One of my objectives this year has been to read up more leadership and career oriented books. I’ve owned way too many technical books that didn’t end up doing much for me other than take up shelf space, so I shifted styles to reading up on improving myself.
I read The 4-Hour Work Week last year, and in spite of the slacker title, it was pretty good on ideas to improve your work/life balance. It also kicked off my interest in reading this genre of book.
I started the year with Tribal Leadership. One of my ExtJS Twitter friends spoke pretty highly of it, so I gave it a read. I followed it up with Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness, about the Zappos culture. I found the sequencing of my reading ironic in that Tribal Leadership talks about the stages of an organization and Delivering Happiness covers what an organization working at the top of its game looks like.
The third book was one I just stumbled upon. I’ve started going to the Social Media Club of Dallas meetings to expand my horizons. I’ve always been interested in social media, and this club allows me to meet the people who make a living at it. Last month’s presentation was by Tim Sanders, who wrote a book called Today We Are Rich.
I really didn’t know what to expect from the presentation, but Tim turned out to be an incredibly talented speaker. The book is mostly about his grandmother, who raised him, intertwined with some rules on living better. His presentation was a mix of excerpts from the book with additional commentary. I liked the presentation enough that I bought the book for my Kindle that night.
The book was fast read, but a powerful read. Tim lays out seven essential principles for a better life:
- Feed Your Mind Good Stuff: learn how to identify and filter out the negativity that surrounds us
- Move The Conversation Forward: learn to break free from the negative thought cycle and communicate positivity and confidence
- Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle: learn to practice thankfulness to build a positive outlook
- Give To Be Rich: learn how generosity of self can combat feelings of inadequacy
- Prepare Your Self: learn how to fully commit yourself to your goals and be ready for anything
- Balance Your Confidence: learn to temper your self-confidence by trusting in others and believing in something greater than yourself
- Promise Made, Promise Kept: learn the value of integrity by being accountable for your promises
Each chapter digs in to these in greater depth. Whereas Tribal Leadership and Delivering Happiness started to get a bit too repetitive halfway through, this book stayed fresh to the end. The book’s only fault is that Tim would occasionally drift in too spiritual a direction for my taste.
I’ve started trying to apply a few of these and I can honestly say I’ve felt an improvement in my attitude and perspective. I would have never intentionally read this book if I hadn’t seen Tim speak, yet it has turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
Tim’s first principle is to feed you mind good stuff. I’ve embraced this and am using it as encouragement to get through a lot more books. My current reading list is:
- Linchpin (Seth Godin)
- Anything You Want (Derek Sivers)
- Enchantment (Guy Kawasaki)
- The Thank You Economy (Gary Vaynerchuk)
All are loaded up on my trusty Kindle and I want to finish at least one a month.
So checkout Today We Are Rich, and if you have any other suggestions on books I might like, please leave a comment.