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't

by Robert I. Sutton
The author builds on the ideas he first set forth in his landmark Harvard Business Review essay of the same name to show managers how hiring mean-spirited employees--no matter how talented or qualified--can be a costly mistake. This outstanding book includes a self test - signs that your inner-jerk is rearing its ugly head, the calculaton of the annual costs of one asshole, the dirty dozen asshole actions, and how to enforce the no asshole rule. This is a must read for anyone who has had to endure assholes at work, which I'm sure is just about everyone. (ed.)
One Foot out the Door: How to Combat the Psychological Recession That's Alienating Employees and Hurting American Business
by Judith M. Bardwick
As many as two-thirds of our employees are either actively looking for new jobs or merely going through the motions at their current jobs. This phenomenon, identified by renowned author Judith M. Bardwick as "the psychological recession," can have a devastating effect on a company’s financial health. Using hard numbers and current studies that prove the direct connection between a company’s financial performance and its employees’ commitment, this book is a wake-up call to organizations desperately needing to restore the broken spirits at the heart of their companies, and enhance their bottom lines.
The Innkeeper Tales
The Innkeeper Tales
Modern-Day Canterbury Tales to Entertain, Enlighten & Empower
by John L. Herman Jr.
This collection of stories is told by business travelers whiling away a long day, stranded at The Abacrombie by an early spring blizzard. With Herman (the real-life Abacrombie owner) keeping the food and conversations going, each traveler tells a story drawn from his own life. This is a very engaging and entertaining read. Perhaps a visit to Baltimore is in order to contribute to the conversation. (ed.)
It's Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks
by Howard Behar
Howard Behar, former President of Starbucks International, has written a most sincere and concise manifesto of leadership for this age. You will enjoy this little book and I'm sure you will relate to the stories of leading and learning of how Starbucks has become such an incredible institution in our world today. It is about the coffee, and it is about creative leadership, important principles and values. The one contribution that most inspires is Yes as the most powerful word in the world. "Yes is freeing and inspiring. It means permission. It means possibility. Saying yes makes you feel good." Thank you Howard - you've done great work!
There is No Box
There Is No Box
by Steve Coats and Tom Heuer
There is No Box describes the internal attributes that were most consistent among those who went out on a limb and stepped up to find imaginative, innovative, even groundbreaking growth opportunities. Rather than providing another look at the tasks or activities that you must do to produce change, this book focuses on what you must have, in order to let go of your self-imposed box of limitations and discover, produce and lead growth. There is No Box clarifies those attributes that you must have in order to do what it takes to change and grow your piece of the world.
Something Really New: Three Simple Steps to Creating Truly Innovative Products
by Denis J. Hauptly
From an electronic hotel kiosk that provides return airline boarding passes for guests, to something as mundane as the evolution of the toaster, the book provides entertaining, illuminating examples that show how to determine what customer needs aren’t being met, using simple methods to arrive at revolutionary conclusions. For example, "What is a product really used for?" The question may seem elementary, but the right answer is far from obvious. This and other key questions demonstrate how readers can move beyond mere market research to get to the root of real innovation.
Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?
by Seth Godin
Meatball Sundae has the absolute worst book cover I have ever seen however, content rules and Seth never fails to enlighten and poke you into the new era of marketing. It's the definitive guide to the fourteen trends no marketer can afford to ignore. It explains what to do about the increasing power of stories, not facts; about shorter and shorter attention spans; and about the new math that says five thousand people who want to hear your message are more valuable than five million who don’t. (Please read that last sentence again!) Godin doesn’t pretend that it’s easy to get your products, marketing messages, and internal systems in sync. But he’ll convince you that it’s worth the effort.
Launching a Leadership Revolution: Mastering the Five Levels of Influence
by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward
Utilizing an abundance of historical examples, the authors have developed a unique 5-step plan that charts a course for creating and maintaining strong leadership in any organization.The plan guides the reader through the "Five Levels of Influence": Learning - a leader must be able to learn from anyone; Performing - perservere through failure to find success; Leading - extend your ability by expanding your team; Developing Leaders - learn to trust your people; Develop Leaders who Develop Leaders - create a legacy. This book is full of prescriptive advice, quotes and anecdotes that illustrate their principles.
Negotiation Genius
Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond
by Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman
Whether you’ve “seen it all” or are just starting out, Negotiation Genius will dramatically improve your negotiating skills and confidence. Drawing on decades of behavioral research plus the experience of thousands of business clients, the authors take the mystery out of preparing for and executing negotiations—whether they involve multimillion-dollar deals or improving your next salary offer. It gives you detailed strategies that work in the real world even when the other side is hostile, unethical, or more powerful. When you finish it, you will already have an action plan for your next negotiation. You will know what to do and why.
People Savvy
People Savvy: For Sales Professionals
by Gregory Stebbins, Ed.D.
This is quite an incredible guide to earning customer trust and creating lifelong relationships. In the words of the author, "When customers experience you as someone who has their best interests at heart, they will come to trust and rely on you as a valuable ally in their career." People Savvy is most mindful, well researched and full of proven 'street-wise' techniques to be 'of service.' The author has very generously made the full first chapter available to viewers. Click through the text link above for a most enlightening adventure. This is a very good book! (ed.)
Tales of People Who Get It
by Avil Beckford
Tales of People Who Get It is based on the ideas, actions and beliefs that were uncovered in interviews of 34 successful individuals from Canada, the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Jamaica and South Africa. It is a practical, interesting and instructive guide of actual experiences in overcoming difficult challenges and achieving success. Avil Beckford identifies several common qualities in the stories and presents them as her 'ItnessPoints" - a wonderful concept. Do you have it? Read this book and you just might 'get it!' (ed.)
The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes

by Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne

Mark Penn shows readers how to identify the microtrends that can transform a business enterprise, tip an election, spark a movement, or change your life. In today's world, small groups can have the biggest impact. Penn identifies more than seventy microtrends in religion, leisure, politics, and family life that are changing the way we live. It's fascinating reading with insights on every page.
Getting Your Way Everyday
Getting Your Way Every Day:
Mastering the Lost Art of Pure Persuasion

by Alan Axelrod
Classical rhetoric is the most powerful system of persuasion, perfected by the likes of Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates. While the discipline may not sound sexy, its timeless principles really work. Alan Axelrod offers a new take on the classic strategies -- modernizing them and making them relevant to any business or social situation.
Rocking Wall street
Rocking Wall Street
by Gary Marks
How do we get to the Holy Grail? By getting to a million or ten million or a billion dollars? Or by increasing our time spent playing music, or walking on the beach, or playing with our children, or just becoming a better person? The "End Game" is a place where we can live off of a safe income stream and no longer be forced to "play" the game. We want to get to the point where the game is not playing us. Gary Marks has a step-by-step approach to get you there.
Better Ethics Now
Better Ethics NOW: Avoid The Ethics Disaster You Never Saw Coming (Second Edition) by Christopher Bauer, Ph.D.
reviewed by Steven G. Lauck
Better Ethics NOW is intended as a brief introductory book aimed at the multitude of readers who really need to know about ethics but want a brief and practical business book rather than a long-winded, theoretical, or philosophical one. To accomplish this, it takes a conversational tone and maintains a primary focus on essential and easily applied ideas and tools that the reader can put to use immediately. It uniquely addresses what we can all do as individuals to reduce our risk for ethics problems, no matter how unintentional those problems might be.
Work Like You're Showing Off: The Joy, Jazz, and Kick of Being Better Tomorrow Than You Were Today
by Joe Calloway
After twenty-six years of studying and working with top performers, Calloway shares the key factors for creating success without pulling any punches. Work Like You're Showing Off advises you to stop talking and start doing. Be focused, productive, and above all else, intentional in your pursuit of happiness. Showoffs go "all in" and call everyone else's bluff with the confidence that their capability and productivity will speak for itself. In the author's words, "Let's be too much. I'm in. How about you?" This book will inspire. (ed.)
401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees
401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees
by Gregory P. Smith
International business consultant and author Gregory P. Smith is making waves as one of the nation's top employee retention experts. His new book provides practical solutions to promote high employee retention in your workplace. 401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees provides a wealth of information, tips, advice, and case studies that allow for quick reference and practical application.
The 20th Century's 100 Most Important Inspirational Leaders

by Satish Kumar and Freddie Whitefield
Visionaries brings together the lives and works of a hundred great men and women who offer inspiration, hope, and healing. Their influence helped bring to an end colonialism and imperialism, apartheid, and authoritarian regimes, and they also helped foster the resurgence of an ecological, holistic, and spiritual vision that increasingly resonates in the world today. Fascinating and inspiring! (ed.)
None of your Business
by Philip Bryer
Johnson soon found out that the corporate world involved too many things that didn't have anything to do with work at all. Things like company 'fun days', outward bound team-building events, psychometric testing, diversity audits, motivational tools and other associated bulls**t. None of your Business is a comic novel which features a rich succession of incompetents, bullies, oddballs and idiots who lead to Johnson becoming increasingly unhinged and reckless. As disillusion takes a grip, Johnson's thoughts turn to revenge. (A very entertaining read. ed.)

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