Business Work

The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations
– Dan Ariely – 2016

We value work that has meaning, not just the financial reward for it.

Dismantling or discarding your work makes you feel bad even if you get paid for it. If your project is scrapped meaning you worked only to receive a paycheck, you may feel unsatisfied even if you were paid well. Many people gain as much satisfaction out of doing a great job, building a valuable product or making a difference as they do out of earning a high salary.

For example, self-assembly tasks such as adding eggs to cake mixes or building Ikea furniture can make us feel good about the products.

Business, Work, Psychology
Question: How would you feel if you were paid a little more than what you were previously paid but you knew in advance that your hard work would be discarded?

Built to Sell:
Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
– John Warrillow – 2012

Design your business so that you, the owner, are not needed.

If you can clearly define the processes in your company, the owner will no longer be the linchpin of the organization. If you want to sell your business, make sure to remove yourself as a required part of the equation or no one will buy your company unless you come with it. If you are unable to do that, you have a job, not a company you can sell.

Business, Work
Question: What processes can you define from your job and pass on to others?

Zero to One:
Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
– Peter Thiel – 2014

Trust improves business culture.

Co-workers must trust and respect each other in order to build a thriving organization. Taking trust into consideration when building your culture or organization is particularly important in small groups of people that are trying to build a new business or create new industries.

Business, Work
Question: How can I earn trust and respect from others?

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs:
Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success
– Carmine Gallo – 2016

To get people engaged in your ideas, business, or mission, provide inspiration beyond making money.

Steve Jobs believed in his vision and convinced others to as well. He was making money with Apple but his driving force was making great products that change lives by having a positive impact on how people communicate, create and consume content.

Business, Psychology, Work
Question: What mission motivates you?

Lean In:
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
– Sheryl Sandberg – 2013

Women are often treated differently than men unintentionally, which can still have a negative impact.

One story from the book discussed the idea of a male boss having drinks after work to talk business with a younger female employee. This could be viewed as scandalous for both parties but if it was a young male instead of a female, it would be fine. The same could be said for working late in a co-worker’s hotel room. This would be less of a problem if there was an equal number of male and female executives, but this is not the case for a variety of reasons.

Business, Work
Question: How can you become more aware of places where women are treated differently?

The Start-Up of You:
Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

– Reid Hoffman – 2012

Individuals should have a unique value proposition.

Treat yourself like a partner that your boss chooses to have a contract with. If you can develop your UVP, just like a business, you will be able to demonstrate more value to your employer or those that wish to work with you.

Business, Work
Question: What unique values do you want to develop?

I’m Feeling Lucky:
The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
– Douglas Edwards – 2011

As a company grows, the structure will change but the core values can stay in place.

It is important to establish your unshakable values as well as know what you are willing to change. You may value teamwork, creativity or customer service but implementing these values is much different for a six-person team than for a company with 6000 employees.

Business, Work
Question: What are your core values and what would you be willing to change?

Are You Indispensable?
– Seth Godin – 2010

Anything that involves following specific instructions will eventually be automated.

Try to be someone who does not use exact instructions to solve problems. To avoid your job being automated, become indispensable by focusing on creative thinking and problem solving instead of only following specific instructions.

Business, Economics, Work
Question: What can you do to make yourself indispensable at work?

Jony Ive:
The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
– Leander Kahney – 2013

Minimal workspaces help increase focus.

Clutter can be a distraction and move you away from focusing on your goal. Eliminate or hide clutter or other distractions so it is easier to focus on your main goal.

Business, Design, Minimalism, Work
Question: What can you eliminate in your workspace to help you stay focused?

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace:
Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People
– Gary Chapman, Paul White – 2011

People express and interpret appreciation in different ways.

Not everyone shows workplace appreciation in the same way. We often expect others to view the world in a similar way or care about the same things we do but this is seldom the case. Understanding what your boss, coworkers or employees care about and how they show or want to be shown appreciation will help make the workplace more enjoyable and productive.

Business, Psychology, Work
Question: How can you show appreciation in ways that others will understand?

Getting Green Done:
Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution
– Auden Schendler – 2009

People have different incentives for implementing sustainability into their business.

Marketing sustainability efforts to others in your organization can be difficult. Each of the stakeholders will have different ideas about what sustainability is, why it is or is not important and what they expect out of it. Make sure to take other people’s ideas and incentives into consideration when trying to encourage your organization to move in a more sustainable direction.

Business, Environment, Work
Question: What are some possible preconceived notions stakeholders in your organization have about sustainability?

The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
– Guy Kawasaki – 2011

Sharing a passion is a great way to bond with others.

One of the easiest ways to encourage others to like you is by demonstrating passion in an area they are interested in as well. This places you in the same tribe and will help them look at you in a positive light.

Business, Marketing, Work, Psychology
Question: How can you find similar interests with others?

The Wal-Mart Way:
The Inside Story of the Success of the World’s Largest Company
– Don Soderquist – 2005

Focus on communication within and between departments.

In larger organizations, it is important that you function within your team but you must remember to work on communication between departments as well.

Business, Work
Question: How can you improve communication with other departments?

Do It! Marketing:
77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
– David Newman – 2013

Positioning yourself as the go-to expert can pay off in certain industries.

Expensive equipment, legal terms, items with regulations, complex products or any industry that requires years of training relies on experts to help the rest of us make wise decisions when making related purchases. If you work in one of these industries, it would be beneficial to position yourself as the expert in order to attract people that are willing to pay more to get the job done right.

Customers might pay more for a specialized doctor, lawyer or architect but probably not much more for a pizza delivery guru.

Business, Marketing, Work
Question: How do you prove you are an expert?

The 80/20 Business:
BIG Results from SMALL Changes
– Todd Nuckols – 2014

Rank your work activities by how much they contribute to helping you achieve your goals.

As we all know, every action is not as equally important to the outcome you are after. If you make sure you are working on the most important projects, then you will have a better chance of successfully reaching any goal. To do this, write down the activities you do on a daily, weekly, or quarterly basis and rank them by effectiveness in achieving your mission. This way you will at least know what you should be spending more time on, even if it is not your ideal choice to work on at that moment.

Business, Work
Question: What activities do you do that provide little or no return value?

The New Science of Leading Change
 – Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler – 2007

Make sure you are clear about your goals and how you will measure them.

If you want others to follow your instructions or vision, make sure to give them a clear goal. You also want to have a clear understanding of how you will know if you’ve achieved your goal. Clarifying these will ensure a better outcome and help both of you clarify what outcome you want and how you will know when you’ve achieved it.

Business, Psychology, Work
Question: Which goal could be measured in a variety of ways?

Think Epic. Be Epic.
– Bill Jensen – 2013

Even if you do not own a company, it can be useful to think like an entrepreneur.

It can be useful to think of yourself as an entrepreneur who has a service to sell to your employer. If you become more and more valuable to your employer, they will not be able to function without your service. You must keep up on the types of skills that are important to your boss and your industry as well as understand what changes are coming in order to stay relevant. In a world of continual change and disruption, we must continue to stay on top of the evolving needs of your employer the same way a business owner must stay on top of the customer’s needs.

Business, Work
Question: How would business change if everyone had to prove themselves on a daily or weekly basis?

The E-Myth Revisited:
Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
– Michael E. Gerber – 2004

To enjoy running a business you must enjoy more than the specific industry your company is a part of.

It may not be a good idea to start a bakery just because you love to bake. You must also wake up every day at 4 a.m., take care of finances, business taxes, marketing, inventory and manage people. If making cakes and muffins every day is what you really love to do, owning the bakery may not be the right choice.

Business, Work
Question: What aspects of your job do you enjoy and how can you do more of that?