THE BIZ OF SUMMER
Most people think summer is a time to put your career on hold and enjoy the warm weather. That is a big mistake. Summer provides a chance to move your career forward while your colleagues are sunning themselves on the beach. Here's how you can use this time to get a leg up on your career:
-- Lee E. Miller
BEACH BOOKSRecommended by Ralph Izzo, chief executive of Public Service Enterprise Group:
"Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't," by Jim Collins ($27.50)
"This book illustrates the need to look past the next quarter and take the long-term view in order to achieve sustainable excellence."
Recommended by Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Trenton-based TerraCycle, which makes organic liquid plant food and packages it in recycled soda bottles:
"Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things," by William McDonough and Michael Braungart ($27.50)
"This book is my inspiration. It shows how industry and commerce are at odds with the environment only because innovation slowed after the Industrial Revolution, and that with more thoughtful design, business can be more profitable and more eco-friendly at the same time."
Recommended by MaryLou Barreiro, Wells Fargo regional market president for New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania:
"How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients," by Jeffrey Fox ($16.95)
"This is both an enjoyable read and filled with insights. His point is that to be successful, you need to understand the customer's value system."
-- Beth Fitzgerald
MUST-HAVE GADGETSItem: Sony Digital Noise Canceling Headphones
You need to focus. You need to think. And with all of the world's distractions, sometimes you need assistance. That's the idea behind these noise-canceling headphones, which will let you listen to industry podcasts, instructional videos or your favorite bands -- all while focusing on the task at hand and tuning out the noise from jet engines and nearby cubicles.
Item: Nuvi 200
Here's a GPS unit you can drop in your backpack or pocket, making it easy to take with you when you're on a business trip and looking to explore an unfamiliar city (or just avoid getting lost). Not only that, the Nuvi 200 comes with other handy tools, such as a world travel clock and currency converter.
Item: WiFi Signal Locator
Maybe you don't want to work during your vacation, but you've got no choice. And you've got a problem -- you need to track down a WiFi web connection. The keychain-sized WiFi Signal Locator will help you do just that. With its LED indicators, it will find the sweet spot for hot spots in cities, airports and elsewhere.
-- Allan Hoffman
"Erin Brockovich" (2000, starring Julia Roberts)
"I like this movie because the character Erin Brockovich wins by doing what is right. She has a lot of passion and she sticks by her guns."
Recommended by Bud Mayo, founder of Clearview Cinemas and CEO of Access IT of Morristown, which is converting movie theaters to digital film technology:
"Broadcast News" (1987, starring Holly Hunter, William Hurt and Albert Brooks)
"It combined comedy with reality, and it was the first major movie I played in the very first Clearview Cinema."
Recommended by Marge Perry, founder of MZM Construction, a Newark-based construction company:
"The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006, starring Will Smith)
"This is a true story of a man who, while he was living in a homeless shelter with his son, made it through a stock broker training program and went on to become one of the wealthiest men on Wall Street. The message is that business won't guarantee you success, but it will guarantee you a journey."
-- Beth Fitzgerald