Everyone knows, leaders are readers and learners are earners. Out of the thousands of books being published every month, how do you decide which ones to read? At Networking University we ask our faculty for their recommendations and present them in this column. Here are some resources that will help you grow as a leader, build your success, and keep you entertained in the process.

And while we're being taught, why not also be moved and entertained? Do you have a must-see or must-hear recommendation? Simply email dormouse@networkingtimes.com.

PAPERBACK/E-BOOK

Best, Worst, First
75 Network Marketing Experts on Everything You Need to Know to Build the Business of Your Dreams

By Margie Aliprandi and Martha I. Finney (2013)
Reviewed by Kody Bateman

I recently went to a beautiful 12,000-square-foot home owned by one of the wealthiest network marketers in the history of our profession. I had the opportunity to meet with this gentleman and ask him questions about his success.

I left that meeting full of excitement, knowing that I had gained more than just information. I had been given a memorable action plan that would generate massive success to anyone willing to implement it.

I thought at the time that it would be cool if everyone in network marketing could have a meeting like that. Well, now they can.

Network marketing superstar Margie Aliprandi teamed up with veteran business journalist and bestselling author Martha Finney to extract strategies from Aliprandi’s broad network of the professions most sought-after success experts.

The results of their efforts deliver not just one meeting like the one I had, but seventy-five meetings. That’s how good this book is. Margie and Martha did an amazing job asking the right questions to the right people. What I like most is they interviewed highly successful network marketers from different eras, including people who built their businesses many years ago and those who built from the ground up in our current social media world.

What this book delivers is time-tested fundamentals that have been around for fifty-plus years and new processes that rely on current technology. This is advice from a widespread diverse group of people. Each interview is a quick read with memorable tips you can focus on every day.

The primary questions asked in these interviews are simple and brilliant.

  • What is the best thing you can do to build your business?
  • What is the worst thing you can do to build your business?
  • What is the first thing you should do to build your business?

The answers to these questions from seventy-five high-end money makers delivers the most effective compilation of advice I have seen in my twenty-one years in this profession.

If you want to make lots of money in this business and help others do the same, I highly recommend you study this book, share it with others, and even hold study groups about its content. If you do, you will create a buzz or excitement among your teams that will take your business to the next level.

HARDCOVER/E-BOOK

Marketing to Millennials
Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever

By Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton (2013)
Recommended by Dr. Charles King

Generation Y or the Millennials—born between 1977 and 1995—are the largest generation in American history. With more than 80 million in their ranks, they outnumber Generation X by far, and even the Baby Boomers by one million. Their direct buying power is estimated at $200 billion, and their indirect buying influence is at least double of that. Now their oldest members are entering their peak earning and spending years.

“It’s time for anyone seeking to make inroads into this huge market to move beyond setting up a Twitter profile and start understanding how they think,” say marketing expert Jeff Fromm and successful millennial entrepreneur Christie Garton.

“Millennials demand authenticity and transparency. They aren’t shy about sharing their opinions. They’re quick to spot a faker and believe in cause marketing. They are highly influential, have an expansive network of contacts, and they expect to actively participate in the creation and development of new products.”

Based on groundbreaking proprietary research and one-on-one interviews with top brand executives and Millennials, Marketing to Millennials identifies specific behaviors and attitudes common to this revolutionary group of consumers. It will show you how to:

  • Build a listening and participation strategy that will help you connect with your brand advocates.
  • Engage these early adopters of new technologies and social tools.
  • Incorporate a sense of adventure and fun into your brand experience.
  • Help make them look good among their peers.
  • Retain their loyalty by giving them no reason to cheat on you.

From start-ups to Goliaths, this book takes an in-depth and fascinating look at the companies and brands that are getting it right when it comes to engaging the Millennial consumer. Featuring examples and case studies of organizations including Ford, Sephora, Android, Victoria’s Secret, PepsiCo/Frito Lay, Facebook, DoSomething.org, TOMS Shoes, and more, the book reveals “The New Rules” of marketing to Gen Y.

You’ll discover the differences between younger and older Millennials, those between Millennial men and women, and six distinct segments of this important demographic, demographic:  Hip-ennial, Clean and Green, Old School, Millennial Mom, Gadget Guru,  and AntiI-Millennials.

The authors conclude, “No brand can afford to ignore Millennials. But it’s hard—if not impossible—to market successfully to a generation you don’t understand.”

A must read for every network marketer building for the future! You will find paint-by-the-numbers marketing strategies for reaching this influential generation today and over the coming decades.
—Dr. Charles King

HARDCOVER/E-BOOK

Adversaries into Allies
Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion

By Bob Burg (2013)
Recommended by Randy Gage

Coauthor of the bestselling book The Go-Giver, Bob Burg helped revolutionize the way we think about success via one very simple lesson: “Shifting one’s focus from getting to giving (constantly and consistently providing value to others) is both very fulfilling and the most profitable way to do business.”

Now Burg is back with a new book, offering deeper insight into what it means to be truly influential and providing powerful strategies for mastering the art of winning people over.

Faced with the task of persuading someone to do what we want, most of us expect, and often encounter, resistance. We see the other person as an adversary and often resort to coercion or manipulation in order to get our way. While this approach might at times bring us short-term results, it leaves people with a bad feeling about themselves and about us. At that point, our relationship with the person is weakened and our influence dramatically decreased.

There is a better way.

Drawing on his own experiences and the stories of other influential people, Burg offers five simple principles to win people to your side in a way that leaves everyone feeling great about the outcome... and about themselves:

  1. Control your own emotions: Responding calmly rather than allowing your emotions to get the better of you will ensure not putting others on the defensive but rather help them remain open to your ideas.
  2. Understand the clash of belief sytems: Every individual operates based on an unconscious set of beliefs, experiences, and ideas, which are most likely very different from yours. Understand this and you can avoid confusion and numerous misunderstandings that get in the way of most people’s ability to influence.
  3. Acknowledge their ego: People want to feel good about themselves; if you make someone genuinely feel good, you’re one step closer to making an ally.
  4. Set the proper frame: People react and respond to other people. Approach potential conflicts from a position of benevolence, resolution, and helpfulness and they will follow suit.
  5. Communicate with tact and empathy: While the first four principles are vital, this is what brings it all home. Saying the right thing at the right time makes all the difference in terms of moving people to your side of the issue and taking the appropriate action that benefits all concerned.

In the tradition of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and Robert Cialdini’s Influence, Burg offers a tried-and-true framework for building alliances in business, at home, and anywhere else you seek to win people over.

Bob Burg in an ultimate influencer. If you want to be one,
get this book. Required reading for everyone in sales, management,
and leadership positions—and anyone who wants to influence others
in a positive, effective way.

—Randy Gage