Whenever we are at a family event or doing something around the house, my teenage son has this zombified look on his face.\u00a0 You know the one I\u2019m talking about.\u00a0 When I see it, the first thing I say is, \u201cAlexander \u2013 PARTICIPATE!\u201d\u00a0 Things go better when you participate. That\u2019s the overarching message of a new book I\u2019ve just received to review,\u00a0Engaged! Outbehave Your Competition to Create Customers for Life by Gregg Lederman (@GreggLederman). Lederman is only hitting on the obvious.\u00a0 The Gallup organization has done relentless and extensive research on the power of engaged employees and customers.\u00a0 They even have an index for it that measures the level of either employee or customer engagement.\u00a0 And guess what they found? The more engaged your employees and customers - the more profitable you are. But the one thing that Gallup doesn\u2019t tell you is how to engage these critical groups.\u00a0 This brings us to the contents and subject of this book. Which is Better? Focus on Employees or Focus on Customers? There is an old on-going argument in management about where to put your focus to increase profitability.\u00a0 There are two camps; the customer camp and the employee camp.\u00a0 There are examples of success from both sides.\u00a0 Engaged is a book about the employee side of the success and profitability equation. Here is the basic philosophy behind the book: \u201cAn ENGAGED workforce is made up of employees who are committed and motivated to act in the best interest of your company.\u00a0 ENGAGED customers fall in love with your company, are more loyal, proactively tell others about you and buy more of your company\u2019s products and services (and do so more often).\u00a0 As you will learn, the benefits of engaging your workforce and customers are easy to see and difficult to refute.\u201d Profits and Success Come From Systems Integrity and Personal Integrity I\u2019m using the word \u201cintegrity\u201d here from it\u2019s definition of being \u201cwhole, complete, undivided.\u201d \u00a0Lederman says that without this kind of brand integrity and consistency \u2013 you can\u2019t hope to compete. Engaged\u00a0gives you and your team the tools that will take you from ho-hum to highly effective.\u00a0 The book is divided up into two distinct sections: Part 1: Define a Living the Brand System:\u00a0This section is devoted to understanding and articulating exactly what your brand experience is and pulling together a system that incorporates it across the entire organization.\u00a0 A lot of organizations make the mistake of giving this responsibility to HR and Lederman warns against that.\u00a0 The three steps of this process are to clearly define the brand experience, remind employees about how to deliver the experience and finally quantify the experience and link it to financial results. Part 2: Measure and Manage the Experience:\u00a0There is an old business phrase that says, \u201cYou can\u2019t change what you don\u2019t measure.\u201d Lederman gives you the tools you\u2019ll need to begin quantifying the brand experience in all of the components of your business. You might find the information in the book either challenging or confronting, because Lederman\u2019s goal isn\u2019t to give you the answers, rather it\u2019s to give you the questions to ask yourself and your team. Not Just for Large Businesses \u2013 But for All Businesses When I first picked up this book, I thought it might be irrelevant to the millions of small business owners who are solo-preneurs who don\u2019t have full-time employees.\u00a0 But this is not the case. Granted Lederman does focus on businesses with full-time employees, but early in the introduction he defines employees as anyone who gets a paycheck from your business.\u00a0 And that certainly includes all of your virtual team members and vendors. The Experience is Your Marketing If you are one of those business owners who is completely and utterly overwhelmed by marketing and the plethora of strategies out there, you\u2019ll be glad to know that Lederman says that the experience your customers have with your products, services, organization and employees is your marketing. If you focus on that first, the rest of the strategies will fall into place and you will feel less overwhelmed. About the Author Greg Lederman is the Founder and CEO of Brand Integrity, an experience management company focused on delivering branded experiences to increase customer loyalty and profitability. More than 50% of Lederman\u2019s client companies are widely recognized as \u201cbest places to work.\u201d \u00a0He\u2019s also the author of Achieve Brand Integrity: Ten Truths You Must Know to Enhance Employee Performance and Increase Company Profits. Muster the Courage to Engage As I was reading this book, it occurred to me that many organizations either think they have an engaged workforce or they want an engaged workforce.\u00a0 Here is something I know for sure. Reading this book will not give you that.\u00a0 Doing what\u2019s in the book is what it takes - and this will require courage on the part of the business owner. As the business owner, you might be afraid to see the real picture of how engaged or disengaged your workforce is.\u00a0 But your desire to make an impact and a difference in the world will have to override your fear.\u00a0 Courage means to be afraid and do it anyway. Engaged gives you the roadmap to engage employees and customers that build profits for your company.\u00a0 So get on the road!