You may remember Jon Gordon as bestselling author of The Energy Bus, which offers a roadmap for overcoming adversity and bringing out the best in yourself and your team.

In Jon’s newest business fable, Soup, he uses a soup metaphor to share his recipe for nourishing team members and boosting morale, engagement and productivity.

The story of Soup follows Nancy, the fictional character who has been recently anointed CEO of Soup, Inc. Nancy has been brought in to invigorate the brand and bring success back to a company that has lost its flavor and profit due to hard times. While having lunch at a local soup joint, Nancy meets the owner and discovers the key ingredients to unite, engage and inspire her team to create a culture of greatness.

The story makes a correlation between the ingredients of soup and the business culture we create. Soup is a reflection of the soup maker; a team culture is the reflection of the leader. Mixing love, optimism, trust, vision, communication, authenticity, appreciation and passion into the relationships you create will determine the substance and quality of your soup.

While the story is set in a traditional business environment, the principles and values it promotes apply just as well to a network marketing organization or any other kind of home-based business. Here are some of its key concepts:

It’s no coincidence that the main character of this story is female, because its deeper message is about integrating feminine values into business. Instead of focusing only on the bottom line, it pays to focus on the people who create the bottom line. Network marketers already know this, hence our focus on people skills.

Soup reminds us that a big part of our leadership responsibility is to help others unleash their gifts and passions. Sometimes these gifts appear to be hidden, but with a little heat and care they bubble up to the surface.

Soup will help you understand how to nurture the greatness in others so that you can become great as a team.

Hardcover, 164 pages, $22.95;
Wiley, 2010