Penrod Blog

A Penrod Books Blog: Let’s Get Down To Business

At our most recent all staff meeting, the Yearly Kick Off, we gifted a couple of books to our employees related to business practices or ideas we value. As a group, we love the opportunity to expand our knowledge of business. Here are a few of the books Penrod is reading right now:

1) Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

By Peter Thiel & Blake Masters

A summary from the back cover: “The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning anything from them. It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there.”


2) Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too

By Gary Vaynerchuk

A summary from HarperCollins: “In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies. Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint to living life on your own terms.”


3) Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results

By Cy Wakeman

A summary from Amazon: “In Reality-Based Leadership,…Cy Wakeman reveals how to be the kind of leader who changes the way people think about and perceive their circumstances-one who deals with the facts, clarifies roles, gives clear and direct feedback, and insists that everyone do the same-without drama or defensiveness. Equipped with a facts-based, confident approach, you will free yourself from the frustrations you face at work and transform yourself into a Reality-Based Leader, with the ability to liberate and inspire others.”


4) No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results

By Cy Wakeman

A summary from the dust jacket: “Cy Wakeman teaches straightforward, strategies in which time and energy can be recommissioned and put toward the value that hired talent is intended to provide. No Ego dispenses with unproven HR maxims and instead offers a complete plan to turn your office from a den of discontent into a highly productive place where happy employees are accountable employees.”


5) Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

By Gino Wickman

A summary from the back cover: “In Traction, you’ll learn the secrets of strengthening the six key components of your business. You’ll discover a simple yet powerful way to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Successful companies are applying Traction every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses–and you can too.”


6) Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t

By Jim Collins

A summary from Amazon: “In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible [for a good company to become a great company], but finds there are no silver bullets. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider.”