Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Two Great Books and an Awesome New Website!

A quick Monday morning blog to give you two book recommendations and a really cool web site!

Let’s start with the fun book. My good friend Krissi Barr of Barr Corporate Success and her husband Dan Barr have just released an excellent management book wrapped up in a golfing story! As with many of todays most successful and helpful business books, Krissi and Dan deliver extremely relevant business ideas while weaving them into a short, enjoyable and engaging story in their new book “Plugged – dig out & get the right things done.” I won’t give away the secret, but the book helps you discover the three powerful tools for getting “PAR.” I truly enjoyed reading this book and found it was a good re-fresher for keeping me focused on the most important aspects of running my firm well. I also think this is one of those business books that make a superb gift, especially for any business person that plays golf – they will love it! In addition, they have a great companion web site for the book with free business assessment and “Par” score card – check it out at:

Now to a much more serious (and much longer) book, but one that is definitely worth the time and effort to read if you are interested in understanding how to create a culture of “accountability” within your organization. The Studer Group is world renowned for their work with hospitals, but in his new book, “Results That Last – Hardwiring Behaviors That Will Take Your Company to the Top” Quint Studer takes that experience and shows how to apply his winning ideas on accountability to any type of organization. This is a very data-driven and process oriented book, but to give you an idea of the value of the information… I used up two yellow highlighters in just the first three chapters!!! Accountability is a topic that I have been studying deeply and teaching for more than five years and I was pleasantly surprised to finds several new and innovative ideas in Quint’s book that I had not seen in any other books on the topic. If you are serious about figuring out how to greatly improve the levels of accountability in your organization, I would say that this is a “must read.”

Lastly, I am very excited to tell you about a really cool new website I just learned about called:  I love, love, love the goal of this site which, according to the homepage is: “HelpMeShine was created so you could give and receive instant, anonymous feedback from your peers on a more frequent basis.” Listen, study after study after study clearly shows that frequent feedback on performance is one of the absolutely MOST important elements in creating a high-performance culture with strong accountability (if you read the Studer book you will see that I am 100% right here). However, most employees get VERY little feedback, perhaps only a single annual review – that is usually done poorly. That is pathetic!!! I think this website could be insanely valuable for helping employees in any company vastly improve their performance by getting constant, honest and clear feedback on their current job performance (not what they did 10 months ago). And the best part… it is totally FREE. So I VERY highly recommend to jump over to this site and figure out a way to make it part of your business – now!  I pretty much guarantee that if you and your team start using it will make your business better – for free (and it does not get any better than that my friends).

Hope all of this helped – take good care — John


  1. Joshua Senneff says:


    This is kind of ironic, I would like to provide feedback to the website. Unfortunately, there is no way to do so on their site. I figured you may know who put this together. I love the idea, and sent it out to many co-workers, although since our companies email addresses are long, many of them cant log-in. We can create log-ins, but when we go to log-in, it won’t allow us to type all the needed characters.

    I hope all is well,

    • Josh — I have passed your note on to the developers at — thank you VERY much — I appreciate the heads-up!

  2. Joshua Senneff says:

    John, you sure can pull some strings! The problem is fixed, and the feedback, invaluable!


  3. Judd Hoekstra says:

    Hi John,

    As always, thanks for sharing what you’re learning with me and others. I checked out as I was intrigued by the idea. This form of instant, anonymous feedback certainly is better than what most employees receive (i.e., no feedback). That being said, I hope we can work on creating cultures where in-the-moment feedback is freely given by managers and peers without needing to be anonymous. Obviously, this requires trust among other things to enable this to happen.

    What are your thoughts on anonymous feedback vs. known/identified feedback?


    • Judd – superb question. I believe that both have their benefits. In a culture of transparency, honesty and very high mutual trust – clear feedback from the direct source is the best. However, most business cultures are not that evolved — still filled with politics and power plays. Which also means you need to be very, very careful about people “gaming” the system — using the anonymous position to vindictively trash people they don’t like. With all of that said — I think they both have a place when used properly AND the more feedback a person gets the better! Thank so much for your comment Judd!

  4. Thank you for such a wonderful web-site … great information!