Read to Succeed with Ted Ings’ Fall Reading List

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Ted Ings

Executive Director, CPI


By Ted Ings, Customer Experience Expert #CX

You have to read to succeed.

There are no if’s but’s or maybe’s about it. Reading is one of the key components to succeeding, and what better time to flex your brain muscles than during the long cold months ahead.

“The most successful CEOs are reported to read an average of 60 books and attend more than six conferences per year— whereas the average American worker reads an average of less than one book and makes 319 times less income.”- Grant Cardone

So there you have it in a nutshell.

All successful CEO’s read. And what better way to learn about greatness and how to achieve it, than from those who are there already. But if you want to learn from the best, you need to immerse yourself in their world and their words.

Regardless of whether you’re a dealership General Manager, Sales Manager, Salesperson, Service Manager or Service Advisor, you need to be reading and more importantly, you need to be reading the right books. This will not only enrich your life, it will also help you achieve business success.

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I’ve put together a list of the five books that all leaders in the auto dealership industry should be reading this fall.

1. “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven

"Should be read by every leader in America...a book to inspire your children and grandchildren to become everything that they can." --Wall Street Journal

In this book, based on his speech to the graduating class of the University of Texas in 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven, shares the ten most valuable lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training.

At first glance, these lessons may seem simple, but often the key to success is getting the basics right.

The ten simple lessons that Admiral McRaven elaborates on his book are:

1. Start your day with a task completed

2. You can’t go at it alone

3. Only the size of your heart matters

4. Life’s not fair—drive on!

5. Failure can make you stronger

6. You must dare greatly

7. Stand up to the bullies

8. Rise to the occasion

9. Give people hope

10. Never, ever quit!

2. “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio

As the title suggests, Ray Dalio’sbook discusses the importance of principles in achieving success.

According to Dalio, it is not his unique traits that have made him one of the most successful investors and entrepreneurs in the world, but rather the principles he followed.

He uses his own life and history to illustrate his point, and shares the principles that he developed, refined and applied to get results, both in life and business.

He believes that anyone applying these principles can be successful.

Dalio discusses how you need to choose your own authentic principles, which reflect your character and values, and then live by them.

This is a great book, and I highly recommend it!

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3. “Let Your Mind Run” by Deena Kastor

At first glance, one might think that this is just a book for runners, but it’s a book for everyone with goals that they seriously want to achieve.

Deena Kastor’s memoir is about running, and it does take you through the highs and lows of her athletic career, but it is so much more than that.

This is an uplifting read that shows how you can harness the power of positive psychology to achieve success.

On the verge of burnout, Deena Kastor changed her thinking and shaped her mind to be more encouraging and resilient.

This change of mindset helped propel her to the pinnacle of her sport. By applying the same positive psychology anyone can achieve success in their chosen field.

It’s a must read!

4. “Good to Great” by Jim Collins

“Bad BHAGs, it turns out, are set with bravado; good BHAGs are set with understanding.

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Indeed, when you combine a quiet understanding of the three circles with the audacity of a BHAG, you get a powerful, almost magical mix.” (BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal, for the uninitiated) – “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James Collins and Jerry Porras

This is primarily a book about what makes a business great, but its concepts can also be applied to making your life great. It is a must-read classic for anyone who is serious about taking the step from good to great. This book might not be new on the shelves but it is still relevant. It looks at how good, and even bad or mediocre companies, can make the leap to great - if they apply the right strategies.

Jim Collins’ findings include:

• Level 5 Leaders: Discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.

• The Hedgehog Concept: (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.

• A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results.

• Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.

• The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

Whether you’re a dealership General Manager, Sales Manager, Salesperson, Service Manager or Service Advisor, you need to be continually striving, not just to be better but to be great.

5. “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell

“The Key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter. “ – Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a perpetual favorite of mine and this is another classic.

The Tipping Point was Gladwell’s debut novel but it is still relevant today. If you haven’t read it already, then it should be on the top of your reading pile, and if you read it when it was first published, then it’s probably time to revisit it. This book explains how ideas spread as elements come together to reach a crucial point from which there is no return, i.e. the tipping point. Once an idea or concept reaches that point it goes viral and there is no stopping it.


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Reading feeds the mind and enriches the soul, so unplug from technology and open a book. I have carefully chosen these books to inspire and motivate you and set you on a road to greatness.