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Productivity / Professional development

Member must reads, part 1

Mary Gardam, Robert Rhys and John Groarke share the books that have had the most influence on the way they run their business.

Mary Gardam

I have two business bibles, surprisingly enough one is Flying Solo: How to go it alone in business (Gerrish, Leader, Crocker) and the other is The Big Book of Small Business (Andrew Griffiths). 

Flying Solo is the ultimate practical guide to starting a business, perfect for the novice and a great checklist for those who want to build a great business.  It not only addresses the ‘how to’ of setting up your business but also considers the challenges and impacts of moving from being an employee to being the boss.  Written by those who’ve been there, it is an essential read when you are having one of those days. Thanks, Mary, we’ll pay you later 😉 – The FS Authors

In The Big Book of Small Business, Andrew goes beyond the obvious and shares some fabulous tips for improving your business and ensuring you aren’t forgotten in the process.  Andrew shares y his own business experiences and the lessons he’s learnt with honesty and in an easy-to-read style. It’s my favourite of his books.

I also have a book that I read that is more about my personal growth and performance: The Leader Who Inspires (Dan Jackson). 

The Leader Who Inspires encourages you to look for the influencer within.  Dan’s book isn’t just for business owners with staff, it’s for anyone who wants to have positive interactions and influence within their network.  It’s also a great insight into understanding how workplaces function – particularly useful for consultants and contractors who work closely with or are inserted into organisations to affect change. A must read for first time managers.

Rhys Roberts

A few years I came across the marvelous book The No Asshole Rule (Robert I. Sutton).  I think I avoid being one, but I have to be honest and admit to having a very low tolerance for those who are.  Such people are pretty much the reason I no longer work in the corporate sector & now run my own business. 

Now as my business is growing I re-read this book every year or so, the lessons I take from it: 

1.       Don’t be an asshole as an employer

2.       Don’t hire assholes, no matter how talented they may be – the damage they can do to the organisation far outweighs the benefits they bring

3.       Don’t tolerate assholes as clients – no matter how much money they bring in, if they are toxic to work with, show them the door.

The last one is the hardest to stick to, but I do try.

Read more about Viridity‘s Robert Rhys in his Spotlight profile

John Groarke

My favourite book is the THESAURUS. 

Yes, I am being serious … the thesaurus has helped me to; choose the precise word, remove ambiguity, achieve consistency, and develop distinctive straplines, taglines and slogans.  And I am not a professional writer or a marketer. 

Once upon a time, it was a well-worn paperback copy of Roget’s Thesaurus which accompanied me through my secondary and tertiary education.  The internet hadn’t been invented then, so we had to rely upon more tactile methods of support. 

Oh the excitement of not knowing what I would discover!  Sometimes I would find alternate useful meanings for other words as I flicked through to the word that I was really looking for!  And then the joy, as new meanings jumped off the page to re-kindle (unintentional pun) my creativity. 

So if you wish to put some precision, unambiguity, consistency and distinctiveness into your writing then please invest in a Thesaurus.

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