Monday, October 14, 2013

Ctrl Alt Delete by Mitch Joel

In my network, folks know me as the guy obsessed with the future of ‘social business’ – so I should be excited about social media right?

It’s the opposite. My own mentors in the medium remind me, social media is Ctrlover a decade old now. The experts are light years ahead, but I still can’t mention the concept with out the ROI defense and Facebook being mentioned to shut down the conversation. It’s driving me nuts.

Enter Mitch Joel who gave a name to our current digital divide in business… purgatory. I agree 100% – there are two parts to this book that make it a MUST read for anyone who is on board with digital and curious about the future.

#1 Reboot your business

In 2014 everyone is going to be asking,what’s our Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn strategy. Sorry, that’s a 2012 question. The real questions is, how do we make the entire experience seamless?

ONEscreenThe future is on one screen – stop thinking about platforms and devices.

Mitch has been in the digital trenches with his consulting company, he’s been engaging using blogs, podcasts and writing online for the world’s biggest business brands ( Harvard Business, Fast Company to name a couple ) I highly recommend following him. One of the world’s most well known authors in marketing Seth Godin has been walking with him and if you want to watch, this long discussion online is exactly why you should read this book if you work in business and wonder if this is worth your time reading.

Most of all his attitude towards strategy, disconnected devices ( not a 24-7 tweeter, like me he has a family and his phone is always on silent ) the reality of time management really comes through. He’s more business than social.

#2 Reboot YOU

A question people ask me when we talk about ‘digital skill building’ is how they will help us stay employable in 2014 and beyond. Something my peer Promod Sharma addressed in his review of the book. ambermitch

Famous leaders often paint a picture of a career as a straight line, and sure there are still people who’ve had a 40 year career in one company. But the future, is indeed uncertain and the line has become… a squiggle as Mitch puts it. What does that mean? Watch/read this fantastic Fast Company interview with the famous digital educator, Amber Mac. It’s about being flexible in times when massive industries are not, and they die. You know this, you are watching them die right now! The tree that does not bend breaks, which will you be?!

Why is this book your personal roadmap to adapting to the digital future? In “Reboot You” Mitch is crazy specific about:

  • How to make sense of all this mess
  • Exactly how to adjust  your carer and mindset
  • What skills to build and how to build them
  • How to market yourself, step by step, tips and traps

The book is filled with other book recommendations making it truly a roadmap to business and personal success in a time when success is the new survival.

Please share your comments below or with me on Twitter. I leave you with a quick video on the book below, and if you have time listen to this great podcast interview with Mitch or watch this 20 min video interview, OR leave the last video on while you wash dishes/fold clothes. It’s a 45 min investment in your sanity.

I’m off to sleep, and let me tell you I’m sleeping better now after reading this book. Purgatory is a lot easier to deal with when you know, it will end and you have the map to heaven. blog

Thanks Mitch, with gratitude,

Paul Nazareth

Monday, September 23, 2013

Relationship ROI–Nikki Pett

NikkiPettI have read almost 150 books on networking, passed 10,000 of public speaking time, volunteered for thousands of hours for charities washing floors, cooking food and being on boards, I’ve raised millions of dollars to help, change and save the world and I’ve coached a few hundred people to personal success.

I’m often asked why I don’t write a book.

This book is the answer why I don’t need to.

When I first read this book, it was so in tune to my beliefs on networking, business, fundraising, community development that I got through it in less than a couple hours and scared a couple people in a coffee shop shouting “that’s it!!” a few times. I’ve been waiting for a book like this for years.

ROI – Wow I hate this tiny little sharp, overused, passive-aggressive phrase.

But it’s what everyone knows is behind our goals and ideas. Nikki has put together a book that addresses the networking and business solution for my personal trifecta of social good:

1. Associations: Boards of Trade, professional associations, community based member groups. They are the backbone of our for-profit and social-profit world but in 2013, honestly, most of them are struggling to get members and stay relevant. Nikki has dedicated one third of the book to them, and her solutions are practical but current. I gave copies of this book to my favourite associations with the note “this will save you”.

NikkiPettHands2. Charities: Nikki is a proud member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is an exhibitor/sponsor of several chapters. She has worked with them through her business sigma promotions and I must say has a keen understanding of the philanthropic ecosystem. I’m asked so often about how charities can leverage networks, personal and institutional for revenue – one third of this book is for you.

3. Entrepreneurs: I personally feel that business and charities are a bad match. Corporations have influenced good grassroots organizations to become as sluggish, ineffective, bureaucratic and meeting-over-moving-focused. Charities and entrepreneurs were made for each other!! This third of the book, about the pure steps to making profit using today’s social-media technology and networking techniques is a powerful read for all three readers.

This book is not going to be a New York Times best seller. Nikki’s business is not publically traded, she doesn’t have a limo or private jet. But y’know, so many of those authors are more focused on selling the book then on your success, so many of those big businesses are dead weight in our economy and Nikki is a successful business owner who has thrived while giving back. She and my network agree on the definition of success, that triple bottom line between profit, community and the earth.

targetroiI couldn’t recommend reading a book, or meeting a person more.

As the end of 2013 approaches, will you hit your goals?

Nikki can help.

Thanks for spending your time with me today!

             Paul Nazarethblog

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What is a business artist? Steve Jobs and more…

On vacation this summer ( see ‘my break from business books’ ) I wanted to read something different, but that still taught me something of value in my career – note I didn’t say work – something that would help me evolve into who I want to be.SteDesign

So many of my mentors, my personal board, encourage me to read biographies. But with the exception of two great biographies, Nelson Mandela and Frank Sinatra – no business leader bio’s ever felt like “must reads”.

Until the recent death of Steve Jobs. Here was a guy who had changed the world, certainly my world. Someone fascinating who I didn’t really know that much about except that he loved “walking meetings”. 

And I’ve been obsessed ( mostly thanks to Seth Godin ) about what does a business professional look and feel like, expressed as an “artist”?

The book does not disappoint. It’s almost 600 pages but it moves quickly through every aspect of his life, challenges, strengths, gifts and weaknesses. I learned so much about things I care about – business, life, loss and what it takes to make great things, and make things great.

agowoodIt was at the same time that I visited a place I usually go to think. The Art Gallery of Ontario. There’s a room, that I have walked by a number of times that struck me on this visit. A fascinating immersive room dedicated to world renowned artist David Milne. In it I got to delve into the mind, the life of an artist in hundreds of different ways. It was a powerful perspective-shifting experience that helped me understand how I could adapt this thinking to the life I’m trying to build. My deepest thanks to those who donated to and created this amazing space. wisdom

My last read on this vacation from traditional business books was a treat, something I’ve been dying to read for a while now. Andrew Zuckerman’s “Wisdom” advice from artists, musicians, scientists, thinkers from around the world. I sat in this place, and just devoured the thing I seek most in this world –—the life-learned wisdom of people who have made the world a better place.

A vacation from books, with books.       

SteveJobsBioSo pick up Steve’s bio before Ashton Kutcher and Hollywood messes up his memory. Learn what was behind every one of these funny and thoughtful moments and this now legendary Standford speech….

In the mean time, visit the AGO and I leave you with…some



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Little Bets by Peter Sims

littlebetsBuzzword alert!  Innovation 

Like so many things, people say it and have no idea what it really means.

I love reading what my network is reading, so when an innovator in the social-profit sector leeroseLee Rose, co-founder of the MESH Network in Ottawa, formerly of CharityVillage and now of the Community Foundations of Canada tweeted he loved this book, I picked it up. And I’m glad I did.

See I have a business disability, I was born and raised in offices. Where meetings are sit-down affairs, thinking is over-ruled by doing and white boards are for fancy consultants. Thanks goodness for my network, an army of entrepreneurs, disruptors, thinkers, convenors – all who live and die by what they produce. When I look at the successful among them, at my own successes I see the theories of this book but neither of us had put the method to paper – little bets!

innovationGreat ideas are not born complete. Great service professionals walk with the client and react, I work with someone like this. To see them create solutions sometimes borders on art, to work on small steps to evolve our business is the joy of my professional life – but I’d like to do it better. Now I can.

Steve Jobs, Pixar, Frank Gehry, Chris Rock are just some of the examples Peter Sims uses in the book. Like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers taught us about brilliance through experience, but how do the brilliant build their business from scratch! This book is truly worth the read and as we head into the summer, it’s a light fast read that gets into your head and into your work and makes you think then adds to your actions.

I love this book because you will see yourself and your actions in a more strategic light after reading it and you’ll get tips on how to amplify past success.progress 

Often I find myself trying to help my network get more active in the social business sector, but they always think they have to have all the marketing and strategy done before they launch. As Seth Godin says, “ship it”. Getting caught up in perfection is the illusion that will keep you from finishing.

So, let’s get to work. Let’s make more little bets.

blogAs Lee gets to work changing the philanthropic face of Canada with his team here’s a quick video, I hope it helps you take that last step to pick up the book! Enjoy,





And if you’re the hard-core learner, here’s Peter at Google giving a longer lecture. Leave it on as you wash the dishes or fold the clothes…

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Great Traits of Champions

traitsCanadian champion Mark Tewksbury spoke to both my work team and my professional association this year, both loved his book which I have to share.

I love the target reader: For “Achievers, leaders and legacy leavers

In my career I found that great sellers, make bad managers. Great fundraisers made bad leaders just like great athletes often make bad coaches. Mark had to go from Olympic Gold to leading a team, to representing his country.

mtanddmA confession, I’m NOT a sports guy. I don’t like advice from sports people or the pumped up ideas of Type-A excellence. This book goes beyond inspiration and pumping up, this is a quality workbook that encourages you to think, reflect, make a plan then act.

Breaking down the traits of leadership into key concept, how to do it well, critical takeaways, a self assessment moment and tips to make it practical so you can do something with what you’ve learned is what makes this book so valuable!

For those who want to develop their brand, learn how to lead, motivate and manage teams in an authentic way from a place of personal values. This book is for you!

A final note, during his talk at our conference Mark made a heartfelt pitch and plug for Twitter. As lead of our conference Twitter team I was on top of the world and want to personally thank you Mark for sharing your story of how this medium allowed you to connect as a leader to your team, and the country you represented.

Follow the team and enjoy this quick talk by Mark and Debbie, as always, thank for reading!Purple



Sunday, March 24, 2013

To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

sellishumanThis is my first “must read of 2013”, it’s on the desks of almost every leader I know. This is a book so filled with value, I’ve read it three times in less than a month. There’s SO much here - it's five books in one!

Let’s dive in to why I feel every person in my network should read this book…

1. Sales is dead. We’re all in sales now.

The internet was supposed to destroy sales. Well video did NOT kill the radio star, nor did the web kill the role of face to face sales in business. What it did was push volume sales online and make every media user a marketing machine. The customer is the buyer and the seller because they have every bit of information they need but face to face interpersonal skills are more important than ever. It’s no longer caveat emptor (buyer beware) it’s caveat venditor ( seller beware, we the customer know as much if not more than you about your own product now! ).

*Warning–Alec has a potty mouth.
No one likes to be sold. Daniel references the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, like many people I had only seen this famous scene ( *Warning, crazy explicit language!!! ) but I went back and watched the whole movie. It reminds you how dark sales can be. This is the salesman that the internet killed. Good riddance.

But if we're all in sales now we could use some skill building right? That’s what the first section of this book focuses on, the new ABC’s of ‘authentic influence’. For professionals who hate the idea of sales, being of professional service is your new goal and the book lays out a perfect roadmap. Even things like body language, the concept of why adapting to the other person is something I wrote a chapter on in Mark Bowen’s book for sales professionals.  Daniel mentions the huge power of asking better questions and mentions a topic I love, Solutions Focus.

A special thanks Dan for the shout out to the fact that fundraising IS part of this world of influence. Nice to see social-profit tips on ‘content curation’ from Beth Kanter in the book too!

2. The rise of the Ambivert IntrovertExtrovertScale

Susan Cain set 2012 on fire with "Quiet: The Power of introverts”. I spent a lot of time sharing this book last year. A thousand people in my network bought it and confessed it gave them great comfort – that they’re not “useless” because they’re not an Extrovert. But many often said to me “we'll I'm in between the two”.  Dan shares the incredible power of having a foot in both camps, and how we can be comfortable growing our strengths as “Ambiverts” ( are you one? test yourself here ).

3. “Pitching” in a web and wired world.

This part of the book is almost worth the price alone! Some peers in my network are setting up pitch-nights to help each other develop how to talk about what they do in “one word” for discussion, networking, email and yes even Twitter ( bless you Dan for acknowledging that social business is a big force to be reckoned with in 2013 and beyond! ). Communicate better, dump the sales talk – focus on clarity! Powerhouse chapter, I highly recommend you watch the video below on this topic.

listen4. Leading with your ears.

I know, everyone says “listening is important” in relationship building. But no one every say exactly why, and exactly how to do it. Dan goes deep into how to listen with your body. How to listen deeply, honestly and even learn how to improvise as part of your listening. Probably the most unique and usable business resource on this done to death topic I’ve read in a decade.

5. Servant LeadershipServantLeader

This is a topic close to my heart. Most people know that I live to serve others. Partly it’s an expression of my faith life but it is also my personal business mission statement. It’s a lifestyle and business strategy that defines me, Paul Nazareth. So to read about how Daniel values this as part of the new sales ‘must-have’ attitude and skill set is nice. Especially since much of my motivation is combating many of the unsustainable management styles built around fear, micromanagement and intimidation I see so often.

So – I’m betting on this book. I’ve bought a dozen copies to give away during the year. I predict big things for it and highly recommend it.

Four items on the sheer awesome business power of Dan & this book:

  1. Daniel’s interviews with best selling authors
  2. NPR audio interview with Dan on listening & ambiverts
  3. Harvard Business interview with Dan on the book
  4. A resource board I’ve created of articles on the book

Watch the launch below but below that is a fantastic video on “pitching”.

PurpleThanks for reading, please share this post with your network!



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Advantage–Patrick Lencioni

This is NOT a post for small business, entrepreneurs or individual-innovators.

For individuals,  I highly recommend the work of  Mr. Buckingham
For entrepreneurs and innovators, the work of Mr. Godin

But there are thousands of office towers filled with desk-bound millions.

They do good work too and they deserve better in 2013.

A confession: Every job I've had I the past 15 years, has been in an office. Even in a smaller organizations that should have been more scrappy and innovative were set up like 1950's sitcoms ( at one the staff referred to themselves as "the girls" or the “secretarial pool” even though all were as old as my mother, which they were kind enough to remind me of, often), unproductive at the worst of times. A challenging structure at the best.

corpThis is why I read so many books about innovation, collaboration and better productivity, not everyone can be an entrepreneur so why are these books geared towards only them?!

The world will always need large organizations, be it banks, charities or manufacturing – they will ALWAYS exist. I work for them because of the powerful impact they have. They and I are not going to change so who can help US?!Patrick-Lencioni-team

Patrick Lencioni, that's who! The destroyer of dysfunction, the slayer of silos, the master of the meeting. His books are my MOST recommended when leaders of larger organizations want to fix, change and improve culture, teams and productivity.

lencionisetIf you haven't read one of his books, written as fables for faster reading and better retention for the busy executive, get on it. They are to business books what cupcakes are to muffins – more Awesome. Period.

But for those who know his work, Patrick has finally put together a book of strategy after writing, speaking and consulting with hundreds of teams. The Advantage is a book dedicated to organizational health. I know, it sounds hippyish but you know the toxic, unproductive, absenteeism-riddled result of unhealthy organizations; we've all worked in one.

advantageSo dear leader, make some time, grab a coffee. Patrick is here to help.

His methods aren't new and sexy, he doesn't try to sell you on a new acronym ( if one more person tries to tell me about SMART goals I'm going to lose it). This books helps leadership teams to identify values and gives practical ways to achieve them, he actually summarizes many of the best methods mentioned in his previous books! Just one reason it was named bizbook of the year by 1-800-CEO-Read.

Core culture change, better meetings and staff communications and a big chapter on hiring for fit are just some of the big wins this book can help with.

So if you lead or manage a team in a large organization, for-profit company or social-profit charity THIS book will help you rock 2013.

Special thanks and shout out to the folks at @TheArtOf and @KnightsbridgeCA for a sneak peak of this book and bringing Patrick to Canada in 2013!

I know a lot of you have recently invested in a tablet – here’s Patrick talking about the book AND the new even more resource filled eBook version!

PurpleEnjoy, Paul