December 15, 2006
News & Opinion: Kate's Best of 2006
For the last two weeks, I've been thinking about this blog post; well, maybe that's too specific. For the past two weeks, I've been thinking about 2006. It's been another great year full of new beginnings and changes. We started the year with our nose to the grindstone working on a print piece that describes everything we do. We found our core is that:
We sell books but we're really in the business of moving ideas.
I read this book on vacation; it was that good. The best lesson is that it takes guts to be a maverick but as any finance major would say, the more risk, the greater chance of reward. This past October,Bill visited us.The energy shared by the audience was exhilarating. I think it's the only business event I've ever been to where people stayed for two hours afterwards just talking. Before he visited, Bill did an interview with one of our local media. I just looked through it again and thought this comment to be very appropriate for all those new year's resolutions:
I'd never suggest that my definition of success should be anyone else's definition, but here's how I think about it: Can I make use of my natural talents to do work that means something to me, that makes even a little bit of a positive impact in the world, and that creates something of value in the marketplace? I firmly believe that there is an iron-clad connection between the values you believe in and fight for -- as a company or as an individual -- and the economic value your create. That's how you do your best work -- and how material success also feels like "real" success.
Of course, there's also the ChangeThis manifestoBill and Polly did.
I have to admit that I haven't read the entire book yet. I keep peeling it apart bit by bit while juggling the multitude of other books lying near my nightstand. But I remember getting the first draft of the ChangeThis Manifesto; I dug right in. While I still cannot pronounce Nikos' last name, the man is sharing everyone should know. It's the idea of moving, living and working for a purpose. What is it that inspires your company and are you aligned with that?
Maybe it's just the glamor of these stories that appeal to me. This book tells of unique jobs by using the workers' stories. One example is an eyeball artisan; the art of fake eyeballs. Amazing and that's just one of the stories.
When I put this book down, all I could think was how can I make a difference?
Simply a great tool for marketers. Some argue it's merit on whether it actually measures company growth. But I have yet to see a better/simpler way to understand your company's value in your customers' eyes.
What about you; what books have you read and enjoyed this year? Have a wonderful holiday season and great new year!
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.