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Michael Jantz oversees “special projects,” a task that corrals any number of imaginable alterations and re-imaginings of the umpteen books 800-CEO-READ so gracefully sells day after day. But never content with the appellations of the common workplace, Michael also now enjoys exploring other avenues of 800-CEO-READ’s enterprise, including reading, writing, design, and lively conversations with those writers whose books the company sells. It is a happy time for Michael, whose love of books and good company has found 800-CEO-READ's office and philosophy to be like nutrient-rich compost to his hungry, burrowing roots.

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You Are Now Less Dumb

By Michael, published August 14, 2013, at 11:00 AM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy, Personal Development & Human Behavior

I like to think. At least I like to think that I like to think. This idea I have about myself is exactly what drove me to pick up David McRaney’s new book, You Are Now Less Dumb.

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Books to Watch: August 2013

By Michael, published July 31, 2013, at 8:16 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

If you're like me, your summer reading list is infinite—wonderful-looking books in a towering protean stack which both promises blissful enrichment and threatens utter annihilation by way of procrastination and its associated guilt. And summer isn't even over yet. Don't get discouraged.

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Become the Real Deal

By Michael, published July 26, 2013, at 1:22 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy, Personal Development & Human Behavior

I’ve recently caught myself using the phrase, “(s)he’s the real deal,” when talking to friends and colleagues about people who have distinct reputations for success or innovation. It’s somewhat aphorismic, but what does this phrase even mean? Off the bat, there’s one word that comes to mind: authenticity.

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Brick by Brick, or How LEGO Was Awesome, Failed, and Then Became Awesome Again

By Michael, published July 15, 2013, at 11:15 AM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity

We have reached a point in time when those of us who missed out on playing with LEGOs as kids have by now had the opportunity to buy the iconic toys for our own children. I am fortunate enough to have experienced the joy of LEGO both as a child and an adult, so my interest in David C. Robertson’s Brick by Brick is all but automatic.

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Reinventing You

By Michael, published May 20, 2013, at 4:39 PM – Filed under: Narrative & Biography, Personal Development & Human Behavior

“What do people think of you? What do they say when you leave the room? ” Maybe you don’t think you have a brand.

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LeaveSmarter: Marshall Goldsmith

By Michael, published May 8, 2013, at 12:00 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy, Personal Development & Human Behavior

Last week, Marshall Goldsmith was in town for our private LeaveSmarter event, sponsored by BMO Harris and Whyte Hirschboek Dudek. Marshall delivered a moving hour-long talk on effecting positive change through proven methods. As Dr.

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Nice Companies Finish First

By Michael, published April 23, 2013, at 3:42 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Bad management—chances are we have either worked under bad management or we know someone who has. The harmful effects of a bad manager often extend as far as the private lives of staff, but the more obvious effects can be seen inside the workplace. Sadly, bad bosses are not all that uncommon.

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The Customer Rules: An Interview with Lee Cockerell

By Michael, published April 3, 2013, at 3:05 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Lee Cockerell's new book, The Customer Rules, is a modest-looking volume of 39 'rules' for providing outstanding customer service. Despite the book's apparent simplicity, The Customer Rules offers readers essential advice ranging from the general—be nice—to the specific—never ever argue with a customer. While reading this book, I often found myself thinking, "Of course; this is a fundamental rule.

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Global Dexterity

By Michael, published March 27, 2013, at 4:23 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

While reading Andy Molinsky's new book Global Dexterity, I was reminded of an experience I had shortly after starting my first job as a working professional. I had been on the job for about a month. A colleague in my department was turning 30, so we were celebrating in a vacant office with some grocery store cake.

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Why Managing Sucks (and How to Fix It)

By Michael, published March 7, 2013, at 6:35 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

In the world of professional work, there is a growing conversation about how work can be done and what is most important to a company and its staff. In 2010, we selected Rework as Business Book of the Year because if offered fresh thought on everyday business operations; it gave affirmation to the companies that were saying, "the old way is not the only way. " Pragmatic companies and their leadership teams have begun to tolerate and even embrace practices like telecommuting, choosing to focus on the results, rather than the process.

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Visual Leaders

By Michael, published February 26, 2013, at 6:22 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Leadership on its own is hard work. Leaders require many skills, but one particularly important ability successful leaders must have is vision. Despite being clichés of success, companies like Amazon and Apple are time and again exemplary largely because their leaders have been able to visualize the future and steer their followers—employees and customers—toward this vision of the future.

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Seth Godin Live in Orange County! and Other Behemoth Tales

By Michael, published February 6, 2013, at 7:21 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

Marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and everyone else are flocking to sunny Costa Mesa, California in anticipation of a rare and breathtaking Seth Godin appearance on Friday, March 15th. This event is scheduled to run from 6:30 to 8pm, and doors will open at 5pm for a special networking and book-signing session. Entry is $85, which includes two copies of The Icarus Deception and one copy of V is for Vulnerable, which will be mailed to your home prior to the event, courtesy of 800-CEO-READ.