How to Save $1,500 on Leadership Books

I know there are good leaders out there. People tell me about them all of the time.

The people doing the telling are students in my courses, attendees at my keynotes and participants in my workshops. All of them are able to enthusiastically describe one or more great leaders in their professional lives.

The formula these good leaders use is simple. They…

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Pay attention to each individual like he/she matters, because they do.
  • Model the values and behaviors they want to see in the workplace.
  • Make the tough calls quickly and fairly.
  • Don’t let any one person hold the team hostage.
  • Help people become the best possible versions of themselves through coaching, positive reinforcement, and tough love.
  • Set the stage by sharing the vision. Build the set by engaging everyone in strategy. Deliver the play by getting everyone involved in the action.
  • Go home every night and figure out what they can do better the next day. And then they do it.

It’s that simple. Do all of that and you will succeed.

The cost of the top 100 leadership books at a round number of $15 each is $1,500. They all say the same thing, just with more words. Make your checks payable to me.

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P.S., Yes, I write leadership books too…just with fewer words and a lot of verbs.

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Practical Lessons in Leadership

book cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.

 

 

 

 

Art Petty is a popular speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. When he is not speaking, Art serves senior executives, business owners and high potential professionals as a coach and strategy advisor. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

Read More of Art’s Motivational Writing on Leadership and Management at About.com

 

 

Conquering Your Fear in the Workplace

insightchalkboardIt’s not often I get to mention W. Edwards Deming and Frank Herbert in the same sentence.

Deming was the quality and management guru who along with his peers shaped many of our management practices today. Herbert was the science fiction author best known for the classic novel and series Dune. Both are inextricably linked on the topic of fear.

Deming in his 14 Points for Management implored managers in point 8 to: Drive out fear.

Herbert in Dune suggested: Fear is the mind killer.

Both were right.

Fear is the cancer in our minds that eats away at self-esteem. It takes our hopes and dreams and convinces us that we’re not worthy or capable or both.

Fear is the tactic of dictators and tyrants in the workplace. Lousy leaders, miserable managers and boss bullies use fear to manipulate others into following…and cowering.

Both kinds of fear—internal and externally imposed—are toxic. Both are capable of being neutralized.

Internal fear is an issue of self worth. Most people I coach who struggle with self-esteem learn over time that their fears have no basis in reality. Given encouragement to try and to learn and to improve, self esteem grows and fear dissolves.

Boss Bullies thrive on intimidating people who allow themselves to be intimidated. When faced with someone willing to stand up and fight, they often back down. And yes, standing up to a boss bully comes with risks. Sometimes you have to make a choice. What’s worse: being beaten down and robbed of your humanity or losing the paycheck? There’s another paycheck out there without a boss bully attached to it.

Say “no” to the fear that holds you back—whether it comes from within or it is imposed on you by a jerk.

Life is too short and you have too much potential to let fear rob you of your future.

Strike out fear. Fear is the mind killer.

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How to Get to “Yes” at Work

put it in contextToo many of us spend our days emphasizing what we want.

I want a bigger budget, more people, a new piece of equipment.

We’re all angling at some time for something in a world of limited resources. The “ask” may be a bit less direct than I am describing, but the theme is the same. And we’re meeting resistance with these requests.

Skilled negotiators understand their positions—their wants—before they open their mouths. However, they also understand what they want does not matter to the other party.

They do three things with this insight:

  1. They talk in terms of their interests.
  2. They work hard to understand the interests of the people across the table from them.
  3. They don’t ask for anything until they can wrap it around shared interests.

Try this approach. It works. It works with your boss, with your significant other, with your kids and with the adversary across the negotiating table.

People like to feel like they are achieving their objectives. Help them do that and they are inclined to help you achieve yours.

It is a simple behavior change that will pay immediate dividends.

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Art Petty is a popular speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. When he is not speaking, Art serves senior executives, business owners and high potential professionals as a coach and strategy advisor. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

Visit Art’s YouTube Channel.

Get the latest e-book (free) from Art: “A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine: Ideas to Stimulate High Performance.” 

See posts in the Leadership Caffeine™ series.

Read More of Art’s Motivational Writing on Leadership and Management at About.com!

Practical Lessons in Leadershipbook cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.

New Video: 3 Ideas to Help Jump-Start Your Strategy Process

Kicking off a strategy initiative is one of the more vexing challenges in all of business. Aside from widespread confusion or disagreement over what strategy really is, there are the human issues around ego, politics and power that naturally emerge when the idea of a course correction or change in the business is in the air.

The video offers some thoughts on the swirl that often surrounds a new strategy initiative and includes 3 “simple but not simplistic” ideas for getting started and building a collaborative and cohesive process.

(Note from Art: this is one of a new family of videos I am releasing to my YouTube channel. The content is mostly informational with a 7-second pitch at the end. I do have to make a living!)

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Related Articles from Art on Strategy:

From my writing at About.com

The Manager’s Guide to Understanding Strategy: Getting Started

How to Prepare for Your First Strategy Meeting

Selected Articles from the Strategy Category at Management Excellence:

The Painful Process of Pivoting to New Markets

Art of Managing: Change Your Field of View

Art of Managing: Beware Lazy Approaches to the Hard Work of Strategy

Art Petty serves senior executives and management teams as a performance coach and strategy facilitator. Art is a popular speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

Get the latest e-book (free) from Art: “A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine: Ideas to Stimulate High Performance.” 

See posts in the Leadership Caffeine™ series.

Read More of Art’s Motivational Writing on Leadership and Management at About.com!

Practical Lessons in Leadershipbook cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.

Profile: The Perfect Trio for Business Success

SignaturePopcornNote from Art: When I encounter remarkable small businesses and owners/entrepreneurs, I feel compelled to help them tell their stories. Enjoy the profile of these remarkable young professionals!


What do world-class running coaching, delicious caramel and cheddar popcorn and great marketing all have in common?

In the case of Eric Wallor and Amber and Edgar Murans, three young University of Illinois graduates and successful entrepreneurs, the combination spells hard work, financial reward, and the joy of carving out career paths they love.

For anyone lamenting the work ethic and commitment of the millennial generation, they have yet to meet Eric, Amber and Edgar. These three pursue their work with passion, vigor and with smiles on their faces on even the most challenging days.

A bit of background on this dynamic trio:

Eric is an elite distance runner and successful running coach via his Full Potential Running practice. When he is not training aspiring elite runners, he works as CEO of Signature Popcorn, a joint venture with his sister Amber and her husband, Edgar.

PerfectTrioAmber and Edgar are the founders of Left Hand Marketing—a successful digital marketing/social media firm supporting software, hospitality firms as well as independent business coaches and speakers. They joined Eric in the Signature Popcorn pursuit, and are busy conquering the world of this delightful fun business, one satisfied customer and corporate group at a time.

When I asked them about their approach to their businesses, they shared some life lessons that reflect wisdom beyond their years.

Amber: “We left college and found ourselves all working outside of our degree areas and just not satisfied with our career paths. Add in the financial crash around 2008 and prospects did not seem much brighter. With some nudging from our close friends, we launched Left Hand Marketing, and found an immediate demand for our help with social media marketing.”

Edgar: “We quickly recognized that our clients needed help in more than just social media marketing and we worked hard to learn new skills and translate those skills into social business and social selling initiatives for our customers. From teaching them how to leverage video to building and delivering a training program on leveraging LinkedIn for sales professionals, we have been expanding our services to help our clients grow.”

Eric: “Running is my passion and the ability to coach people of all levels and abilities and watch them set and beat their goals is incredibly rewarding.  I initially focused on face-to-face coaching, and from there expanded to coach runners virtually across the country, and now I am working with a broader range of runners—from elite runners striving for Olympic greatness, to those trying to qualifying for the Boston Marathon and to business professionals striving for fitness and psychic rewards. It is incredibly exciting work for me and I love helping people.”

UpdatedLogoSPBut, What About Popcorn?

When I asked about the tie-in between the popcorn business and their respective coaching and marketing service pursuits, they collectively laughed.

Eric: “This was a door that opened through contacts in our Palatine, IL Chamber of Commerce and we stepped through it. It was purely opportunistic and it has grown into a business that we love. It makes people happy and frankly, the work from production to marketing and fulfillment is just fun. I truly believe God’s hand was at work with this opportunity.”

Amber: “I fell in love with the idea of offering products that make people happy and I jumped in to the research. From flavoring to packaging, labeling, and all of the marketing activities, I feel this is an extension of all of the work we have been helping our clients with in the past few years. And plus, who doesn’t like to wear these cool hairnets? (said with a 10,000 watt smile).

Edgar: “Running this business helps us with empathy and understanding for our marketing clients. We know that we must delight our customers, keep quality at the highest level and of course, market and sell to succeed. There is no better proving ground for our own marketing services than this fun business.”

Vision:

Their vision is to build a thriving popcorn business that becomes a big part of their community and beyond. They are big believers in giving back and looking to pursue charitable endeavors that will help people and make the work they do all the more fulfilling. For them, a key area of focus over the next year will be in developing the fundraising and corporate sales part of the business. They understand that they have a lot of work cut out for them, but excited to take on the journey.

Art’s Confession: “I Have a Popcorn Problem”

Sidenote: I have consumed a lot of popcorn in my time and consider myself a bit of a caramel and cheese popcorn snob. This is the best I’ve ever had. (Sorry Garrett you’re number two in Chicago now.) The carefully cultivated caramel flavoring has just that right blend of rich, dark sweetness (but not too sweet and definitely not greasy), and their trans-fat free cheese version delights the popcorn lover’s palate. Combine the two into what they call the Perfect Duo, and you have….well, you have a perfect duo guaranteed to throw my clean eating program completely off kilter for one delightful popcorn binge. My only lament is that their cheese popcorn has a habit of turning my keyboard an orangeish-yellow, although I suspect that is my fault and not theirs!

The Bottom Line for Now:

As a strategist, I admit to initially struggling just a bit at the tie-in between the different businesses. However, after talking with the group, I get it. Their formula for success blends a bit of opportunism with a whole lot of experimentation and wraps it in a passion for serving their customers. That is the real perfect trio for success in business!

Art Petty serves senior executives and management teams as a performance coach and strategy facilitator. Art is a popular speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

Get the latest e-book (free) from Art: “A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine: Ideas to Stimulate High Performance.” 

See posts in the Leadership Caffeine™ series.

Read More of Art’s Motivational Writing on Leadership and Management at About.com!

Practical Lessons in Leadershipbook cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.

Quit Outsourcing the Work of Finding and Developing Talent

corevaluesToo many managers outsource the hard work of finding the right talent. Almost all of them outsource the even harder work of developing talent.

You might as well outsource breathing.

No wonder managers get a bad name in our culture, particularly in the ridiculous debate of manager versus leader perpetuated by people who neither mange nor lead.

Effective managers understand the connection between talent and success. Finding, developing and keeping talent is an every day, every encounter activity. It is all verb phrasing punctuated by ample observation.

They wake up worrying about finding talent and they go to sleep thinking about developing talent. During the day, they do it.

Effective managers understand that the right talent comes in many forms from many places, but definitely not as the outcome of a bureaucratic process that generates bloated position descriptions and half-assed screening processes.

The manager who waits for H.R. to generate talent is either lazy or incompetent. The H.R. manager who professes to own talent recruitment or development is naïve or narcissistic, or both.

And while outside training has a place in the development of talent—these managers who lead and manage—understand training for what it is: exposure to ideas and tools. The opportunity for real learning takes place in the workplace under the watchful eye of a manager fully invested in coaching team members.

In reality, most managers are not blocked on taking ownership of these important talent issues—they simply have not recognized what it means to be an owner. Most H.R. professionals prefer to have managers deeply engaged in the processes. To their credit, they recognize the importance of this work to the manager’s and the firm’s success.

Quit perpetuating your own or your organization’s malaise over talent and step up to your responsibility for this critical set of activities. Then, watch engagement increase, performance rise and the pursuit of excellence emerge. You might just make the work of the manager relevant again.

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Related: In Pursuit of Management Excellence

Art Petty serves senior executives and management teams as a performance coach and strategy facilitator. Art is a popular speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

Get the latest e-book (free) from Art: “A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine: Ideas to Stimulate High Performance.” 

See posts in the Leadership Caffeine™ series.

Read More of Art’s Motivational Writing on Leadership and Management at About.com!

book cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.

Podcast: David A. Brock and the Sales Manager Survival Guide

SMSG Final Front CoverWhen it comes to the world of sales management, David A. Brock (Dave) is a heavyweight. He has a long history of success leading some of the biggest and best sales teams in the technology arena, and his firm, Partners in EXCELLENCE, has grown into one of the world’s leading sales consulting, coaching and training companies.

In addition to his great pedigree, Dave brings an unyielding regard for the professionals leading, managing, and guiding sales teams every day: the front-line sales managers. In Dave’s words, “the role of the front-line sales manager is the most difficult job in all of sales.” It is fitting that the first book from this prolific sales blogger is entitled: Sales Manager Survival Guide: Lessons from Sales’ Front Lines.”

Having navigated the world of senior sales and marketing management for many years, I have consumed a good number of the books in this arena, and I am convinced that Dave has nailed a critical sweet-spot for guiding and helping new and experienced front-line sales managers succedave head shot 01ed. As I say somewhere during the podcast interview, the practical, actionable content captured between the covers of this 336 page guidebook makes my heart go pitter-patter. Every sales manager and manager of sales managers and aspiring sales manager needs a desk copy of this book to dog-ear or an e-copy to annotate and draw upon in pursuit of the good fight!

Enjoy the interview with this great professional! And know that yes, his mother is proud of him in spite of his choice to pursue a career in sales over the opportunity to become a theoretical physicist!

The Executive Leader of the Future by John Blakey

Note from Art: I am excited to feature the leadership ideas of  John Blakey here in his post, “The Executive Leader of the Future.” The post is timed with the recent availability of his excellent and timely new book, “The Trusted Executive: Nine Leadership Habits That Inspire Results, Relationships and Reputation.” Trust in our leaders is something that is indeed in short supply at this time. I am excited that John is working hard to bring trust back! You can follow John on Twitter at: @blakeyjs and read more at his blog: The Trusted Executive.

Trusted Executive JacketThe Executive Leader of the Future

By John Blakey

Do you have the DNA of a future executive leader? Or do you have the DNA of the leaders that I first encountered in 1985 as a graduate trainee in utility giant, British Gas? In the business environment of those days, the white western male ruled the roost with an iron rod; emotional intelligence was a dim and distant dream. What we now call bullying was an accepted rite of passage and none of us had really grasped the full implications of the Sirius micro-computer that sat in the corner of the office winking at us in black and green.

Traditionally, life was simple. The purpose of a commercial business was to maximize profits and this was the singular measure of success. The concept of profit has given us a barometer of success that has some advantages and some disadvantages. On the one hand, it is a readily understood concept in the business world and it is a consistent measure of the added financial value of our activities. On the other hand, it breeds a myopic fascination with one particular assessment of business contribution that can blind business leaders to the wider context in which they operate. The world has changed profoundly since the 80s and it keeps changing. If business continues to worship profit within a societal context that has decided it no longer worships profit then this will progressively undermine trust in business institutions and those who lead them.

John Blakey photoThe world of business requires a new, broader sense of purpose that meets the expectations of diverse, global 21st century stakeholders. The imperative and the opportunity is for organizations to reach beyond profit as the single bottom-line measure of success and embrace the triple bottom-line of great financial results, inspiring relationships and a positive reputation in society as a whole. As Peter Drucker said, ‘Profit for a company is like oxygen for a person. If you don’t have enough of it, you’re out of the game. But if you think your life is about breathing, you’re really missing something.’ The triple bottom-line is a term that was first popularized by John Elkington in his book Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom-Line of 21st Century Business. It is a new measure of success that creates a need for a different type of executive leader.

Tomorrow’s executive leader will not be driven to produce a singular measure of success. He or she will balance the diverse and constantly changing expectations of a slew of stakeholders. Tomorrow’s leader will be a steward. A steward inspires trust by changing the purpose of the organization to deliver triple bottom-line goals.

What do triple bottom-line goals look like in practice? As an example, I chair an advisory board on behalf of Vistage International; the world’s largest CEO membership organization. When CEOs join my Vistage advisory group they are challenged to set goals for the triple bottom-line. If they cannot commit to this breadth of vision then they will not be accepted as members of the group. Examples of goals that members have set at each of the three levels are as follows:

Financial Results

* We will increase the share price of our company by 20 percent over the next five years.

* We will reduce our inventory costs by $1 million in the next 12 months.

* We will become a Fortune 100 company by the year 2020.

Inspiring Relationships

* We will become listed as one of the top 100 employers by the Great Place to Work Institute.

* We will reduce our staff turnover from 17 to 12 percent in the next 12 months.

* As CEO, I will personally hold bi-weekly 1-to-1 meetings with my immediate management team members.

Wider Contribution

* We will raise $50,000 for a local charity and involve over 20 percent of our staff in this project over the next three years.

* We will launch and sponsor a global industry award for the most eco-friendly business in our sector.

* As a global pharmaceutical company, we will eradicate the disease malaria from the world within five years.

We are not machines. Single bottom-line financial goals tick boxes in our heads, but they are not the sort of goals that get us to spring out of bed on a cold winter morning shouting ‘Hot damn – let me at it!’ That’s because they are yesterday’s story and no one can get too excited about living in the past. Managers manage. Leaders anticipate. Tomorrow’s trusted executive will set goals for the triple bottom-line; results, relationships and reputation. They will wire these goals deeply into their organizations and through this they will engage the head, heart, and spirit of the modern workforce.

John Blakey is the author of The Trusted Executive: Nine Leadership Habits That Inspire Results, Relationships, and Reputation (Kogan Page; 2016) and was named one of the top thought leaders on organizational trust at the Trust Across America awards in 2016. This accolade reflects his prize-winning doctoral research on trust at Aston Business School, as well as his practical experience as a highly successful business leader and pioneer in the executive coaching profession. He is the coaching subject matter expert at the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the CEO coaching faculty at Manchester Business School, Vistage International, the Institute of Directors, UK Sport and the NHS. Blakey is the author of Challenging Coaching and regularly blogs at http://johnblakey.co.uk/trusted-executive-blog/.

 

 

Leadership Caffeine™—The Book and Coming Attractions!

stackofbooksrenderfileAs I mention in the video below, an off-hand comment from my brilliant webmaster, Bob, at DigiSage, gave life to the collection of essays in Leadership Caffeine—Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development. While Bob’s idea turned out to be a lot of work in culling down from 1,000 essays into the final 84, and then editing, annotating, and organizing them for publication, I am grateful for his brainstorm.

The best testament to any leadership and professional development book is that readers find it useful for advancing their cause.

The primary audience for this book has been groups, including: corporations, teams, departments, and industry associations, and the feedback I regularly receive assures me that readers find help for their most vexing challenges somewhere between the covers of this collection. I hope you do as well.

In celebration of the upcoming publication anniversary, I am pleased to offer an updated video overview of the book. For anyone interested in ordering 10 or more copies for their team, drop me a note for pricing information.

The Leadership Caffeine Family is Expanding: 

Last winter, I introduced the free e-book: A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine: A Short Guide to Stimulate High Performance  featuring all-new content beyond the book. This free resource blasted off on day one and continues to be downloaded at an impressive clip every day. Please share it far and wide with your team members and with my appreciation for your readership.

Incoming-Focusing on Project Leadership: 

In a few weeks, I will launch: Leadership Caffeine for Project Managers: Ideas and Inspiration to Help You Survive, Sustain and Succeed!

Many of you know that I have spent much of my professional time in the world of high tech and software project management and that I serve as a graduate management instructor in the topic. This collection is a direct outgrowth of my experience and work as an educator and team developer in this arena and as a testament to my regard and belief in the professionals in this great and critical role. I cannot wait to make it available to you!

Look for details on pre-launch pricing in the upcoming weeks as well as information on the  webinars and the keynote and workshop offerings that correspond with the book.

Yours in professional development and success,

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Art Petty serves senior executives and management teams as a performance coach and strategy facilitator. Art is a popular speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

 

Leadership Caffeine™–Decisions and the Least Bad Option

image of a foam coffee cup with brown outer sleeveA good number of decisions in business (and life) include choices that beg selecting the least bad option.

  • Do we pull in that big deal with a discount incentive to dress up this quarter’s poor numbers and in the process, create a hole for the next quarter?
  • Do we go public with our findings, or hope that the situation that triggers the problem never occurs?
  • Do we continue investing in this initiative regardless of the fact that our competitor just released something that trumps our yet-to-be-born idea?
  • Do I look the other way on that transgression, or fire the person who has proven so valuable to our firm?
  • Do I cover for my boss or go over her head?
  • Do we bet everything on the new strategy, or stick with the old one hoping we can be the one firm that grows in a dying market?

When facing these decisions we strive to rationalize the choice that exposes us personally to the least amount of risk. It is our survival instinct. We do this as individuals, and we most definitely do this as management teams. Usually, this is the wrong choice.

In a course on decision-making I teach every year, the students (all professionals) describe regret over the choices they made where their self-interests overrode their thinking about right and wrong.

Alternatively, the students look back with pride at the hard calls they made that were morally (to them) the right calls. Interestingly, even in situations that did not work out favorably, those who made the harder personal calls for least bad option scenarios describe those decisions as pivot points in their lives and careers. They frequently point to a string of subsequent tough decisions where the right choice propelled their careers and firms forward.

When you face a choice between two unattractive options, there’s usually one that is the better choice for the bigger picture. In the examples above, the right choices exposed the decision-maker(s) to greater risk.

Perhaps the right approach when facing a choice between two seemingly unattractive options is to break the mirror in front of you and look beyond your own self interests.

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Art Petty serves senior executives and management teams as a performance coach and strategy facilitator. Art is a popular speaker and workshop presenter focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

Get the latest e-book (free) from Art: “A Bold Cup of Leadership Caffeine: Ideas to Stimulate High Performance.” 

See posts in the Leadership Caffeine™ series.

Read More of Art’s Motivational Writing on Leadership and Management at About.com!

book cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.