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Cleaning Out Your Bookshelves

On a recent Monday afternoon, I found out that the painters were coming on Wednesday. That meant I had to clean out my office, shuffle furniture around and make room for them to paint the walls.

One of the actions I took was unload three large oak bookcases, each with three to five shelves full of various business, sales and sales management books I have collected over 20-plus years, in addition to various three-ring binders from training programs I had attended or created for our workshops. Most were dusty.

However, the best part was discovering items I had forgotten I even had, or books I wanted to review again simply for the ideas I knew they would stimulate for my speaking programs or consulting work. It is good to clean your closets and bookshelves from time to time!

In my clients' offices, there always seems to be a bookshelf or two with a variety of book/binders that they have built up over time. It is a natural part of increasing your professional status. Hopefully, they were all read, not simply collected. But when was the last time you reviewed your library of business books or binders to discover gems of information that you could use?

Often, ideas or tools that you read three years ago that were not pertinent at the time can be leveraged today -- or, more importantly, tomorrow. As sales leaders, we must constantly seek new ways or ideas to stimulate our sales teams, increase our business acumen and increase our professionalism. You can find this in a constant supply of new books, but from time to time simply cleaning off your existing shelves may lead to a few gems as well.

One of my personal rules is to read a business book and then read a fun or enjoyable book. I rotate this principle throughout the year, even having three or four books going at the same time depending on my mood or time demands. I will admit that after writing four books these past 18 months my reading time has slowed down. However, I just finished Successful Selling by Matt Heinz -- off to find the next Brad Thor book!

If you would like my list of executive business books, send me an e-mail at

Posted by Ken Thoreson on June 03, 2011 at 11:59 AM


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