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Michael Kurland
Broken to Better

Adult; Business & Personal Finance; (Market)

Being a business owner is not for the faint of heart. It takes a firm resolve, the ability to persevere and pivot during challenging times, the humility to admit mistakes, and empathy for the people around you. Understanding who you are is critical to that journey. In Broken to Better, Michael Kurland candidly shares every step of his own entrepreneurial odyssey—selling everything he owned, driving across the country to launch his new business, and ultimately building a purpose-driven culture that aligns purpose with profit. Along the way, Kurland distills a lifetime of experience down to its purest essence. From key principles of organizational strength to the secrets of profitability and growth, Broken to Better offers up all his triumphs and mistakes in the same spirit of perseverance, fearlessness, empathy, and gratitude. Although Kurland humbly claims he did “whatever it took to avoid failing,” the truth shines through on every page—he did whatever it took to Be Better.
Kurland, co-founder of the Branded Group, a facility management provider, shares the business principles he and Kiira Belonzi have used to rocket their company to success, with a welcome focus on creating an inviting, inclusive company culture. After relocating from Long Island to Newport Beach, Calif., Kurland vowed to create a company where employees were excited to come to work. Now, through key lessons he terms “13 Ways Not to Fail at Life and Leadership,” he lays out a path for others to achieve that goal. He shares those lessons in this slim yet weighty step-by-step guide, delivering straightforward advice that can be generalized to virtually any business model (and may even inspire some personal areas, too).

Among other clear-eyed advice, Kurland counsels readers and leaders to strive to form new connections, to be open to new people and lessons, to be fearless and not confined to a comfort zone, and always to be people-centric and future-driven, valuing your team and searching for ways to move the company forward with those talented team members. He warns against complacency at all costs, “whether your bottom line is booming or suffering,” and stresses the need for service-oriented efficiency, a mindset of continuous improvement so “processes and procedures add value to the customer experience,” and a commitment to leading by example–“authentically, vulnerably, and transparently”–both in business and the community.

“Inclusivity means ensuring every voice in your organization is heard and everyone has equal opportunities to advance,” Kurland writes. A caring communicator who solicits the honest opinions of employees and partners, Kurland prioritizes an inclusive company culture where workers and supervisors feel valued and appreciated. This down-to-earth roadmap for success will be a perfect fit for companies large and small, and Kurland’s emphasis on creating a supportive culture will resonate with bosses, leaders, and other professionals eager to set their teams up not just for success but feeling valued.

Takeaway: This slim yet weighty guide offers practical guidance toward leading teams to success.

Great for fans of: Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last, Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A