In competitive companies, you must distinguish yourself to secure your job; you must be remarkable. More than just another guide to career success, Be a Shortcut demonstrates how you can gain influence, earn respect from coworkers, accrue value, develop particular professional strengths, and fulfill professional goals.

Shortcuts are individuals and companies that function like lifelines to the people and organizations that most depend on them. They are available when needed, they humbly perform tasks without complaint, they are masters of their own specific skill, and they always present a positive attitude. Scott Halford demonstrates how Shortcuts can command immeasurable influence by consistently and happily performing above and beyond the standards in their chosen field or task.

In Be a Shortcut, you can evaluate your current abilities and potential for becoming a Shortcut with the practical Shortcut Quotient Inventory™ (SQI), an assessment that will show you how to best apply the powerful strategies and tools in this book.

Book Reviews

This is a book that will greatly appeal to entrepreneurs…looking for an edge.

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Today we’re going to roll out a new feature on the Franchise Direct Franchising blog: the Franchise Book review. The first instalment is Be A Shortcut: The Secret Fast Track to Business Success by Scott G Halford.

The trick in becoming a Shortcut is to frame yourself in the same indispensable way as the ATM. All commerce in the world exists because it provides a Shortcut to something or for someone. If you figure out what people want and need to have made more efficient in their lives, and you can provide it, you can nearly always get them to pay you for doing so. 

This is a book that will greatly appeal to entrepreneurs who are looking for an edge over their competition. Halford is a professional speaker and business consultant and his book is designed to help people realize their business potential.

The concept of the book centers around Shortcuts, which the author captures in the beginning of the book with an anecdote about a white water rafting trip that nearly went terribly wrong. After his boat capsized, Halford struggled through choppy white water until a rescuer offered him a lifeline. That rescuer is the epitome of a Shortcut to Halford: someone who provides a vital service without seeking plaudits or attention. He simply did the right thing, and did it well. Be A Shortcut is about bringing a similar ability into the business world.

Halford divides his book into five parts, though those are divided into smaller chapters that present easily-digestible insights into how to become a shortcut.

Halford directs his book at businesspeople and entrepreneurs who are desperately trying to improve their own performance in the office. The antithesis of the Shortcut for Halford is the Bottleneck, a person who clogs up the energies and needs of others.

The author’s core conclusion is that in today’s highly-stressful, intensive workplace, no one has the time to deal with a person who is unprepared – time is money, as the cliché goes. Halford rightly identifies that person who is always there and always reliable as the most essential cog in the big machine of business. He also provides a number of tips about how to become that ineffable business apparatus: the Shortcut. Along the way, he also poses a number of unsaid, instinctive points that elucidate this concept of the Shortcut: like how New Yorkers roving around the city for a lunch will never walk into an empty restaurant. Businesspeople are driven by a similar knowledge derived from the gut, and they always will seek out the shortcut.

With his new book, Scott Halford has tailored a new bit of jargon for the lexicon of commerce that might soon become essential for businessmen and women.

Published on, February 10, 2009

Become indispensable by being a “Shortcut”

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Be A Shortcut: The Secret Fast Track to Business Success (Wiley, 2009) by Scott Halford is a book we can all learn from in these crazy, uncertain times. It is written in a practical and easy-to-read way, with lots of stories that illustrate what it means to be a “Shortcut” – a person, business, service, or product that people can’t live without. Isn’t that something we’d all like to be?! Many of the stories are about companies, services, and products we use everyday – iPod, Google, the Geek Squad. Others are about people like you and me who have found ways to make themselves indispensable because of the value they bring. There is a practical aspect to the book that helps readers size up their own Shortcut qualities – this includes a quiz (which is also available for free online at ) and lots of practical, how-to ideas that can be put to use immediately. In this time when we all need ideas and inspiration about what to do next, this book hits the mark.

February 5th, 2009,, reviewed by Debra Fine

This is a damn good book!

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I’m going to say precisely what I want to about this book by borrowing a line from the Turner Classic Movie Channel where they run a short with a voice-over that goes: “Damn good actress!”

So I’ll say it: “This is a damn good book!”

PC? Nope.

True? You bet-cha.

I can say these things because I know my mother will not be reading this review online. She never goes ‘there’ and at age 80 still demands that I give up all forms of slang, jargon and anything attributed to not stemming from ‘proper Modern English’.

So what does my mother, my passing neglect for proper English and my penchant for really good books have to do with BE A SHORTCUT? Each of these elements in my Life has a common thread that equates to: I am lucky.

Lucky to have a mother who cared enough about me to make sure that I could actually speak and write proper English by choice. Lucky to have had access to as many books I could ever wish to read throughout my entire Life. Lucky to have the best books fall in to my lap – out of the sky – precisely when I need a good read and in this case – precisely when I was looking for something beyond bland.

I have dozens of books I could have reviewed. I have turned down reviewing books written by former NYTimes Best Selling authors, celebrities and corporate longhorns. Why? Because in order for me to review a book, at an ethical level, it must really touch a strong chord with me – at some level of my being.

BE A SHORTCUT isn’t one book. It could easily have been six or seven books.

Yet, in just about 222 reading pages, one will find an intelligent and conversational approach to a myriad of questions and concerns that I hear many managers and would be leaders asking today.

As I read through it, there wasn’t one chapter, one quote, nor one idea that I didn’t agree with whole-heartedly, from the perspective of someone who has lived a corporate life, been a risk-taker and learned the short-cuts.

Scott G. Halford obviously learned the short-cuts as well. Mr. Halford gets an A+ in writing an excellent book that I will recommend often and I’ll give myself a C- for proper English in this review and an A+ for complete honesty.

This book has my full endorsement.

Why? Because it really is a damn good book.

I hope that everyone who has, or is searching for the ‘leadership’ title, reads it immediately.

Buy BE A SHORTCUT – at This book is set for release this month – December 2008.

This book has earned our Official Seal & Endorsement as a Best New Book.

Joyce McMenamin is President/CEO of Tribeca Nine, Inc, which founded Network Abundance Publications, the original NoNiche magazine. Her production & consulting division, Sensitive Pie Productions, manages the creative for Idea Masters. Joyce has been reviewing best-selling books, as well as new authors since 2007. Author of The Integrity Channel, she consults with established clients.

A Book Review by M. Joyce McMenamin of a new book by Scott G. Halford