By Carro Ford February 9, 2004 -- You've got the fastest printers, the smartest software, the most nimble servers, probably everything you need to have a successful year, except maybe one thing. How are you doing? Are you pumped, motivated, directed, engaged? How about your employees? Now might be a good time to take a look at some of the tools out there to help your human resources operate at their best. Paul Sanders, CEO and principal of LumaCore (LumaCore.net), has made a career of monitoring the best strategy and motivation books and authors and bringing them to the marketplace through live programs, seminars, e-training and teleconferences. He offers some insights into today's best-selling business books and what they offer to the managers and staff of on demand printing operations. Getting Things Done "We have left the age of the wacky dot.com business plan scribbled on a tablecloth and moved into an era of execution. How do you get things done? Some of the best sellers directly reflect this trend," says Sanders. Good to Great by Jim Collins is really about how companies execute and become great companies, and he explains it through examples. "You don't have to be FORTUNE 500. Small companies can be great, too," declares Sanders. "The focus is really on getting your people engaged in the process of being successful." In The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, statistics are used to show that most people are disengaged from what they are doing because they are so concerned about other things. Sanders notes that "We're all on autopilot -- owners and employees. This takes a real toll on the success of a company. If we're not truly engaged with the company vision, mission and success, if we don't even know what they are, the company will not be successful." Got Security? Who Moved My Cheese relates to change and a sense of security. Spencer Johnson talks about change and how to adapt on personal and business levels. "If you wake up one morning, and your largest customer is gone, how do you adapt to that change? If you wake up and your job is gone, how do you adapt?" The number of best-selling books about finance point back to the trend toward security and how to achieve it in an era of greater insecurity than most of us in this country have ever experienced. "We all know people who have lost a job, so economic security is very important. It also comes from a sense of self-determination. People realize that to be less dependent on corporations, we have to be more dependent on ourselves," Sanders observes. A few generations ago, if you worked 20 years for a company you would have a gold watch, a pension and a good retirement. Now that is the exception, not the rule. People are trying to figure out how to be more self-determining, and this is driving interest in financial books. Principled Leadership "Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People has come back on the best-seller list, and I think that's because of the idea of principle," says Sanders. "In an era of poor corporate governance, Enron, Tyco and other scandals, people are looking at their organizations and asking what are our principals? What do we stand for? "The new Giuliani book is about leadership, not just leading an organization or business, but how do you lead yourself. What qualities do I as an individual want in order to be a leader, whether that's leading an organization of 1000 or a team of five? What do I need to be a leader based on the qualities of my personality"? No Time to Read? No time to read? Not to worry. Sanders recommends alternatives that will still help you get good information. "You can glean a lot from an author's web site, which often include case studies. For example, Jim Collins' site has a great deal of information about his work." Attend programs. "If you don't have time to read a book, get your company to invest in training. Get group of employees to go together and come out with a common vision. You can do it in just one day, and bring the team back motivated and on the same page." More good news is a trend toward shorter books that can be read on airplane trip or sitting in the dentist's office. "There is awareness that people have less time to focus on a lengthy book," Sanders notes. "With many books today, you can skip around and just read sections and not lose any continuity." Trends in books reflect trends in society (and the document industry.) "When we look at it in this light, the list of today's business best sellers makes logical sense," he observes. Maybe you've published motivational books or training materials for people who are trying to improve their chances of success. Why not take advantage of some of the ideas that are out there for yourself and your business?