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“All I have learned, I have learned from books.” — Abraham Lincoln, former U.S. President

Learning is a process that continues far beyond standardized education. Here at NOLN, we believe in enhancing our lives and ourselves by soaking up as much information as possible. The best way to gain information is by reading. In honor of our reading philosophy, we have compiled a list of books that might be beneficial to you, your life, your business and/or your employees. Much of the information gathered for this list came from Amazon.

Book: “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business”

Author: Gino Wickman

“Traction” is a book for entrepreneurs and business leaders who might be struggling with personnel conflict, profit woes or inadequate growth and who want to learn how to turn it all around.

In “Traction,” Wickman introduces the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and then dissects the six key components to the EOS to the following: vision, people, data, issues, process and traction.

Each component gets its own chapter for a more in-depth review, followed by the final two chapters on how to pull all of this information together and get started.

One Amazon reviewer, Ryan Roberts, stated, “[Traction is] an amazing read for any small business owner or individual involved in running [a] small business.”

Book: “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results”

Authors: Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Life is demanding. We have demands from our work and from our family and friends. It’s hard to prioritize everything and feel fulfilled when we assume we have to make everything a priority.

In “The ONE Thing,” Keller and Papasan “present the lies that block your success and how to identify (and thwart) the thieves that steal your time and your life.”

The six beliefs the authors say are lies are:

1.)   Everything Matters Equally

2.)   Multitasking is Good

3.)   Success Requires a Disciplined Life

4.)   Willpower is Always on Will-Call

5.)   A Balanced Life is Required

6.)   Big is Bad

Amazon reviewer S.J. Swanepoel noted, “Being successful, according to the authors, requires less discipline than you think. It’s about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right.”

Book: “Improve Your Time Management: A Teach Yourself Guide”

Author: Polly Bird

Time management is always something people strive to improve in life. A healthy work/life balance is key.

This book “helps you discover what you do that wastes time and tells you how to eliminate those time drainers. It explains how to plan your life better so you deal with important activities and tasks at the most appropriate times.”

Topics mentioned in the book are varied. They include: choosing your personal priorities, conquer procrastination, learn to say no, time management training and more.

Isabella Roland, who left a review on Amazon, said, “This is a neat little guide for those struggling with finding the time to balance everything in life…This book is an excellent resource for both professionals and every day Joes to make the best use of their time.”

Book: “Self-esteem in the Workplace: The Key to Positive Employee Relations”

Author: Joseph L. Richardson

Contributor: Joan L. Richardson M.A.

If you’re an owner or manager, then you know how important it is for your employees to have a strong sense of self-esteem to help them thrive at work. This book will allow you to recognize self-esteem-lowering practices and why you might be experiencing a high turnover rate.

In “Self-esteem in the Workplace,” the book “leads the manager/supervisor through the meaning of self-esteem and how it is formed and evaluating his or her own self-esteem. It then [takes] the reader through every day activities of the manager/supervisor and how to handle these activities in ways that will build better self-esteem in their employees.”

Amazon reviewer Tiffany L. Davis said, “Richardson gives tons of information on making it work between managers/employees/co-workers, as well as tidbits on using the tactics at home between family members. Richardson puts into perspective how to positively use corrective tactics, while still building up employees’ self-esteem.”

Book: “There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors for Sustaining a Business Long Term”

Authors: Tom Rafflo, Barbara McLaughlin and Dave Cowens

At your shop, every single person who works there is a part of your team. Think of your team as positions in basketball. The manager is the point guard, the hood tech is the center and the greeter is the post. Every position works together to make your quick lube successful.

“There Are No Do-Overs” offers management insight on “how to create a winning team at the office by reviewing lessons from the basketball court. Think of it as a full-court press that shows business leaders how to bring their A game — from tip-off to working overtime — and what it takes to win.”

Amazon reviewer Nick in NH commented, “The book has numerous actionable takeaways that a reader could implement immediately — such as ideas for encouraging internal and external feedback — that empowers individuals, as well as companies, to deliver exceptional customer service. [Rafflo] and the other authors do an excellent job tying his philosophy to real-life examples in business.”

Book: “Sweet Spot Leadership”

Author: Scott Simons

There is a lot of competition in the quick lube industry. Standing out from the crowd can help you increase profitability and gain momentum.

“Sweet Spot Leadership,” will help you “stop being the best-kept secret in your industry, niche or region and reveal your products, services and value as the ‘secret sauce’ that is essential to your prospects’ and customers’ success. No matter what industry you are in, and no matter how long you have been in business, there is more value that you can deliver for your clients, customers, prospects, employees, vendors, partners, suppliers, franchisees and yourself than you think.”

The book contains interactive exercises and tools to help you along the road to success.

Amazon reviewer Jeff Davidson said, “Scott Simons shares much in this fast-paced book, including great case studies of well-known companies whose histories are often not well-known.”

Book: “The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential”

Author: John C. Maxwell

Effective leadership is essential in any business. However, having a title such as manager doesn’t automatically make you a leader. There is a process to it.

In “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” Maxwell “explains how true leadership works and makes it accessible to everyone. Leadership does not come from your title. In fact, being named to a position is only the first and lowest of the five levels every effective leader achieves.”

While reading the book, Maxwell gives an in-depth explanation of the five levels:

1.)      Position — People follow because they have to.

2.)      Permission — People follow because they want to.

3.)      Production — People follow because of what you have done for the organization.

4.)      People Development — People follow because of what you have done for them personally.

5.)      Pinnacle — People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

One Amazon reviewer, Corinne Derenburger, said, “I’ve technically been in a leadership role with various organizations for [more than] 20 years. I’ve read countless books on leadership. This one ties everything together into one neat book. I’ve given ‘5 Levels’ out as gifts to our board of directors, colleagues and community leaders.”

Reading is a tool you can use to enhance your life and career. If you decide to read one of the books listed, share your thoughts with us on Twitter @oillubenews.

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