You can see the panic in the eyes of business leaders. But the country has survived interest rates at 18% and previous stock-market meltdowns. This will pass, and the country will rebound because smart leaders take a step a back, assess the situation for opportunities and read books.
That's right, whether you are a leader or an aspiring entrepreneur, exposing yourself to ideas is the way to succeed. You can't cut your way to success. No, you innovate your way through new products, ideas and improved processes. This is something this country has always been good at. Here are 10 books to consider.
1. The Home Office from Hell Cure, by Jeffrey Landers. This book provides home-based business owners with advice on how to increase their visibility through speaking, Web marketing and partnerships.
2. Mastering Online Marketing, by Mitch Meyerson. With the number of people reading print publications and watching television decreasing, Meyerson shows how to successfully market products and services through the Web.
3. Making the Number, by Greg Alexander, Aaron Bartels and Mike Drapeau. The authors show sales executives how to benchmark, improve performance and weed out slackers. There are great case studies and suggestions on how to improve your personal performance and your team's, if you have one.
4. The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann. You can read this entire book in one flight from Philadelphia to Miami. Most people think about how they can manipulate a person or situation to benefit them. The real key to success, according to the authors, which I entirely agree with, is helping others. A similar book is Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom, which provides wisdom and insight on how to be more successful.
5. How Toyota Became No. 1, by David Magee. I have owned a few Toyota products and, as a consumer, I know it's the company's attention to what the customer wants and to quality. The book talks about Toyota's continuous drive to improve its products and processes, and matching that to what would make the customer happy.
6. The Million-Dollar Idea in Everyone, by Michael Collins. Companies are so desperate for revenue that they are turning to outsiders more and more for new ideas. You learn how to cultivate your ideas and sell them to larger corporations or find funding sources that will allow you to monetize your ideas.
7. Generation Blend, by Rob Salkowitz. This is a must-read for any business leader over age 40. The book talks about how different age groups use technology and how to apply that to various market segments. I didn't realize until recently that pre-teens to college students rarely use e-mail, but typically communicate through text messaging. Instant messaging is still popular when communicating with multiple people. Online video may be cool to Baby Boomers but is rarely used by Generation X, Y or Z.
8. Lead by Example, by John Baldoni. I love leadership books. The author reaches across time to provide advice and insights from the greatest political, business and social leaders of the past 100 years in how to inspire people.
9. Goal Setting, by Susan Wilson and Michael Dobson. Another quick read that provides a process and methodology for developing and achieving goals. It's part of a larger series of similar short books called "Work Smart."
10. Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson. I know what you are thinking: The problem with your job is the people, rigidity of the organization and the dullness of the product or service you work with. First, you have to find something you truly enjoy, but that only solves part of the problem. Leaders should read this book because it encourage them treat people like adults and provide more flexibility in the workplace. Employees should read it so they can look for organizations that provide a nurturing, fun experience.
What this country is going through right now is the same thing we all go through after attacking a buffet. We can't move, we feel sick and then once our stomachs have shrunk, we get hungry all over again and attack the buffet with a vengeance.