52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #27 – Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together by William Isaacs

If you know me then you know that I often talk about the Duologue and how not just Salespeople, but people in general need to actively dialogue and the art of thinking togetherlisten more and just talk less. This is a book that harps on that concept and backs it up with years of research and quantifiable results. I know that I could be a better listener and that it would help me to become a better salesperson, father, husband and friend. I know that people don’t spend enough time thinking about and crafting their communication style and it’s a shame.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #27 – Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together by William Isaacs


This is an in depth book, and it’s not written for the masses. William is an Academic and he often writes like one. The book is about 400 pages long and probably close to 130,000 words, compared to a book written for sales people like Sell or Be Sold, by Grant Cardone which is more like 45,000 words. I’m not saying the length of the book is better or worse, but I’m trying to demonstrate the amount of information contained in this work. The pages aren’t empty filler either, each concept is clearly explained, several examples are provided and then the concept can be summarized and put into action. The book is incredibly well thought out and the chapters are well organized with both classical references for the academic and real life examples from the business world. The result is that the same ideas are likely to get conveyed by several different modes of written communication in an effort for everyone to obtain the same message. People often interpret language in different ways, the author attempts to limit any miscommunication by the act of over communicating, it probably works.

The essence of the book is difficult to summarize, but I believe that the author believes that greatness comes from true dialogue. A dialogue isn’t just a conversation, it’s an action that if done right, will enable us to become much more than we are individually. Communication inspires us and good dialogues create more than we could come up with by ourselves. A dialogue enables two or more brains to interact, it’s as if the dialogue were the ethernet cable that allows our brains to link and double the computing power. If you assign 2 computers a problem and give them the same rules, software and hardware they should theoretically complete the task in the same amount of time with the same result. If you connect those computers with a serial port or somehow link the 2 you’ll have dual processors working in tandem. You’ll complete the work in half the time and depending on the type of problem presented you could possibly have a different outcome . How boring would Google be if it just searched the information on your own computer? How much better would it be if it searched the computers in your home, office, town, church? How much better is it actually because it can search just about any database and computer in the world? A dialogue works a little like that, the bigger and more inclusive the dialogue, the better the search results will be.

We often deny ourselves the dialogue, we insist on just waiting our turn to talk instead of actually listening and using the information provided to add to our own network and database. We take turns giving monologues where we say our piece and move on, the duologue is prevalent in business meetings and relationships across the world. We are simply waiting our turn to deliver our predetermined lines. Take a moment to really listen, and then reply with thoughtfulness that incorporates what you just heard. It’s harder than it seems at first, but it gets easier. I’m no expert at it, but awareness alone will start the process moving forward. Just try a little bit everyday to get better. You will make a difference.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #26 – The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

We are all way less important than we think we are, but way more important than we give ourselves credit for. 51OWc0PhNqL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_Tim is all about living the experiences and managing cash flow. He’s the exact opposite of many money strategists out there, but he makes a ton of sense in today’s world.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #26 – The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss


You don’t need to do 80% of the things you are doing right now. You could drastically cut down on the needless activities and zero in on the 20% of your daily and life activities that really matter. Think about it really hard for a few minutes. Could you just stop doing 80% of the things in your life? What if you outsourced 40% of your activities and just eliminated another 40% of your activities? Could you get by? Tim believes 100% that you can not only survive, but you can thrive in that kind of scenario. The biggest trick here, is to ignore or delegate. The goal is to ignore or delegate 80-90% of your daily activities, by doing that you’ll free up almost all of your time for the few things that absolutely have to be done by you, AND for whatever you actually want to be doing with your life.

We are indeed way less important than we think we are. We could delegate a TON of things that we do, others can complete the tasks just as well as we can, sometimes better. We often keep doing tasks because we feel as if nobody else could accomplish the task at the same level of competence that we can. This is a false assumption that we tell ourselves so that we feel successful at our jobs and tasks. We long to feel useful.

The amazing thing about this book is that if everyone who read it actually did the things inside of it, there wouldn’t be anyone left to actually do the work. What stops the majority of people from following through on the tips and guidance provided in this book? There are many types of jobs and professions in the world today, they don’t all lend themselves to this type of lifestyle. Like many changes, the biggest and hardest step is the first one. You have to be willing to change your profession significantly in order to apply the methods in the book. I choose to work in an office where I manage people and I need to be present to do so. I have learned though, that often I can delegate or just plain ignore many items that don’t actually NEED my attention. This frees me up to complete tasks that are important, but not-urgent that will actually impact the people I lead and serve.

I’m a fan of Tim Ferris’ and I believe in many of his suggestions. Switching to a cash flow model for your life could be a little shocking at first, but also invigorating and thrilling. I reviewed a book earlier this year called “You are a Badass” and the author had decided to make this switch to cash flow management and to extensively travel. I haven’t taken a poll, but I’d say that most people die with “I wish I would have traveled more” thought in the back of their mind. Make that first step and change your life. I have feeling it’s like cliff jumping, once you take that first step it’s too late to go back!

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #25 – How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients by Jeffrey J. Fox

Jeff has a system and a set of rules. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the dirty little secret in the Sales Coaching profession is that every system works a certain percentage of the time. The trick to being successful in our industry isn’t the system you use, it’s finding the right system for you and then sticking to it. I’ve seen horrible systems work. The only systems that don’t work at all are the ones you don’t use. Rainmaker


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #25 – How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients by Jeffrey J. Fox


I like Jeff Fox’s system, it’s cut and dry but he still allows for some flexibility. I get the feeling that almost all of his clients and his experience revolves around business to business sales, which is fine but it makes it a little tougher for the car, insurance, mortgage, realtor, and call center type sales people to adapt to. Jeff’s whole system is focused on business first. Don’t drink coffee or make much small talk because the customer’s time is valuable and it’s time to get down to business. There approach works for a large part of the population and since he’s referencing mostly business relationships and many Rainmaker’s in the B2B world are speaking to higher level executives it makes sense for his system to recommend that you honor their appointment book.

I don’t personally work in that world. I’ve been interacting directly with consumers for almost 2 decades with a short period of about 2 years where I sold directly to car dealerships. Consumer Direct selling is a little different because there are still many many people who will not buy from someone that they don’t like just a little bit more than an acquaintance. Many people think that they will get a good deal from someone that they feel friendly with. Friends give Friends good deals. Many people need to hear that you would recommend the exact same product or service to someone in your own family. That type of interaction doesn’t come up in a B2B world because you are selling widgets and in large part economics come into play. The purchaser in a large company needs to justify the purchase but ultimately it’s just one of many many purchases and decisions that have to be made that day, it’s very impersonal a lot of the time.


I took a ton of notes with this book, don’t think that I didn’t appreciate Jeff’s point of view and knowledge to be shared. The best part about Jeff’s book is his attention to details. Pick the right seat in the restaurant. Be a boy scout and be prepared for anything and everything, it will happen to you eventually and you’ll be glad you read this book and were prepared.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #24 – #AskGaryVee : One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is a phenomenon. His legion of fans are loyal and loud and if you haven’t heard about him before now, (or more likely you’ve heard about him but just didn’t reach out to consume any of his material), it’s time to dive in and see what it’s all about. AskGaryVee


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #24 – #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk


@garyvee is his twitter handle and he’s a social media hustler. He runs a couple of massive businesses but it’s his personal brand that really packs the punch. I don’t know how you value the personal brand of someone like Gary but he’s definitely building his up. He’s always online in some way shape or form, the amount of content that he pushes out is amazing. I’ve watched just a hand full of things he’s on and he’s simultaneously filming a Facebook Live video while doing a YouTube video that’s skewed for a different audience and can be cut and edited while the Facebook deal is raw. He’s multi-streaming himself, he’s recording some meetings, but guess what? He was going to be having those meetings anyway!

He’s always on point, he’s always on and he’s always hustling. He’s got a tendency for some raw language but I accept his language just because it’s who he is. The show has some great insights into his business and the book is basically the show just revamped into a longer format. It’s not just a “Best Of” book though, the new material is significant and it’s more up to date because he’s had time to go through and thing about the questions that compromise this book.

Basically there are a series of questions posed to Gary that allow him to go off on a series of tangents and he can easily go from topic to topic without having to stick to too much structure. The nature of the questions were grouped together, but these were culled over a period of time and this is sort of the readers digest version of #askgaryvee . It’s well done and entertaining. I didn’t watch his show previously but I had seen some of his short clips and motivational instagram pictures. I’m in the motivation game, I need to wake up every morning with massive purpose in order to keep going forward and so I thoroughly enjoy reading this stuff, I thrive on it.

I’m reading a book every week this year and I’m a little upset that now I can’t get my hour or 2 of Gary in everyday moving forward. I’ll have to adjust my schedule to find the time to touch on Gary’s work again. I’ve made it my mission to read as much as possible this year, but that also means that I once I find someone that really interests me I’m already moving onto the next adventure. This year I’m impressed with the Napoleon Hill, Grant Cardone,  Mike Weinberg and Gary Vaynerchuk, Almost done with the first half of the year,  I hope the second half is just as entertaining and informative.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #23 – The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life) by Chris Hardwick

Wow! I consider myself to be a Nerd, Egg Head, Geek or whatever you call a smart guy who likes dorky stuff to be these days. I like a combination of weird things, I keep thinking about the ultimate poster that would be Chewbacca holding a sonic screwdriver sitting on Captain Kirk’s chair saying “Up, up and away!” TheNerdistwhile wearing a 49er’s football helmet. If someone wants to Photoshop that together it would awesome, plus you can give yourself +10xp because it’s probably something you’ve been meaning to do anyway. After that, ready this book for unique take on self help and will power.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #23 – The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life) by Chris Hardwick


This book is entertaining. Chris is witty but for my sense of humor I could only take him in short bursts. He’s snarky and tends to have conversations with himself which can indeed be endearing, it also lends itself to the playful nature of Chris’ delivery. The book attempts to make success a game and to trick yourself into feeling those same endorphins as when you play a video game and just want to keep going.  I can remember telling my dad that I just needed one more minute to defeat whatever level I was on in Super Mario Bros 3. I’d spend every minute I could trying to beat that game and every level felt like a major accomplishment.

I see the allure of giving yourself that feeling when you master a real life event or hit a real life milestone. That feeling encourages you to push further, to do more, to try one more time. Chris has a unique blend of tactile and tech solutions to the issue of translating video game success to life success. He recommends a regular old science notebook and a hand scoring method in order to make this work. I’d assume that there would be an @Nerdist app he’d be pushing. There very well may be that app available, but if not someone should make it. Just input your goals and track them on your phone. Brand it as Nerdist, partner up and you’ll have some loyal followers who will automatically download.

Chris also talks about calendars and email maintenance and there is a lengthy section on personal training and health care. I get it. Whenever New Year’s resolutions roll around there are always a multitude of exercise and personal weight goals. Your body is important so make it a priority, it just doesn’t resonate with me right now. I like the book, but it wasn’t my favorite. I’m a geek but I haven’t gotten the bug to micro track my progress and make mini goals. I do see the value of habits though and if these small habits create long term change for the better in people, then this book has achieved a victory.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #22 – Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone

This book is Grant Cardone at his best. If you follow Grant in any way shape or form, you probably know a ton about what’s in this book already. The benefit of the book is that it’s all in a condensed format and laid out in an orderly fashion. Grant’s trademark energy and enthusiasm keep the momentum going and there isn’t any down time in the entire book. Buckle up.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #22 – Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone


Grant gets the ball rolling by letting us know that this entire book is really just one of the things that Grant is great at, it’s re-purposed, repackaged, updated and improved, but it’s based a lot on his first book- Sell to Survive.  Grant regularly takes his content and figures out a way to double or triple dip on the business opportunity. His videos and webinars can be paid for Live, bought it the entirety after the fact or often included in a package deal with other content. He is indeed always selling, but it’s also how he sells and how he leverages his efforts that are important.

Grant is a PR, Marketing Machine. His work ethic is ridiculous to most and he talks a lot about that in the 10X rule. In Sell or be Sold he casts a wide net by not just appealing to the Sales Industry which I’m sure is a good play for him and also really paints the picture for people in the Sales world to realize that it’s OK, in fact it’s good to be immersed in the constant effort to be better at Sales.

We often talk about “Always Be Closing”, (a phrase made popular by the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”), but Grant takes pains to make sure that there is a difference between Selling, and Closing. Two different parts of the process but both are vital. Selling is all about building up the momentum, excitement and trust while Closing is about actually signing on the dotted line.

Sales is everywhere. I had to sell the guy next to me on the on ramp today on letting me into the lane. I had to show him my intentions and make it public by turning on my blinker. That didn’t work so after foreshadowing that I wanted into that lane I had to show my determination, my relentless will to get into that lane by just putting the nose of my car into that lane 6 inches in front of his car. He saw that I was determined, he saw that I was committed and that I wasn’t going away. He could have decided that he was more committed to not letting me in. He could have honked his horn and tried to gun his engine and swerved a little to go around me, but he didn’t. He wasn’t sold on my blinker. He wasn’t sold on my speed change to try to give him time to make space for me. He wasn’t sold by how long I hung out it that space. He was only sold when staked my claim on 6 inches of space. It’s always Sales.

Selling is a way of life. It makes the world go around and it’s a vital role in the economy, the ecology and the sociology of the planet. Commerce is good. If commerce isn’t going away, we should all just get better at it.



52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #21 – The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource – by Jeffrey Gitomer

I read the Little Red of Book of Sales, but hadn’t read the book that put Gitomer on the map. The Sales Bible is a TOME of information tSalesBiblehat just doesn’t quit. I did the audio book version, but there were so many lists that now I’ve got to go back to the physical copy and even check out his website and use the various GITBIT’s that he mentions.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #21 – The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource – by Jeffrey Gitomer


There are sales books and then there are Sales Books. Gitomer wrote the little red book which was just about the first ever sales book that I ever picked up. I’ve been reading his stuff for a long time, but for some reason I never read his first book. By all accounts, it’s a massive amount of information and it’s full of additional info and references updated for today’s world. Gitomer is always straight forward and to the point. I enjoy his bullet points and lists, sales people are often short on attention spans and lists are a great way to get across a lot of info in a short amount of time.

This book almost has too much info in it, we move so quickly from list to list that this is really a book that should be used a reference, and not a book to be read from cover to cover. The volume should definitely sit on every salesperson’s library shelf, it can be perused and looked at for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, it’s all up to you. You don’t always have to agree with Gitomer and whether or not cold calls are dead or a way of life, but you should be thinking about your career and studying the various ways that people have been successful. You can learn from Gitomer, I guarantee it.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #20 – You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – by Jen Sincero

I like motivational stuff and I like fast talking, in your face dialog that seems like it could of come out of an strange cosmic cross of Gilmore Girls and Reservoir Dogs.youareabadass It was weird, but good.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #20 – You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – by Jen Sincero

I recommended this book for my wife, that doesn’t happen very often. My wife and I don’t typically read the same type of book, she seems to read a ton of either period drama, steampunk, or urban fantasy stuff that blows my mind. I’m not sure what the last book was that we both read, possibly Harry Potter. The Venn Diagram of our overlapping tastes in books has got to be pretty slim, but this is a book we could both dig into.

I found some of Jen’s examples and daily experiences to be just slightly distracting because whatever experience she was sharing seemed gender biased and didn’t pertain to me. I assume that this happens all the time to female readers of male authors. We write so often based on our own experiences and about what we know that we must not even recognize what we don’t know, because we don’t know it. Despite the fact that I noticed the author was a woman didn’t change the message of the book, and maybe Jen is going for a predominantly female base, or maybe she’s a woman and doesn’t give a rip if a guy doesn’t get some particular reference, deal with it. I dealt with it and it was fine.

She writes very spontaneously, at least it sounds that way. I hope she wrote most of this in a fit of creativity and then only had minor revisions. I’d be mildly irked if she was in a room on the 188th version with her editor crafting her message sentence by sentence to sound like it was passionate, off the cuff and real. It’s not a bad plan if that’s what she did, but I’d like to think of her as throwing back a couple of Corona’s and then thinking she’d better get this ish done and fired up the creative juices.

It’s not like Jen reinvented the wheel or anything, she just tries her hardest to persuade you to take action. She’s really trying to sell you on yourself the entire book, she uses the classic “Feel, Felt, Found” type layout to try to convince you to get up off of your duff and to take action. She realized that a lot of people feel the same way she did before she took this massive action and changed her life. A ton of other people have felt the exact same way that the reader does now, like they can’t make a difference, like they can’t afford to take bid risks, like they can’t do what they want to, because it’s not going to work out and it takes too much work anyway. However, what Jen and other readers of her books, clients and colleagues have found out is that if you really apply yourself and give yourself a quick kick in the ass, you’ll be fine. Things actually work out better with the occasional swift kick, whether or not it’s self inflicted or not.

Everything is Sales and everyday I wake up I know I have to sell myself first. I am a BADASS.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #19 – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

There is a great respect for the U.S. Military and the great leaders that have risen from those ranks. Jocko and Leif represent the best of what we have to offer and have ExtremeOwnershipcommitted to teaching others how to give the best of what they can offer. This is a great book told through real life scenarios with real life implications. The fact that they can relate their service experiences to everyday activities in the business world amazes me. The book was captivating, well laid out and engaging.



52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #19 – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin


First, this book was extremely entertaining. I read some books that are tedious and I feel like the content is great, but I need to write everything down, listen or read the book 10 times and then maybe I’ll catch all the nuances. The best part about this book is that they take their own advice and keep it simple. I felt like they took the principal of “Tell them what you are going to tell them, Tell them, the Tell them what you just told them” and executed on it perfectly. This type of style can feel a bit repetitive to anyone who reads a lot and has a decent attention span, especially if you read the way I do and consume the entire book in a day or two. The recent chapters and preface are all still fresh in my memory. I would imagine that despite the great story telling and the compelling momentum of the book, most people will take a few weeks to finish the book and so the frequent reminders are good for most.

These guys manage to take a couple of principals and like the books says, completely own them. This stuff isn’t new per se, Larry Winget says that success is your own damn fault and if you get into a car crash it’s your fault too! Grant Cardone talks about ownership and how you have to take complete ownership for yourself and your life, but these guys come at it with the military perspective which is a whole new ball game. They analyze what this means to them and break it down into very clear, concise steps and then give examples and then more examples and then move on.

The book is laid out into 3 segments with a few chapters each. Each chapter lets you know what the principal is and then dives into a real world combat or military scenario that describes how these gentlemen came to realize the importance of that particular principal. This is easily the best part of the book, the stories are compelling and I actually forgot each and every time that this was a business/leadership book, instead I was just reading a biography that was great. The next portion of the chapter talks about the principle again in slightly more detail and then puts this same principle into an equally engaging business setting where these guys talk about a particular incident that easily could have taken place at any mid to large level corporation.

The examples were great stories and illustrations of very specific steps to extreme ownership. I was a little skeptical about drawing such heavy comparisons between battle hardened military experience and white collar America, but it works. There are a few spots where the language is a little crude and a few times I wanted them to use outside examples to better use. The examples provided all come from direct experiences that the authors had, but I would have liked them to use a well known example or situation to illustrate their point. They could have use the classic example of how Tylenol responded to the Tylenol Murder Crisis of 1982 or recently how Steve Harvey completely owned his mistake on the Miss Universe announcement. He owned it so much that other companies hired him to make fun of himself while pitching their product. He turned a weakness into an asset.

I bet this isn’t the only book that these 2 put out together. I like the collaboration and the way they share stories and split chapters while maintaining a cohesive brand and message. Carry on.


52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 17 – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, & Craig Walsh

I’m a sucker for anything involving the San Francisco 49ers. I have several coffee mugs, too many t-shirts to count, my favorite sweatshirt, old game memorabilia and now I’m adding to the list with a copy of this book. Never before has my personal fandom for the 49ers crossed paths with my professional aspirations, luckily it is a happy collision of worlds.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 17 – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, & Craig Walsh


I grew up a fan of the NFL. I remember watching the games from a very early age, the late 70’s and the early 80’s were full of Cowboys, Raiders and 49ers doing battle weekly on the gridiron. I grew up in the bay area of Northern California and it was a great time to be a 49er fan. We would meet weekly on Sunday for BBQ and NFL. More often than not in those days, the 49ers would come away with a victory. I would see Coach Bill Walsh on TV interacting with Joe Montana and the rest of the team along with the press conferences after the game with his minimal commentary. i was always impressed with his focus and demeanor during the game. He rarely lost his cool in front of the camera, he was a rock solid fixture on the sidelines. When I realized he had a book published on leadership I grabbed at the chance to read it.

The book itself was completed from interviews, various writings and lectures given over  long span of time, but it’s woven together to reflect primarily the time that Bill Walsh was in the NFL. He wasn’t always right, but the book is written with a 20/20 hindsight so Bill gets to correct his mistakes for the readers benefit. Bill gets to tell us the story of how he rose to fame, it’s true that every overnight success had a long road to walk before anyone realized he was even there. This was true for Bill so we got to see the story of how he rose to be the leader of the 49ers against all odds and despite several significant road blocks. Bill had great will power and the ability to carry out his plan before anyone with the ability to stop him realized  that they should or could. Bill was allowed time to bring his vision to fruition, and his leadership was allowed to take hold.

Bill Walsh broke the normal pattern of Iron Fist leaders and Tough Guy approaches to discipline in order to lead with a balance of respect and unwavering commitment to the goals. It’s Bill’s commitment to the end zone that is uncanny, it’s his will power to create his system and to stick with it until the end and the few times he has deviated from his system he’s regretted it. Bill had a great system in mind, it was complex and simple and grand and minute all at the same time. At least half of the books I’ve read this year have a code, a set of rules or guidelines that were adhered to strictly in a quest for success. Bill is no different, his system was well defined, clear and concise. He wrote down everything and followed through to make sure that it was explained and completed to his specifications. Follow Bill’s path, read this book and then write down your goals, but then take it a step further and really go into depth with a plan to achieve them. Once you write down your goals, share them and come up with a plan to implement and execute on them. Success doesn’t come overnight and it doesn’t come easy, it comes with a lot of hard work. The book I read introduced me to a Bill Walsh I didn’t get to see on television, it introduced me to a mad scientist who was full of fear, who had self confidence issues and dealt with constant doubting but who ultimately overcame all of that to lead with passion one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. Take a look and let me know what you think. If you do the right things, day after day, will the score really take care of itself?