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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 14, 2015 • Issue 15:12:01

Three books to strengthen leaders

This installment of GS Book Notes explores territory likely to be of interest to payment pros seeking to strengthen their leadership skills. In the featured books, one author explains why a clearly defined "why" for your enterprise's endeavors informs everything that follows; another details the importance of building all endeavors from a four-cornered foundation, not just physical structures; and the third author imparts wisdom and instructions to transform presentations, taking them from yawn-inducing affairs to lively, interactive events.

Start with Why

A quote from Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, has been making the social media rounds since he gave a TED talk encouraging executives to zero in on what makes people buy into a company. He said, "If you hire people because they can do a job, they'll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears."

In Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, available in print, electronic and audio formats, Sinek aims to inspire leaders seeking to create long-term vision and guiding principles for their pursuits. He believes the rationale for a company's existence, the "why," enables some people and organizations to command more loyalty and become more innovative, influential and profitable than others.

For ISOs and merchant level salespeople facing shrinking margins, increased competition and new disruptors, this book could help provide an edge. While your product offering may not be unique, if you are passionate about your singular purpose and can communicate that to merchants, no competitor will be able to replicate the confidence they will feel when doing business with you, according to Sinek. For guidance, he offers concepts devised to show executives how to inspire rather than manipulate customers and employees to act.

Rich Habits Rich Life

In Rich Habits Rich Life: The Power of 'Me We Do Be' Habits, Rituals and Routines, released in December 2015, author Randall Bell Ph.D. wrote, "My objective was to find a model that kids could understand, but that a CEO would take seriously." After considerable research among professionals, students, stay-at-home moms, retirees, the unemployed and multimillionaires, he concluded that much like great structures, great pursuits all have four cornerstones.

Bell conceived of the four cornerstones of great pursuits as the following habits:

  • Me habits build quality thinking and wisdom, mental illumination
  • We habits build relationships
  • Do habits build productivity, elevate our health, finances, living space
  • Be habits build the future and include setting goals, managing our time and building our legacy

He defines a cornerstone habit as "a new, single habit that will grow to crowd out the bad." Cornerstone habits also have a ripple effect: when one such habit is mastered, it leads to subsequent similar habits. He said the purpose of developing these cornerstone habits is to become a person of value who has a foundation of core principles and virtues, enjoys a wealth of social connections, looks after his or her health and finances, and contributes to the greater good.

"Our tiny actions, good or bad, add up and make us who we are," Bell said. His book's 21 short chapters and 100 distinct lessons are designed to get you started.

Presentation Zen

If you've attended industry tradeshows, you've probably experienced some sessions that were difficult to sit through because the presenters read from one text-packed Power Point slide after another. In Presentation Zen, originally published in 2008 and updated in 2011, Garr Reynolds explains how you can employ simplicity and storytelling to create more effective presentations that will be appreciated, remembered and acted upon.

Presentation Zen offers an approach, not a step-by-step method. The goal is to deliver unique presentations geared for specific audiences so you can interact authentically rather than drone on like a tape recording. The book's message is bigger than creating cleaner, more sophisticated design. The aim is for your slides not to be the meat of your presentations, but to be used as supporting tools so you can have meaningful interactions with your audience. He offers tools for preparation, design and delivery that help you do just that. end of article

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