Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 4: My Top 5 Personal/Inspiration/Business/Leadership/Creative Books

So, obviously, these kind of fall across categories. But if you're looking to start down the path of leadership in a creative sector OR expand on your knowledge from sources that cross all kinds of industries, I'd suggest these books/authors.

Jim Collins, John Maxwell, Seth Godin, Ken Blanchard, Laura Vanderkam

1. Good to Great and Good to Great in the Social Sectors, by Jim Collins.

This was one of the books Dave Ramsey said he gave new employees when they started work at his company, and is probably the single book responsible for kick-starting this section of my leadership journey. I know some people who put down Collins' work, that some of it doesn't hold up to longer scrutiny, that he contradicts himself between books, and other arguments. But there is rarely a day when I don't reference ideas of his like "The Hedgehog Concept," "Turning the Flywheel," "Getting the Right People on the Bus," and "Confront he Brutal Facts."
"Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline." --Jim Collins

2. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

Again, recommended by Dave Ramsey, so that's why this particular title is listed, but I've lost count of the number of Maxwell's books I've consumed. He writes about all aspects of leadership in an easy, anecdotal style, and I've filled more notebooks with the tidbits and exercises he includes in almost every book. His "you can always be better" personal motto drives his own development and spurs him to write to help others.

3. Raving Fans et al by Ken Blanchard (and others)

I don't recall how I stumbled across this title, although I know I'd read Blanchard's The One Minute Manager well before this one. And by now I've [again] lost count of the number of his works I've read or listened to. This one, though, holds a special place in my heart for its sheer simplicity of message on the best customer service. All of his works are told parable-style and the best thing to do is consume them with a pencil and paper beside you so you can write notes (maybe I should offer to do a Cliffs Notes style reading guide for him!) that you then just post up around your office so you can reference them every single day of your life.

4. everything by Seth Godin

Ok, I swore to myself that I wouldn't do this. "Self," I demanded, "You can't say every book. You have to choose one to recommend and then say there are others." But it's my blog post so I can break that demand.

I thought I was going to write about  Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? which was mind-blowing in its depth of questioning of how you look at the real work you do. But then I thought about Tribes and The Dip and Purple Cow and Permission Marketing and the fact that I've pre-ordered his new book coming out late '14/early '15 and I have literally NEVER done that before. So, just go grab every Godin book you can, follow his blog, and prepare for your life to change.

5. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

Copyright 2010, so I'm fairly certain this was either a magazine or blog article I stumbled upon as I was all "what am I doing with my life and how do I move forward" spazzing. The core idea is that we all have 168 hours in one week, so rather than having a jumbled hope of getting things done and making progress towards "success," one can plan, prepare, and achieve goals. Time tracking, people. Try it for one week: spreadsheet your week by the half-hour and ruthlessly write down what you actually do with your time. Does it line up with what you want to be doing?

She also wrote "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" and "... On The Weekends." Short books, imminently readable and doable.

Alright, those are my Top 5 Authors, I guess I should say, since I've read multiple books. I'd add Malcolm Gladwell in there if I had a Top 6 list.

Have you read any of these books/authors? Did you have a similar response or completely the opposite?

Reminder: You could win a copy of each of these books (well, only one where multiples are listed) simply by commenting on this post! At the end of NaBloPoMo (November) I'll be gifting 1 of 3 prizes to one lucky commenter! Good luck!

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