Street Smart Disciplines of Successful People: A book review by Bob Morris

Street Smart Disciplines of Successful People: 7 Indispensable Disciplines for Breakout Business Success
John A. Kuhn and Mark K. Mullins
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012)

“Make everything as simple as possible but no simpler.”  Albert Einstein

Einstein’s admonition stresses the importance of basics, fundamentals, etc. and John Kuhn and Mark Mullins obviously agree, as indicated by the wealth of their own admonitions as well as key questions provided in this book.  In my opinion, it is best viewed as a primer that will help the decision-makers who read it to achieve “breakout success,” whatever the size and nature of their business may be. Kuhn and Mullins recommend seven “Street Smart Disciplines” and devote a separate chapter to each, strategically inserting within each dozens of “From the Street” section. They apparently view what is learned in business schools as knowledge and what is learned in the so-called “real world” (i.e. the streets) is wisdom. Their information, insights, and counsel is mostly from the latter domain. There are no head-snapping revelations, nor do they make any such claim. Their primary focus is on the “what” of breakout achievements rather than the “how.” They include dozens of excellent quotations throughout their narrative. For example:

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”  Peter Drucker
“In the long run, men hit only what they aim at.”  Henry David Thoreau
“The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping stone for the strong.”  Thomas Carlyle
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”  William James

These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye:

o  “Create and Execute a Dynamic Plan for Change” (Pages 26-32)
o  “Developing Financial Fitness and Maximizing Profits: Step One (84-86)
o  “Stay Close to Current and Past Customers” (118-120)
o  “Optimize Internet and Social Media Marketing” (124-126)
o  “Understand and Execute the Golden Rules of Time Management” (156-159)
o  “Share the ‘Everybody Sells’ Philosophy” (178-180)
o  “Manage, Motivate, and Monitor Selling and Customer Service Performance” (194-198)

No brief commentary such as this can do full justice to the scope of material that John Kuhn and Mark Mullins cover. Also, it remains for each reader to determine which material is most relevant to the needs, interests, strategic objectives, resources, and competitive marketplace of the given enterprise.

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