Ted Ings’ Inspiring Holiday Reading List

Harry Truman once said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

If you truly want to be a leader in your field, whatever that may be, it is essential to read.

Whether you’re a dealership General Manager, Sales Manager, Salesperson, Service Manager or Service Advisor, reading should be part of your everyday routine. It shouldn’t be something you think about or do as a chore, it should be a habit that you can’t live without.

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On a basic level, reading provides us with information but it actually does far more than that. It opens up a whole new world of ideas and possibilities for us to explore. Reading exposes us to other people’s lives and allows us to learn from their experiences.

A book written by a successful businessperson is an invitation into their world and it allows you to benefit from their hard earned knowledge.

So if you are ready to learn from the best, then here are my five best reads for the holidays.

Hot Ticket

First up we have a new bestseller that is a must for everyone involved in sales or the service industry. If you only read one book during the holidays (but I highly recommended you read more), it should be this one:

1. The Convenience Revolution by Shep Hyken

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“The greatest technology in the world hasn’t replaced the ultimate relationship tool between a customer and a business; the human touch.” Shep Hyken

We have become a society that craves instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now! We also want it to be convenient. If it takes too long or is too inconvenient, we don’t want it anymore.

But fortunately for the retail industry, people are willing to reward convenience with money and loyalty.

In his new book, The Convenience Revolution, Shep Hyken shows you exactly how to leverage the customer’s need for convenience, and turn it to your advantage.

His premises are simple, if you consistently provide a convenient experience for your customers, they will reward your efforts with their money, their loyalty, and their referrals. He lays out six compelling strategies, with supporting examples and case studies, which will help you focuses on customer convenience.

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Learn from the Classics

New is great. New is exciting, and it’s always good to learn something new, from someone new. But don’t become so focused on reading new books that you forget about the classics. They are, after all, classics for a good reason, and millions of successful businessmen worldwide credit these books with having a profound impact on their lives.

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The next four books have sold millions of copies over the years. If you haven’t read any of them yet, then do yourself a favor and get started. If you’ve read them already, then good for you. If it was a while ago, then dust off that old copy and refresh your memory, or buy a copy for a friend or staff member who you think can benefit from it.

2. Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions by John Kotter

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

The best books are able to stand the test of time and offer advice that is still relevant long after they have been written. In the decade since it was published, Our Iceberg Is Melting, has changed millions of lives. The advice offered in this book can help you overcome obstacles and thrive in difficult times.

Our Iceberg Is Melting, is a simple story about a group of emperor penguins living on an iceberg. Kotter uses the tale to introduce eight steps that can produce the changes needed in any organization to keep things moving forward - even when people are resistant to change. Kotter and his penguins offer an inspiring model for anyone who is struggling to adapt to new circumstances.

The revised and updated tenth-anniversary edition, published in 2016, has preserved the timeless story but it now offers new illustrations, a revised afterword, and a Q&A with the author. You will be both enlightened and delighted by this classic fable.

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3. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Our world has changed dramatically since this book was first published decades ago, but the principles it lays out are timeless. The One Minute Manager has sold over 13 million copies and has helped countless people achieve greater success in their personal and professional lives.

In this book, that is little more than 100 pages, Blanchard and Johnson describe the three, one-minute secrets of successful leadership:

• One minute goals

• One minute praising

• One minute reprimands

These three 60 second tools, when applied correctly, can vastly improve your management style. The first is to set three goals for your employees that they can review daily in one minute or less. Secondly, when an employee does good work, take a minute to praise them and give positive feedback. And finally, a one minute reprimand is all you need to express your dissatisfaction with someone. These three simple tools can help you keep your employees motivated and striving for success. This book is definitely worth the hour or so that it will take to read.

The New One Minute Manager
By Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson M.D.

4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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“Read 500 pages…every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” Warren Buffett

All successful leaders know how to influence people and most have probably read, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. The rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has enabled countless people to climb the ladder of success in both their business and personal lives. Carnegie was an extremely successful salesman for years and he also taught public speaking. Even Warren Buffet took Carnegie’s course when he was starting out. Fortunately for all of us, Carnegie shared his knowledge with the world in his inspiring bestseller, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

From Carnegie, you will learn:

• Six ways to make people like you

• Twelve ways to win people over to your way of thinking

• Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

5. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

George S. Clason was a soldier, businessman, and writer. Originally published in 1926, The Richest Man in Babylon is his most popular book and it is still a good read today because the advice it contains is as relevant now as it was almost a century ago. According to Clason, the Babylonians discovered many of the basic principles behind wealth, such as;

• Saving a small part of your income each month

• Investing wisely

• Learning how to lend money instead of borrowing it

• How to protect your wealth.

In his book, Clason uses numerous parables, metaphors, and stories, set in ancient Babylon, to illustrate how you too can apply these lessons to your life and achieve wealth.

The Richest Man in Babylon
By George S. Clason

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These are not only five great reads, but they are also thoughtful Christmas presents for your family or gifts for your staff.

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Including your Salespeople and Service Advisors will help them prepare to face the new year with a positive attitude.