Too Long, Didn't Read aka TL;DR—Where Sam Reads Books, So You Don't Have To


There is no shortage of books on business, sales, marketing, leadership, and beyond, offering advice, analysis, and case studies to help executives, entrepreneurs, and everyday people succeed and profit.

We understand that not everyone has the time or the interest to pick up a book on business and read it from start to finish, let alone sort out which ones will be the most valuable, so we’re here to help!

I am an avid (and fast!) reader and have built my brand enough to work with publishers and PR groups within the reading community to get free and preview copies. Still, most of these books are available through your local library or audiobook platforms, and we’ll link each title to, which supports independent bookstores. 

I’ll read a few popular or new titles in this ongoing series, presenting a synopsis and my thoughts on the overall theme, core ideas, and standout quotes. Finally, I’ll give you key takeaways that are especially relevant to our channel and VARs/ISVs/SIs.

ConvertedConverted: The Data-Driven Way to Win Customers’ Hearts - Neil Hoyne - 240 Pages

Synopsis: When the world’s biggest brands want to sharpen their digital marketing strategy, they call Neil Hoyne – Google’s Chief Measurement Strategist and Senior Fellow at the Wharton School. In his first book, he offers a simple, research-backed playbook that anyone can use to find their best customers and develop lasting relationships.

Sam’s Review: 

Hoyne takes readers and listeners on a journey as he maps out pivotal tips and tricks for integrating more data-intensive strategies into your customer relationships, marketing, and team building. He starts with a joke to set the scene: A digital marketer walks into a bar and asks the first person they see to marry them. Crazy, right? But not far off from the truth. Marketing should be a longer, slower relationship where a business and its prospective customers get to know each other. Still, far too many companies treat it like they’ll never get another shot if they don’t try to win all of the business from the first point of contact.

Hoyne highlights three factors he thinks are most essential to compelling, data-driven customer insights:

    • Communication and Conversation. Ask questions, search for what’s not being said, and determine what kind of customer you genuinely have.
    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This is the heart and soul of the book’s message: find out what your business can earn from a customer over the life of your relationship. Learn what makes a quality CLV (compared to the acquisition cost) and seek out similar customers.
    • Self-Growth & Team Building. Understanding and building your internal team around these principles is just as important as the external work with customers. Hoyne encourages routinely examining what’s working, why it’s working, and identifying potential problem areas on your team.


  • What you expect from your marketing and prospect communications is as important as what you say. Becoming a valued and “go-to” technology expert takes time, repeated demonstrations of your expertise, and small wins. 
  • Determine what your CLV entails. Is it recurring revenue? Expansion projects? Regular upgrade cycles?
  • Is your team up to meeting expectations, knowing how they do, and going beyond? Is your ecosystem filled with partners that complement your strengths and benefit your customers and their goals?


All In: How Great Leaders Build Unstoppable Teams - Mike Michalowicz - 279 PagesAll In

Synopsis: Building successful teams has never been harder. With challenges of work-from-anywhere, flex-schedule, and generational divides, business leaders are searching for solutions that work. They’ve tried everything from food perks and ping-pong tables to endless team-building exercises and training—but nothing sticks.

In his long-awaited book for leaders at all levels, bestselling author Mike Michalowicz reveals his proven formula for building an unstoppable team in any workplace.

You want a thriving workforce that shines and sticks around, takes full responsibility for its work and outcomes, and has a community of employees who love your organization and are invested in its growth. With All In, you will discover how to build a team where everyone flourishes–including you.

Sam’s Review: 

All In explains the importance of being a great rather than a good leader and how that makes a difference in your employees’ well-being, performance, and standing in your company. Michalowicz touches on various experiences and formulas for encouraging success in the workplace, including a simple but critical formula: Success + Wellbeing x Purpose = Joy. This can be applied by prioritizing and repositioning employees’ dreams and goals to the front line so that employees feel valued and heard. Happy employees make for a happy leader and more productivity in the long run. 

Hiring competent, knowledgeable staff is one thing, but keeping them happy and busy in their roles is crucial for encouraging retention and facilitating healthy conversations between management and their teams. Speaking more on the Joy Formula, Michalowicz talks candidly about one-on-one talks and check-ins that should be had privately, with more sensitive feedback addressed directly outside of team settings. 

Finally, for employees who are no longer fit for the team, he presents performance evaluation and eventual termination practices that do not surprise the employee but are the culmination of a straightforward process that presents opportunities to improve while never shying away from the consequences.


  • Help your employees take ownership of the company’s purpose, growth, and success by supporting their dreams and goals. 
  • Encourage the adoption of ongoing learning and training opportunities to facilitate more robust recruitment and retention.


When Women LeadWhen Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn From Them - Julia Boorstin - 432 Pages

Synopsis: This groundbreaking, deeply reported work from CNBC’s Julia Boorstin reveals the key characteristics that help top female leaders thrive as they innovate, grow businesses, and navigate crises —“a must-read for all leaders as they consider the future of work” (Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play and Find Your Unicorn Space).

Sam’s Review:

Boorstin details the impact of many women-led businesses and organizations, highlighting their work ethics, strategies, and mindsets when leading their teams.

The research shows that women lead with an elevated sense of empathy and understanding, from building teams to fixing broken systems. Boorstin reports on women-led organizations that survived and thrived after crises, scandals, and unexpected pitfalls.

It was fascinating to hear how women-led businesses approached the COVID-19 crisis, particularly. Feeding America, led by CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, announced its COVID-19 Response Fund just two days after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, rapidly raising millions before supply chain shutdowns and stay-at-home orders created a spike in demand, a lack of resources, and staffing challenges through their member banks.

While some crises can send a traditional structure into flux, women-led organizations are bound together to transform these situations into progress through their adaptability advantage, learning from their mistakes, and applying new practices. There were many case studies into how such organizations strive and survive under female leaders. As they defied the archetypes of your average CEO, they defeated gendered biases and acquired a new sense of resilience in their industries. 

I found this an inspiring read for women in corporate work cultures and felt further connected to feminist virtues and values with each passing page. This book could have been 100 pages less, as every moral and outcome held the same weight and depth, but I look forward to consuming more of the pieces Julia Boorstin collaborates and contributes to. 


Channel Takeaways: 

  • Learn to practice gratitude, empathy, and resilience in day-to-day work
  • Look for valuable lessons from real-world brands/people and their case studies (The RealReal, Bumble, and Reese Witherspoon were great examples in this book)
  • Understand the importance of diversity in leadership and use it to evaluate your own company’s makeup and how it reflects those of your customers

That’s all for this installment. If you’d like to read along for future posts, here’s a glimpse of some of the books I’ll be reading in the coming months:

  • Maximize Business Value Playbook: 65 Specific Actions to Dramatically Increase the Value of Your Business - Tom Bronson, Jim Roddy (Foreword) - 196 Pages
  • The Walk-On Method To Career and Business Success: 31 Underdogs Who Became Extraordinary (And So Can You!) - Jim Roddy - 248 Pages
  • Surviving the Daily Grind: Bartleby’s Guide to Work -  Phillip Coggan - 208 Pages
  • Burnout Immunity: How Emotional Intelligence Can Help You Build Resilience and Heal Your Relationship with Work - Kandi Wiens, Ed.D. - 288 Pages

Do you have suggestions or favorite business books that could bring value to the technology reseller channel (or maybe one you don’t have the time to read)? Send them my way for consideration in a future post!


Sam Kalany
Digital Media Specialist + Copywriter

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