Click Here To Purchase Building A Winning Business: 70 Takeaways For Creating A Company That Will Remain Strong During Good And Bad Economic Times

Author:Tom Salonek


Over the past 15 years, entrepreneur Tom Salonek has been collecting and sharing in various Minneapolis publications his thoughts about running a successful business. Prompted by contemporary economic challenges, if not crises, Salonek has, for more general publication, put all of this "stuff" (the author's word, not mine) into this book.

Notwithstanding the author's lack of enthusiasm therefor, his book reads very much like a PowerPoint presentation. Heavily outlined with bullets, headlines, and punchy platitudes, the book rarely takes the reader to any areas of detailed discussion or analysis. Indeed, a substantial part of the work could be summarized without much sacrifice of enlightenment, by saying, "Successful business leaders should think carefully about hiring top-notch employees and contractors, and about communicating regularly, compassionately, and clearly with all of them in defining goals, providing incentives, and measuring results."

Attempts to provide imaginative insights are undermined by statements such as, "measuring the performance of a sales team with reference to total sales" or that studies "show that top performers outproduce low performers by a factor," or "encourage decision makers to make decisions when necessary."

The prevailingly uncontroversial character of the author's message is occasionally relieved by advice that could be rationally challenged.

  • The recommendation to include spouses in a company's social events is at least worthy of discussion as applied to some corporate populations.

  • The author's suggestion that bad news be communicated without positive buffering is contrary to the advice of most business communication experts, who espouse the "ABA" format wherein negative news is preceded and followed by some positive messaging.

  • The author's proposed rejection letter for unsuccessful job applicants similarly struck me as gratuitously blunt.

  • As one who remembers as most useful to me teachers who were most critical and stingy with praise, I would also take issue with the efficiency of effusive and notorious praise.

My favorite part of the book is when the author encourages note taking and suggests initiating meetings wherein controversial topics are likely to be addressed with a discussion of relatively uncontroversial matters.

Along with the obligatory copyright notice, which curiously includes a glaring typo in its first line, the author also disclaims any professional expertise. This may actually be more than pro forma particularly when the author discusses the termination of prior contractors involved with proprietary information, the use of corporate assets for charitable contributions, and hiring policies which focus on good "cultural fits."

Except for a reference to "an projects" and a sentence arrangement that gives the reader the impression that the 7S program has only six components, the book is generally well edited.

The author states in an introductory note that he was troubled about how to decide among gender-specific pronouns, a dilemma he resolved in favor of the masculine gender (not tense as the author states.) In practice, however, the author sometimes resorts to the admittedly awkward "he or she" and at another point actually shifts from "he" to "she" in a single sentence. This conundrum can almost always be solved simply by shifting from singular to plural antecedent nouns, as in changing, "It also frees the leader from daily tasks, which allows him or her to think about the big picture. . . " to "It also frees leaders from daily tasks, which allow them to . . . "

The book also contains links to useful online business materials that add specifics to the well intentioned and harmless generalities of the book's guidelines.

Click Here To Purchase Building A Winning Business: 70 Takeaways For Creating A Company That Will Remain Strong During Good And Bad Economic Times