The Reusume of Benjamin B. Taylor
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How to Be A Star At Work by Robert E. Kelley

The book teaches a set of strategies that anyone’s performance improve. The challenge is to organize, communicate and implement them. Having based his conclusions on successful workers of Bell Labs, Kelly has offered up a blueprint for how to succeed at work. I especially appreciate his recognition that women and minorities face unique challenges in the workplace thus may have to implement additional strategies. By far the best book I've ever read on performing well at work.

Managing Up by Rosanne Badowski


"After fourteen years of working shoulder to shoulder with GE tough guy Jack Welch, Roseanne Badowski is not afraid of what she calls the "s-word." She argues that all of us are secretaries as well as managers. In Managing Up, Badowski leverages lessons she learned in building a stellar relationship with her boss. She offers smart and solid advice beginning with her "Can you start on Monday?" interview with Welch, and then turning to the skills of "navigating a boss Monday through Friday." The book' s chapter titles may sound prosaic, but her approach crackles with energy and fresh ideas. For example, she writes about trust by including "time-tested phrases for breaking bad news." She details the perils of being unprepared and puts in a good word for nagging. She also makes a persuasive argument for the advantages of cultivating impatience to enhance productivity. With splashy anecdotes and checklists, Badowski offers realistic and and disciplined counsel. Hero worshippers be warned: Although Welch wrote the book's introduction, Badowski is such an engaging no-nonsense advisor that she becomes the most compelling manager represented in her book." -

Getting it Done by Roger Fisher


"Does it seem that good ideas go nowhere at your company? That meetings are often a waste of time? That nobody seems to be in charge? Roger Fisher (the coauthor of the bestselling book Getting to Yes) and Alan Sharp tackle, in their book Getting It Done, the inertia that afflicts many groups. The authors advance the idea of lateral leadership as a means of breaking apart the logjams that inhibit effective collaboration in organizations. Lateral leadership consists of five elements: clarifying the purpose of what you're trying to accomplish; understanding how to harness the power of organized thought; learning how to integrate thinking with doing; getting yourself and your team engaged; and, finally, learning how to give feedback on what's been accomplished. This is a practical guide to solving common workplace woes that will relieve the frustrations that many of us experience everyday and at the same time help us to stand out as leaders." -


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Michael E. Porter on Competition by Michael Porter


The key to investing is understanding sustainable competitive advantage, a field in which Porter has been the leading thinker over the past three decades (full disclosure: Porter is my friend and mentor). This book is a collection of his "greatest hits" and should be the first stop for anyone interested in competition, competitive strategy, and competitive advantage. From his early work on competition among companies and within industries to his later work on the competitive advantage of locations, to his most recent work on competitive solutions to societal problems such as the distress of inner cites, On Competition covers it all in a clear, easy-to-follow sequence. 

The Prime Movers by Edwin Locke


Locke, a professor at University of Maryland explores the philosophy of success by examining the common characteristics of men and women of achievement. The book draws heavily on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead for its inspiration.

In Search of Excellence by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman

"This relatively simple and informal book still took a fascinating look into America's leading firms and provided some extremely insightful conclusions about the role a form of leadership that was needed in the late 80's and 90's, when American companies were grappling with extensive global competition combined with major internal challenges." - Businessweek

Good to Great by Jim Collins


Built to Last by Jim Collins


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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

In the world of psychology, the phenomenon is called "compliance". The rest of us refer to it as "influence" and "persuasion". How and why people agree to things affects us all every day, every hour. Especially in a job interview. Learn from an expert how to use
your influence. Cialdini is a psychologist who's been studying this subject for years, and this book is five notches above any self-help tome. One of the finest accounts of the psychology underlying when we are or are not persuaded. Cialdini provides compelling examples of persuasion tactics, which will make for an interesting read for any one remotely interested in selling, marketing, or in understanding why they sometimes get roped in to say yes when they wish they had said no!" 

How Winners Sell by Dave Stein

Because sales experts have useful advice for those serious about success in their career. Stein emphasizes "the truth" about an opportunity over the wishful thinking that leads to bad choices. He teaches how to become proficient at asking questions before approaching prospects. And he shows how to recognize a lost cause.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie


A practical guide that offers a number of fundamelsights on relationships and people's motivations. Don't let the title fool you, because it is not about manipulating people. Rather it is about being sincere and communicating your message most effectively. A classic.

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Nah, you're not going to get as good at netwoking as Keith Ferrazzi, who has established a new class of guru in the universe of inside contacts. You won't even like some of his methods. But no matter. There's wisdom in this book that no one should ignore. In a world where technology lets you "connect" with a zillion other members of "online social networks", Ferrazzi reminds us that flesh and blood is the be-all and end-all of life. Who you know matters, and who knows you probably matters more. It ain't the "nodes" in the network. It's the people and the relationships. Real people. Real relationships. If you can't sit down and break bread with a real person, then you have no real relationship, and the joke's on you. Having friends takes a lot of time and a lot of love.

The Art of Deception by Nicolas Cipaldi

Definitely an unfortunately titled book as it is not about deception at all. It is however about forming and presenting a logic based argument or position. Absolutely a must read for anyone who needs to perform a presentation, appear in court, or deal with a difficult person.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell




Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

You probably haven't read this book or Rand's The Fountainhead because, like War & Peace, they seem long and intimidating. If you pick them up, you'll never want these books to end. I confess I purchased and made extensive use of Cliff Notes' summary of the book. However, Rand presents an ideal if hard to achieve definition of capitalism. A motivator in taking responsibility for yourself, your work and your life.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

If you ever wondered how one person could really make a difference, or how it can be possible to succeed while remaining true to yourself, you're not alone. Ayn Rand tells the compelling story of how the individual is the fountainhead of all progress.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


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There exists the popular notion that altruism and selfishness are at odds and further that altruism is the moral ideal. Rand argues that devotion to the welfare of others, as Webster’s defines altruism, is no more moral or right than the devotion to the welfare of oneself. She argues that selfish acts are not automatically acts that are to the detriment of others. Rand goes on to say that actions taken with the knowledge that it will be to another’s detriment, are not rational. And true selfish behavior requires rational and principled centered thought. For her, the truly selfish person is a self-respecting, self-supporting human being who neither sacrifices others to himself nor sacrifices himself to others. If you'd had any doubt or guilt about your personal desires, this book will help you sort them out.

RUSSELL ON ETHICS by Bertrand Russell

Warren Buffett advises us to "read your Russell". On the topic of ethics, Russell believed that they are not only meaningful, but that they are a vital subject matter for civil discourse. In this book he iterates his view that reason, for which he is so well known, ought to be subordinate to ethical considerations.


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The Power of Purpose: Creating Meaning in Your Life and Work by Richard Leider

Richard Leider offers real insight into what makes people happy at their work. He bases this book on research he has done over 20 years. His perspective on "purpose in our work" is both profound and useful.


Frankel's message is simple. In any situation, under any circumstances, we all have choice. And we can find meaning in our existence.


Covey provides the instruction manual on how to do things well. Hardly profound, but right to the point. Covey encourages us to begin with the end in mind, find the win-win relationship and renew by concentrating on taking care of oneself.

THINK AND GROW RICH by Napoleon Hill

Though not the first, possibly the best book in the self-help genre. About more than growing rich financially. It's about growing rich in all aspects of life.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Tolle doesn't preach. His writing is simple and clear. And he teaches a simple concept that underlies Eastern religions: If you can learn to focus on who and where you are right now, you will relax and do your best thinking and your best work. Sorry if that sounds mushy. I read short sections of this book almost every day, and Tolle reminds me how to be myself rather than who others expect me to be.


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The Greater Good by Claire Gaudiani

Gudiani writes citizen generosity is an integral fulfillment of the nation's democratic imperative of upward mobility.

The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie


Wealth and Our Commonwealth by William Gates, Sr.

The Ten Percent Solution by James Allen


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Successful Intelligence by Robert Sternberg


Sternberg was categorized as one of the "slow" kids in grade school. Along the way he learned how damaging labels can be. Another lessons learned was intelligence is not only analytical, which our educational system emphasizes. Intelligence can also be, according to Sternberg, creative and practical.

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich

An outstanding, entertaining book on behavioral finance, which examines how people's emotions affect their investment decisions and performance. This area has critical implications for investing; in fact, I believe it is far more important in determining investment success (or lack thereof) than an investor’s intellect. 

The Big Test by Nicolas Lehman

Lehman explores the history of standardized tests in general and the SAT specifically to explore the country's efforts toward a meritocracy based society. 

Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid by Robert Sternberg

An exploration into stupidity in everyday life. 


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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

Franklin has something for us all. The most revealing thing about the Autobiography is that Franklin himself struggled every day to be the person he wanted to be. And failed everyday. Certainly the rest of us can put in the same effort.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

It's never to late to be what you might have been. X exemplifies those words by George Eliot better than anyone.

Buffett by Roger Lowenstein



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The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams


Adams' financial planning advice summed up in 9 easy steps is worth the price of the book.

Moneyball by Michael Lewis


Lewis reveals the Oakland As' secret - pay fairly for production.

The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams


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© Brick Financial Management, LLC, PhatKnot Media, LLC, Benjamin B. Taylor, all rights reserved. No material that appears here can be reproduce without express written permission. However, permission is hereby granted to electronically link to, forward or quote passages as long as source is attributed to "Benjamin B. Taylor, President of Brick Financial Management,"

Although it is believed the information and data on this site were obtained from sources considered reliable and correct, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Neither this commentary, nor any opinions expressed herein, should be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to acquire any securities or other investments mentioned herein. This information should not to be construed as investment advice. Persons associated with this site and Brick Financial Management, LLC may own or have an interest in securities or investments mentioned in this presentation. Their positions may change from time to time and they may buy or sell such securities or investments. Past performance is never a guarantee of future performance.