The hot list Featured

9:48am EDT July 22, 2002

Tom Griesemer

president and founder

Stauf’s Coffee Roasters

“The One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

It’s a classic. It’s old. It’s been around forever. It’s a little outdated in some respects, but it’s so simple that it’s applicable to all levels of staff from the top down all the way to clerks. It’s versatile. We’ve assigned projects to the questions addressed in that book.

“Thriving on Chaos” by Tom Peters

It has a little more discussion of how to deal with the [hectic state] of being in business from the front of the house to the back of the house, which is my experience. A lot of people are [not equipped] to deal with walking in every day and seeing messages that you have to return calls to be appropriate but you have a million other things to do, too. It talks about goal setting, time management, and not forgetting what’s most important, which is our customers.

“Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras

This is a discussion of a multitude of different types of companies, the vast majority of which have been in business, I believe, if my memory serves, 80 or more years. They are well-known, typically Fortune 500-type companies. And they have discussions with CEOs and owners about their philosophies of what it takes to open a company, not for the gain of profit but for an ability to create a company that will be around well after we are gone.

I personally believe many people, especially in our business, think they can open a coffee store and make a bunch of money and leave. I think that’s backwards. I think that’s the wrong reason to be in this business. What you want to do is create an experience that a customer values even higher than the product or service being offered.

Robert Haas

owner

Scottie MacBean Coffee Roasters & Bakery

“Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas” by Jordan E. Ayan

That’s a fun book. “Aha!” motivates you to think outside the box. It’s an excellent book for anyone working on a problem and you can’t find the answer. I refer to that book quite a bit when I find a problem I can’t solve. It allows you to think about alternative methods to solve a problem.

“Outrageous! Unforgettable Service ... Guilt-Free Selling” by T. Scott Gross

That’s another book that forces you to think outside the box. It’s talking about giving outrageous customer service. It talks about how do you deliver what I call “customer amazement,” service above and beyond what the customer expects. There’s a lot of good material in there that’s been collected over the years by the people that wrote the book.

“Wake-Up Calls: You Don’t Have to Sleepwalk through Your Life, Love or Career!” by Eric Allenbaugh

This is a good book. It takes you from being where you’re at today and takes you outside your comfort zone. It’s exactly what the book says: your wake-up calls. The writer starts with the very basics. If you read it for the first time you may discover things you don’t want to discover. You may find you’re asleep at the switch — you’re not achieving what you want to achieve.

Todd Appelbaum

co-owner

Cup o’ Joe coffee and dessert houses

“Thriving on Chaos” by Tom Peters

This really gives you a lot of solid and substantial ideas on how to get your work done. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to do your work, and it gives you points that have worked for so many other people — just simple things like setting priorities and being organized. It’s a lot more than that, but it gives you wisdom that is successful.

Few of us really reinvent the wheel in business or in life. People have done it before, and people have done it well. Instead of reinventing the wheel ... it gives you insights on what works for people and what has worked consistently for very successful people both personally and professionally.

“A Passion for Excellence” by Tom Peters

It talks about the innovativeness of leaders and how they pursue excellence in their field of business. It gives a lot of examples of how they did it. It focuses on excellence and how companies survive in the long term. It has different areas in the book. One is taking care of your people, making them feel ownership and commitment to the organization. Two is constant innovation of your product or whatever you provide and keeping up the quality over a long-term basis. And three is taking care of the customer, providing superior service and making sure the customer’s perception of the company is favorable. I think a lot of these books get your creative juices flowing, get you out of your rut of the way you’re thinking.

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

That is an absolutely phenomenal book, something for anybody who wants to be a leader.

Joan Slattery Wall (jwall@sbnnet.com) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.