Why reviews matter

Journalists like Andrew Hill from the FT say that too few business books are written by “real” people who had actually run businesses, while The Independent’s Jenna Farmer claims the business book market – and the vocabulary around it – is still male-dominated.

And yet, four years ago I was told by a friend in publishing not to waste my time writing a business book because I wasn’t famous. I ignored her advice and had a go anyway, and I don’t regret that decision, but her words have definitely haunted me along the very, very long path to publication.

So although I have not been the CEO of a FTSE 100, I am not an academic and I am not famous, I am in fact more representative of people who have created the 5.7m SMEs in the UK that actually make up 99% of all businesses. And precisely because I have real experience of managing people and dealing with tough issues, I believe I have produced a serious business book that will resonate with the majority of the working population.

But publication is just the beginning – the task now is to get it into the hands of people who are influential, who impact other people’s lives and can make a tangible difference to the world of work. Reviews can be powerful amplifiers of the messages in Take Pride. Here are a few of my favourites.

Professional associations and booksellers

CIPD’s People Management Magazine
Why do some large businesses have a palpable buzz, whilst others barely register a pulse? For respected HR consultant, Parry, it’s down to the ability of leaders and HR departments to enthuse and engage staff. Here she joins the dots between purpose, wellbeing, employer brand and other key concepts, setting them in a practical context that comes together as an impeccable manual for lifting morale.

Jennifer Sproul, CEO Institute of Internal Communication
Take Pride not only provides the business case to move employee engagement up the management agenda, but it is also full of ideas of how to achieve it.

Mike Klein, President IABC EMENA
Sheila Parry’s Take Pride is a rarity among business books in a number of ways – her forthrightness in injecting a real employee perspective into the challenges of organizational change and transformation, the integration of an actionable and accessible model for enabling that change, and honest, tempered enthusiasm for encouraging practitioners for pursuing change while being aware of the potential traps and pitfalls that could scupper it. A warm, honest read with a tangible message.

BookBub Website
This business guide explains how managers and entrepreneurs can improve employee satisfaction and customer loyalty by focusing on five motivators: purpose, reputation, integrity, direction, and energy. A must-read for leaders!

Individual experts and readers

Evelyn Steeples, Former Detective at New Scotland Yard and Home Office Mediator
If you aim to create a highly respected brand model attractive to clients and employees alike then the first step is to recognise that the two are intrinsically linked. People build success by being proud of the brand.

Sheila Parry shares her 40+ years of experience, condensed into a ‘how to’ guide in Take Pride. She validates her findings and gives examples of personal experience while referencing the findings of others. She highlights the current challenge of attracting talent, but more importantly gives leaders a guide to attracting and then retaining talent.

The book focuses on people and the brand and how managers can make the link between the two. It provides sound advice on how to nurture employees, first by understanding their needs and motivations, recognising whether they truly ‘get’ the brand; and then using this knowledge to encourage employees to stay and grow while promoting the brand to others. It shows how to build the brand by focusing on reputation and gives managers and business owners a guide to understanding the layers of needs to achieve success in people.

Take Pride acts as a manual, underpinned by effective communication. It contains elements that can be tailored and adapted to your business, implemented and scaled according to the company needs.

Rachel Miller, AllThingsIC
Wonderfully practical, inspirational and useful. A must-read for professional communicators.

Simon Head, Deputy Head Pastoral, Yateley Manor School
Everyone should read this book. It is as relevant to me in the educational arena, as it is in business. People make organisations work and this book shows a leadership team how to improve attitudes, culture and behaviours.