Synopses & Reviews
Transform Your Business to Become a Peak Performer
"Chip Conley gives a brilliant analysis of the absolute necessity of Maslow's hierarchical paradigm in unleashing the talent and commitment of customers, employees, owners—in fact, stakeholders. Great resource material for leaders, trainers, educators, even parents. Chip practices in his hotels what he teaches—most successfully!"
—Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
"Chip Conley presents a creative and thought-provoking new approach to running a business. He brilliantly applies Abraham Maslow's theories to management and provides insightful prescriptions that will help you gain peak performance in your company. Conley's depth and candor make this book a must-read for everyone who wants to improve their organization."
—Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic and author, Authentic Leadership and True North
"One of the best business books I've read. A unique combination of organized intelligence and creative insight. I guarantee it!"
—George Zimmer, CEO and chairman, Men's Wearhouse, Inc.
"Strategy? Got one. Tactics? Check. But there's one more key element without which you won't get anywhere: Motivation. Peak will show you how to create motivated employees, customers, and investors, and tells the story of how one spectacular entrepreneur does it by treating people right—and how they return the favor."
—Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief, Wired magazine and author, The Long Tail
"Chip Conley's book is a perfect combination: part personal story, part business theory, and part how-to instruction. Peak combines head, heart, and soul for today's aspiring business leader. Don't just read this book—do it!"
—Alan M. Webber, former editorial director, Harvard Business Review and co-founding editor, Fast Company
Despite using the word "mojo" in the subtitle and citing inspiration he received from 1960s counterculture icon Timothy Leary, this guide to better management isn't for hippies. Yes, Conley started the California boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality with the Phoenix Hotel, once a haven for faded rock stars. And yes, he quotes liberally from "rebel" CEOs who surf. But Conley's book is packed with thoughtful, instructional stories and advice for entrepreneurs as well as Fortune 500 managers, gleaned from his own experience as well as other business books. At the center of this confessional how-to is psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a pyramid that ranks human needs from base to self-actualizing. Used as the basis for employee, customer and stakeholder satisfaction, Conley contends, it can transform a business and its people. Though Stephen Covey and Peter Drucker have looked to Maslow before, Conley describes how using the pyramid saved his company from bankruptcy when the dot-com bubble burst. Conley is most successful when he expresses his ideas in numbered lists rather than the wordy passages that slow down the beginning. On the whole, though, his advice is inspiring and accessible. (Sept.) (Publishers Weekly, July 23, 2007)
"If you want to be a leader in any type of organization, read Talk Is (Not!) Cheap
. It is full of helpful suggestions by someone who has learned when to listen and when to talk. His conversational leadership shows us how we can reach people with our spoken words, whether in the boardroom or before a large audience. McCann proves that nice guys can finish first." —Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley
“Conversation drives business. Having spent the past fifteen years working with entrepreneurs, I know that new companies either succeed or fail based on their ability to connect--with their investors, their customers, their employees, and their communities. In Talk Is (Not!) Cheap, Jim McCann shows why emails and PowerPoint decks are a poor substitute for the natural connections that arise when people pause to talk—and listen—to one another. Entrepreneurs of all stripes would be well advised to pick up this book.” —Linda Rottenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Endeavor
“Jim McCann is a great teacher in the art, science, and heart of leadership. At a time when so many people are just talking at one another, Talk Is (Not!) Cheap is an important reminder for all of us to get back to basics, listen, and rediscover what it means to have true dialogue. Honest, refreshing, and immediately actionable.” —Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era
“Jim McCann sends us a wakeup call that face-to-face communication remains the essential tool for work, relationships, leadership, entrepreneurship, sales and so many other dimensions of social life. Talk Is (Not!) Cheap is full of down-to-earth, experienced, pithy advice from someone who clearly practices what he, well, converses.” —Daniel Isenberg, author of Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value
will help you create peak experiences with those you work with, so that these flourishing relationships will help you sustain peak performance."
After a long climb to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley—CEO and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality—was rocked to his foundation by a dramatic economic downturn. His company was suddenly undercapitalized and overexposed in the post-dot.com, post-9/11 economy. This desperate situation made Conley reaffirm his belief in psychologist Abraham Maslow's iconic concept of the Hierarchy of Needs and rely on Maslow's theory of human motivation to help his business flourish once more.
In Peak, Conley explores how Joie de Vivre —the second largest boutique hotelier in the world—overcame the storm that hit the travel industry by applying translations of Maslow's ideas to his company's winning business practices. Part memoir, part theory, and always practical, accessible, and engaging, Peak offers a behind-the-scenes look at Joie de Vivre's remarkable transformation. By creating loyalty with employees, customers, and investors, Conley was able to turn his company around and experience sustained success.
Throughout the book, Chip Conley provides real-world examples from other companies including Google, Whole Foods Market, Harley-Davidson, and Southwest Airlines, and shows how anyone can bring similar changes to their own work and personal lives. Peak reveals the miracle of human potential and shows what can happen when employees live up to their full potential, customers are completely transformed by the experience they receive, and investors are fulfilled by leveraging the potential of their capital.
Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur or in management at a Fortune 500 company, the principles outlined in Peak will help you maximize your own potential and the potential of those around you.
After fifteen years of rising to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley's company was suddenly undercapitalized and overexposed in the post-dot.com, post-9/11 economy. For relief and inspiration, Conley, the CEO and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, turned to psychologist Abraham Maslow's iconic Hierarchy of Needs. This book explores how Conley's company "the second largest boutique hotelier in the world" overcame the storm that hit the travel industry by applying Maslow's theory to what Conley identifies as the key Relationship Truths
in business with Employees, Customers and Investors.
Part memoir, part theory, and part application, the book tells of Joie de Vivre's remarkable transformation while providing real world examples from other companies and showing how readers can bring about similar changes in their work and personal lives. Conley explains how to understand the motivations of employees, customers, bosses, and investors, and use that understanding to foster better relationships and build an enduring and profitable corporate culture.
How to lead through conversation from the founder and CEO of 1-800-Flowers.com, the world's largest florist.
Jim McCann has spent his career talking. For McCann, the founder and CEO of the worlds leading florist, 1-800-Flowers.com, being open and ready to speak to a variety of audiences is his most powerful leadership tool.
In Talk Is (Not!) Cheap, McCann illustrates how the art of conversation leadership—the process he developed to engage others and create forward momentum in the workplace—can be used to inspire, innovate, and win. Using a blend of how-to and insightful personal stories, this book argues that the gift of gab may just be the most critical (and undervalued) skill set in todays workplace.
Lessons include how to overcome hesitation when diving into conversation with strangers and knowing when to just “shut up and listen!” McCanns practical advice comes from twenty years of experience as the voice of small business, and from meeting and exchanging ideas with other influential business leaders around the world.
Whether youre interacting with customers, pitching new business to a client, or seeking to be heard within your own company, Talk Is (Not!) Cheap will strategically transform the way you communicate and listen. With McCann as your guide, this important book will teach you how the art of conversation leadership can improve and joyously change your life.
About the Author
JIM McCANN is the founder and CEO of 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. Today, his organization encompasses numerous gift brands and websites, including Fannie May Confections, The Popcorn Factory, Cheryls Cookies, 1-800-Baskets.com, FruitBouquets.com, StockYards.com, FineStationery.com, and Celebrations.com—in addition to a network of 1-800-Flowers franchise shops across the country. McCann is the author of Stop and Sell the Roses: Lessons from Business and Life and A Year Full of Flowers: Fresh Ideas to Bring Flowers into Your Life Every Day.
Table of Contents
1. Entrepreneurial Conversations 1
2. Conversation Management 23
3. Conversations with Customers 43
4. Conversations with Family 67
5. Conversations about Technology 85
6. Learning from Conversation Leaders 103
7. Global Conversations 119
8. Conversations with Community 127
9. Conversation as Currency 143
10. Talking Your Way Out of Trouble 159