Grant Cardone. Guy Kawasaki. Tom Peters.
There’s a reason why those three sales leaders have written some of the best sales leadership books.
They’re not just successful. They’ve found a way to dominate their respective business fields and stay on top.
It’s true that we pick up invaluable lessons when we just do it, but in today’s business climate, the combination of wisdom, grit, knowledge and openness brings the best on top.
So as much as we gun for new strategies, reading books—especially classics—bring incredible value to us. From lessons, identifying parallelisms in operations and context, and inspiration, nothing beats books.
I decided to write about these three books that influenced me greatly and continue to do so.
Here are the top lessons I’ve garnered from their sales leadership books—add them to you reading list, STAT!
Sales Leadership Books By The Best
Grant Cardone, The 10X Rule
Real-estate magnate Grant Cardone came from nothing. After a rough start in life, suffering through a drug addiction in his early 20s, he pulled through to become a New York Times best-seller and multimillionaire. He has a half dozen companies and multiple sales leadership books under his belt.
But none of that would be possible if Cardone hadn’t followed the principle of success outlined in his sales leadership books: the 10X Rule.
It essentially says that if you want to go far in life, you have to do everything with ten times the amount of effort a ‘normal’ person would put forth. It’s true in business, relationships, sales. Really, it’s applicable to any part of your life.
The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure: Some of what I’ve learned
1. The market might fluctuate. It might be a bad time to do business. But if you’re facing sales challenges, especially plummeting sales, it’s usually your activity level that’s caused that and not the economy. No matter how bad the economy is, there are people who are making money.
2. You should always push to dominate. Don’t stop at being competitive. Competency means you’re as good as the rest. You want to push to be the best always.
3. There is always more you can do. We often underestimate the work needed to get to a goal. It’s not always a problem of being unproductive, we often make the mistake of thinking something will be easy or you can reach your targets by performing at your baseline.
4. Related to the prior point, even when you’re estimating the work entailed aware that you constantly underestimate, the best assumption is that the goal would need ten times the effort. Plan for that.
5. Grant is known for this: Always be present. In fact, be omnipresent. He dedicated a chapter to this point, and in its practical essence, it’s a great guide for marketing. Get the eyeballs on you. Be present everywhere.
5 quotes from The 10x Rule
“As long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and dreams or be used as a resource to accomplish someone else’s.”
“What if the only thing standing in the way of your greatness was that you just had to go after everything obsessively, persistently, and as though your life depended on it?”
“Don’t be confused by what looks like luck to you. Lucky people don’t make successful people; people who completely commit themselves to success seem to get lucky in life.”
“Extremely successful people know that their efforts must continue in order for them to realize new achievements. Once the hunt for a desired object or goal is abandoned, the cycle of success comes to an end.”
“1. Mistargeting by setting objectives that are too low and don’t allow for enough correct motivation.
2. Severely underestimating what it will take in terms of actions, resources, money, and energy to accomplish the target.
3. Spending too much time competing and not enough time dominating their sector.
4. Underestimating the amount of adversity they will need to overcome in order to actually attain their desired goal.”
Guy Kawasaki, Selling The Dream
There isn’t a person alive today who hasn’t heard of Apple. But Apple wouldn’t be where it is without a stellar startup team behind the brand. Enter Guy Kawasaki: Apple’s right-hand marketing guru, or “chief evangelist,” who was responsible for bringing the Mac to market in the mid-80s.
Guy is a prolific writer, with many sales leadership books to his credit. In Selling The Dream, Kawasaki advises that “Evangelism is selling the dream.” In other words ,believe in your product or service so much that you are not only its cult leader. You’re the cult itself.
Guy’s books are effective in teaching readers because it’s written like he speaks. Guy is one of the most engaging speakers and authors out there—armed with disarming wit, anecdotes, and overflowing with insight and experience. The book itself a great piece of evangelism—it’s intimate, but about business.
Selling The Dream is not your typical business book—it’s not rife with the technical side of business. However, he is able to communicate evangelism in a stellar manner; evangelism that’s lacking in business up till today. He emphasizes the need for a heartfelt “greater meaning” approach to business. No wonder Apple spurred the level of fanaticism in its patrons it enjoys today.
This book is inspirational, insightful and will push you to get off your butt and do something. It’s also nice to get in the heads of the old kings of Silicon Valley.
5 Quotes From Selling The Dream
Tom Peters, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (with Robert H. Waterman, Jr.)
An instant classic published in the early 80s—and referenced by many top executives as one of the a sales leadership books they reach for time and again—In Search of Excellence provides indispensable advice to sales leaders about how to make a great business. In his book, Peters outlines eight principles that make an organization successful.
Tom and Robert became known because of this book in 1982. Up to now, the book remains to be one of the greatest management bestsellers. Tom and Robert each has written other books but this one is arguably their best.
It’s a peek at the best companies and the reporting from Tom and Robert was excellent.
Here’s one top-notch observation: “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” In other words, if you’re a sales leader in charge of a team, you want to encourage your troops to take their own initiatives and build their own strengths. Put aside any fear about being surpassed. Focus, instead, on what matters: excellence.
10 Quotes from In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies
“The complaints against American management seem to fall into five main categories (1) the business schools are doing us in; (2) the so-called professional managers lack the right perspective; (3) managers don’t personally identify with what their companies do; (4) managers don’t take enough interest in their people; and (5) top managers and their staff have become isolated in their analytic ivory towers.”
“Today’s version of rationality does not value experimentation and abhors mistakes. The conservatism that leads to inaction and years-long `study groups’ frequently confronts businessmen with precisely what they were trying to avoid–having to make, eventually, one big bet.”
“The systems in the excellent companies are not only designed to produce lots of winners; they are constructed to celebrate the winning once it occurs. Their systems make extraordinary use of non-monetary incentives. They are full of hoopla.”
“Many of these companies eliminate paperwork through their use of quick-hit task forces, and among the paperwork fighters P&G is legendary for its insistence on one-page memos as the almost sole means of written communication.”
“If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.”
“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.”
“The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people.”
“Stop being conned by the old mantra that says, ‘Leaders are cool, managers are dweebs.’ Instead, follow the Peters Principle: Leaders are cool. Managers are cool too!”
“‘In Search of Excellence’ – even the title – is a reminder that business isn’t dry, dreary, boring, or by the numbers. Life at work can be cool – and work that’s cool isn’t confined to Tiger Woods, Yo-Yo Ma, or Tom Hanks. It’s available to all of us and any of us.”
“Rene McPherson, when he took over at Dana, dramatically threw out 22 ½ inches of policy manuals and replaced them with a one-page statement of philosophy focusing on `productive people.'”
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