Business Owners: Put Down that Advice Book and Read this Instead

Across That Bridge, A Vision for Change and the Future of America by Congressman John Lewis is a must read for business owners.
My own copy of “Across That Bridge” has been stuffed in my bag or pocket many times.

Business Owners: Change Your Thinking!

Collectively, we business owners have read hundreds of business advice books. You know the typical topics: how to squeeze more productivity out of every second of your day, what entrepreneurs eat for breakfast, how to pump up your sagging profits. Blah, blah, blah.

My advice…read something more holistic that will impact every function of your business.

I write about the books I’m reading because mindset matters. What’s going on in your head has a profound, impact on the everyday decisions that business owners make. You can begin by reading my post about Zeynep Ton’s “Good Jobs Strategy to you improve your profitability. Then, inject some creativity into your business by reading about Pagan Kennedy’s Inventology: How We Can Dream Up Things That Change the World

Read “Across That Bridge” Instead

Just lately, I finished¬†“Across That Bridge, A Vision for Change and the Future of America” by Congressman John Lewis our county’s most influential, living, civil rights leader. I heard his commencement address at my son’s 2013 graduation from RPI. So, while I am reading his writing, I can hear his musical way of speaking in my head. He reminds me of old school African American preachers. His writing style captures their passionate, lyrical, thoughtful way of preaching.

Before you start reading his books, I recommend watching this short video of Congressman Lewis with Stephen Colbert. In it, Lewis speaks about “getting into good trouble,” (be sure to watch till the end for something you’ll never see Lewis do again). Or, watch that RPI commencement address in which he speaks about “keeping the faith,” and “walking with the wind.”

In “Across That Bridge,” Lewis outlines seven concepts which business leaders can employ to build their business, stay motivated, and do good.

In the chapters entitled “Faith, Patience, Study, Truth, Act, Peace, Love,” and “Reconciliation,” Lewis uses lessons he learned during the Civil Rights Movement and through his service in government, to illustrate a structure on which to build thought processes, guide decision making and create action. A social entrepreneur could easily see how to apply this structure to their business.¬† But I maintain that any business owner can find guidance for dealing with employees, customers, growth and other essential areas of your business.

Customers, in our current business climate, have begun to demand social good from businesses not specifically described as social enterprises. Reading “Across That Bridge” will allow you to create a business that rises above your competition. You can build in basic, active, fruitful processes to connect with constituents and guide business growth. Don’t wait, visit your local book store and pick up a copy of “Across That Bridge” today.

Note: I began this blog post before Congressman Lewis’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Obviously, absorbing his work takes on a special meaning now no matter what his prognosis might be. Our fervent hope is for many more years of his brand of leadership and service to our Nation.