I read 4 books over the Christmas break from work. That’s nearly as many books as I had read the previous 6 months (that is to say I’m not a voracious reader (although I have always loved vocabulary, hence the use of the word “voracious”)). <— Yes, that was a parenthesis inside a parenthesis. #inception
I’m not trying to boast at how intelligent I must be now after reading these 4 books, in fact it’s quite the opposite. I had no intention of doing that prior to leaving the office. That is, until I read a short post by Donald Miller. I’ve only spent a little bit of time with Don (I did learn that’s what he goes by) and I like to think in my head we are close friends, but the reality is I follow along on his social media, newsletters, etc.
Anyway, right before the holidays he shared a short post telling of the inspiration provided by his friend Michael Hyatt to not only view the end of the year as a time of relaxation, but a time to get ahead for the year to come. I don’t know what else to say, other than that it struck me. I ordered 3 books from Amazon, grabbed another off the shelf and enjoyed quiet mornings drinking coffee and devouring some great books on leadership and marketing.
Now I want to do what I can to offer that same sense of inspiration leading into this beautiful new year, because inspiration is a chain reaction. I want to share briefly about the books I read as they might jumpstart your journey or offer a starting point for you…
1) Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite, by Paul Arden
Super quick read chalked full of 1 to 2 page stories of people who revolutionized culture by going against the grain, inspirational quotes, and good design. A great book for skimming through prior to going to be sleep.
2) The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly
The story is written as a fictional narrative about a company that is turned around due to the executive team building a culture that focuses on the dreams of their employees. This book is great if you are wanting to think about how to build a great company culture. Quick read.
3) Zag, by Marty Neumeier
The author lays out the importance of knowing when to ZAG when the rest of your competitors are “zigging”. He lays out a 17-step process for how to identify your positioning as a business and how to differentiate yourself uniquely. It sounds like a lot of steps, but this book is actually extremely digestible and an easy read.
4) The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
This was the favorite book I read. Extremely practical look at leadership, team structure, and managing an executive staff. It’s easy to pass off team dysfunctions as a necessary part of work. This book instead addresses those dysfunctions head on and offers ways to put them to rest in order to create a unified team that is results driven. Great read.