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Insights & Intuition

Insights & Intuition: What books on business – both recent and classic – have you found especially useful, and why?

One of my favorite principles from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is “Never criticize, condemn, or complain.” In order to win in business and in life, you must take your eyes off of yourself, and help other people succeed.

If you are criticizing anyone , you are judging them – not coaching them. You are comparing them to you or others and not seeing them for who they are and the talents they have.  

If you are ever complaining about anything, you are not taking responsibility or accepting the circumstances; and therefore, you are not able to change your situation.

Staying true to this principle will help you tremendously in business and in life.

Kelly Schlauderaff

General Manager & CFO

High Point Networks

West Fargo, N.D.


USA wrestling is a significant part of my life as a coach, referee and former high school and collegiate athlete. Much of what I learned in wrestling formed my approach to business and life, thanks in part to legendary wrestler and coach, Dan Gable.

I have read or watched almost everything about Mr. Gable, and I learned, through his leadership, that I can make an impact by teaching and empowering others to be successful in business and in life, whether it’s a client, friend, family member or complete stranger.

That impact motivates me to be and do better every day.

Wyatt Pollert

Vice President and Regional Sales Manager

TCF Home Loans

Bismarck, N.D.


“Plutarch’s Lives” is arguably the most important writing that describes the moral virtues and failings of people; in this case, the noble Greeks and Romans.

“The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has had a profound influence on not only military tactics, but also business and legal strategy.

Writings about Thomas Jefferson by Dumas Malone and others shed light on one of our most influential and controversial founding fathers.

“Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business” by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia offers a defense of capitalism that encapsulates “decentralization, empowerment, innovation and collaboration.”

“Being At Home in the World” by Fargo, N.D., writer, teacher, speaker and social justice activist Laetitia Mizero Hellerud describes her journey and provides “cross-cultural leadership lessons” to guide your own.

Gary Petersen


Cornerstone Bank

Fargo, N.D.


My selection for “best book” would be “Ego Is The Enemy” by Ryan Holiday.

And here are my two cents on it:

I recommend this book for any executive, leader or even new graduate looking to start his or her career.

I found the book to be a very interesting take on how often our biggest challenges in life and in the workplace are caused by internal factors, whether these be our attitudes, reactions to unfavorable circumstances or how we value ourselves.

In a world that too often seems to be of the “all about me” mentality, this was a positive reminder about self-awareness and how focusing on the greater good of a team or organization can help that organization meet its goals and objectives.

Anna Rosburg

General Manager

Alerus Center

Spectra Venue Management

Grand Forks, N.D.