Principles: Ray Dalio

A book about how to make good decisions (using Principles) both in Life & Work: Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life. Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life.  They reflect your inner character and values.  They can be applied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals. The quality of our lives depends on the quality of the decisions we make. My Favorite Idea from the book: Believability Weight Your Decision Making Find [...]

To Sell is Human: Daniel Pink

The Surprising Truth About Moving Others One out of every nine American workers works in sales. Each day more than 15 million people earn their keep by trying to convince someone else to make a purchase. Sales remains the 2nd largest occupational category (behind office and administration workers) in the American workforce. More startling though, is what’s happened to the other 8 in 9.  They’re in sales too.  They’re not stalking customers in a furniture showroom, but they—make that we--are engaged in what I call “non-sales selling”.  We’re persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got in [...]

The War of Art: Steven Pressfield

Have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is. The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work.  The professional knows that fear can never be overcome.  He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist. If tomorrow morning, every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the [...]

The Happiness Advantage: Shawn Achor

The Seven Principles that Fuel Success and Performance at Work Key question the book answers: Does happiness come before success or success before happiness? Answer: science & data proves; happiness before success Happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56% Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it is the realization that we can. When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful.  Happiness is the center, and success revolves around [...]

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Discipline 1: Focus on the wildly important The more you try to do the less you actually accomplish Discipline 2: Act on Lead Measures 2 types of metrics; lag measures and lead measures Lag measures: the thing you’re ultimately trying to improve Lead measures: measures new behaviors that will drive success on the lag measures Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard People play different when they’re keeping score This scoreboard creates a sense of competition that drives them to focus on these measures even when other demands vie for their attention People play different when they are keeping score Discipline [...]

The Lean Startup: by Eric Ries

My definition of a startup: a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty. The stories in the magazines are lies: hard work and perseverance don’t lead to success. It’s the boring stuff that matters the most. Startup success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught. Early adopters: we often talked to them and asked for their feedback. But we emphatically did [...]

How Will You Measure Your Life? – Clayton Christensen

Professor of MBA program at Harvard, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Rhodes Scholar 12-2-12 Harvard Business professor teaches aspiring MBA’s how to apply management and innovation theories to build stronger companies.  But he also believes that these models can help people lead better lives.  He explores the following key questions: How can I be happy in my career? How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness? How can I live my life with integrity? Over the years I’ve watched the fates of my Harvard classmates from 1979 unfold; I’ve seen more [...]

Great by Choice: Jim Collins

Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, while others do not? What did great companies share in common that distinguished them from their direct comparison? Comparisons are companies that were in the same industry with the same or very similar opportunities during the same era as the 10X companies, yet they did not product great performance. Chapter 2: 10xers 10Xers—companies that didn’t merely get by or just become successful.  They truly thrived.  Every 10X beat its industry index by at least 10 times. 10X cases in this study: Amgen, Biomet, Intel, Microsoft, Progressive Insurance, Southwest Airlines, Stryker 10xers [...]

Who – The A Method For Hiring: Geoff Smart & Randy Street

“The most import decisions that businesspeople make are not what decisions, but who decisions.”  Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great If you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away. The right people don’t need to be tightly managed or fired up; they will be self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be part of creating something great. Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great Your success rate as a manager is 90% the result of how good you are at hiring the [...]

The One Thing You Need to Know: Marcus Buckingham

The one thing you need to know about management: Discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it.  Managers turn one persons talents into performance.  Their key characteristic is “coaching instinct”. The one thing you need to know about leadership: Find out what is universal and capitalize on it.  Leaders rally people to a better future.  Their key characteristic is optimism. The one thing you need to know about sustained personal success: Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it.  Sustained success: making the greatest impact over the longest period of time. The one thing you [...]

The Happiness Project

Author: Gretchen Rubin HYPERLINK "http://www.happiness-project.com" www.happiness-project.com Overview: studying what makes us happy and then trying to apply it to our own lives. Theme: memoir of one year in which the author test-drives every principle, tip, theory, and research-study result she can find, from Aristotle to St. Therese to Benjamin Franklin to Martin Seligman to Oprah.  What advice actually works? Four Splendid Truths: To be happier you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best [...]

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: Patrick Lencioni

The model:  Absence of trust ◊ fear of conflict ◊ lack of commitment ◊ avoidance of accountability ◊ inattention to results. Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust This occurs when team members are reluctant to be vulnerable with one another and are unwilling to admit their mistakes, weaknesses or needs for help. Without a certain comfort level among team members, a foundation of trust is impossible. Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict Teams that are lacking on trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered, passionate debate about key issues, causing situations where team conflict can easily turn into veiled discussions and back [...]

Success Built to Last

“Creating a Life that Matters” Authors: Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery, Mark Thompson Wharton School Publishing August 2006 HYPERLINK "http://www.successbuilttolast.com" www.successbuilttolast.com Executive Summary: The authors attempt to answer this important question: What inspires long-term achievers to make the kind of choices to struggle and grow despite all odds to create success that lasts?  Important note: success in this book is defined not as wealth, fame and power but as living a legacy, making a difference, creating lasting impact and engaged in a life of personal fulfillment. They interviewed more than 100 successful people including; Warren Buffett, Bono, Michael Dell, Peter Drucker, [...]

Next Generation Leader: Andy Stanley

Perhaps the two best kept secrets of leadership are these: The less you do, the more you accomplish. The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish. The problem was that somewhere along the way I had bought into the myth that a good leader has to be good at everything.  So I operated under the assumption that I had to upgrade my weaknesses into strengths.  After all, who would follow a leader who wasn’t well rounded? My real value to our organization lay within the context of my giftedness, not the number of hours I worked. Identify [...]

Good to Great – Jim Collins

Start with 1,435 good companies.  Examine their performance over 40 years.  Find the 11 companies that became great.  These 11 companies outperformed the market 6.9 times for 15 consecutive years. The 11 great companies:  Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreens, Wells Fargo. Good is the enemy of great.  And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. 7 Key Points of the book: Level 5 Leadership First Who…Then What Confront the Brutal Facts The Hedgehog Concept (Focus) A Culture of Discipline Technology Accelerators The Flywheel [...]

The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive – Patrick Lencioni

If everything is important, then nothing is. Identify a reasonable number of issues that will have the greatest possible impact on the success of your organization, and then spend most of your time thinking about, talking about, and working on those issues. Ask yourself often: What is the one thing I do that really matters to this organization? Conduct quarterly performance reviews with each employee and ask 3 key questions: What did you accomplish? What will you accomplish next? How can you improve? The 4 disciplines of a healthy organization: Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team Create organizational clarity [...]

First, Break All The Rules – Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

People don’t change that much.  Don’t waste time trying to put in what was left out.  Try to draw out what was left in.  That is hard enough. Try to help each person become more and more of who he already is. 6 most powerful questions for your staff… linked to productivity, profit, retention and customer service results: Do I know what is expected of me at work? Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? In the last [...]

Crucial Conversations: Kerry Patterson

Crucial Conversations—Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzer Crucial conversation:  A discussion between two or more people where (1) stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong. The results of a crucial conversation could have a huge impact on the quality of your life. Master your crucial conversations and you’ll kick-start your career, strengthen your relationships, and improve your health.  For instance, high performers know how to stand up to the boss without committing career suicide. In the best companies, everyone holds everyone else accountable—regardless of level of position.  The path to high productivity passes not through a static system, [...]

Built to Last: Jim Collins & Jerry Porras

“Built to Last”                 James C. Collins and Jerry I Porras Summary: The authors’ key premise is that: “Preserve the Core / Stimulate Progress”   Visionary companies have a set of core principles that are absolutely central and unchangeable, and are clear on these principles.  They’re committed to moving forwad and changing their practices outside of the principles. Preserve core values and purposes; Change culture and operating practices and specific goals and strategies.    There are a set of key habits or attributes that differentiate visionary companies from similar companies in their industry [...]

Never Eat Alone: Keith Ferrazzi

A good book that's mostly about networking, but also some general business smarts. Definitely read if you need more work being social. my notes The people who had reached professional heights unknown to my father and mother helped each other. They found one another jobs, they invested time and money in one another’s ideas, and they made sure their kids got help getting into the best schools, got the right internships, and ultimately got the best jobs. Before my eyes, I saw proof that success breeds success and, indeed, the rich do get richer. Their web of friends and associates [...]

The Power of Habit: Charles Duhigg

All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits. William James • Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often. • A three-step loop:
1. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.
2. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional.
3. Finally, [...]

The Little Book of Talent: Daniel Coyle

The Little Book of Talent Author: Daniel Coyle 52 Tips for improving your skills We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.  Aristotle Small actions, repeated over time, transform us. Talent begins with brief, powerful encounters that spark motivation by linking your identity to a high-performing person or group.  This is called your ignition, and it consists of a tiny, world-shifting thought lighting up your unconscious mind: I could be them. Improve your learning by stealing effectively from top performers Bookmark a few YouTube videos and watch them before you practice or at [...]

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Cal Newport

Question the book answers: Why do some people end up loving what they do, while so many others fail at this goal? • Comedian Steve Martin when asked for his advice for aspiring performers; “nobody ever takes note of my advice, because it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is ‘Here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script,’…but I always say, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Summary: • Why do some people end up loving what they do, while so many others fail at this goal? • Most [...]

Drive: Daniel Pink

Drive:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Author: Daniel Pink Summary: when it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does.  Our current business operating system—which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm.  We need an upgrade.  And the science shows the way.  This new approach has three essential elements: Autonomy: the desire to direct our own lives Mastery: the urge to get better and better at something that matters Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves Autonomy: our default [...]

Ego is the Enemy: Ryan Holiday

Ego Is the Enemy - by Ryan Holiday Ego = an unhealthy belief in our own importance. Arrogance. Self-centered ambition. The need to be better than, more than, recognized for, far past any reasonable utility. That’s the definition this book will use. Ego is the enemy of what you want and of what you have. Ego is the enemy of mastering a craft. Ego is the enemy of real creative insight. Ego is the enemy of working well with others. Ego is the enemy of building loyalty and support. Ego is the enemy of longevity. Ego is the enemy of [...]