Breaking The Wheel

Culture & Values Resources

Full disclosure: this page makes use of Amazon affiliate links. If you use those links to purchase their respective products, Breaking the Wheel will make a small commission (that comes out of Amazon’s pockets, not yours). In short, purchasing these weighty tomes of knowledge helps support the blog at no cost to you. I am only putting up products that I believe in and that I think can benefit you.

Primalbranding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future, Patrick Hanlon

While I take umbrage with this book’s preference for anecdotal evidence over data, it does paint a compelling picture. Outstanding, well known brands, companies, organizations, or even countries) have a similar collection of attributes (what Hanlon calls the “primal code”): an origin story, a creed, iconography, rituals, pagans/nonbelievers, sacred words, and a leader. In lieu of data, Hanlon enumerates examples of primal brands ad nauseam, so the middle part of the book drags a bit.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, Jim Collins

This is, hands down, the best business book I have yet read. Collins and his team identified a set of exacting criteria for defining a “good to great” business – a company that was mediocre for 15+ years, experienced an inflection point in performance, and then went to be an industry leader for at least 15 years. They then looked for trends between them and differences from less successful comparison companies in the same industries. It offers concrete recommendations on how to make a great company, supported by honest-to-god data, not historical anecdotes.

Values to Action, Harry Kraemer

The former CEO of a multinational medical company explains the importance of your personal values and how to use those values to be an effective leader. Kraemer was one of my professors in business school, and his concept of “values based leadership” wasn’t just idle pontificating. The man can walk the walk. And all proceeds from the book go to a really kick-ass non-profit called One Acre Fund, so you can do something good while learning to do something well!

And in keeping with that spirit, I’ve excluded From Values to Action from the blog’s affiliate marketing program. Breaking The Wheel will not get any commission ducats from sales of this book.