Monday, November 5, 2012

My Top Books for Business Networking 2012

networking2012Almost one year ago, I shared my top books of 2011 and it continues to be my most popular blog post, read and shared by thousands world-wide.

We’re heading into 2013, so it is high time to update this list! An important note, please click on book or title as I have written a separate post for many of the books. Enjoy, again please share!

Even I’m surprised to report that no one has knocked the #1 book off it’s workthepontperch! Work the Pond is still in the top of the Canadian business book list ten years after it was published. Why? It’s still the most readable, the most approachable to all ages, career types and the science of networking is something people really appreciate reading about. It continues to be the one book I personally feel anyone can pick up, get through and feel they have learned from. I have given away dozens of copies and personally own over 25 copies myself. They float in and out of my life on a monthly basis in my coaching and mentoring.

bizcards2Coming in at number two is a 2012 supersized republished edition of Business Cards to Business Relationships! I’m so glad that Allison Graham the author of this book chose to rework and republish this book. It focuses not just on connecting but “building a profitable network”. It’s the “must-read” for the business set and the ultimate gift for the b-school graduate or career minded peer in your life.

Making a NEW appearance on this list is the “LinkedIn Log”. I’ve been an lilogenthusiast of LinkedIn for quite some time now. But in 2013 it will no longer be a secret handshake, it has moved into the mainstream and career minded professionals of any sector can’t ignore this digital rolodex any more. This tiny little workbook ( not a textbook you actually fill it out ) is as small as a passport and can be filled out at a Starbucks in 20 minutes! Then, with confidence that you’re representing yourself in your own works, you create/update and upload your new profile.

Anquite-bookother new edition but familiar topic is the world of the “Introvert” or as I feel they should be called “thinkers”. Susan Cain’s book has rocked the free world. Her TED talk was one of the fasted viewed in the history of TED and she has been featured in almost every business media in the Western world ( check out this digital scrapbook I’ve made of her articles and videos ). If you are one or work with a thinker this is a MUST read, and a fascinating one too!

rainmakingMoving up a notch to number 5 is Mark Maria’s book on “rainmaking”. There will never be a slow down in lawyers, financial planners, insurance professionals and accountants in this world. They need a special book on bringing in business and no one can hold a candle to Maria’s methodical strategy.

keithAt #6 one of the most read books on networking in the world continues to be Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone” and his follow uwhosegotyourbackp book, the less intense but more authentic “Who’s got your back”. There aren’t many books I would call an “enjoyable read” but that’s still Ferazzi’s strength. I have grown so much more respect for one of the concepts he continues to champion, growing your own personal board of directors.

Burgundy red hardback book (XL)#7 moves out of the honourable mentions into the spotlight because it too has been republished and reworked to add way more value. Mark Bowden’s “Winning Body Language for Sales” will give anyone more confidence in how they communicate nonverbally and out loud. I’ll remind readers it’s a book not just about sales but about the building of relationships in business. It will help you to be you best and most authentic self when under pressusan3sure.

#8, how could I not mention the author with her own library of susan1titles to choose from! Susan Roane is the international Queen of Connecting, the Mingling Maven. She has a book to help you at whatever stage of networking you need help with and was the first to mention the importance of a digital profile before anyone else on this list.

My last book is an unconventional but important read for 2013. I have nounmarketing_book interest in the “social” side of social media. Social business is what I want to know more about. And no one has captured the “why” of social business like Scott Stratten in his book “UnMarketing” ( and if you want to know more about the “how” pick up his latest book, “The Book of Business Awesome/UnAwesome” )

My bookshelf on networking tops more than 75 now, I’ve had to put down so many in disappointment. But! There are several I have to mention because as they aren’t strictly about networking they continue to be the BEST books on the mechanics of human connection. When people ask me about the best of the best in my networking library, it is not complete without these five books:

  1. Fascinate by Sally Hogshead
  2. Convince them in 90 Seconds by Nicholas Boothman
  3. Turn Small Talk Into Big Deals by Don Gabor
  4. Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
  5. The Connectors by Maribeth Kuzmeski

socialmediaThank you for visiting and sharing this post with others in your network via Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and whatever new medium comes our way in 2013! Please add your favourites to the comments section below!

Connecting is my personal passion. I’m always at your service,

Paul Nazareth


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals

Burgundy red hardback book (XL)Ok, full disclosure:

1. I blogged about this book in 2011, have shared this book with hundreds and have been a BIG fan because this book helped me when I was giving over 100 presentations a year.

2. After pestering the author to ask about tips for MarkBowdenfundraisers, we kept in touch and I’m actually IN this book. Don’t worry, if it was terrible…..I would tell you.

But, luckily it doesn’t suck. Mark has gone over and above his last book to put together a powerful set of tips for not just sales professionals but those in the business of building relationships to succeed ( fundraisers, I’m talking to you! ).

And YES office dwellers this DOES mean you too!

closetalkerEvery time I recommend this book I have to remind peers it’s not JUST about influence. It’s about not having the other person shut themselves to what you’re saying before you’ve opened your mouth. Or, as the pro’s call it, non-verbal communication.

Mark is a private coach to Fortune 500 CEO’s, world leaders, celebrities and yes even the Prime Minister of Canada. But don’t hold that against him, he’s no Tony Robbins. Reading this book will help you to communicate better and be your most authentic self.

Mark writes for his clients, the CEO, “way too busy for this” types. Which is good because you’re probably way to busy right? Wrong, this book is crazy-practical! Each chapter ends with :

  1. Theory to practise
  2. Just do this now
  3. A case study from someone who uses this skill dailypninbook

My part of the book is winning tips for fundraisers. Frankly, things Mark taught me to overcome in myself that resulted in proven social-profit success for me. I truly enjoyed the other tips from content experts and feel they add such a new valuable dimension to Mark’s content. There are so many myths busted and misconceptions set right. I love the chapter on how far to stand based on the topic of conversation and relationship between individuals.

Inside these pages you’ll find more than just body language, how to speak, walk, shake hands, say hello and goodbye – it will sound artificial but I can’t stress how this will empower you to get to know yourself, and be your best.

Three top chapters that end the book make it a must-read for 2013 success: Room set up and how to ensure the best conversations for building relationships and closing a deal. Coaching your team – one failing I find in so many business books is not telling the reader how to translate the knowledge! skypeAnd lastly, and I can’t stress this enough to authors on networking and business communication, If you’re writing books in 2012 and beyond – it’s a social business world now! Remember to add things like body language for video, Skype and other mobile-communications. And Mark did! So valuable.

I have been recommending this book to hundreds of professionals of all ages and stages in their career. If CEO’s and heads of state call on Mark as someone who can help them be their best and most authentic self while still incorporating smart business communication methods – I hope you’ll find value here too.

I leave you with some resources. An audio interview with Mark, a video tip from Mark, from my beloved Globe and Mail and below that a bit about the book.

Thanks Mark for being so kind to a fan of your work. It is an honour to be a part of this amazing resource and your network, Paul

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Book of Business Awesome/UnAwesome

awesomeI personally found powerful value in Scott’s first book Unmarketing, I’ve recommended it to over 1000 peers, I was really worried about his sophomore effort. But it's not called "the book of business awesome" for nothing. The other side is titled, "the book of business unawesome" - one a collection of things done right, the other a warning for those who choose to ignore this medium and message.

People who love their customers, who work for themselves, who care about better business – love this book. third_circle_scott_stratten

His chapter on the "third circle of influence" is the best one pager on the revenue of reach - an instant addition to my arsenal on why business professionals need to join this wired tribe, NOW.

I love that he constantly tackles the inner fears of marketing and business types "people are going to challenge and attack our product!". Scott shares how brand leaders instantly flip bad reviews and solve customer problems - and in some cases get out in front of them like the new multimillion dollar McDonald's campaign.

In the world of client/donor service I continually argue with peers whose programs are focused on exhausting acquisition when the numbers show time and time again it is loyal customers/donors who hold the most revenue potential. It is time to serve and engage them in this medium and stay out front ahead of those who would steal them away from you.

Refocus: Companies/Charities aren't awesome, people are. Business IS personal, we often say "it's about relationships" - well if that is correct then it’s the humanization of brands and us as professionals that are going to build and strengthen these relationships. He’s helped me, let him help you.

Scott tells a couple stories of revenue business that started with one tweet, but he reminds the sceptic "you don't build a house with a hammer, twitter is just a tool you use in collaboration with your existing networks. If you sucked without social, it will only amplify how much you suck". He shares what the ROI will look like and that’s what we need more of instead of just the "how to”.

speakerScott's 30 tips for speakers is a rant from the cheap seats that will have any avid conference attendee throwing their lanyard in the air screaming "amen brother!!". It could honestly be published as a mini-book and given to speakers when they are confirmed to speak.

Like many business professionals I am sick of "wow, they went viral" stories. We never hear how they built their platform, how long did it take to get viral, what is the revenue and what does life after viral look like? Did the business scale up to succeed or was it just a big blip? Scott dedicates an entire chapter to the gritty details of this, it could be the first time I've seen this done so thoroughly, another big gift to the skeptic of social media strategy.

Moving to the UnAwesome side.... Scott dedicated this to the naysayers, negatives, sceptics - you will see someone in your work peers in this list. The head of marketing or finance who says "my kids spend all night on the twitter and bookface, I don't pay staff to spend all day playing farmville."

The best part of the unawesome side is that it speaks to the busy and overworked, it helps them understand the roots of trends instead of ridicmobileuling them for not understanding. Social media isn't just tied to the web, it's about the future of mobile web. By 2014 the Internet will be used by more mobile devices than desktop computers. Google already reports that 61 % of users won't return to a site they couldn't access quickly, is your site mobile and tablet ready?!

Finally someone challenges the overhyped power of the Facebook like. Finally some really smacks down the droning pathetic "show me the ROI of social media" with the real understanding of an HR, marketing professional and business owner (Scott has been all three). Funny enough though, his book, all these detailed case studies, the actual strategy and comfort talking numbers results in Scott once again writing the best business case for social media integration I've seen to date.

Two for two Mr. Stratten.scottpaul

A special thanks and shout out to the Toronto Star Small Business Club for hosting a private session where I got to hear and meet Scott!

I leave you with a couple of great video’s from Scott on ROI and better Social Business, Paul

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Business Cards To Business Relationships: Volume II

Do you feel the earth shaking? You should.

It has arrived, the updated, improved, 2nd edition of "Business Cards to Business Relationships".

Now let me qualify, my #1 networking book of all time is still "Work the Pond" and that's because it's readable by every adult on the planet. Its' shorter executive style format focuses on their patented "positive networking" methods and is accessible to non-working folks too. It's the science of networking.

But THIS book is the #1 BUSINESS networking book. As Allison says, her book is about building a "profitable network". This book is for those seeking employment or to develop a career where business theory turns into profitable* reality.  

*When I say "profit, note that when I first read this I was a fundraiser, Allison was also a fundraiser once and she includes charitable donations, also know as "social-profit" in the book. 

Today in a social media obsessed world, where every grad is told "now you have the education, start working on 'brand you' ". What they mean is... you need a networking plan.
Allison goes right back to basics about your smile, eye contact, dressing for success to the fundamentals of being approachable, the ROI of networking events to understanding core values like the concept of 'character Vs behaviour' .

International business magazine Fast Company featured Allison's advice on how to rock a room.

The Globe & Mail's Career section featured an excerpt from the book on how to escape a room!

Every College and University graduate is told about the "Hidden Job Market" and the importance of "Informational Interviews". Instead they should be given this book, it's all in these pages. All you MBA and B-School types, you don't have a choice. This is required reading for business success. Period.

I often talk about why not to "fake it 'till you make it" but how to "be it until you are it". This is how to do find out what kind of professional you want to become and how to become them - the author's "seven steps to business confidence" could be a book in itself.

People often ask me why I don't write a book about the fundamentals of networking, about my personal secrets. Ladies and gentlemen, 99% of my secrets are in this book. 

Great example, 7 entire pages on how to create your conversational pitch script - how to be fluid and authentic when talking about your business. Over 15 pages on email, phone, mobile and face to face etiquette.
If the book had one weakness, I would have liked to have seen more integration of net-media. LinkedIn and the like. But the chapter entitled "Don't confuse 10,000 followers with a profitable network" is not too shabby.
So, if you work for a living, or want to.
Buy it. Read it. Live it.
And Profit.

Here's a few of Allison's videos and Huffpost articles to get you started. Enjoy


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

This book has been on the often over-hyped best seller lists for months. I often put books on this list down, frustrated and disappointed.
Not this book.

Some readers complain many concepts in this book aren't new, my main man Willy Wonka and his crew were always trying
to teach me how to break bad habits like gluttony , envy , chewing gum or watching TV . Leaders in the time management, diet and money management sectors always tell us to "write down how we spend our time, what we eat and how we spend money every single day" - with analysis and reflection we can make change. They've been saying that for a long time and it works that's why they're famous. But maybe, it's only part of the solution.

We all have triggers in our life, negative and positive. We react to those daily triggers with responses that have become habit because the result is positive and pleasing. Adults don't change habits easily, many won't be able to at all because the triggers never go away and we need our positive pleasure at the end of the habit. This book teaches the reader how to understand the trigger, change the response to get the same reward. A tricky thing but there are dozens of story from live, business and history that vividly tell this tale of cause and effect.

I love that this book is BS-free. "Companies aren't families, they're battlefields in a civil war". Worked at a company like that once? Me too. We needs solutions, not coping mechanisms. A powerful year in my career was when I grew to hate institutional and professional arrogance and
bureaucracy for bureaucracy's sake. Hate it like murder. It's why I started reading management /leadership books and started this blog. Many people won't find their way to real work-excellence because their jobs aren't about life or death, so they aren't forced to want to do better. There's a story in this book about how silo's and bureaucracy actually killed people in a subway fire in London England. The stories told are powerful, they will stay with you and help you think about how you can make change in your own work and life.

This book continues the focus on where neuroscience and the brain meets business strategy and marketing.
I am the grocery shopping for my family - the book's tale of how we are controlled by supermarkets like rats in a capitalistic maze read like my weekly routine. It offends and impresses me how hard they are working to make me break the list I bring each week!

When the author does interviews he often talks about a case study in the book where a department store did such deep data analysis they captured part of the massive baby market because they could tell a woman was pregnant before she had told ANYONE, spouse/family included. You'll leave this story realizing how much better you can serve your clients/donors if you apply this "life cycle" observation approach.

The book's many valuable touch points on networking
include a great chapter on the power of weak ties. I know that it's tied to the power of LinkedIn which allows us to find "people like us" quickly in the business world, and time is money right?

Some great business lessons from the dozens of stories...

-how the music industry uses the power of the familiar

- how cities and the military study habits to make or stop crowds from forming community or tearing it down

- how athletes use the power of training to get instant response from their minds/bodies to succeed

- how businesses capture the power of "one small thing" that affects every part of the business to positivity influence major change

- how to harness the power of peer pressure and how to make it work for you was brilliant and again, really down to earth

It's a fabulous read that will no doubt spark your creative mind to take a lot of notes for today and turn them into business improvement and revenue tomorrow.

Would love to hear your comments on the book! 

In the mean time here's Charles talking about the book in his own words... enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Payback by Margaret Atwood

This is a book for those who are curious, about what the future has in store for us in the coming age of "austerity".

A slight deviation from the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Harvard Business Review best seller lists I frequent...I'd almost forgot where I started this journey! In 2008 I asked about 50 of my greatest mentors to give me one or two books that got them to where they are. They gave me a list of 200, and in less than two years I read them all. My business book addiction has been a wonderful journey but I had to follow my mentors and not the best seller lists.   

It's hard to put aside the artistic alchemist that is Atwood. She writes like Yo-yo ma works the Cello, classic but engaging, moving and educative. And her twitter mastery? Don't get me started but let's park the Canadian adoration and focus on the curiosity...the business payoff...why you should read it.

First off, I love that this book goes eons beyond the concept of monetary debt because like so many things in life, the thing....isn't the thing. 

It's much, much more.

To understand, as always you need to back. Waaay back, proto-debt. Monkey stuff. Atwood does, and it provides great context. Wonderful lessons from history, stories of Roman tax collectors and why Robin Hood was such a hero for stealing from the Sheriff...

I've been fascinated by the topic since debt shows first came on the scene this decade. I'm not proud to admit it but in the awkward phase when my good friends earned vastly different salaries we use to play poker for a common valued currency - winner slaps the losers in the face.

king at the concept of debt and the justice of payback from the view of several world religions is fascinating. Consider debt in the archetypes of truly momentous literary icons like Shakespeare's Shylock, Dicken's Scrooge and the great legend of Faust. 

Is it delightful that a modern day Scrooge considers the concepts of Environmental debt and ends up in 2012 Toronto at a dinner party? It's delicious ! Add in recurring themes of two wonderful games that have been played throughout history:

1) Try and Collect

2) Kill the Creditors

and you have a read that is part history, part f
iction, part reflection and you have the kind of stuff that stuff business books will never be able to use to engage your brain....if business books are the meat and potatoes of brain food, this is the molecular-gastronomic-amuse-bouche: it's the deconstruction of something important and powerful that will influence your life and work.

If business was smart enough to stop and think. 
This is what it would dream.

Looking for a summer read/ audio listen? You just found it.

Enjoy this great interview on the book,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Passion Capital by Paul Alofs

So many books by successful leaders are vanity projects. This book is a project of passion from a man who made an actual mark in massive tectonic industries like retail, music and the technology of the interwebs only to trade that business success for a mission of significance...

And now he's messing with my work / life. 

He is leading the rethinking of fundraising - read this article renaming the "non-profit" sector as the "social-profit" sector. Sure he didn't come up with the concept but he a leading voice on the value of charity - to transform that nebulous word philanthropy into common-sense instead of only dollars and cents.

He's rebranding... me! I've struggled with explaining the reason for my existence. You see, I love to capture money. Oh man I love it. And I live to network and connect. But not for myself, I exist to empower the passionate, fight for the innocent, the helpless, the powerless. As a younger man, this was my mission statement. My adult statement has been about passion for years....but thanks to Mr. Alofs I have found a tribe - I'm a Passion Capitalist!

Why is this book worth your time and money?

Paul has spent years distilling the message, pruning the stories and each chapter has that new-school business book summary of takeaways. He is a CEO leader who has written a book for other time-pressed leaders. It's a new way to think about business, your career, your cause...

This is not about good to great, it's about great to BEST. Theories are ideas, stories are proof! And they have layers of wisdom. I love the many stories he tells in this book. Practical stories of winners, failures - why they won and lost even when one looked like the other; Thomas Edison, JK Rowling were bad bets to start. 

This is a book dedicated to the strategic, faithful long view unlike the short-sell attitude that just recently broke the world. This book is a dog-whistle for innovators and entrepreneurs. Don't hear it? No desire to be your best? You're not one of us.

Much like Rockefeller made a creed, Paul has reflected on and thoroughly defined the exact components of passionate organizations, who live by the vital components of excellence: 
- but it's jibber-jabber if he's another loudmouthed  'leadership' guru right? Well I know many of the people he has assembled in his war on cancer, they do indeed "Believe It". They and he walk the talk, heck the man rides in his own fundraiser. His people work hard and are performing at levels of collaboration and professional  excellence that is unparalleled right now. It's Camelot over there. 

Does your organization posses a passionate culture? Paul and some powerhouse partners ( Knightsbridge, BNN Global Governance, Torys LLP and the National Post! ) have teamed up to celebrate Canada's Passion Capitalists - I was excited to nominate the most passionate company in my consumer life, Zipcar- and the winners are listed here....

Want to learn more and amp up your passion? Peruse these videos on the vision of Passion Capital. If they move you, hey, buy the book and join our tribe. In the words of the most interesting man in the world... "stay thirsty my friends"...


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Art of...Gratitude

When I first saw "The Art of
they had brought uber-guru Seth Godin to my city. 

I was impressed and considered it a one-off opportunity

Imagine my surprise when they pump out a who bunch of awesome conferences with some of my favourite authors.

So when I saw that the team was bringing TWO of my top authors to town I set my sights on somehow getting there. 

My deepest thanks to Karim Kanji of XConnect and Third Ocean - I won his Twitter contest and got to attend! I can't say enough about the power of twitter, don't ever tell me it's a tween's toy, this was a big business benefit to me. 

Not only did I get to attend and listen to some great speakers but by an odd twist of fate I got to walk and talk with Marcus Buckingham on the way into the Convention Centre and he honoured me by calling me out in his keynote about the power of a personal story. A lifetime business-book-lover high for yours truly. 

And most of all, I set up and got to interview my 2012 super-author Susan Cain for an upcoming article (stay tuned).

But where, you ask are my comments about the conference? Well, why read just my thoughts? Here are pictures and tweets from over 100 attendees via the wonderful storify - enjoy!

My deepest thanks to "The Art of" crew, you truly are THE premier speaker destination, and to Karim Kanji for choosing me to attend this powerful Leadership experience. 

So! September 2012, look out Ottawa! The Art of Leadership is coming to town headlined by Patrick Lencioni! Another of my top five business book authors of all time. He will rock your world.

Don't miss it.