Sage Book Club: 7 books to help your business thrive
Great leadership is behind every successful business.
And at Sage, making sure you succeed in business is what we do.
So for this month’s book club, we have something very special.
We sat down with Sage business expert Jenny Garrett to explore her hand-picked favorite business titles.
An award-winning career coach, author and leadership trainer, Jenny received an OBE as part of the 2021 Queen’s New Year Honors for her services to entrepreneurship and businesswomen.
She received the highest Honorary Companion Award from the Institute of Leadership and Management.
With her team, she uses over 15 years of coaching and leadership experience to support women and help leaders of diverse ethnicities grow in the workplace.
Discover Jenny’s selection:
1. Profit First: Turn Your Business From A Money-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
You may be used to the formula of Sales – Expenses = Profit. It’s taught in all business schools because it makes sense.
The problem is that companies are run by humans.
And humans aren’t always logical.
Mike Michalowicz is a serial entrepreneur who found that the formula worked best when reversed: Sales – Profit =Expenses.
Putting profit first means you only allocate what is left over for expenses.
Applying this simple rule, as described in this book, has been described as life changing, even among those who have spent their entire lives in business.
Unprofitable businesses have become cash cows.
Mike’s sense of humor and approachability help make this drug a staple in what is becoming an essential business bible.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
As a coach, I consider personal effectiveness to be an integral part of business success.
Stephen R Covey’s first book, published in 1989, is a classic in this regard. It’s the one I come back to time and time again, as do millions of others.
He uses a principles-based approach to solving personal and professional problems.
Filled with insights and anecdotes, Covey describes how to live the best in life – to move through the world with fairness, integrity, honesty and dignity.
With these principles on your side, you are equipped to adapt to change and gain the wisdom to take advantage of the opportunities created by change.
3. Scaling: How Some Companies Succeed…and Why Others Don’t by Verne Harnish
People often get stuck when it’s time to take their business to the next level.
Verne Harnish’s book really helped me understand what I needed to put in place to do this for my own business.
Scaling focuses on the four main decision areas that every business needs to get right: people, strategy, execution, and cash.
The book includes a series of simple guides, including the one-page strategic plan and the Rockefeller habit checklist.
The publishers claim that more than 40,000 companies worldwide have used these tools to successfully scale their business.
4. Strategy training: the 10 proven steps that will develop your strategic thinking skills band Bernard Ross and Clare Segal
One of the best business tips I ever received was to work on my business, not in my business.
Strategic thinking is key to making that happen and that’s what this amazing book is all about.
If nothing else, I really appreciate how practical this book is. It is clear, simple, very easy to follow and very effective. As its title suggests, its goal is to move your mind into an area where thinking strategically about your business comes naturally.
You will learn to plan, but also to manage failures and integrate this into your organization.
One of the book’s highlights is its 10-step improvement plan that will show you how you can quickly improve your skills.
5. 7 Traits of Highly Successful Women on Boards: Views from Above and How to Get There Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE
I don’t need to tell you that for a businesswoman, professional success faces many challenges.
Called “the bible of the woman on the board”, Yvonne Thompson’s excellent book offers a way forward with insights from the hearts and minds of 22 women who broke the glass ceiling to take their place on boards across the UK.
Yvonne’s own moving story is included, and she describes her 15 years as the only woman in a corporate boardroom.
Where do these women get their inspiration from? How do they manage to balance work and private life? Yvonne’s book shows how diversity is not just the right thing to do, but shows how it always makes companies stronger.
6. The Business Survival Kit: Your No-BS Guide to Success by Bianca Miller Cole & Byron Cole
In any business, there will inevitably be ups and downs.
Written by serial entrepreneurs and spouses Bianca Miller and Byron Cole, this book helps you answer the deepest question of starting a business: can you handle what will likely be your life’s ride?
The book helps you navigate issues such as stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. With expert commentary and candid advice, he explains how to boost your confidence and combat the inevitable impostor syndrome.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital, of course, as is building strong networks and interpersonal relationships. It’s all included, plus tips on how to stay motivated when things don’t seem to be going well.
7. Rocking Your Role: The Practical Guide to Success for Female Breadwinners by Jenny Garrett OBE
One-fifth of women in business today are the main income earner compared to their partner. It’s something to celebrate.
Still, it’s a profound shift from just a decade or two ago.
My book seeks to help women deal with the social and internal pressures they may experience as a result of this and maintain their well-being in the process. I explore relationships and careers by seeking lessons from women in business and presenting transformational exercises that readers can engage in.
My goal is to help women stand up and be proud of themselves. You have support. You shouldn’t feel isolated.