April 26, 2005

Book Short: Are You Topgraded?

Book Short:  Are You Topgraded? I read a decent volume of business books (some of my favorites and more recent ones are listed in the left hand column of the blog).  I have two main pet peeves with business books as a rule:  the first is is that most business books have one central idea and a few good case examples and take way too many pages to get where they’re going; the other is that far too many of them are geared towards middle and upper management of 5,000+ person companies and are either not applicable or need to be adapted for startups. Anyway, I thought I’d occasionally post quick synopses of some good ones I’ve read recently.  Topgrading, by Brad Smart was so good that this post will be longer than most.  It’s a must read for anyone who’s doing a lot of hiring (fellow entrepreneur blogger Terry Gold is a fan, as well). The book is all about how to build an organization of A players and only A players, and it presents a great interviewing methodology.  It’s very long for a business book, but also very valuable.  Buy a copy for anyone in your company who’s […]

March 26, 2005

Playing To Win

Playing To Win This weekend’s reading included Hardball, by George Stalk and Rob Lachenauer, which started as an article in Harvard Business Review sometime last year.  The book is a fleshed out version of the article, so don’t expect meaningful new revelations if you’ve already read it, but it is an incredibly valuable read, with lots more and more detailed case studies. As with most business books, it’s not really geared towards small, entrepreneurial companies, but that doesn’t matter.  Most of the principles of competition — and how to win — are timeless.  The basic principles, each of which gets […]