“We often seem to value activity above all else, but like all beings we need to rest and recuperate. I suspect the widespread occurrence of depression in our culture is linked to our refusal to allow ourselves quiet time. Feeling the need to remain constantly busy – mentally or physically – in socially productive activity can prevent us from turning inward to simply be with ourselves. Such inward turning requires time and might lower productivity and social standing. It is not that all activity is bad, but many of us are far out of balance and our activity does not come from a place of stillness and wisdom.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
By: Carmine Gallo
Book Overview: Ideas are the currency of the twenty-first century. In order to succeed, you need to be able to sell your ideas persuasively. This ability is the single greatest skill that will help you accomplish your dreams. TED Talks have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking. TED―which stands for technology, entertainment, and design―brings together the world’s leading thinkers. These are the presentations that set the world on fire, and the techniques that top TED speakers use will make any presentation more dynamic, fire up any team, and give anyone the confidence to overcome their fear of public speaking.
“Know eternity. Do whatever it takes. And from this depth of being, live the details of your life. But if you postpone the process of submerging yourself in the source for the sake of taking care of business first, your life will be spent in hours and days of business, and then it will be gone. Only if you are well grounded in that which is larger than life will you be able to play life with humor, knowing that each task is a mirage of necessity.” ~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
Book Overview: According to J. Keith Murnighan, Great leaders don’t do anything—except think, make key decisions, help people do their jobs better, and add a touch of organizational control to make sure the final recipes come out okay. In sharp contrast, most leaders are too busy actually working to do these things—and their teams suffer as a result. Do Nothing!’s practical strategies and true stories will show you how to set high expectations for your team and watch it rise to the challenge. It will help you establish a healthier culture by trusting people more than they expect to be trusted. And it will help you overcome your natural tendencies toward micromanagement so you can let people do their jobs—even when you know you could do their jobs better.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: Family First, Work Second. The Power of Family Values in Business.
A few years ago I presented a workshop on negotiation and decision-making strategies to the members of one of the Australian divisions of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). (This is a wonderful organization of young executives who can turn to one another for guidance, for advice, and sometimes just for an ear. They are also completely committed to learning as much as they can about leadership.) Several of the participants traveled from Western Australia to attend our sessions in Sydney, and I had several conversations with one of them.
He was a remarkably conscientious, self-aware leader, and our conversations touched on a variety of topics during the three days of the workshop. At one point he mentioned that he only hired people who put their family before their jobs; he didn’t want people in his organization if they put their jobs first. He felt strongly about this, saying that family-first people were the type of individuals he wanted to work with. He seemed both sincere and enlightened.
“You shouldn’t focus on outcomes so much. Focus instead on doing things right, on the best possible process, and on paying attention to what you can do rather than to what you can’t control.” ~ J. Keith Murnighan, Do Nothing!
“Stated succinctly, partial trust sucks. When we know we have been trusted only partially, we naturally wonder, ‘Why didn’t he trust me more?’ This natural question reduces our motivation to reciprocate and leads to less long-term commitment to a leader, to a team, and to an organization. Partial trust sucks in many ways: it is the reverse of flattery and respect and it stimulates lousy outcomes, for everyone.” ~ J. Keith Murnighan, Do Nothing!
“Doing too much is far worse than doing too little. When leaders do too much, they cannot be as effective or as thoughtful or as strategic as they might otherwise be. Even worse, their team members are underutilized and underchallenged. Better team members are also likely to be increasingly angry – because their leader is doing what they could and should and want to be doing. By not letting good performers do their jobs, on their own, leaders don’t allow their team members to feel proud of what they can do. The end result is the development of dislike or even hate for a leader who butts in, as well as earning him a reputation for being a control freak and a micromanager.” ~ J. Keith Murnighan, Do Nothing!
By: Og Mandino
Book Overview: The Greatest Salesman in the World is a tiny book, and it is a treasure. First published in 1968, Og Mandino’s classic remains an invaluable guide to a philosophy of salesmanship. Mandino’s clear, simple writing style supports his purpose: to make the principles of sales known to a wide audience. A parable set in the time just prior to Christianity, The Greatest Salesman in the World weaves mythology with spirituality into a much needed message of inspiration in this culture of self-promotion. Mandino believes that to be a good salesperson, you must believe in yourself and the work you are doing. It is a simple but profound spiritual philosophy about how to succeed in the world’s marketplace, easily understood and easy to take to heart.
“Only action determines my value in the market place and to multiply my value I will multiply my actions. I will walk where the failure fears to walk. I will work when the failure seeks to rest. I will talk when the failure remains silent. I will call on ten who can buy my goods while the failure makes grand plans to call on one. I will say it is done before the failure says it is too late. I will act now.” ~ Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World
“I am liken to a grain of wheat which faces one of three futures. The wheat can be placed in a sack and dumped in a stall until it is fed to swine. Or it can be ground to flour and made into bread. or it can be placed in the earth and allowed to grow until its golden head divides and produces a thousand grains from one. I am liken to a grain of wheat with one difference. The wheat cannot choose whether it be fed to swine, ground for bread, or planted to multiply. I have a choice and I will not let me life be fed to sine nor will I let it be ground under the rocks of failure and despair to be broken open and devoured by the will of others. Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.” ~ Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World
“I will persist until I succeed. I was not delivered into this world into defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny. I will persist until I succeed.” ~ Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World
“Simplifying the externals allows us to cultivate a rich inner and outer life. A cluttered existence may keep us busy, but busyness doesn’t mean that we are fully engaged in what we are going. Usually, just the opposite, we feel busy because we are neurotically active at things that don’t matter much in the long run. It does little good to be successful in a business that requires sixty hours of work a week, while the simple pleasures of home life are neglected. A complicated person can simplify life and in that simplicity find a sharp articulation of values. Complicated lives often do the opposite: they show to what extent the person is lost in the busyness of the world.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self
By: Seth Godin
Book Overview: Made for dipping into again and again, Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? brings together the very best of Seth Godin’s acclaimed blog and is a classic for fans both old and new. ‘Getting your ducks in a row is a fine thing to do. But deciding what you are going to do with that duck is a far more important issue.’ Since he started blogging in the early 1990s, he has written more than two million words and shaped the way we think about marketing, leadership, careers, innovation, creativity, and more. Much of his writing is inspirational and some is incendiary. Collected here are six years of his best, most entertaining, and most poignant blog posts, plus a few bonus ebooks.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: Top 15 Quotes from Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck by Seth Godin
“In the connected age, reading and writing remain the two skills that are most likely to pay off with exponential results. Reading leads to more reading. Writing leads to better writing. Better writing leads to a bigger audience and more value creation. And the process repeats.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?