Publisher: Intertech Press
ISBN: 978-0-9834705-0-2

Tom Salonek, author of Building A Winning Business, obtained his BA from the University of St. Thomas and his MM from University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. (inside cover, 2011) He pursued an executive education certificate from Harvard and MIT in 2005 which netted him the Top Business Leader under 40 award in Minnesota. He previously taught at University of St. Thomas and founded Intertech Foundation in 2003. He has penned over 50 articles on a variety of business topics that were published in newspapers and/or magazines.

In the introduction (2011) portion of this book Mr. Salonek states that “…organizations are facing profound challenges…due to the increasingly global nature of competition and what some are now calling “The Great Recession”.” I do not disagree. Furthermore, there are distinct changes that have come about from this evolving landscape that shape what employers and employees want. Mr. Salonek addresses many of those things in this book.

Some of the highlights from this book begin with “Building a great team starts with finding great people.” (2011, p.2) Salonek says “…take the time to check out a potential new employee thoroughly before asking him to join our team.” Then he offers “…use consistent questions that all candidates must answer… Vary the setting when interviewing the same candidate multiple times…elicit important information from job candidates…provide clear information about your organization’s culture, values, and expectations.” (p.4)

Advice for employers continues with “…always call his three most recent employers and ask questions that get the real story…get a more complete and accurate description of the candidate’s past job responsibilities and performance.” (2011, p.6) Salonek also suggest that if an organization can afford to do so they should get a professional outside evaluation of each of their best candidates for any given job.

“…making a commitment to hire only top performers is a strategy worth pursuing. It’s the only way to ensure that you can deliver the best service or product to your customers…the only way to stay competitive, especially in an age of global outsourcing.” (2011, p.10) “If you think you can get by with mediocre employees, you’ll soon see your profits margins eroding…Great performers are rarely unemployed or desperate for work.” Personally, I think Salonek is spot on in this evaluation of high performing organizations. If you want to remain nimble, responsive, and competitive in today’s global landscape you’ve got to be able to recruit, hire, and train the best you can afford.

Other chapters in this book speak about offering contracts to those best qualified for your position, what things should be negotiated, how to set the tone for expectations, checking in with regularity, motivation, goal alignment, worker satisfaction, dealing with burnout, etc.. I actually created a powerpoint of certain sections of this book to incorporate into my Human Resource Management class at the University of Memphis. The kids loved it and learned a lot. I think you will too!

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