Continuous learning is critical for anyone who wants to be successful in virtually any endeavor. Long gone are the days when you can simply learn a trade, go into business for yourself and be successful without continual upgrading of your knowledge, skills and perspectives. The best way to continue to develop in these areas is to be a life-long learner and reader. Whether in hard copy or audio format, reading is a common hallmark of every successful person. Below is an initial suggested bibliography for general professional business and leadership development. We use many of these tomes in our coaching practice.
We routinely purchase copies for our clients to use. For clients, the cost of all materials are included in your coaching program fees and you will be provided one copy for your personal use.
Prospective clients, please use the contact form if you have questions about any of the material listed here. These publications are readily available in most libraries.
1. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. Why most small businesses do not work and what to do about it.
2. Jumpstart Your Business Brain by Doug Hall. This book puts creative marketing into a context that makes sense. Many techniques are also offered to develop your professional creativity. You may download a free audio version of this book at: http://www.eurekaranch.com/BooksArticles/JumpStartYourBusinessBrain
3. Eat That Frog! By Brian Tracy. 21 great ideas to stop procrastinating. Great first steps towards developing a habit of getting things done.
4. Leading Change by John P. Kotter. Change is crucial to surviving in a challenging business environment. Kotter suggests an 8-step process for leading change within your organization. This one is a favorite especially for large, complex organizational change initiatives.
5. Good To Great by Jim Collins. Collins's philosophy is summed up in one noteworthy phrase from the book -- "Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice."
6. Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko. A handbook of creative thinking. Perhaps more ideas than you can use to facilitate your creative juices. Works extremely well for any person or in any organization.
The Daily Debrief - A template for managing what you accomplish on a daily basis. Develop a practice of accountability in your professional and personal life. You may have a FREE COPY of this tool by selecting one of the two links below.
Select this link to download in Microsoft Word format (doc).
Select this link to download in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf).
The Business Effectiveness Evaluation - This is a self grading assessment of your business across the nine dimensions we assess. It is a much simpler version of those we use with our professional clients. It will give you a 'quick look' evaluation of your business and where you may want to address your focus.
Download Business Effective Evaluation Short Form (pdf)
Financial Ratios - What are the various financial ratios important to you as a business owner? How profitable is your business? How highly leveraged are you? The file available through the link below breaks the important ratios down into the areas of: Liquidity, Efficiency, Profitability and Safety (Debt Service). These are the ratios important to the business owner, your banker and accountant in determining the financial health of your company.
Financial Ratios (pdf)
Other tools will be provided to coaching clients as needed.
Alignment Dynamics, Inc|
PO Box 550310
Gastonia, NC 28055-0310