Guest Column | January 3, 2014

So Many Resources, So Little Time

By: Mary Ellen Grom, Vice President, US Marketing, SYNNEX Corporation

One of my mantras is to never stop learning. But with the plethora of information made available in the Digital Age, sometimes the hardest part can be choosing the best places to look. Here are a few helpful books and websites that keep me focused on what matters day to day, both professionally and personally. They are filled with wisdom I can apply to my everyday life and pass along to my colleagues to challenge and inspire them.

  1. The Art of Client Service, Robert Solomon. This is my bible of customer experience management. I believe in the ECHO principle — Every Contact Has Opportunity — and this book crystallizes how to take action with every single person you meet. I gave a copy of this book to all of my managers to read before March 2014, and we are using the “58 Things” list to guide our best practices in the New Year.
  1. Don’t Sing at The Table, Adriana Trigiani. On a leisurely note, this book is so heartfelt and built on the time-tested advice from the author’s grandmothers. It’s a story of dedication, reinvention, brilliance, and hardship that gives anyone a unique perspective on growing up “way back when.” I had the pleasure of meeting Adriana last year at a conference and can attest that her unique personality and style is genuinely reflected in this book.
  1. Lincoln the Unknown, Dale Carnegie. The author and title subject are both unique inspirations. Carnegie’s reflections on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln make you feel like you know Abe personally. This is a book that builds leadership skills, character, and beliefs based on the values of a true hero. It offers a side of Lincoln’s personality that you will not find in any history book.
  1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work, Richard Carlson. At the end of the day, it always FEELS worse than it really is. This book is full of business truisms that remind the dedicated, hard-working professional that sometimes the little things don’t matter. Life is full of speed bumps. So what do you do? Slow down, get over them, and move on. This book is a constant reminder to focus on what really matters in the workplace. 
  1. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. A tremendous true story on the life of Louie Zamperini that is almost unimaginable. Louie is a juvenile delinquent who becomes an Olympic runner and Army POW. He encounters life’s most torturous conditions — emotionally and physically. Louie’s story takes a turn when he is stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean. He promises God that if he survives, he will become a man of faith. Today Louie still speaks about his 47 days on that raft in the ocean and coming to faith as a result. This book brings miracles to life and serves as a truly moving story that speaks to the innate human ability to overcome even the greatest adversity.  

My quick hits on the web:

http://blogs.hbr.org/: Insightful strategic direction on a number of topics for any professional in today’s fast-paced, demanding business environment.

http://www.mindtools.com/index.html: management, leadership, teambuilding, conflict — you name it. Mindtools.com is a take-action-now website with applicable tools and resources for managers.

http://www.cio.com/: understanding the minds of global technology decision makers helps me market smarter to my IT channel audience.

http://vimeo.com/greggrom: GROMVision Corporate Video Production provides creative, impactful video messages that engage and delight — all thanks to my mastermind husband, Greg Grom!

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