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Neil's Notes (key learnings from books he has read)

Neil Dempster will wow your audience!Neil takes his non-fiction reading very seriously, and believes that the best method to maximize comprehension and retention is to take notes while reading. Non-fiction books he reads typically result in 10-20 pages of hand-written notes. He uses these notes for a quick review, as an excellent way to generate ideas, and as research in his academic studies.


Although we are all aware that reading is an excellent method of 'staying on top of your game' the number of people who do is dismally small. The usual reason given? Time!


As a benefit to you, Neil has had his notes transcribed from some of the more influential books he has read that support the EffortQuest philosophy. While this does not replace reading the book yourself, it is an excellent source for the main points and key concepts in the book (and will be quick to read). Books marked with an '!' are his must read favorites.


Note: If you are interested in how to retain and get more out of your reading, here are some great pointers.


! If Aristotle ran General Motors: The new soul of business
  Author: Tom Morris
  This writer very effectively reminds the reader that many wise people in the past have successfully overcome similar challenges that organizations face today, and have left behind the knowledge and wisdom for organizations to use. He lists the four dimensions of human experience and describes how each plays a part in creating a better workplace—a workplace with higher levels of commitment and happiness. This author also discusses corporate goals and ethics, and the complex interaction between the two. He suggests that when values and ethics are aligned with mission and goals, employees feel better about what they do and performance improves. He then describes strategies organizations can take to implement values-based management practices.


Keeping Good People
  Author: Roger Herman
  This author defines 'good' people as those employees who are consistent in applying their education and experience to achieve results. He presents a hypothesis that employee retention is a function of how comfortable he/she is working in the organization. He suggests that employee loyalty will decrease in the future and that organizations will have to earn loyalty on a daily basis. He lists forty-five strategies organizations can embrace to increase employee productivity and retention. This writer also suggests that employees will only perform at higher levels when they perceive they have responsibility, authority, and accountability.


Beyond Winning
  Author: Keshavan Nair
  This is a wonderful book with many truisms on leadership and still relevant in today's technology based organization even though the book was written in 1990. Itís also short and very easy to read. I agree with the author when he recommends to use the book as a reflection tool whenever you're in the midst of change.


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  Author: Stephen Covey
  This timeless book is a guide to achieving peace of mind by seeking the roots of human behavior in character and by learning principles rather than just practices. The principles he has outlined improve every aspect of life and follow a logical progression from dependence through independence to interdependence.


! On Becoming A Leader
  Author: Warren Bennis
  This classic leadership guide identifies the key ingredients of leadership.†The book provides great insights about what makes people great leaders.


! How to Motivate People
  Author: Fran Tarkenton
  This author presents a case against the psychotherapist role that many managers assume when they try to figure out why an employee isn't performing. He asserts that since we can't see what is really going on in an employee's head, what a manager should focus on instead are the behaviors of the employee. The author also suggests that managers shouldn't concentrate solely on the non-performance aspect of the job, but instead use the power of reinforcement to acknowledge all the positive aspects of the job to influence future behavior. He believes that managers miss opportunities because they have become the 'policeman' within the organization ... always looking for infractions. The author also includes a five-point motivation system designed to bring out the best in employees by communicating expectations, providing feedback, and delivering the appropriate consequence.


Business Without Bosses
  Author: Charles Manz and Henry Sims
  The authors report that bosses do not realize the full potential of their employees because of management controls that are inherent to the role of boss. They suggest that team concepts unleash employee potential by using leadership approaches designed to develop employees who are self-managers. They list the reasons bosses and organizations resist team concepts, and outline the impact of that resistance. In addition, the writers look at traditional systems of measurement and evaluation, and suggest methods to effectively transition to systems consistent with a team-based work environment. They then describe research demonstrating increases in employee satisfaction and decreases in absenteeism and turnover when team concepts are successfully implemented.


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