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Business Made Simple

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Business Made Simple

60 Days to Master Leadership, Sales, Marketing, Execution, Management, Personal Productivity and More

HarperCollins Leadership,

15 min read
11 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Ten character traits and 10 competencies can help you become the value-added professional firms want.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


What does it take to become the valuable business leader every company wants? To find the answer to this question, marketing consultant Donald Miller spent years analyzing successful businesspeople. He distilled what he learned into this guide to gaining MBA skills without spending years and a fortune earning an advanced degree. This easy-to-digest text takes you through 60 concrete actions – the subtitle says “60 days,” though perhaps some steps may take longer than others – that will help you gain the 10 crucial traits and 10 core competencies you need to stand out from the crowd and become the leader every company seeks.


Ten character traits and 10 skills distinguish valuable professionals. You can take action to develop these pivotal skills.

Good character is a fundamental characteristic for a successful life – including life at work. For value-driven professionals, character includes 10 important traits: 

  1. You see yourself as a good investment for an employer and as an economic product within that framework.
  2. You act as a proactive hero rather than a reactive victim.
  3. You know how to reduce the degree of drama in any situation.
  4. You welcome and learn from feedback.
  5. You appreciate productive conflict and use it to improve a situation.
  6. You would rather gain trust than have others like you; you use clear expectations, accountability and rewards to earn that trust.
  7. You don’t only generate ideas, you act on them.
  8. You invite clarity rather than using confusion as an excuse for not acting.
  9. You risk failure, but remain a relentless optimist about success.
  10. You use challenges, obstacles, efforts, criticism and other people’s success as opportunities to grow.

About the Author

Donald Miller, the CEO of the StoryBrand consultancy, is The New York Times’ best-selling author of Marketing Made Simple and Building a StoryBrand.

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