Entrepreneur and consultant Michael A. Boylan identifies constraints to rapid business growth in Accelerants: Twelve Strategies to Sell Faster, Close Deals Faster and Grow Your Business (Portfolio, $23.95), starting with prob-lems in the client's or prospect's general perception of your industry and ending with your own inability to communicate the benefits of working with your company. Then he offers ways to control or eradicate these con-straints, including learning which constraints may be slowing your growth, then taking steps to get rid of them.
Boylan's tips are often both unusual and insightful. For instance, he suggests entrepreneurs who have trouble reaching top decision-makers apply what he calls the Circle of Leverage. This re-quires you to use several methods to contact multiple individuals in the target organization. Ask each person to meet you or arrange a meeting with a more appropriate decision-maker. The combination of contacts will exert enough influence on top decision-makers.
After studying more than 200,000 people over 10 years, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton explain in The Carrot Principle (Free Press, $21) that organizations that effectively recognize individuals have more loyal and engaged employees and generate higher profits. To maxi-mize the effect, recognition should align with corporate values and also help employees achieve personal goals. For example, a security guard whose outside passion was conservation was recognized with the new title of security and energy conservation monitor, combining his interest in saving energy with the company's interest in keeping outside doors closed and unused lights switched off.
Mark henricks is Entrepreneur's "Staff Smarts" columnist.