March 11, 2008 update: So I went on vacation, and took along Danny Meyer’s Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business. Danny had written an endorsement for my book, so I thought it only fair to read his.
The bottom line: an amazingly fast, entertaining, and instructive read. Setting the Table should have made the list of the twenty recommended titles included in The Art of Client Service. It didn’t because I neglected to read it sooner, but the least I can do is add it to the list now.
Here’s what I wrote in the review I posted on Amazon:
An Advertising Book in Disguise
I was about to leave for vacation, and was looking for a beach read. Danny Meyer had been generous enough to supply an endorsement for my book, The Art of Client Service, so the least I could do was buy his book.
I am very glad I did.
Setting the Table certainly is a book on how to provide superior hospitality to customers, but it’s more than that: it’s the best book I’ve read on what it means to provide service to clients in ANY business. Its candor, humility, and generosity of spirit are reflected in all the lessons Danny learned, applied, and now recounts as he grew to be a leader.
My only quibble, and it is a small one, is that the book lacks an index. I assume this was a conscious decision on Danny’s part, possibly because he does not view Setting the Table as a “how to” guide. But the reality is, the book is loaded with practical advice on how to build and sustain enduring client relationships. An index would help readers refer to lessons that inspired or motivated them.
My one regret is that I failed to include Setting the Table in my book’s annotated bibliography of the 20 titles advertising people should read. I will, however, add it to the Art of Client Service website. And most important of all, I will recommend the book to all my advertising industry colleagues.
The other twenty books remain the same. Here they are:
- Strunk, William, and E. B. White. The Elements of Style, 4th ed.
(Allyn & Bacon, 2000).
- Zinsser, William. On Writing Well, 6th ed.
- Roman, Kenneth, and Joel Raphaelson. Writing That Works
- Hoff, Ron. I Can See You Naked
(Andrews and McNeel,1992).
ON CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS
- Maister, David H., Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford. The Trusted Advisor
(Free Press, 2000).
- Sheth, Jagdish, and Andrew Sobel. Clients for Life
(Simon & Schuster, 2000).
- Solomon, Robert. The Art of Client Service
ON CREATIVITY AND ADVERTISING
- Monahan, Tom. The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy
(John Wiley & Sons, 2002).
- Sullivan, Luke. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This
(John Wiley & Sons, 1998).
- Ogilvy, David. Ogilvy on Advertising
(Vintage Books, 1985).
- Ries, Al, and Jack Trout. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
(McGraw-Hill Trade, 2000).
- Morgan, Adam. Eating the Big Fish
(John Wiley & Sons, 1999).
- Steel, Jon. Truth, Lies, and Advertising
(John Wiley & Sons, 1998).
- Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point
(Little, Brown & Company, 2000).
ON BUSINESS LEADERSHIP
- Collins, Jim. Good to Great
FIVE NEW BOOKS
- Fallon, Pat, and Fed Senn. Juicing the Orange
(Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2006).
- Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
(Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2005).
- Kelley, Tom, and Jonathan Littman. The Art of Innovation
(New York: Doubleday, 2001).
- Neumeier, Marty. The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design
(Indianapolis, IN: New Riders, 2006).
- Verklin, David, and Bernice Kanner. Watch This Listen Up Click Here (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007).