Discover the 12 Levers of Success

Primary GreatnessFrom Stephen R. Covey — the late, legendary author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — a new set of rules for achieving a happy and fulfilling life of primary greatness. Many of us are hurting. We have chronic problems, dissatisfactions and disappointments. The idea of living a “great life” seems a distant dream.Too often, however, we have the wrong idea of what a great life is. Stephen R. Covey believed there were only two ways to live: a life of primary greatness or a life of secondary greatness. Through his classic books and seminars, he taught that the intrinsic rewards of primary greatness — integrity, responsibility and meaningful contribution — far outweigh the superficial rewards of secondary greatness — money, popularity and the self-absorbed, pleasure-ridden life that some people consider “success.”

In Primary Greatness, a posthumous work, Covey lays out the 12 levers of success that will lead to a life of primary greatness: Integrity, Contribution, Priority, Sacrifice, Service, Responsibility, Loyalty, Reciprocity, Diversity, Learning, Teaching and Renewal. For the first time, Covey defines each of these 12 qualities and how they provide the leverage to make your daily life truly “great.”

• The key differences between primary and secondary greatness.
• Why principles ultimately govern values.
• The four human endowments that help us align ourselves to principles.
• The most important features of the 12 key principles, or levers.

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

DeepWorkDeep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive 21st-century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep –– spending their days instead in a frantic blur of email and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.

In Deep Work, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored, Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

• Why deep work is valuable, rare and meaningful.
• Strategies to help you learn to embrace deep work.
• What it means to embrace boredom.
• To determine the true value of social media in your work and life.

Show Up, Set the Tone and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives

The key to any company’s success lies in its culture. This game-changing guide shows you how to shape and revitalize your culture –– by setting the tone, engaging the team and creating a dynamic working environment that encourages growth, productivity and innovation. It all starts with you.

Using award-winning organizational advisor Anese Cavanaugh’s unique IEP Method ®, you can take control of the culture you work in and build a healthier, more functional environment –– from the inside out. You’ll learn how to enhance your Intentional Energetic Presence (IEP) so you’ll always be fully present, purposeful and prepared to share your vision with infectious energy and enthusiasm. Contagious Culture is so much more than a leadership guide. It’s a complete cultural mindshift that’s not only exciting for you and your team –– it’s absolutely, positively contagious.

• Craft your intention and make a real impact.
• Unleash your energy –– and watch it spread like wildfire.
• Show up for others by setting yourself up for success.
• Bring out the best in everyone –– including yourself.

Subscribe today to read the complete summary and to get new summaries each month uploaded right into your personal library!

Review: Originals by Adam Grant

Throughout history, there have been extraordinary people who, in Wharton professor Adam Grant’s elegant phrase, “moved the world.” Grant calls these people “originals” because they are nonconformists who are unimpressed with the status quo and have the creativity and courage to forge and follow their own paths. As he explains in Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, originals can be inventors, entrepreneurs, authors and painters, leaders of political movements. Martin Luther King was an original. So was Leonardo Da Vinci, and so is Bill Gates.

Originals, however, are not just world-famous people who revolutionized their domains. Grant also tells the story of originals whose names would be unknown to most: Carmen Medina, the CIA employee who battled for years to finally incorporate the digital age into intelligence sharing; Rick Ludwin, the TV executive who, despite not working in the comedy department, championed a rejected sitcom by comedian Jerry Seinfeld; Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of a company who encouraged employees to send him memos such as the one that begins, “Ray, you deserve a ‘D’ for your performance today … It was obvious to all of us that you did not prepare at all …”

In Originals, Grant not only offers stories of great accomplishments but also dissects exactly how these accomplishments were achieved. He debunks the idea that originals are great risk-takers. Most of America’s founding fathers were reluctant revolutionaries. Martin Luther King writes that he was pushed into service as leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott before he had a chance to say “no.” Bill Gates eventually dropped out of college but only after first securing a leave of absence from the university and ensuring that his parents would support him. Originals, Grant argues, are more risk-mitigators than risk-takers.

Click here to read the rest of the review or sign up for our Executive Book Alert newsletter to receive new reviews of top business books every month!

Join Us for a FREE webinar with Best-Selling Author and Business Leader, Patrick Lencioni

lencioniRegistration is now open for the FREE Patrick Lencioni webinar “How to Be the Ideal Team Player” presented by Soundview on Thursday, May 5th at 12:00 p.m. EDT.

Register today and get a FREE summary of Lencioni’s book, The Ideal Team Player.

Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this webinar offers applicable tips for your career.

In this FREE Soundview Live webinar, How to Be the Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni uses a fable to dissect the ins and outs of an ideal team player. Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle’s company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues.

Register Here:

You Will Learn:

  • The three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player
  • A practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players
  • How to improve your ability to lead and be an active team player

About the Speaker:

Patrick Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to helping leaders improve their organizations’ health since 1997. His principles have been embraced by leaders around the world and adopted by organizations of virtually every kind including multinational corporations, entrepreneurial ventures, professional sports teams, the military, nonprofits, schools, and churches.

Lencioni is the author of ten business books with over three million copies sold worldwide. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, and USA Today.

Review: Driven to Delight by Joseph A. Michelli

Speed Review: Driven to DelightFor most of its storied history, Mercedes-Benz has been a very product-focused company, and with good reason. The brand was built on the quality and durability of its luxury cars. In the last decade of the 20th century, however, a few upstart brands started challenging Mercedes-Benz in its luxury space.

Click here to sign up for our FREE newsletter!

These luxury upstarts, such as Toyota’s Lexus and Honda’s Acura, didn’t have the history of Mercedes-Benz, but they were willing to offer something more: unbeatable customer service. For example, Lexus dealers were required to sign a covenant that included the statement, “Lexus will treat each customer as we would a guest in our home.”

When Steve Cannon moved from vice president of marketing to CEO on January 1, 2012, he decided that Mercedes-Benz USA would battle to be the best of the luxury car manufacturers in customer service. As recounted in Driven to Delight, by Joseph A. Michelli, a consultant who worked closely with the Mercedes-Benz USA leadership and author of books such as The Zappos Experience, The Starbucks Experience and the best-selling Prescription for Excellence, Mercedes-Benz USA has met the challenge. First, a Map It wasn’t, of course, an easy journey. Unlike Lexus and others who were starting from scratch, Cannon had to overcome the entrenched product-focus mindset at the heart of the company.

Another challenge, as described by Michelli, is that most of the leaders and employees who would need to buy in and implement a new customer-focused mindset were not employees of Mercedes-Benz USA; they were employees of the more than 300 Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the U.S. Part of the customer service issue, in fact, came from this structure. Customers would find excellent service in one Mercedes-Benz dealer, and then find in another dealership that, as one patron explained, employees almost expected customers to be grateful for the opportunity to buy a Mercedes-Benz. To begin moving in the direction he wanted, the company had to understand where it was and where it needed to go. Eventually, a map would be created that showed….

Click here to read the rest of the review!

How to Earn and Keep Customer Loyalty

Today’s buyers –– empowered by the Internet, assured by the enormous choice in every segment of commerce and capitalizing on the acute vulnerability of sellers struggling in this current selling climate –– have taken control of the entire purchase progression

The confluence of technology and choice described in Robert H. Bloom’s The New Experts, started customer loyalty down the slippery slope –– ultimately, customer loyalty died. Buyers no longer care which seller they buy from –– which gives buyers all the power. But buyers do care about fulfilling their needs and making the best purchase decision –– and that is how you can win them over at four critical customer moments.

The Four Moments That Count

1. The Now-or-Never Moment –– your first brief contact. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of your prospects’ initial contact with your company.

2. The Make-or-Break Moment –– the lengthy transaction process. Most leaders know from experience that far too many transactions fall through at the Make-or-Break Moment, the extended period of consideration, negotiation and decision to purchase.

3. The Keep-or-Lose Moment –– the customer’s continued usage. This is the period when your buyer is actually using your business’s products or services. It is important to nourish and maintain your relationship with a customer while that current customer is using, consuming, enjoying and relying on the product or service he or she purchased from you. Maintaining performance is essential at this moment.

4. The Multiplier Moment –– repeat purchase, advocacy and referral. Your Multiplier Moment is your conversion of a one-time customer into a repeat customer and an advocate and referral source for your company. Customers’ repeat purchases from your firm and enthusiastic recommendations of your firm will produce transactions that require far less investment and will create far more profitable revenue. This is why your business must sustain its performance long after the completion of the transaction and throughout your pivotal Multiplier Moment.

XE1To learn more strategic methods
to earn and 
keep customer
loyalty, subscribe to
and get the skills you need
to get ahead.

What Makes Millennials Good Leaders

It’s dangerous to paint entire generations with the same brush; some tendencies or narratives can quickly become exaggerated. On the subject of Millennials and leadership, two conflicting stories often emerge: the first, that Millennials want a fast track to leadership roles without being willing to pay their dues; the second, that Millennials are not willing to accept the sacrifices — working long hours at the expense of family — expected of leaders.

A recent global study by France’s INSEAD shows that some of these narratives are misleading. According to the study, based on interviews with thousands of Millennials in 43 countries, 70 percent of the Millennials considered becoming a leader “important” or “very important,” and nearly 64 percent said they were willing to work longer hours and have more stress for the opportunities to be leaders. While past studies and books might focus on Millennials in their role as future leaders, a new book declares that the future has arrived. Millennials Who Manage: How to Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become a Great Leader, by Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart, is written for and not about Millennial leaders and managers. Step by step, the authors lay out the challenges and best practices for Millennial managers already in leadership positions or preparing for the next step. The authors use their own surveys and research as sources for their prescriptions.

Because of their youth, Millennial managers immediately face unique challenges…


To learn what these specific challenges are, sign up for our FREE Executive Book Alert newsletter today!


One Businessman’s Secret to Success

Although known mostly for his conservative political activism, Charles Koch is also the CEO and chairman of a privately owned company that he has grown from a $21 million valuation in 1961 to $100 billion today. In his new book, Good Profit, Koch introduces a management framework called Market-Based Management, or MBM, which consists of five elements:

Vision. Create products and services that profit the consumer and society as a whole. The title of his book, Koch writes, comes from this viewpoint; good profit is good for all.

Virtue and Talents. Hire people that adhere to the values of the company first and foremost, before focusing on specific skills or knowledge.

Knowledge Processes. These are processes that enable the sharing of knowledge. Organizational structures that encourage collaboration, both internally and with external partners, are vital. Measurement processes, such as benchmarking, are also key. Finally, knowledge-sharing also depends on open two-way communication between employees and supervisors — specifically in allowing employees to “challenge their bosses respectfully if they think they have a better answer.”

Decision Rights. This is the business equivalent of the economic concept of “property rights” — in other words, ownership. The importance of ownership is another familiar but important component of good management. The more employees feel an ownership stake in what they are doing, the more care and conscientiousness they will apply to the task.

Incentives. Motivate employees to “maximize their contribution.” Koch uses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, specifically the culminating need of “self-actualization,” as inspiration. Employees must feel that when the company benefits, they benefit. For Koch, there is no self-actualization motivation in automatic raises, including COLA raises.

The unfettered free-market politics of Koch, which is detailed in the first part of the book….

To read the full review, become a Soundview subscriber today!


You can also sign up to receive our FREE Executive Book Alert newsletter for reviews like this one.



Creating an Environment That Energizes Everyone

The Optimistic Workplace

When it comes to work these days, we’re expected to do more with less –– but is this nose-to-the-grindstone philosophy the best way to run a business? Alarmingly low employee engagement numbers indicate otherwise.

So, if pushing everyone harder isn’t the path to productivity, what is? Supported by the latest research, The Optimistic Workplace argues that our best work is the product of a positive environment. That’s good news for you as a manager. While you can’t personally transform the corporate culture, you can influence the workplace climate and create meaningful and lasting change.

Advocating a steward model of management, The Optimistic Workplace demonstrates how a people-centric focus ignites employee potential, increases innovation and catapults the organization to new levels of performance. Author Shawn Murphy reveals how to explore personal and organizational purpose and align them for astonishing results, build camaraderie and deepen loyalty, increase intrinsic motivation and more. Far from being a wish-upon-a-star discussion of workplace happiness, The Optimistic Workplace presents an array of surprisingly simple strategies to focus your actions and make employee optimism not just a worthy goal but a real and measurable result.


To read this summary in full, become a Soundview subscriber today!