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The Best Books of 2011
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 2011 as rated by the editors of The CEO Refresher.
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Best Books



The Best Business Books
of All Time!


Better Under Pressure
Better Under Pressure: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Themselves and Others
by Justin Menkes
Drawing on in-depth interviews with 150 CEOs from an array of industries, Menkes shows that great leaders strive relentlessly to maximize their own as well as their people's potential and possess three cornerstone attributes: (1) Realistic optimism, (2) Subservience to purpose and (3) Finding order in chaos. Personal and practical, this book is a potent resource for aspiring, emerging, and seasoned business leaders alike. Most mindful! (ed.)
The Amazement Revolution
The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience
by Shep Hyken
In this sequel to the bestseller The Cult of the Customer, Shep Hyken delivers seven powerful strategies that any organization can implement to create greater customer and employee loyalty. Hyken shares more than one hundred insightful examples from fifty role-model companies that prove these strategies can and should be implemented immediately--by any organization, large or small.You can use his advice to build a successful, customer-focused organization and start your own Amazement Revolution!
Look at More
Look at More: A Proven Approach to Innovation, Growth, and Change
by Andy Stefanovich
Designed to be an individual and organizational hands-on guide, Look At More focuses on the front end of the Inspiration–Creativity–Innovation continuum. Using Stefanovich's proven LAMSTAIH approach (Look At More Stuff, Think About It Harder), leaders and employees can develop the practical skills, leadership behavior, and cultural mindset to consistently create ideas and drive innovation.
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
by Guy Kawasaki
Enchantment when done right, is more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques. Kawasaki argues that in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.
The Rowers' Code
The Rowers' Code: A Business Parable of How to Pull Together as a Team--and Win!
by Marilyn Krichko with Jane Rollinson
Based on an overwhelming response to more than a decade of successful workshops, The Rowers’ Code brings to life the authors’ unique perspective on organizational team-building, drawing on proven, real-world results. The Rowers’ Code dramatically portrays one company’s intense experience and presents a simple, actionable set of truths about teamwork and communication that can be applied to every workplace scenario to supercharge performance. Great read! (ed.)
Managing the Mobile Workforce
Managing the Mobile Workforce: Leading, Building, and Sustaining Virtual Teams
by David Clemons and Michael Kroth
In the global marketplace, people can work practically anywhere and anytime. Managing the Mobile Workforce shares stories about organizations that have taken the risk to unleash—literally—their workers from the chains of daily commutes, 9-to-5 business hours, and the same old cubicles they have sat in day after day, year after year, and even decade after decade. The authors deliver rock-solid guidance on the essentials for building, leading, and sustaining a highly productive virtual workforce.
Workarounds That Work
Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work
by Russell Bishop
Russell Bishop teaches the art of the workaround: a method for accomplishing a task or goal when the normal process isn’t producing the desired results. Workarounds help you break through the tasks and systems that keep you from the important stuff. They even help you bring lasting change to your organization by doing away with frustrating institutional inefficiencies once and for all. The chapter on Death by Decision is guaranteed to "twist your head" to see how typical decision-making processes create more problems than they solve. An excellent read!
Influencing Powerful People
Influencing Powerful People : Engage and Command the Attention of the Decision-Makers to Get What You Need to Succeed
by Dirk Schlimm
Dirk Schlimm, who has frontline experience working with “largerthan-life” leaders, provides sixteen proven rules for working successfully with the powerful people in your life—whether your boss, client, partner, ssociate, or international counterpart. It's about strategically managing and adapting your everyday behavior so that the powerful people in your life gain confidence in you, appreciate your contribution, and listen to you when charting their course.
Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals
by Heidi Grant Halvorson
Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers insights - many surprising - that readers can use immediately, including how to: set a goal so that you will persist even in the face of adversity, build willpower, which can be strengthened like a muscle, and avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail. The strategies outlined in this book will not only help everyone reach their own goals but will also prove invaluable to parents, teachers, coaches, and employers.
Make Your Own Rules
Make Your Own Rules: A Renegade Guide to Unconventional Success
by Wayne Rogers, with Josh Young
Wayne Rogers, better know for his role in M*A*S*H, shares the keys to his success over the past four decades, revealing that you don’t have to be “against the system” in order to succeed; you just have to avoid becoming a cog in a machine. Filled with insights and engaging stories he encourages you to stop asking “Why?” and start saying “Why not?” when it comes to your career and business. Rogers has made a name for himself in countless businesses where the only constant was that he lacked the traditional background and experience—proving time and time again that the secret to making it lies in tapping into your own creative viewpoint.
Organizational Development
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Organizational Development
by Stephen Balzac
Change comes fast, and the most successful organizations are prepared to handle it before impact; they act, not react. How are they able to do this? With a solid grounding in organizational development. The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Organizational Development is a skill-building guide to one of the most important functions in business today. In no time, you'll be able to recognize patterns of organizational behavior that are detrimental to your organization, and you'll have the skills to envision and drive the type of change your company needs. It's an excellent synthesis and one of the best books of the year! (ed.)
Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking In Your Organization
Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking In Your Organization
by Daniel Patrick Forrester
The stories and examples within Consider demonstrate that the best decisions, insights, ideas and outcomes result when we take sufficient time to think and reflect. While technology allows us to act and react more quickly than ever before, we are taking increasingly less time to consider our decisions before we make them.  Reflection supplies an arsenal of ideas and solutions to the right problems.  Including interviews with leaders such as General David Petraeus, attorney Brooksley Born and global investor Kyle Bass, Forrester shows us that taking time and giving ourselves the mental space for reflection can mean the difference between total success and total failure.
Likeable Social Media
Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)
by Dave Kerpen
The secret to successful word-of-mouth marketing on the social web is easy: BE LIKEABLE. A friend’s recommendation is more powerful than any advertisement. In the world of Facebook, Twitter, and beyond, that recommendation can travel farther—and faster—than ever before. Likeable Social Media helps you harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to transform your business.
Slow Down, Sell Faster
Slow Down, Sell Faster!: Understand Your Customer's Buying Process and Maximize Your Sales
by Kevin Davis
Customers don't care about your selling process. They are moving through their own buying process, a set of predictable steps that doesn't match how most salespeople sell. Davis' eight-step method unleashes the power of slowing down each sales conversation, asking more questions, identifying needs, and supplying solutions—in the right sequence, with the right approaches. It's an especially effective formula for high-stakes sales involving multiple decision-makers that delivers big rewards.
The Elements of Power
The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence
by Terry R. Bacon
Power is a complex combination of one’s knowledge, expressiveness, history, character, and attraction, as well as one’s resources, position, network, and reputation. The Elements of Power examines how people use and lose power, how power works in organizations, and the relationship between power and leadership. Complete with a handy self-assessment, this fascinating book is an essential tool you can leverage to motivate, influence, and inspire others.
The Branded Mind
The Branded Mind: What Neuroscience Really Tells Us about the Puzzle of the Brain and the Brand
by Erik Du Plessis
In this, his second book, du Plessis explores what scientists have uncovered about the structure of the brain and how different parts of the brain interact. He investigates developments in neuroscience and neuromarketing and what lessons this holds for brand managers. What bearing do these developments have on current theories of consumer behavior? How can brain science contribute to marketing and brand-building strategies?
Leadership is Dead
Leadership is Dead: How Influence is Reviving It
by Jeremie Kubicek
This book shows that the key to effective leadership is learning how to influence in a way that engenders greater trust, stronger partnerships, and more impactful endeavors. Testimonial from Stephen R. Covey sums it up nicely:
“Leadership is Dead effectively reveals that lasting power and influence stems only from a servant/leader mentality based on timeless principles and true character. This remarkable book is a bold jolt of CPR to a failing heart.”
What Investors Really Want
What Investors Really Want: Know What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions
by Meir Statman
Combining the new field of behavioral finance with the real world of investing, this engaging new book explores the mind-sets and motivations behind the major money decisions—and most common mistakes—that investors make every day. You'll discover how behavioral finance provides key insights into the behavior that has rocked investment markets in recent years. And, most important, you'll learn to recognize the desires, thoughts, and emotions that drive your own investment decisions—so you can drive better on your road to investment success.
Full Engagement
Full Engagement - Inspire, Motivate, and Bring Out the Best in Your People.
by Brian Tracy
Business success expert Brian Tracy shows managers how they can supercharge their employees' efforts. Packed with powerful, practical ideas and strategies, this eye opening guide explains how to: unlock the potential of each person; motivate and inspire employees to peak performance; trigger the 'X Factor' that maximizes productivity; drive out the fears that hold people back; create a high-trust work environment; set clear goals and objectives; and, recognize, reward, and reinforce in a way that energizes every employee. Practical and actionable! (ed.)
Knock 'em Dead
Knock 'em Dead - Secrets and Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World
by Martin Yate
I love Martin's no nonsense head-twisting style that will get you to take a good look in the mirror and really get your act together. From Martin: "Let me tell you a little about yourself. You didn't come here today for a good time. You came because you need to make changes. You need to get back to work, out of a dead-end job, or simply believe there's a better way to make a success out of your life. This I know: You came here because you want to change your life for the better. I won't waste your time." It's job search 101 and much more, from a master! (ed.)
How Cool Brands Stay Hot
How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Branding to Generation Y
by Joeri Van den Bergh and Mattias Behrer
The authors address what drives Generation Y as consumers and how marketers can develop the right brand strategies to reach this generation of 16- 33 year olds.  Their insights on consumer preferences of this new "Dot-com" generation are based on interviews with 5,000 Generation Y consumers. How Cool Brands Stay Hot contains guidance and checklists for marketing plans and campaigns, as well as case studies of Nokia, Nivea, PlayStation, Coca Cola, Volkswagen, Smirnoff, Red Bull, H&M, and Levi's.
WIKIBRANDS: Reinventing Your Company in a Customer-Driven Marketplace
by Sean Moffitt and Mike Dover
Whether you work with an established business and are looking to make it relevant to today's "wikiconsumers" or are launching a start-up from scratch, Wikibrands offers countless creative ideas for defining and reaching out to your target audience. You'll find refreshing new ways and a FLIRT model to help you open up an honest dialogue with your customers, attract a ready-made fan base through shared interests, and even work with other businesses toward a mutually rewarding goal. It's current and comprehensive.
Million Dollar Consulting
Million Dollar Consulting
by Alan Weiss
Completely updated for today’s busier-than-ever consultants, this classic guide covers the ins and outs for competing and winning in this ultracompetitive field. You’ll find step-by-step advice on how to raise capital, attract clients, create a marketing plan, and grow your business into a $1 million-per-year firm, plus brand-new material on blogging and social networking, global consulting, delegating labor, profiting in a troubled market, retainer business and internet marketing. It's an excellent resource.
What Could Happen if You Do Nothing?
What Could Happen if You Do Nothing? A Manager's Handbook for Coaching Conversations
by Jane Murphy with Khatun Huber
What could happen if you do nothing? offers managers clear, usable tools to enhance the way they listen and engage their people. Mini-dialogues, sample questions, listening tips, and suggestions use familiar situations to show how to transform business challenges into coaching opportunities. This is an essential resource for developing employees to their full potential and for fostering better working relationships for individuals, teams, and the business itself.
Managers, Can You Hear Me Now?
Managers, Can You Hear Me Now?: Hard-Hitting Lessons on How to Get Real Results
by Denny Strigl and Frank Swiatek
Rolf Dobelli: "Denny F. Strigl, former CEO and president of Verizon Wireless, is a no-holds-barred type of guy. Writing with performance consultant Frank Swiatek, Strigl offers straight-shooting advice for managers and those who aspire to the role. The authors lay out exactly what's required of you every day to become a great manager. They present no sweeping concepts or grand theories, and little here will surprise you. Nevertheless, the authors outline the proper activities, behaviors and characteristics of a quality manager."
A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing
A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing
edited by Paul Sloane
Open innovation and crowdsourcing are among the hottest topics in strategy and management today. The concept of capturing ideas in a hub of collaboration, together with the outsourcing of tasks to a large group of people or community is a revolution that is rapidly changing business culture. Written by an international team of the most eminent thinkers, writers and practitioners in the field, it's a vital read for anyone who wants to find innovative products and services from outside their organizations and overcome the practical difficulties that lie in the way.
Louder than Words
Louder Than Words: Ten Practical Employee Engagement Steps That Drive Results
by Bob Kelleher
Thought leader and speaker Bob Kelleher distills vital employee engagement principles, culled from his many years of experience, into ten practical and transformative steps that will help companies maximize employee engagement - the key to capturing discretionary effort. While highlighting win-win engagement solutions, the author makes a case for creating and maintaining a corporate culture that attracts and retains the most productive and creative people.
Smart Than the Street
Smarter Than the Street: Invest and Make Money in Any Market
by Gary Kaminsky
Kaminsky brings more than two decades of experience to his low-risk, high-return system, demystifying Wall Street for novice and seasoned investors alike. Between 1999 and 2008, Kaminsky’s team at Neuberger Berman grew record-breaking returns far above the S&P benchmark. And they didn’t do it by magic. They did it by constructing a specific strategy and sticking to it, regardless of the investing climate. It is a strategy that anyone can learn and apply, step-by-step, in any market.
Selling to Anyone Over the Phone
Selling to Anyone Over the Phone
by Renee P. Walkup, with Sandra L. McKee
Whether you’re a seasoned telesales professional or a newcomer just pulled in from the field, Selling to Anyone Over the Phone is the one book that will radically improve your sales numbers, no matter what the product or how bad the economy. It’s packed with all-new chapters on using cutting-edge technology— such as delivering engaging presentations via webinars and teleconferencing as well as composing text messages that are appropriate and effective—and on communicating with people from diverse cultures and countries to close more deals.

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