PowerTips Book Recommendations: July 2019

With the holiday coming at the end of the week, you may take a long weekend — or are already on vacation. It’s a perfect time to grab a good book and get some reading done. We ask our PowerTips Unscripted guests about their favorite business books every week. Here are some of the answers, as well as why these books are important to them — and may become your own favorite.

Tim Faller

R/A Senior Consultant and Master of Production 
Episode 67: Kicking Off Slippage Awareness Month
Episode 50: LIVE from the Extreme Business Makeover
Episode 08: Zero Punch List Production

The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability (Amazon)

Tim likes this book’s take on accountability, and getting employees to take ownership of the larger goals to create ownership of their own performance.

Liz Moisan

Product Innovation Specialist at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle
Episode 64: What Healthcare Can Teach Remodeling about LEAN

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High (Amazon)

Liz says she uses what she learned from this book at work and at home, because it focuses on ways to communicate when there are strong emotions, high stress, and opposing opinions.

Mike Foti

President, Innovate Building Solutions, Cleveland
Episode 57: How to Capture Cost-Effective, Exclusive Leads

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t (Amazon)

From a leadership standpoint, Mike says, this book cites the importance of having leaders who are humble, and who respect others, to the success of your business.

Allison Iontasca

Owner,  F.H. Perry Builder, Hopkinton, MA 
Episode 56: The Secret to Successful Employee Reviews

Becoming a Resonant Leader: Develop Your Emotional Intelligence, Renew Your Relationships, Sustain Your Effectiveness (Amazon)

This is a workbook for developing your personal vision, your personal balance sheet, and how to put learning goals in place to develop it. Take the time and you’ll be amazed at what you learn about yourself, says Allison.

Paul Kowalski

Owner, PK Builders, Charlotte, NC
Episode 58: How LEAN Principles Have Improved My Business

The E-Myth Contractor: Why Most Contractors’ Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (Amazon)

Paul says this book was a game-changer for him, and got him working less in the business, and more on the business,  

PowerTips Book Recommendations: February 2019

Every week we ask our PowerTips Unscripted guests to name their favorite business book, and the choices can be surprising — either because they’re new to us or because they’re old favorites that are worth reading again. 


Mike Medford Sr., Medford Design Build

The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale
Mike’s pick is one of those classics, and it’s a book that comes up time and time again as a recommendation in the podcast.


Josh Kelly, RevuKangaroo.com and Parker & Sons Inc.

Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling — Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence and Success, by Jordan Belfort
Josh recommends this book to boost your sales game — or for those who are selling for you. It’s an especially deep dive into how to persuade others, negotiate, and become a master salesperson.


Steve Barkhouse, Amsted Design-Build

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman
This book looks at how to strengthen six key components of your business. Steve says it’s a great guide he and his business partner used to implement Amsted’s new leadership team.


Jackie Shaw, the founder of Get Organized! LLC

Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police, by David C. Couper
It may not seem like a business book a QuickBooks guru would love, but Jackie says that though it’s about policing, it has great lessons about the principles of leadership and what that means for an organization.


Chris Katkish, InSite Builders and Remodeling

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do, you also have to read this book. Chris says it taught him to be organized, by giving him a system for dealing with everything re;ated to his business.


Judith Miller, facilitator for Remodelers Advantage

Construction Contractor Survival Guide, by Thomas C. Schleifer
The lessons here are applicable to all remodeling companies, says Judith. The author identifies the 10 reasons contractors fail, and how to avoid the pitfalls.


Tanya Bamford, managing director, R/A Marketing Inc.

The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource, by Jeffrey Gitomer
While this book if filled with great sales tips and techniques, Tanya loves it for the remodeling industry because of its emphasis on outstanding customer service as a sales tool.


What’s on Your Desk or Tablet?

What books have you read recently? Let us know in the comments, and tell us why you recommend them!

Disclosure: The links provided above are Amazon Affiliate links and that means, at no additional cost to you, Remodelers Advantage may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

PowerTips Book Recommendations: December 2018

We’re making a list and checking it twice, to bring you our last edition of book recommendations for this year from our staff, facilitators, and Roundtables members. Add these selections to your own reading list or to your holiday gift list — to give or get. The recommendations run the gamut from business to fiction, as well as a podcast.


Doug Howard, Director of Consulting Services, Remodelers Advantage

The One Thing by Gary Keller
This book highlights the importance of not only identifying “the one thing” that will make an impact on your business going forward, but also the importance of scheduling time — and the right time of day — for that area of focus. I’ve had a number of consulting clients read this after I read it, and the impact has been noticeable.

Good to Great by Jim Collins
This business classic is well known and often referred to as required business reading. I find it really deserves a re-read from time to time as the concepts become more profound the more your business grows and its complexity increases. Getting to a level of success is very difficult. Sustaining it and adapting it over a long period of time and multiple generations is a much greater challenge.


Rose Grabowski, CRA, Chief Technologist, Remodelers Advantage

The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach
A thought-provoking book that helps us see just how much we don’t know, and how much of what we think we understand really comes from others. How much does “group think” affect our decisions? How difficult is it for anyone to change what they believe in? We can use knowing what we don’t know as a starting point for deciding on what to spend our time learning.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Part of the Last Lecture Series at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy Pausch was indeed, giving his last lecture. Diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer, he used this lecture to impart his philosophy of life. One of the more thoughtful ideas was about being stopped by brick walls.  The brick walls we meet can be there to inspire us to overcome them. And, with planning and perseverance, we can do it.

Another concept proposed is that it’s important for those of us who are parents/mentors/leaders to understand is that our jobs are to allow and assist our children/friends/students to realize and achieve their dreams. We often forget that our jobs are to assist others to be the best person they can be, instead we try to mold them to the best person we think they should be.


Craig Durusko, Founder & Chairman, Sun Design, Burke, VA, and McClean, VA

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
Tony, the CEO of Zappos, tells his story in a humorous and somewhat unfiltered way.  It is an amazing story of how he built a company to 1 billion in sales two years before his goal. He talks about his journey after selling his first company and all the successes and failures along the way.

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
This book focuses on how different selling services is compared to selling products. Service marketing is not the same as product marketing. Most product failures are obvious and provable, most products can be warranted. Most services cannot be. So, you buy a service with no guarantees, and even more uncertainty. I especially like how, on page 169, he calls out remodeling specifically — “we worry our remodelers will exceed their budget and finish weeks after they promise.”

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Almost all the patterns that exist in most people’s lives— how we eat and sleep and talk to our kids, how we unthinkingly spend our time, attention, and money — are habits we know exist.  And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them.


Paul Winans, CR, Roundtables Facilitator, Remodelers Advantage

Red Notice by Bill Browder
A gripping true tale of what prompted the passage of the Magnitsky Act.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
A wonderful novel, it’s the stories of several different people in New York City in the 1970s and how they are linked by Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of the then-under-construction World Trade Center.


Arlene Alfano, CMP, Director of Meetings, Remodelers Advantage

Podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin
I am an avid podcast listener and I highly recommend Happier with Gretchen Rubin. The Four Tendencies she developed is similar to DiSC and I have found it to be insightful.


Thank You and Happy Holidays

Thanks to everyone who gave us their recommendations! If you’ve read or listened to anything you’d like to pass along, let us know in the comments.

Disclosure: The links provided above are Amazon Affiliate links and that means, at no additional cost to you, Remodelers Advantage may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

PowerTips Book Recommendations: October 2018

The cooler weather and waning daylight of Fall is creeping in, and the idea of lighting a fire and settling down with a good book (and maybe a hot toddy) is becoming more appealing. We’ve gathered reading recommendations from thought leaders in the remodeling industry — take a look at what they’ve been reading and add them to your list!


Dave Bryan, President, Blackdog Builders Inc.

The Highest Calling” by Larry Janesky
An uplifting story about a remodeling contractor and the struggles, challenges and ultimate triumph of trying to make a business work.

The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman
A powerful way to think about how you express love to your partner and how you receive it as well.


Jackie Shaw, Founder, Get Organized!

Arrested Development” by David C. Couper
Couper’s Principles of Quality Leadership and his account of the struggles and success in changing police-force culture are an incredible resource for all leaders. 


Tanya Bamford, Managing Director, R/A Marketing

Sales Bible” by Jeffrey Gitomer
A great look at how to use outstanding customer service as a sales tool, and how to generate more leads, ask the right questions to close a deal, and help in developing your own strategies and methods.


Rick Strachan, Group President, Hanley Wood

Principles” by Ray Dalio
It’s got great advice about running your business as a meritocracy and describes effective ways to make decisions, apprpach challenges and build strong teams.


Jeremy Martin, Principal, RisherMartin

Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
After reviewing 150 strategic initiatives over a century by companies across industries, the book concludes that lasting success comes creating “blue oceans” ― untapped market spaces — and not beating the competition. It provides a systematic approach to making your competition irrelevant while outlining the principles and tools you can use to create and capture your own blue oceans.


Donny Wyatt, Founder and CEO, Co-Construct

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip heath and Dan Heath
By using your rational mind in concert with your emotional mind — and not letting competing thoughts drag you into inaction — the authors show you how to effect real and transformative changes. Successful changes follow a pattern, and you can learn hot to do it.


Ken Kirsch, President, MAK Design+Build Inc.

The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
The book, set in novel form, says the goal of an individual or an organization should not be defined in absolute terms. A good definition of a goal is one that sets us on a path of ongoing improvement.


Thank You!

Big thanks to everyone who contributed recommendations! What have you been reading that’s had an effect on your life or business? Let us know in the comments.

Disclosure: The links provided above are Amazon Affiliate links and that means, at no additional cost to you, Remodelers Advantage may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


PowerTips Book Recommendations: June 2018

We’re back with more PowerTips book recommendations for your summer reading list — take one along on vacation or relax in a hammock with a good book.

In every episode of PowerTips Unscripted we ask our guests for the title and author of their favorite business book. This month, we round up those recommendations, following up on some great picks by our Production Tactical Roundtables group in May, and contributions from the Marketing Roundtables groups in February.


John Warrillow, Author of “Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You” & Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Remodelers Summit

“The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
This book brings to light a brand-new way to think about selling. The authors studied thousands of sales reps and found each falls into one of five distinct profiles — but it’s the Challengers that consistently get awesome results. The book breaks down replicable and teachable tactics to turn anyone into a Challenger, and boost customer loyalty and grow your business.

Doug Howard, Director of Consulting, Remodelers Advantage

“The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome The Predictable Crisis of Growth” by Chris Zook and James Allen.
Doug explains that this is an important book for business owners because it focuses on how to grow a company based on your passions and principles. It clearly demonstrates that as companies grow, they all experience predictable internal crises. By using a founder’s mentality, you can handle the crisis points with a clear mission and purpose.

Ben Johnson, Attorney, Nilan Johnson Lewis

“The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds” by Michael Lewis
In telling the story of the work and friendship of two Israeli psychologists who invented the field of behavioral economics, Michael Lewis has written a book that’s surprisingly applicable to your business.

Brandon Bailey, Owner, Bailey Remodeling & Construction

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t” by James Collins
By identifying organizations that jumped to greatness and comparing and contrasting them with those that failed to make that leap, James Collins sheds light on every area of management. The explanation of the Hedgehog Concept really resonates. It preaches to do what you’re passionate about and stick with it.

John Huffman, CEO co-owner, Black Door Renovation

“The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni
John says this fable is one of the greatest leadership books he’s ever read. The book is consise, written to read in one sitting, but it completely explores the simplicity and complexity of being an effective leader.

Bryan Sebring, President & Owner, Sebring Design Build

“Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
This book was ground-breaker when it was first published, and is renowned for its step-by-step approach to solving personal and professional problems. Bryan recommends it because it taught him great ways to deal with people.

Anthony Matthews, Expert in the development of successful employee stock-ownership plans

“The Citizen’s Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy” by Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman & Douglas L. Kruse
Telling the history of business development and employee involvement from the Revolutionary War until today, it argues that broad-based profit sharing and employee ownership is in keeping with the original economic vision of the USA’s founders.

Dolores Davis, General Manager/Owner, CG&S Design-Build

“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek
Understanding the “why” behind any idea motivates people to buy into a service. This book reminds me why we do what we do, and it gives advice on how to get an edge in sales.

Geoff Graham, Founder,CEO & President, GuildQuality

“The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono
This fable about one person’s impact on the earth has great business metaphors.


Thank You

Thanks to all our PowerTips Unscripted guests for their book recommendations — should give you plenty to read over the Summer! We would love to hear what’s on your list, use the comments section below to share titles and authors.

Disclosure: The links provided above are Amazon Affiliate links and that means, at no additional cost to you, Remodelers Advantage may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

PowerTips Book Recommendations: May 2018

As we continue our book recommendation feature here on PowerTips, we’ve received some great tips from our staff and facilitators and in February we polled our Marketing Roundtables Groups.

This month we wanted to see which books our Production professionals out there are reading and recommending to their peers… so we tapped into our Production Tactical Roundtables Groups and asked them to give us some titles. These are remodeling production professionals who meet twice a year, similar to our Owner Roundtables, but speak specifically about the production side of the business.

Stay tuned and keep an eye out for future recommendations from more of our Roundtables groups, sponsors, associates and other thought-leaders.


Michael Wilkes, Production Manager, Daniels Design & Remodeling

Homo Prospectus” by Martin E. P. Seligman, et al.
This book is not primarily a Production related book by any means, but it is an explanation of human behavior showing how we are actually drawn (pulled) towards the future rather than driven by the past. It touches on new areas of psychology and neuroscience that seek to explain our decision-making processes and importance of intuition. I’ve found it totally eye-opening and helpful.


Kendal Lenton- Cooney, Production Manager, Lenton Company, Inc.

Turn This Ship Around!” by L David Marquet.
Although my copy is all marked up and has tabs everywhere I thought I would share two of the quotes that really have stood out to me and are currently at my home office above my desk.

“And there was a further twist: Every so often a mishap occurred that caused people to shake their heads and lament, “It happened on such a good ship.” It seems like the captain had made a mistake, and the crew, lemming-like, just followed him. I concluded that competence could not rest sole with the leader. It had to run throughout the entire organization.”

“Focusing on Avoiding mistakes takes our focus away from being truly exceptional…. our goal would be excellence instead of error reduction. We would focus on exceptional operational effectiveness for the submarine. we would achievement great things.”


Scott Skarin, Kaufman Construction

The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues” by Patrick Lencioni


Tim Faller, Senior Consultant & Master of Production, Remodelers Advantage

Tim Faller, facilitator of our Production Roundtables groups, chimed in with a list that he has shared with his members:

The Oz Principle” by Rogers Conner
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey” by Ken Blanchard
First Break All The Rules” by Marcus Buckingham
The Great Game Of Business” by Jack Stack
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni
The Advantage” by Patrick Lencioni
Gung Ho” by Ken Blancard
Contagious Culture” by Cavanaugh


Thank You

A huge Thank You to Tim and our Production Pros for these great recommendations. Awesome Job!

Disclosure: The links provided above are Amazon Affiliate links and that means, at no additional cost to you, Remodelers Advantage may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

PowerTips Book Recommendations: March 2018

As a monthly feature here on PowerTips, we are now requesting book recommendations from our members and making them available for download/purchase.

February was a big hit as we started with our great R/A Staff and amazing facilitators. Some great recommendations!

This month we wanted to get some great books about Marketing, so who better to ask than members of our Marketing Tactical Roundtables Groups, Mimosa and Morpheus. These are remodeling marketing professionals who meet twice a year, similar to our Owner Roundtables, but speak specifically about marketing.

In the future we will tap into more of our member Roundtables groups, sponsors, associates and other thought-leaders who might give you the next great book to add to your growing library.

Lindsay Dods, Artium Design Build Renovations, Ottawa, ON

“Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking” by Andy Sernovitz
Word of Mouth Marketing is full of simple tips and tricks to get your clients to talk about you.


Kara Wilson, New England Design & Construction, Boston, MA

“Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles
We had our whole company read Raving Fans, even the carpenters. Word of mouth marketing starts with every single employee and occurs through every interaction that a client has with our company.

One of the key takeaways that helped us deliver better customer service through surveys specifically is that silence from a client is a message, as is “fine” or “okay”. Learning to really listen to customer responses is important. When a client doesn’t respond to a satisfaction survey, that isn’t a good indicator. We started following up with these clients, and really digging in to why they hadn’t responded. We uncovered some issues that we were able to deal with, and actually turned those clients into raving fans.


Beth Walters, Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Inc., Burke & McLean, VA

Coming off her MVP performance at her Spring meeting, Beth shared her reading list for 2018 with us.
“The E Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber
“The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg
“The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact” by Chip & Dan Heath
“The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness” by Todd Rose
“The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything” by Stephen M.R. Covey


Chaden Halfhill, Silent Rivers Design+Build, Des Moines, Iowa

“Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business” by Jay Conrad Levinson
An older book that I always enjoyed, and reason is because I love to look at creative, unexpected ways to promote and market… especially when the budget is tight.
And as a Bonus we get one from a key member of the Remodelers Advantage Team!

Rose Grabowski, Remodelers Advantage, Baltimore, MD

“The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups” by Daniel Coyle
Every group has a culture, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Daniel Coyle digs deep into the small impactful elements of a group’s dynamic that create a good culture. It’s important for members of the group to be open, accepting, and attentive; but how exactly does this happen? This book investigates some of the most successful cultures and explains what they do to foster their culture. Well worth the read!

Thank You

A huge Thank You to our Marketing Pros for these great recommendations. Awesome Job!



Disclosure: The links provided above are Amazon Affiliate links and that means, at no additional cost to you, Remodelers Advantage may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.