Staff Picks Rss

We are known for our business book expertise, but most of our staff started working here because of our passion for books, not business. 800-CEO-READ is a company filled with voracious readers—talented, creative individuals who know books, and who excel at getting the right books into the hands of the right people. Whenever we can, we like to do that by telling you about the books we’ve been reading.


Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention

By Sally Haldorson, published August 19, 2013, at 10:30 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity

In 1990, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote one of the classic books on creativity, Flow. We opened our tallying of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time with Flow because the book is about optimal experiences, "those times when people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment," and many people either access that feeling or wish to access that feeling at work. In that book, Csikszentmihalyi provides his theory behind the flow state and argues that such an unconscious contentedness is not as unpreditable or fortuitous as most people think.

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Amaze Every Customer Every Time

By Sally Haldorson, published August 16, 2013, at 11:52 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Customers don't do business with a company. They do business with the people who work for the company. Everyone seems to have a story about their favorite Ace Hardware store.

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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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Take a Day Off: Read a Book!

By Sally Haldorson, published August 13, 2013, at 12:37 AM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

It is nearing the end of summer, at least in these parts, but there is still time to whittle down that long "to-read-on-vacation" list that you might have created in May, imaging long hot days laying in the sun, book in hand. If you are like me, summer is never quite the vast wasteland of time during which I can read to my heart's content that I always hope it will be. Instead, it is usually a time of rushing around the city from event to event, doing home and yard work, taking my child to a park/pool/playdate, and generally feeling like the summer is going by way too fast.


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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Time for Design

By Sally Haldorson, published July 24, 2013, at 7:44 PM – Filed under: Narrative & Biography

I've had a copy of Lee Devin and Robert D. Austin's book, The Soul of Design: Harnessing the Power of Plot to Create Extraordinary Products, on my desk since September. On it was a little sticky note that read, "blog," as a reminder to myself that I wanted to take a longer look when time allowed.

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True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business

By Sally Haldorson, published July 17, 2013, at 7:40 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

"Metastory is a story that is told through action. It is not a story that you say, it's a story that you do. Every individual has one.


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.


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.


Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce

By Sally Haldorson, published April 26, 2013, at 3:04 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Kudos to the author and publisher for coming up with such an intriguing title. It's impossible not to wonder just who this "hidden workforce" is, and surprisingly, organizational development expert Dani Monroe reveals that an untapped source of talent is right under our noses: our current underutilized employees. Over the course of my career, I saw hundreds of extremely intelligent, well-credentialed men and women with master's degrees in business, degrees in engineering, math, technology, and liberal arts.


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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How to Be Interesting

By 800-CEO-READ, published April 5, 2013, at 4:59 PM – Filed under: Personal Development & Human Behavior

This week, Dylan and I went to go see Jessica Hagy speak at the wonderful Lynden Sculpture Garden. Hagy, an ex-advertising copywriter who now creates doodles and charts with keen observations on people and the situations they find themselves in, presented a summary of her "10 Simple Steps" from her new book How to Be Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps). After enjoying her previous book Indexed, which consisted solely of pages of charts and minimal commentary, I was curious what her presentation might consist of.