At 4xi, we believe in the constant quest for knowledge and learning, the importance of understanding the perspectives of others and learning from those perspectives.
The 4xi Thought Leadership Book Series continues with the fourth in the series, and 4xi's Katrina Miner, Strategic Marketing and Customer Excellence expert shares her favorite books and explains why they are important.
"My Great-Grandmother taught me how to read when I was four, after that no book in the house was safe!"
I was fortunate in having a multi-generational upbringing and had the benefit of my Great-Grandmother's wisdom, not only in years but in the fact she had been a teacher prior to her marriage. She saw many things over the course of her lifetime, from transportation by horse and buggy, to the advent of the Space Shuttle. She was born in 1897 and attended college, or as she referred to it "The Normal School for Teachers" which is where my alma mater, SUNY Cortland, now stands.
She was an original woman in many ways but by far the most significant was in the way that she valued her own learning and ultimately her career. She didn't marry until she was in her thirties, and only had one child, my Grandmother. She was truly the first career woman I met in my life.
She taught me that reading was a gateway to success, both personally and professionally. That every book, essay, or poem had something in it that I needed to know. I just can't help but wonder what she would think about social media, blogging, and the immediacy of content today. A letter could take weeks to arrive when she was my age, the patience to wait through the time period of "not knowing" particular information or news would have been for me, the hardest part.
Here are my selections, in memory of my Great-Grandmother, as they apply to career growth and development, for the 4xi Thought Leadership Book Series. I hope you enjoy them, find value in reading them, and that you definitely share them with others.
The Ten Demandments presents an informed and interactive road map that takes readers directly to the hearts, minds, desires, and demands of the new customer, whether it is the end consumer or a business-to-business relationship. Customer experience guru Kelly Mooney scrutinizes the total customer experience with strategic insights, anecdotes, and action plans.
This book is a must-read for new Marketing folks. It's also great for those of us who have been in the industry for some time. When I first read it I was mid-career and it taught me about the customer journey and the guest's perspective.
The self-evaluation in each "demandment" lays out a relatable way to assess where you are with your guests and it was definitely instrumental in coining one of my go-to training lines;
"You never know what your guest sees if you always walk in to work through the back door."
Guerilla PR is a book I read many moons ago, but it is still today, one of the best references for low-cost PR and Marketing project management that I know. Mr. Levine brings to light the many ways of how to get things done, what the process is, who you will need to know and how to communicate to them along the way to be successful.
He has a witty and what we might term today as "grinding" take on public relations but most of all he reminds you to use your own wits and you too can "stan" in the PR and Marketing world.
Marketing to Gen Z dives into and explains all this and much more so that businesses may most effectively connect and converse with the generation that now comprises 40 percent of all consumers. The time to learn who they are and what they want is yesterday.
I love this book, it helps with learning about how to target a market and then what to do with them once you've targeted them. Each generation has its own comfort and pain points and learning how to address them so that your clients or guests are satisfied is invaluable for every marketer; no matter who you are marketing to, what the current slang is, or on what channel they are going to listen to you.
The Rare Find is for anyone who recruits talent. As a manager I know we all face the same basic challenge, whether we work for a big company, a new start-up, a Hollywood studio, a hospital, or the Green Berets. We all wonder how to tell the really outstanding prospects from the ones who look great on paper but then fail on the job. Or, equally important, how to spot the ones who don't look so good on paper but might still deliver extraordinary performance.
Over the past few decades, technology has made recruiting in all fields vastly more sophisticated. Gut instincts have yielded to benchmarks. If we want elaborate dossiers on candidates, we can gather facts (and video) by the gigabyte. And yet the results are just as spotty as they were in the age of the rotary phone.
George Anders sought out the world's savviest talent judges to see what they do differently from the rest of us. He reveals how the U.S. Army finds soldiers with the character to be in Special Forces without asking them to fire a single bullet. He takes us to an elite basketball tournament in South Carolina, where the best scouts watch the game in a radically different way from the casual fan. He talks to researchers who are reinventing the process of hiring Fortune 500 CEOs.
Drawing on the best advice of these and other talent masters, Anders reveals powerful ideas you can apply to your own hiring. This book is spectacular when you are sifting through the hundreds of candidates that were just part of the Great Resignation.
I had to add one newsletter to my list and that's The Hustle. It covers all manner of emerging tech and cultural conundrums and best of all, it provides a great deal of breaking news and new trends in the business world. It's quick and fun but most importantly it's informative and engaging.
If you see a topic that strikes a chord for your team or business, please let us know, 4xi Global Consulting can help. Don't forget to leave your book recommendation in the comments!
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