Rockets & Parachutes - 365 Lessons to launch and land your career

by John Mariotti

Rockets & Parachutes - 365 Lessons to launch and land your career Rocketships & Parachutes will help readers of all ages, at all career stages, capitalize on their knowledge—to know when and how to “launch" their careers on a new trajectory (Rocketships), and also understand when to find a way "to land” (safely via “Parachutes") after a tackling a challenge that somehow didn’t work out as expected.

  • Steering a path through a turbulent future, in which the old ways are disappearing, to be replaced faster and faster, is critically important.

  • Understanding how and when to take action, lead, follow, manage, strategize and execute are the keys to building a successful career trajectory.

  • Knowing when to grab for a parachute and land in a safe and positive way, is the key to keeping those careers moving onward and upward.

  • Understanding how to work with people of all kinds, of all ages, in different situations, and create positive outcomes—win-win outcome—is a critical skill for the future.

This is a book where you MUST buy multiple copies. Get 5, 10 or 20, and give them to everyone you care about. It is a gift that will just keep on giving!

  • College grads will realize that it gives them a head start into the world of work—ahead of their peers.
  • Gen-Y (Millennials) will treasure it as if they had an experienced mentor at their fingertips, to keep them climbing.
  • Gen-X-ers who are moving through their mid-career crises, will see how it helps them stand out from the pack, and begin moving up again.
  • Baby Boomers will recognize the years of experience they can tap into, to make their final career climb be the right one.
  • Brilliant Entrepreneurs will find the managerial knowhow and expertise they so badly need, but can’t seem to find.
  • Self-made people, who have built lives and businesses by sweat and hard work, will learn how to climb higher and when to bail out and try again.

HANDS UP: John Mariotti Returns With A New, Fun And Informative Book

bu John Mariotti with John & Tim Sullivan

HANDS UP: John Mariotti Returns With A New, Fun And Informative Book

Mariotti explains how HANDS UP came into being. "After spending a couple of years learning to box, I realized that the lessons about boxing provided great metaphors for lessons in life and work. In fact, the subtitle of this book, “ti’s not about boxing; it’s about changing your life,” was a sign on the wall of the Sullivan Brothers boxing gym. The book came about after a series of sessions discussing the similarities between boxing, work and life. After allowing the nearly finished book to sit for a couple of years, I was encouraged to finish it and get it out where people could enjoy it. Here is the announcement.

HANDS UP is a story about two guys from Columbus, OH who decided to try their idea and fulfill their dream—to own and operate their own boxing gym. They didn't want to become one of the “cookie-cutter” franchise gyms. This was going to be “personal,” because boxing is personal, and the preparation needed, is something that each person must do differently. The Sullivan brothers wanted their gym to appeal to all ages, both genders—in other words—everyone. The reason is simple. The most important lessons in boxing apply equally to life, and work, and that’s what this little book is all about. The lessons line up so well, it's hard to forget them, once you've understood them. Life is hard; work is hard; so is boxing. But anything worthwhile in life, in work, and in boxing takes dedication and hard work. That's why this book is not just about boxing; it’s about changing your life!

You can get "HANDS UP” in both kindle and paperback at AMAZON.COM.

HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency

By D. M. Lukas and John L. Mariotti

HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency

This is a book on leadership, which uses the many mistakes and failures of Barack Obama's first term as illustrative examples for leadership lessons to be learned. The mistakes and failures during Obama's presidency are nearly all traceable to his fundamental leadership and experience shortcomings. Barack Obama's grand intentions and soaring rhetoric have not translated into effective leadership--and that is the great learning opportunity. Amidst the many differences about ideology and challenges of the US presidency, one fact emerges clearly: Barack Obama lacked the leadership skills and breadth/depth of experience for the job. Elected with expectations that he would be a "uniter," Barack Obama failed at the most important role of a leader and has, in fact been a "divider." His stated goal: "to fundamentally change America" has materialized in mostly negative results--unfulfilled "HOPE" and "CHANGE" for the worse.

In thirty short, easy-to-read chapters, the book offers useful lessons about what to do differently and how to do that more effectively--translated to business and personal situations. A summary of the "Lessons" is also provided at the end of the book for a quick review. This is a great resource for current and aspiring leaders, who can learn a lot from the book's familiar high-profile situations, the problems that Obama had or created, and how the right kind of leadership would have dealt with them.


INTRODUCTION: Hope is Not Strategy

    • ONE: Style Is Only More Important Than Substance--Temporarily
    • TWO: Speeches Are Not Plans--or Strategies
    • THREE: Don't Change Your Values to Fit Your Audiences
    • FOUR: You Never Win Pitting Groups in an Organization Against Each Other
    • FIVE: Integrity Is Your Most Important Asset
    • SIX: What Do You Do When Nobody Is Following Your Lead?
    • SEVEN: There's No Substitute for Real Experience
    • EIGHT: You Are Only As Good as the People You Surround Yourself With
    • NINE: You Are Known by the Company You Keep
    • TEN: Stay Humble, Don't Believe Your Own Hype
    • ELEVEN: Beware the Pretender
    • TWELVE: Words and How You Use Them ARE Powerful
    • THIRTEEN: Be Prepared To Deal With The Consequences of Your Actions
    • FOURTEEN: When You Don't Have The Answer--Don't Try to Sound Like You Do
    • FIFTEEN: Take Responsibility for Your Actions--and Your Mistakes
    • SIXTEEN: There Are No Successful Victims
    • SEVENTEEN: Noble Intentions Don't Justify Screwing Up
    • EIGHTEEN: If Something Is Too Big To Fail, It Will!
    • NINETEEN: Throwing Money At Problems Doesn't Fix Them
    • TWENTY: All Spending Is Not "Investment"
    • TWENTY-ONE: Victory by Definition Isn't Victory
    • TWENTY-TWO: Change for Change Sake Can Be Harmful
    • TWENTY-THREE: Wishing Doesn't Make It Happen
    • TWENTY-FOUR: Tactical Executives LoseÉStrategic Executives Win
    • TWENTY-FIVE: The Humpty-Dumpty Principle
    • TWENTY-SIX: Understand Your Customer Before You Try to Sell Them Something
    • TWENTY-SEVEN: Take Care of the StakeholdersÉThey'll Take Care of You
    • TWENTY-EIGHT: Lack of Focus Will Sink You
    • TWENTY-NINE: Accountability Will Make You
    • THIRTY: The Definition of Insanity
    • THIRTY-ONE: Make Three Envelopes



The Complexity Crisis

Why Too Many Products, Markets & Customers Are Crippling Your Company—And What You Can Do About It
By John L. Mariotti

John Mariotti's classic books are now in print and available to complement THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS in your library.

You can now get new copies of John's first two books. One was called by Tom Peters "... the best book on partnering...." THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS--The Next Step Beyond TQM, Reengineering, and Lean Production. The other was an Award Winner on strategy and marketing: THE SHAPE SHIFTERS--Continuous Change for Competitive Advantage both at or at Barnes & Noble on-line. )

"THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS" was chosen as one of 2008's Best Business Books by Soundview Executive Book Summaries, and was the feature book in its March 2008 Summaries.

Read the latest reviews of THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS on and on

Here's what others are saying about "THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS:"

Investors Business Daily and Yahoo News features Mariotti's new book

CNN Money features "The Complexity Crisis," too.

What others are saying about "THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS."

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Order enough copies for your organization now!

The Complexity Crisis

The Problem: Where have all the profits gone?
Businesses must compete in more complex markets than ever before. Companies are seeking growth at double-digit rates in markets that are growing at single-digit rates, or not at all. This quest for growth has led to runaway complexity and proliferation in products, customers, markets, suppliers, services, locations and more. All of these add costs, which go untracked by the best of modern cost systems. All of these fragment management focus, waste time and money and reduce shareholder value. And all of this goes on under the radar of management or board attention. The Complexity Crisis is arguably the most insidious profit drain in modern business.

The Challenge: What can we do about it?
First, recognize that rampant proliferation adds to costs in a manner that goes untracked. Then track it down. Where it adds value, alter processes to accommodate it. Where it doesn't, which is most places, stop it. Reduce or eliminate it. And institute safeguards—systems and metrics—to prevent its unnoticed return. Most of all, find quick and easy ways to describe The Complexity Crisis so it is recognized as a potential profit drain, and managed like the critical business consideration it has become.

The Premise: What Gets Measured, Gets Managed.
To understand the success factors in business is critical. To understand the obstacles that get in the way is equally important. This is the purpose, indeed, the job of management. The tools used that allow management to do this job are metrics and then the actions that result when the metrics expose an area for management attention. The good news—many of the necessary tools already exist, and may be in use. The bad news—complexity is, by its very nature—"complex" and thus it defies many existing measurement techniques.

The Approach: Find it; Fix it; "Use It or Lose It" (and Keep It Simple)
First, recognize what constitutes complexity and the hidden costs it creates; the places it siphons off profit into blind alleys and hidden corners of the business. Next, find it in your business and decide if it creates or destroys value for customers. Then, decide to either " Use It"—change structure and processes to accommodate value-added complexity for competitive advantage, or "Lose It" and reduce or eliminate non-value added complexity wherever it has crept into your business. Finally, institute new metrics and modifications to existing cost and management control systems to choose when to keep it out, and when to capitalize on complexity. Last, and most important: Keep the management of The Complexity Crisis as SIMPLE as possible, so whether you "use it or lose it" you solve the problem and keep it solved.

The Author:
Experienced executive—15 years—President, Huffy Bicycles & Rubbermaid Office Product Group
Accomplished author—8 books and hundreds of columns/articles in leading publications, web sites
Director on six corporate boards, and an advisor to several others
Consultant & keynote speaker: Titleist, Colgate Scotts, Southern Co., Emerson, Deere, etc.
Guest lecturer for several major universities business schools
Contributor, Business—the Ultimate Resource, Encyclopedia of Health Care Management
M. S., M. E. University of Wisconsin, B. S. M. E. Bradley University

Mariotti's Marketing Books Go Global

The latest edition of Smart Marketing by John Mariotti is now available in four languages with a fifth coming soon. The English edition is available from or Barnes & Noble on line.

Last year the Chinese edition was released. This year translations into Indonesian and Lithuanian are coming on the market. Later in the year, a Korean translation will be launched.

Mariotti's earlier book Smart Things to Know about Brands and Branding was also translated into Spanish.

The new edition of his book Marketing Express is also available (in English only) but on a global basis via

The Enterprise Group announces: Wisdom Without Waiting: A Common-Sense Guide to Success in Life and Work

By John Mariotti ©2006

Over a decade ago, I started a book for new professionals, newly promoted supervisors or managers, college or MBA graduates, and in fact, for "everyone" who values common-sense solutions as a means to success in both life and work. As time went on, I added, changed and tweaked it, until I finally decided to stop and share it with the world. Then came two questions:

  1. How to get it to the most possible people?
  2. How to make it valuable and relevant to those already in professional or managerial positions.

The solution that addresses both questions is a "book" in length and content, but not a book as much as a series of essays that are not bound by "atoms and paper" but conveyed by "bits and digits."

That's why I am offering WWW in two forms on my web site instead of going through the lengthy process of "publishing it" as a conventional book, which leads me to next part of the solution:

    To give the most people access to it, GIVE PART OF IT AWAY--FREE.

I have already written it, and doing it this way requires no cost for paper, binding, freight or distribution. Thus the first format offered consists of two of the most important parts - the first chapter and the last chapter - and they are FREE!

Yes, you read that correctly. I want to give away these important pieces of "Wisdom" to those who can't afford to buy it all or just don't want to read that much. [GET THE FREE COPY HERE]

The second part of the solution is for those who are willing (and able) to pay for the whole thing. This is a downloadable, printable PDF-file version. Since you'll have to use your own paper and ink, it is priced at HALF-PRICE. The normal retail (if it ever makes it into book format) was planned to be $19.95. By clicking on the button to buy the book as a downloadable printable PDF file, it is only $9.95.

(Note: this version is subject to copyright provisions and is for the sole, single copy use of the original purchaser and may not be copied for any other purpose, physically or electronically, without the express written permission of the author.)

The remaining answer to the second question was to divide WWW into two parts. I wrote the first part of WWW to be useful to everyone, from new work force entrants to seasoned managers or professionals. The second part gets into some topics that are more interesting to more "experienced people," but it also contains many that will interest everyone.

  • Part One: "Wisdom Is Mostly Condensed Experience" is only 35 pages long, and while it is basic in nature it also contains a lot of "good stuff."
  • Part Two: "Wisdom In Small Bites" covers 120 pages, but is organized to be easy reading for a busy person, with "chapters" that are usually 1-3 pages long.

Whether you read the part that is FREE on-line or BUY IT, print it, read it all, or just the parts that interest you, this is "wisdom" I believe you'll value.

I encourage you to buy and print "the whole thing," not because I'll get the money (although that is good) but because you'll want it to refer to later. Most of all, I hope WWW is something that each generation of your family can use.

Put it in a nice binder and it becomes a great graduation gift. Buy copies for colleagues and they'll be forever grateful. It is an especially timely gift for someone who just took a new job or was promoted.

Or just read it yourself, and use the material to make your own life and work happier and you more successful. That would be a very nice outcome too.

Making Partnerships Work

By John L. Mariotti

Making Partnerships Work

From understanding the different reasons for partnerships and alliances to initiating and succeeding with partnering. Examples from Canon, Sony, Procter & Gamble, Wal*Mart and Dell, and ideas from Gary Hamel, Yves Doz, Jordan Lewis, Doug McGregor, Abraham Maslow, Stephen Dent, and Sam Walton. For more about ExpressExec, go to

Marketing Express 2nd Edition

By John L. Mariotti

Marketing Express 2nd Edition

Covers all the key techniques for successful marketing, from CRM to brand management, and from failsafe planning to making the most of global opportunities. Examples from some of the world's most successful businesses, including Volkswagen and Wal-Mart, and ideas from Regis McKenna and Philip Kotler.

Smart Things to Know about Partnerships

By John L. Mariotti

A comprehensive guide to getting the most from strategic alliances This new volume in the series guides readers through the benefits and pitfalls of corporate alliances. From choosing a partner to matching cultures, goals, aspirations, and resources; from dealing with conflict to building competitive advantage in order to access new markets, technologies, and knowledge, this is a unique guide to the power of collaboration. The Smart Things series has established a reputation as a first-choice for hassled executives who want to stay in touch with the latest thinking. Each book delivers a sharp introduction to the basics as well as sharing experience and tips from the gurus on the frontiers of the field. Its innovative "build-your-own-book" format and design create an unforgettable learning experience.

Smart Marketing

By John L. Mariotti

Smart Things to Know About Marketing by John Mariotti

Smart Marketing ISBN 1-84112-585-7 ©2004 Capstone Publishing, a Wiley Company

Most people think that marketing has entered a new era thanks to globalization, the Internet, e-commerce, and the worldwide explosion in outsourcing, telecommunications and computing infrastructure. They're probably right, but smart marketers know that even in the 21st-Century global economy the fundamentals of marketing remain as valid or ever. This new edition of John Mariotti's ©2000 book, Smart Things to Know about Marketing, remains true to that premise.

Smart marketers are up to speed with developments in technology. But the smartest of all know that people are still people and relationships matter a lot - especially in marketing. Customers are people with motives, emotions, needs and wants, and smart marketers stay close to them. Strategies and plans are critical, but not as critical as the execution and the speed with which those strategies are implemented as tools for competitive advantage.

If you really want to be one of the top marketers you've picked the right book. Smart Marketing gives you everything you need to know to stay ahead of the field. At the end of it you will understand the importance of the five smartest things to know about marketing:

  • You must have a plan
  • Get close to your customers
  • Do your homework
  • Remember relationships
  • Use the speed and reach of technology

Smart Marketing is your key to success in the new world of business. If you can only own one Marketing book, this is the one to choose. Read it, refer to it and use it often. You'll finish ahead of the competition time and again.

Note: Translations also available in Chinese & Spanish. Contact the publisher Wiley .

Smart Marketing is availble from Amazon and Booksamillion. There is no Barnes & Noble listing at this time.

Collaborating for Success

By John L. Mariotti

Collaborating for Success by John Mariotti

This is a very effective form of handout to any organization attempting to achive results through people working together!

Collaborating for Success is one of the six part The Collaborative Leader mini-book series published by Berrett-Koehler and available from Berrett-Koehler Communications, PO Box 565 Williston, VT. (Available from or 800-929-2929 or fax 800-864-7626))

In Collaborating for Success, John Mariotti identifies the conditions that lead to a successful collaborative effort. He shows you how to recognize the stages collaborative groups progress through, teaches you to move through those stages quickly, and demonstrates methods for heading off common problems such as resistance to change and interpersonal conflicts.

Other titles in the series, edited and in several cases co-written by Perry Pascarella are: Earning Trust, Asserting Yourself--Appropriately, Mastering Priorities, Involving Others in Problem Solving, and Unleashing the Power of Shared Dreams.

Smart Things to Know about Brands and Branding

By John L. Mariotti
(Capstone Publishing, Oxford, UK. 1999. Paperback, 224 pgs. #12.99/US $16.99)

Smart Things to Know about Brands and Branding by John Mariotti

SMART THINGS TO KNOW is a breakthrough series that offers a completely new learning experience for hassled business people. The books deliver all that the fast-track executive needs to shine and perform. Each book will deliver a sharp introduction to the basics as well as experiences and tips from the frontiers of the subject and the insights of the hottest gurus.

SMART THINGS TO KNOW books have been selected to feature only those subjects which matter most to today's business professional. The SMART THINGS TO KNOW series brings these subjects together to equip the next generation with the secrets of success.

Each SMART THINGS TO KNOW book contains icons (•), features and signposts to help you use the ideas in your career and business:

  • Smart things to say: gives you the insider's tips and tricks
  • Smart quotes: what the experts say
  • Smart people to have on your side: make friends with the gurus
  • Killer questions: ideas to make your colleagues jump
  • Smart answers to tough questions: helps you stay out of trouble and ahead of the game!
  • Smart voices: real people from Smart companies

The Power Of Partnerships

By John L. Mariotti

The Power Of Partnerships by John Mariotti

Hear an interview John gave on The Power of Partnerships (Blackwell Business, Cambridge, MA 1996).

Consider what influential thought leaders have said about Mariotti and his work: "John Mariotti knows his subject cold. This promises to be the best--and most important book on partnering; and no topic is more important for doing business these days." --Tom Peters

"The book is terrific! The insights are not just theoretical, but they are practical and useful. I can think of a dozen people offhand who would profit substantially from a few hours spent with your book." -- Ed Holzer, Chairman Lois --EJL Advertising

"Here's a primer for success in life as well as in business. A modern-day definition of the Golden Rule, applied in the age of technology, with old-fashioned standards of common sense and trust....This book is the game plan for business success in the future. it clearly outlines the steps to long-term success and a good life." -- Jack Kahl, CEO Manco, Inc.

The Power of Partnerships is still available direct from Mariotti.

The Shape-Shifters: Continuous Change for Competitive Advantage

By John L. Mariotti

The Shape-Shifters: Continuous Change for Competitive Advantage by John Mariotti

(Van Nostrand Reinhold imprint of John Wiley & Sons, New York. 1997)

Chosen as one of 1997's Top Ten Resources for Leaders and Innothink Award Winner by Management General.

Hear an interview John gave on The Shape-Shifters.


"I learned about this book when it showed up as a book read by many people who read our new book. The title intrigued me, and I was pleasantly surprised that the author did mean to refer to Native American legends and the Star Trek series. That's a better start than with most business books. Mr. Mariotti is extremely well-read and cites most of the better business Books from 1990-1996 with accuracy and simplicity. At one level, you can simply read this book to find out about the best ideas of many dozens of good books. It will save you weeks of reading if you do. At another level, Mr. Mariotti addresses a key question that few business books consider: How to create useful change in organizations in all of the places where it must occur for the company to be as or more successful in the future. He combines hundreds of useful ideas into one book, and provides a lot of detail in one particular area -- determining and anticipating what is value to customers and those who influence purchasing decisions. This is his core point -- use the customer to drive your change focus. I liked the fact that Mr. Mariotti drew on his experience in leading businesses to share examples of how hard this is to accomplish. He has a real sense of humility. This is a fine book, well worth reading, thinking about, and applying in your organization." -- Donald Mitchell from a Boston-based business book author and management consultant focused on wiping out "stalled" thinking , March 2, 1999

"The shape-shifting model keenly shapes one's thinking about strategic direction." --Richard Schonberger, author of World Class Manufacturing

"How to build an organization capable of delighting customers the question for firms facing the hyper competitive battles of the twenty-first century.... John Mariotti's powerful new book The Shape-Shifters, addresses this critically important question." --Dr. Roger Blackwell, Professor of Marketing, The Ohio State University and author of From Mind to Market , HarperBusiness 1997

"Mariotti wrote an important book...It's a must reading for forward thinking executives who want to renew their companies." --Michael Kami, world renown consultant on strategic management

"I had said 'Wow' out loud twice in the first 30 pages. many lights went off in my head as I read The Shape Shifters...This more than a book, it's an opportunity to rethink the existing customer strategies of your company, your division, or your departments. --James B. Swartz, President, Competitive Action Group author of The Hunters and the Hunted Productivity Press 1994

"I have already used John Mariotti's shape shifting construct...This is a very valuable tool with which to coach and organization in developing winning strategies." --Fred S. Grunewald President and COO, The Overhead Door Company.

Roadmap To Profitable Growth



Telling the readers right up front why they should read your book is a funny way to start a book, isn't it? I am opening this way in hopes of getting your attention. There are way too many books these days, and most of them are way too long. Who has time to read all that stuff? And how do you know if the author really had a clue? After all, there is no formal quality assurance for books other than the editor, the publisher and the readers.

Read the full reviews on

You should read this book because you want to suc- ceed. Most people do want to succeed, and I assume that you're no different in that respect. And you don't have an abundance of time, and competition is tough and get- ting tougher. Here's the situation: resources are limited; opportunities are limitless; success depends on finding "the Intersection"--that's where your strategy aligns with your past proven success and gives you a better chance of beating competitors. In fact, it gives you the best possible chance of success.

Businesses must have reason to exist. "The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer." I first read this in Theo- dore Levitt's classic book, The Marketing Imagination and I have never forgotten it. But for a business to survive, it must also be profitable. That is an essential key to success.

Blank Strat Plan

Mariotti Featured In New Book On Risk Management

The Missing Metrics: Managing the Cost and Risk of Complexity

John Mariotti's essay entitled The Missing Metrics: Managing the Cost and Risk of Complexity is the leadoff article in this new compendium on the topic of Risk, published by Bloomsbury, the leading London, UK publisher. The Kindle version of the book is available on

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