• Rhys Green

Five Books That Will Make You and Your Team More Productive in 2020


As an operational excellence professional, I love to read what some of the best minds are saying about how to get more of the right things done. While most business books have an element of operations woven into them (how could they not, when operations are how you run a business) here are five that I recommend to anyone trying to grow revenue, profit, and enduring business.


The E Myth By Michael E. Gerber




This book was a huge part of the culture at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? And one of the most useful, real-world, books I’ve read in terms of understanding how to use operations and system building as drivers of growth and profit. Although at times it can feel a little dry, Gerber does a great job of keeping it engaging with great anecdotes.


Idea That Stuck


Our business is a system in which every detail contributes to the output.


Available on Amazon.


Scaling Up Excellence By




This book is absolutely loaded with gems you can apply with your team immediately to deal with the problems that come with growth. It is definitely a little more on the academic side of the spectrum, however, I found it thought-provoking in the right ways and often, practical. Sutton and Rao weave their lessons into engaging narratives using a host of different case studies which I found entertaining.


Idea That Stuck


Are you a Catholic or Buddhist organization? This gave me a framework for a problem I’ve worked with many times but never had a mental model for. How much structure is the right amount of structure?


Available on Amazon.


The Four Disciplines of Execution By Chris McChesney, Sean Covey & Jim Huling




Do you ever find yourself not getting to the things you know are going to take your business to the next level? These guys attribute that to something they call the “whirlwind”. The idea is that we tend to not work on the most important stuff that can supercharge growth and build the foundation of our business, because we get so swept up in the whirlwind of the day-to-day. Frankly, if you don’t know this feeling, I want to meet you because this is something I constantly struggle with and this book certainly helps.


Idea That Stuck


Focus your time and effort on 1 to 2 goals that will make all the difference. This reinforced something I learned from an early mentor but find myself having to relearn regularly.


Available on Amazon.


Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey



This one is a classic, first published in 89’ and it still holds up. Although I don’t agree with all of the habits e.g. start with the end in mind has led me astray a few times although it’s often the right thing to do. I also find Covey’s writing style endearing and likable. It feels a little like you’re learning lessons from your grandfather as you sip coffee together in his office.


Idea That Stuck


You’re in control of your reality, take it or don’t, it’s up to you. While I’m pretty sure Covey doesn’t say this in the book. This is how I walked away feeling about it and the lessons learned.


Available on Amazon.


Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell



Since this is the only non-businessy book on this list, it’s going to feel like it’s a stretch, but bear with me. Written by George Orwell (the 1984 guy) and published in 1933 this is a two-part memoir of his time living on the poverty line in Paris and London. So how will this make you and your team more productive? This book powerfully illustrates the plight of the lower working class during this time. Orwell highlights just how far we’ve come and just how much further we have to go. The ridiculously inefficient processes described in this book are excruciating. It made me reflect on many things, but this one question stuck with me the most.


Idea That Stuck


What processes are my clients and I still using that are painful for our team members? Getting in the habit of finding answers to this question will absolutely make your business more productive. We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.


Available on Amazon.


That's it! Five books that you can pick up easily that will make you and your team more productive.


If you're interested in learning more about productivity, check out my blog post How to Lead More Effective 1-to-1 Meetings.


Need something more specialized? Get in touch to learn how my consulting services at Trailblaze Partners can help your business produce measurable results, that will scale and grow your revenue.

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© 2019 RHYS GREEN