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Be the Best at What Matters Most: The Only Strategy You will Ever Need Hardcover – Mar 21 2013

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (March 21 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118569873
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118569870
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.1 x 22.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #324,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

What if you, your team, or your entire organization had absolute clarity about what was most important, and that's where all of your energy was focused? Imagine the force multiplier of that kind of shared sense of direction, purpose, and priorities.

Be the Best at What Matters Most reveals the one essential strategy for business leaders, entrepreneurs, and those who aspire to lead. Simplify the way you think about your business. Success isn't about doing everything, it's about doing the most important things.

In a tough market, it's tempting to look for shortcuts. Reality check: There aren't any shortcuts. Be the Best at What Matters Most teaches that the way to create results, growth, and profit is to be so good at the basics that you are cutting edge. What an audacious idea—outperform your competition on those things that create real value for your customer. Through real-world examples, engaging activities, and thought-provoking guidance, this book shows you how to:

  • Constantly improve on just a few things that create the greatest value for the customer
  • Clarify expectations and build a culture around quality
  • Replace random acts of "wow" with consistently excellent service
  • Identify the areas of your business that have become too complicated and simplify them
  • Discover what motivates your employees and colleagues most

Instill in yourself and your team a shared sense of direction, purpose, and priorities by focusing on the most important things for your company's success. Be the Best at What Matters Most helps you clarify and simplify, and when you can do that, you can move mountains.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Be the Best at What Matters Most

"In Be the Best at What Matters Most, Joe Calloway has unlocked the secret to building a business and brand that stand the test of time. Implementing the lessons from this book doesn't just give you an advantage, it redefines the rules for where you invest your focus, energy, and resources. If building a great, enduring business matters to you, then don't just read this book—devour it."
—Randy G. Pennington, author of Results Rule!

"Be the Best at What Matters Most urges us in a very clear way to get our business to 'simple' and to execute better every single day. Simple with regard to what matters most to our customers. Thank you for the insight, Joe. I assure you that we will be better for it."
—Steve Bilt, CEO, Smile Brands Inc.

"Once again, Joe brings us all down to earth to take the mystery out of how to succeed in business. Having relied on Joe's advice for over fourteen years in four different companies, he continues to show how the 'basics' always win—good economy, bad economy, any demographic, any geography, any industry. These are real ways to help businesses succeed in simple, cost-effective manners that anyone can implement."
—Dan Tarantin, CEO, Chem-Dry/N-Hance

"Vintage Calloway: real-world wisdom. Get everyone in your company to read this book."
—Randy Gage, author of the New York Times bestseller Risky is the New Safe

"It's not about working harder, being more motivated, or finding better people. It's about making 'what you do best' simple and sustainable. Everything we do depletes our most valuable resource, which is time. Read Be the Best at What Matters Most and stop doing the things that keep you from doing what matters most."
—Arnie Malham, CEO, cj Advertising

"Be the Best at What Matters Most, Joe Calloway's latest gift to business leaders, owners, and managers, is a deceptively simple approach to winning in business. Read it and focus. You'll be glad you did. Joe scores again with sound advice for businesses who want to be the best."
—Elizabeth Crook, CEO, Orchard Advisors

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joe's message is repeated so often that it could have been much shorter with no loss of content. There are no silver bullets, just look for the obvious things and be sure to do them well. Don't fall into the trap of trying to do too much.

If you think this book will teach you techniques for focusing, you'll be disappointed like I was.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e39a42c) out of 5 stars 47 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e3911a4) out of 5 stars Keep it simple. Quality is the ultimate wow factor. Please read this book. March 31 2013
By Matthew Goldfarb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the second Joe Calloway book I've read (the first being Category of One, probably the best book I read all last year), and i've got to say Joe is officially 2 for 2.

From the get go, he points out the reality that so many of us get caught up in trying to work the "wow" factor that we forget that the biggest wow factor of all is being the best at what you do. As a business owner, i know how easy it is to get caught up in the new fandangled gizmo that we take our eye off the ball in remembering that the best way to get more clients is to crush it with the clients you currently have.

I'll admit that this book frustrated me at times, not because i didn't love it, but because it forced me to stop in my tracks and ask myself, 'what does matter most?" When i wasn't sure, I asked my team members, my wife, and my mentor what matters most to them and what they thought matters most to my business. Ironically, none of them could answer, because the truth is that we have to figure it out for ourselves, and even then it's a moving target.

I love Joe's straight forward and conversational style. He never talks down to readers, but does challenge them to get real and stop the B.S. I knew i would like the book when in the beginning, while talking about a hypothetical burger joints interest in pulling out bells and whistles to help sell burgers, Joe makes the game changing and totally unpredictable recommendation that maybe, just maybe, the secret to more customers was to make a better burger.

Imagine that.

I'll admit I read a lot of books, and sometimes i push through them so I can feel as though i've read them, yet for both of the books that i've ready by Mr. Calloway, I can honestly say that my interest never waned, and my highlighter never rested. I could pick out 10-35 different quotes that i thought were brilliant, but i recognize that would rob you of finding them yourself. Plus, considering that one of the big takeaways I took while reading was "figure out what's most important for yourself", you'd benefit more by reading it yourself.

In an age where we try to complicate everything, Be the best at what matters most proves to me that if you want to succeed, keep it simple, stay committed to being the best at what you do best, and be so committed to your values that your team will make fun of you. (And know that it is a good thing).

I could keep going on, but honestly, pick this one up.

Thanks Joe for another gem. I've just gone ahead and bought the rest of your books.

author, Renegade Thoughts: How to stop fitting in and start standing out.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea003cc) out of 5 stars Fantastic Book Every Entrepreneur Ought to Read! April 2 2013
By Martin J. Grunder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was eager to read Be the Best at What Matters Most for many reasons. For one, Joe Calloway interviewed me for a chapter in the book. I'm a landscaper and a consultant to entrepreneurs. But more importantly, I have followed Joe and really learned a lot from his other book, 'Becoming a Category of One'. This new book is fantastic. Too many authors try to outsmart themselves with all sorts of stuff. Stuff that doesn't make any sense to the true business owner. In BTBAWMM, Joe cuts through all the nonsense and shows you a strategy that works.

I love the stories, I love the summary at the end of each chapter and I love how clearly he stays on point from start to finish. Every Entrepreneur ought to read this book and by all means give a copy to their team and read it together.

There were a lot of lessons I learned in the book, let me close by sharing two.

1- What are the 3 things that your team should do with every customer? Chapter 9- Smile Brands, keep things simple, focus on what the client wants. (I know this is basic, but it works and the way Joe presented it, made it memorable)


2-There are rules you can break. Chapter 21. Success in business is about understanding what the client wants and need and then delivering just that. You don't have to do what others are doing, you can and that might work, but it doesn't guarantee success. Be what you want to be. Here's a quote from that chapter->> 'Remember, being the best at what matter most means what matter most to you, your team, and your cusotmers. Its not about what matters most to any other company and certainly not what matters most to me or any other business 'expert'. You are the expert, do it your way.<<

That's expereince talking right there. Great book, go get it and read it today, its an easy read and it will help you find clarity in your strategy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ecc9d98) out of 5 stars Want to know the real secret to success? Nov. 23 2013
By TJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What's the secret to constant, ongoing success worth to you?

According to renowned performance expert Joe Calloway, success isn't easy to obtain.
But achieving it isn't complicated.
There is a secret to gaining success, and to keeping it once you've got it.
Mr. Calloway's contention is that the secret everybody seeks is quite basic.
Not only that, but it's something that should already provide the foundation for most any endeavor.
In fact, it's not really a secret at all.

(I read this book as a member of the 12books group.)

Joe observes the current trend of adding bells, whistles, and various other "extras" can be valuable
enhancements...but they certainly aren't substitutes for quality.

Despite the long title, Be The Best is a fast and easy read that emphasizes it's point lucidly.
The book provides an outline for how to sharpen your focus, while at the same time
perform an honest self-evaluation of various aspects of performance and production.

Joe carefully avoids getting too technical, or too specific in his analysis.
This allows for his instructions to be applicable to a great many situations/scenarios.

The opportunity for personalization of the concept is unlimited.
It applies equally to your business, your workout routine, or your meal preparation.
And pretty much anything else too!

Are there any "earth shaking" revelations in Be The Best At What Matters Most?
I'd have to say "no" emphatically.
But, is there sound reason and logic behind the premise of the book...Absolutely.
You might think (as I did) that the information Joe provides consists entirely of common sense.
Perhaps this stuff should already be common knowledge. And maybe it is.
But putting it into practice consistently, as in every time, all the time...day after day, is no small endeavor.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Being successful certainly isn't.
But Joe drives home the point that you don't have to be a "rocket scientist" to be successful.
What you do have to be is...a hard worker who's absolutely dedicated to taking care of the basics.

When you really think about it, if you really are being the best you can be (at anything)
...aren't you already successful?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e7a7300) out of 5 stars Quite possibly the most powerful business lesson. Ever. July 15 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Every time I have a wonderful experience as a customer, I think of this book. Likewise, every time I have a horrible experience as a customer, I think of this book. In a world where many companies are looking for a new way to capture attention or create the next best thing, Joe Calloway challenges business leaders and professionals to focus on what is truly important to their customers -- and win every time. This is not a book about "getting back to the basics"; this is a book about understanding and mastering those basics in a way that makes you become known as innovative and revolutionary. This book is about important lessons and strategies that are critical for success.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f261c0c) out of 5 stars A lot of common sense. Jan. 7 2014
By Casey Wheeler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
As a matter of disclosure I received this book as part of the 12 Books group with the expectation that I would participate in the discussion on Goodreads and post a review on that site, Amazon and my blog.

I found this an enjoyable book that is an interesting and concise read. Author Joe Calloway’s approach is short, bite-size and a lot of common sense. It really helps you focus on how to have a successful business. He raises thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter that enable the reader to get the most out of the concepts presented.

The thrust of the book is to simplify your approach to focus on those things that matter most. He does not present any shortcuts, because there are no shortcuts. Some of the main concepts in the book are:

1. Focus constant improvement on a few things create true value for your customers.
2. Be clear on your expectations and build a culture to achieve it.
3. Have consistently excellent service in place of random acts of “wow”.
4. Find where your business has become overly complicated and simplify it.
5. Find the triggers that most motivate your staff.

The last chapter lists a series of ideas that matter most. My favorites are:

“We don’t get hurt by what we don’t know. We get hurt by what we know and don’t do.”
“You are using a flamethrower when you should be using a blue-tip flame from an acetylene torch.”
“It it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing wrong.”
“Bells and whistles wear off, but usefulness never does.”

I recommend this book for anyone who is either struggling with their business becoming overly complicated or those who want to prevent it from happening.