Influence people

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thumb Like It Hot

Marketing agency owner Dave Kerpen has followed his first book, Likeable Social Media, with a readable companion, Likeable Business.

The 200-page book sets out to prove Kerpen's thesis that, to run a successful business in chatty times, "businesspeople must be obsessed with their customers and prospects, and always do right by them." The book draws out eleven "principles for a likeable business" that if followed "together make for more likeable leaders and better, more customer-centric organizations."

None of the principles Kerpen sets forth are new (in fact, they've been covered ad nauseam by scores of other writers). But true to his second principle ("Tell great stories"), he includes hundreds of present-day examples that more than justify the time spent reading the book.

Typical of these is the tale of an "authentic" CEO who handed an employee $25,000 after the worker stole that amount in goods from the company, saying, "I must not have given you enough of a bonus last year if you had to steal from us" (the CEO grew up poor and understood the motives for theft). Or the "transparent" CEO who keeps open her firm's financials for every employee and supplier to see, to ensure that "the team maintains its democratic culture."

However, some of Kerpen's storiesnamely the ones about himselfmake you wonder why his clients trust him with their reputations. The author has committed some real boners. Those stories are another reason to pick up Likeable Business.

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