An integral aspect of any business is looking for new ways and ideas on how to improve your business practices from within. If your MSP can accomplish this, every area of the business will benefit — from customer satisfaction to the morale and productivity of your employees.
We recently asked some of your MSP peers to share their favorite leadership books that have helped them improve their businesses. We received a number of passionate responses and encourage you to check them out for yourselves!
Feel the fear and do it anyway
By Susan Jeffers
Sharon Vanhoose of Cyber Solutions, Inc., an MSP based in South Carolina, had this to say about her favorite leadership book:
“One book that changed my life was, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. I tend to be insecure and doubt myself. This book inspired me to learn to trust my instincts and go for it. The premise of the book is everyone is afraid, successful people are just as afraid as unsuccessful people. The successful people just do not let their fear limit them. This is a great book for people in all stages of life – even a teenager that was having trouble in school said it helped change her life.
This book led me to stepping out of my comfort zone and going for the job I always wanted. I am still afraid every day, but it no longer stops me.”
Leadership 101: What every leader needs to know
By John C. Maxwell
Christopher Cable, from Techworks Consulting, Inc., an MSP based in New York, detailed why this book was his favorite out of its entire series:
“Our business has adopted the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This model focuses on discussing the most important issues in our business, the root cause of each issue, and how we can solve each one. The results we have seen from this are astounding and I would highly recommend that any business adopt this model, by fitting it into their everyday lifestyle and how they run their operations.
Since implementing this model, we often have one of our ‘rocks’ — or priorities we want to accomplish in the next 90-days — be to have each employee read a developmental and self-improvement book. We find that continuing our education and improving ourselves is a key aspect of how we succeed not just as individuals, but more importantly, as a team.
During this past quarter, I have read three different self-improvement and business books, but the one that resonated with me the most was the ‘101 Series’ by John C. Maxwell. These are short books that range on different leadership topics, such as team building, building relationships, mentoring, and many others.
In any business, you are only as strong as your weakest employee. If you are not willing to make the efforts into developing that employee, then you are failing them as their leader by not allowing them to grow. These values and ideas have opened my eyes as a leader of our organization to place a higher value on the interactions with people. Too often, the MSP market is filled with staff that just wants to work on computers, while the ‘people’ aspect is left by the wayside.
People are the most important aspect of the industry and building relationships is how businesses grow. There are many business books out there, but if you focus on people, you will never fail as a business. Allow yourself to grow, but also focus on your employees’ growth and promote their development as well. Seeing growth in those that you mentor and lead is one of the best feelings there is.”
Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action
By Simon Sinek
This book is one of the best when it comes to teaching executives how to be better leaders for their employees, according to Larry Horvat of Cleveland-based MSP Accellis Technology Group. He told us:
“Hands down one of my favorite reads, ever. I’m sure some of you are familiar with this book or have read it. If not, I highly suggest it. Instead of explaining the book itself (I don’t want to give away any spoilers), I will share my largest takeaway:
Many business owners focus on what their employees are lacking or what they want the employee to do, rather than what interests the employee or what they are truly good at. Focusing on what the employee doesn’t like to do or isn’t good at, will often result in an employee that doesn’t enjoy their job—this negatively affects their attitude, and results. However, when you identify what someone is good at, driven by, and/or what inspires them (and encourage them), it’s a win-win for everyone. This employee truly enjoys their work and the results are obvious.
Unfortunately, there are too many business owners that fall into the first camp, resulting in them driving away great employees.”
These are just some of the many habits that successful leaders in the MSP industry exhibit to help themselves, their employees, and their business overall. By reading these books, you can learn how to adopt these behaviors to improve your MSP business, and make changes from top to bottom. Some of these books will undoubtedly feature on future editions of our MSP’s Bookshelf series, so stay tuned!
Have suggestions for what we should read next? Tell us which book we should read next on our MSP bookshelf.
Photo: Ilyafs / Shutterstock
I would recommend the following:
The Pumpkin Plan
They Ask You Answer
Negotiate To Win