Book Review: “Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay” By Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans

LoveEmOrLoseEm_6-300x300Yeah … another book about engaging and retaining good employees. 

You’d think we would be past needing this information by now, but anyone who works in or with organizations to help them create employee engagement will tell you we are not there yet.

However, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans may just move us over that goal line, IF you read it and use it as the authors have designed it to be used.

Here’s what I liked most about this book:

1)      Neatly organized to help us hone in on our greatest development needs …

After brief introductory remarks, you self-assess your employee interaction behaviors with numerical values in twenty-six areas related to an alphabetical list of chapters.  Then you receive a general overview of what your aggregate scores means.  Nothing really new here, but good information.

The real value is when you are directed to go to the page which corresponds with your lowest scores.  Mine was “E ~ think employees should tell you if they are not feeling challenged in their work?”   I rated this one as a “1” which means “Always/Definitely Yes”.

In my own defense, I was thinking about encouraging employees to speak up for themselves by creating a safe space.

I then visited chapter five ~ “Enrich:  Energize the Job” and received a short, but intensively well-organized and useful discussion of “job enrichment”, which I vaguely remembered from my human resources days.   I wish my master’s textbooks had been written in such clear and helpful language, with down-to-earth advice on how to make jobs more interesting and engaging.

2)      Based on solid, deep, and broad research …

I am one of those people who usually turn to the index before I read anything in a book, looking for familiar terms and names.  I expect to see certain citations and topics in the organization of the book.  You get some sense of the sources from chapter headings in many books, although not this one.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a large amount of research cited from leadership, management, human behavior, and popular culture.  The background materials upon which the authors base this book are broad and they go deep.  This is solid stuff, rather than the “flavor of the month” type of books which too often predominate leadership and management titles.

3)      I like the authors …

The authors are long-time and well-equipped contributors to our knowledge about how to lead and manage more effectively.  

True Confession time … I did not read any of the four previous versions of this book.  However, I have read, enjoyed, and shared other books co-authored by each of these folks.  So I cannot compare this fifth edition to those earlier ones … I don’t need to, because it stands quite nicely on its own feet.

Some Minor Quibbles  …

1)       Not a big fan of alphabetical lists, which can feel contrived.  This one does not … the points are consistently valid and the non-linear organization is refreshing.

2)      The book size is 9 x 8 inches, which is not my favorite size, since it is rather large for a briefcase and does not fit well at all in my jacket pocket.  E-Version avoids this issue.

… told you they were minor quibbles.

Bottom Line …

Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans is clear, easy to read, and attractively designed.  You don’t even notice how well-constructed it is or the richness of the underlying research.

Relaxing and enjoying reading my new favorite book on employee retention in the Heartland ….


BevKayeAmazon SharonJordanEvans-200x300Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans is the bestselling guide that provides twenty-six strategies to keep talented employees happy and productive. In addition to updating and revising all information for the fifth edition, the authors have included more international stories and statistics. Available January 2014 on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review in conjunction with their launch.  As I regularly note, I am notoriously fickle regarding free stuff.  In this case, I don’t have to be, because this book is well worth purchasing and sharing with others who want to up their employee retention game.

Taking Charge …

take-charge-3DCongratulations, Don and Jay on the successful week-long launch of your new book”Take Charge of Your Talent”


Don Maruska and Jay Perry, co-authors of Take Charge of Your Talent, are Master Certified Coaches who help people take advantage of business and personal challenges in unique and powerful ways. To learn more about the Take Charge community, visit their website, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Take Charge of Your Talent is available at Amazon and can be found in bookstores nationwide.

I was provided the above paragraph to share with readers about this book during the official launch, which ended yesterday.  Due to technological challenges too painful to relive, I have just began to read this book

… and I cannot wait to share my thoughts and reaction to it.   As is often the case, I have been given the opportunity to both learn and be refreshed by the progressive and useful experiences of others.

If you are interested in working effectively with people in a mutually beneficial way, rather than driving your workers from behind, you will want to read this book and put the three keys for empowering people to take charge of their talent, their story, and their lives into practice.

 … no need to wait on me.  Start the book now and I’ll catch up:).

Enjoying a well-written and valuable book in the Heartland ….


One Exception to “Stop Selling Vanilla…”

Only one person gets vanilla ice cream … and she’s special.

Everyone else should be reading “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream: The Scoop on Increasing Profit by Differentiating Your Company Through Strategy and Talent” …

If you are wondering what I am talking about, check out my past posts in support of this new resource for those who need to develop strategy and grow talent:

“Stop The Vanilla” …. Why? (

Meanwhile, I need to wipe a sticky face off a tad in the Heartland …


“”Stop The Vanilla” …. Why?

There’s a new meme in town …

“Stop The Vanilla” is being tweeted, posted, passed along, hollered from the rooftops, scrawled on the walls of crumbling buildings, and otherwise shared all over the place.

Personally I like vanilla ice cream.  It tastes real smooth.   You can literally put any topping on vanilla and it works … at least if you like ice cream in the first place.

Vanilla is dependable, safe, consistent, and cheap.   It’s also boring if you only eat vanilla.   When I feel like celebrating, I want something more.

Vanilla is fine, but you cannot build or grow an organization on vanilla …

Steve Van Remortel has written a new book, based on his Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream process, to help business leaders create a differentiated strategy that is executed by a high performance team. Starting October 16th, it will be available at bookstores nationwide and at Amazon.

You can read a few free chapters HERE.

Reviewing the evidence of value in the Heartland …


Drop Dead …

Of course, the name alone of this meeting had my attention …

“You are cordially invited to attend the Drop-Dead Conference”


The setup was simple.   Each director and vice presidential level person was to attend and invite one person who was the answer to this question:

Who would step into your place if you God forbid died…?

The harder questions came next:

If the answer is “Nobody”, what are you doing about this?

If you can name someone, how ready are they?

What do they still need?

What are you doing to make sure they can succeed?

This was our introduction to succession planning, a very important and often misunderstood aspect of leadership.  In fact, most of us put all our effort in this regard to using a very straight-forward process:

1)  Identify one person to take over “some day”.

2)  Pray that they learn how to lead and manage by osmosis or magic.

3)  Focus on what you’ll do next or when you retire.

4)  Act surprised at the “unexpected” outcome.

Sound familiar?

When I was a young worker, I learned a valuable lesson:  How you leave a job says a lot about you.  The lesson was learned while watching a parade of other people quit or get fired from relatively low-paying jobs in retail over a period of years.  Some people were responsible, mature, and covered their bases, while others vented, stewed, simply split, and so on.

At the time, I thought it just applied to my personal behavior when leaving a position or an organization.

It’s about how you leave your responsibilities.

Are they in good hands?

Bonus:  The same questions work for individuals and solopreneurs, with a little tweaking:

What would you do if everything you have went away today?

What do you need that you do not currently have in order to cope with this possibility?

What are you doing about this?

So many questions, so little time … get busy:)

Putting a plan in place in the Heartland ….