Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Some Book Recommendations


The books I have recomended in this podcast are:

NOBLE ENTERPRISE: The Commonsense Guide to Uplifting People and Profits

The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization

Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform the World

Small Changes That Help Small Companies Make Big Increases in Sales

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

I hope that you found these book recommendations helpful — if you have some books you think I should read, please let me know!


  1. John,
    I just finished Trust Agent by Julien Smith and Chris Brogan. Great book on working in the social media realm. It explains the whys and how to of it.

    • johnspen says:

      Joseph, could not possibly agree with you more – Trust Agent was a fantastic book – the best I have read so far about how to truly understand what it takes to be successful in social media.

  2. Stephen Wycoff says:

    John: Looking forward to your book reports.

    Just finished reading, “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes and would highly recommend it for someone developing a Sales Process in their organization.

  3. Hey, John,

    There’s a book that Jack Malcolm recommended to me that I’m now recommending to others before reading any other books by “experts.” It’s called “Wrong: Why experts* keep failing us–and how to know when not to trust them”:

    I think that many of the ideas in this book can help people who read other books to sift through information that is simply persuasive to get to information that is rooted in solid evidence. With all of the information out there, I’ve found it’s important to be able to identify the difference between luck, personal experience that may not generalize to other people (or times) and knowledge that stands the test of validity checks.

    Hope you are well!

  4. John,
    Have you read: “Think Again” by Sydney Finkelstein? In essence, it’s about how we may fall in love with our own self interests and misleading prejudgments–such as ignoring any data that doesn’t fit comfortably with our own experiences or ways of doing things. It’s well written with research and interviews that produce genuine insights illuminating some crucial ways mistakes that are too often made–by good people. He’s also the author of “Why Smart Executives Fail”.

  5. Hi John,
    Another book that I like that goes along with the thinking of “The Greatness Zone” (becoming more self-aware to determine your best personal and professional fit) is “Unique Ability” by Catherine Nomura.

    At a time where employees have to be both good at what they do and passionate about doing it to activate customer loyalty (which drives the bottom line), it is critical that companies better articulate the performance attributes that leads to performance success. Even when an organization clearly defines these, they still rely on job candidates being self-aware enough to know if they are a good fit for the role. Great hiring requires a “meeting in the middle” – better attribute requirements from the organization and a more self-aware job applicant. I like Unique Ability’s approach to discover our innate abilities- so we can become that more self-aware person – in both work and life.

    Thanks John for the constant dialog about greatness, performance and impact.

  6. John

    Great video and recommendation.
    A very good book I just read is Drive by Dan Pink

    also here is a good video about employee motivation


  7. John,
    Thanks for the great book recommendations. I have already loaded a couple of them to my kindle!

    Here is another one for anyone who is going through a life transition (which is everyone, at some point):
    Becoming a Life Change Artist: 7 Creative Skills to Reinvent Yourself at Any Stage of Life, by Fred Mandell Ph.D and Kathleen Jordan Ph.D

  8. John … Thanks for this podcast. I am sharing it with lots of folks. Sounds like you are ahead of the curve on reading the latest books, and this one has been out for awhile … but I loved it. It changed how I work. It’s Rework –

    Also, I really liked that there was a book for teens (Greatness Zone). I have a brother and sister in their late teens – one is an over-achiever the other is stuck and depressed. They can each benefit from this book.

    Hope to meet you one day at a Gainesville networking event.

    Take care,