Quick Read

Bo's Lasting Lessons
by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon

Leadership tomes from successful college coaches are practically a genre unto themselves. Most are as interchangeable in both advice and voice as the slick and mercenary new breed of coaches who operate on today's college sidelines. But in this collection of life lessons, readers can practically hear the ferocious growl of the legendary University of Michigan football coach who died suddenly last November as the book was being written. Schembechler's practical, plain-spoken insights on subjects like goal-setting, motivation, execution and maintaining focus under fire come through clearly and without compromise, a fitting last testament from the man who put the "d" in "discipline."

The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business
by Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman

Storytelling seems an unlikely art to practice in a world where terse, BlackBerry-typed prose is becoming the lingua franca, but these two consultants and entertainment-industry vets argue that the ability to persuade by spinning an intriguing narrative is an essential career skill. Drawing on their experience in the movie business, the authors break down storytelling into five key elements and show how you can learn to express yourself better by using them.

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes
by Mark J. Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne

When Clinton pollster and Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn affixed the term "soccer mom" to suburban swing voters in 1996, he showed his genius at identifying how the small shifts in a few people's lifestyles and attitudes can create big transformations in society. Now, armed with exquisitely detailed data, Penn has isolated more than 70 similar "microtrends," including everything from a surge in knitting among teenagers to a rise in the average age of first-time fathers. But Penn does more than spot trends, he also shows how responding to them can make or break companies and campaigns alike.