What Fargo Business Owners Are Reading

Written by: Fargo Inc Staff

Book summaries from Amazon.com

In a way, reading is a kind of admission that, as much as it sometimes feels like it, we don’t have it all figured out.

Bill Gates reads upward of 50 books a year. Mark Cuban reads more than three hours a day. Mark Zuckerberg challenged himself to read a book every two weeks last year.

If some of the most successful and prominent business leaders in the world are continuously looking elsewhere for knowledge and advice, there’s probably no reason why you shouldn’t be, too. Here are 5 recommendations from business owners right here in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area.

Necessary Endings

The Employees, Businesses and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward
By Henry Cloud

Necessary Endings

Henry Cloud, the bestselling author of “Integrity” and “The One-life Solution,” offers this mindset-altering method for proactively correcting the bad and the broken in our businesses and our lives.

He challenges readers to achieve the personal and professional growth they both desire and deserve and gives crucial insight into how to make those tough decisions that are standing in the way of a more successful business and, ultimately, a better life.


By Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.

“Rework” shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is: You need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.

The Soft Edge

Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success
By Rich Karlgaard
The Soft Edge

High performance has always required shrewd strategy and superb execution. These factors remain critical, especially given today’s unprecedented business climate. But Rich Karlgaard, Forbes publisher, entrepreneur, investor, and board director, takes a surprising turn and argues that there is now a third element that’s required for competitive advantage. It fosters innovation, it accelerates strategy and execution, and it cannot be copied or bought. It is found in a perhaps surprising place: your company’s values.

Karlgaard examined a variety of enduring companies and found that they have one thing in common: All have leveraged their deepest values alongside strategy and execution, allowing them to fuel growth, as well as weather hard times. Karlgaard shares these stories and identifies the five key variables that make up every organization’s “soft edge”:
1. Trust
2. Smarts
3. Teamwork
4. Taste
5. Story

Steve Jobs

By Walter Isaacson
steve jobs

Based on more than 40 interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

The tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership and values.

Make the Noise Go Away

The Power of an Effective Second-in-command
By Larry G. Linne
Make the Noise Go Away

Many entrepreneurs embrace the challenge of being their own boss. They desire freedom—both financial and temporal. But often, the business consumes both time and money and ends up owning the owner.

In “Make the Noise Go Away,” Larry G. Linne discusses 13 principles to help business owners reclaim their freedom. Written in parable style, “Make the Noise Go Away” follows business owner Jim Clancy and second-in-command Brett Giles at Golden Electric Supply. During a weekend retreat at a quiet mountain cabin, the two executives discuss the principles and strategies that make Jim’s noise (all the worries and concerns about his business) go away and allow Brett’s job to be more enjoyable and successful.

Targeted to both first- and second-in-commands, “Make the Noise Go Away” provides insights on decision-making skills, methods to protect and nurture great CEO ideas, and strategies for managing the perception of the business by important third parties.

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