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Leadership & Organization
Sep 23, 2017


I am an avid reader, and traditionally, my genre of choice is fiction, as I enjoy relaxing with a bit of “reality escape.” 🙂 However, in the past few months, as I have contemplated continuing my education by pursuing an MBA, I decided to begin expanding my mind by adding non-fiction reading to my daily schedule. And, I have learned so much in the past few months! So, I thought I would share some of the “gems” I discovered, related to leadership and organization, which is especially beneficial for any small business owners. And as I’ve learned in my reading, changing perceptions and habits are the biggest first steps toward more successful business decisions and relationships. (This list is getting a bit long, as I continue reading…)

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Still a great book, 25 years later! This book teaches you how to think differently, i.e. change your perceptions, specifically in regards to productivity, time management, positive thinking, developing your “proactive muscles” (acting with initiative rather than reacting), and much more. This is not a one-time read, but a resource to be referred to over and over again.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People – This original Dale Carnegie book is still powerful, decades after its original release. My son was able to take the Dale Carnegie Leadership Course in college, based off advice provided in this book, and it was immediately helpful as he used the skills learned to make friends in his first job after graduation.
  • Complaint Free Relationships: How to Positively Transform Your Personal, Work, and Love Relationships – Yes, I tend to be a complainer. And this book was definitely transformational…I’ve taken the 21-day complaint free challenge, and am still working on making it the full 21-days. 🙂 Will Bowens is thorough in the subject, discussing why people complain, how to change perception in stopping the habit of complaining, and instead, choose to to live a life of gratitude and happiness.
  • Crucial Conversations – Unless you live under a rock, we all have to have crucial conversations from time to time. This book offers easy to follow guidelines on how to successfully and productively have conversations that are potentially challenging.
  • Decisive – Ever have to make a decision? Anyone who is breathing typically has to make some choices in life, but how do you ensure that your decisions are sound?  In this book, the Heath’s offer practical advice, and even four easy steps, on how to make well-informed, non-biased decisions in both your personal and professional lives.
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – This book was eye-opening, and specifically focused on how to motivate employees. The author, Daniel Pink, discusses the difference between rewards and motivation, and for most people, rewards are simply “carrots,” and do not provide truly motivated workers. Instead, as proven by Google and other companies, if employees are provided with autonomy, they will be more creative and inspired than ever before.
  • Hijacked by Your Brain: How to Free Yourself When Stress Takes Over – This book was a bit technical, as it thoroughly explains what happens to the brain when you are feeling stressed. But, by understanding the physical responses automatically occurring in the brain, you can learn to calm yourself and take back control of your mind and body.
  • The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues – Humble, hungry and smart…the three virtues of a team player. The majority of the book is written in an easy-to-read, story format, and as I love fiction, it seems to help the concepts “stick” better in my mind.
  • The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload – This book was also a bit technical, as it is extremely detailed in how the brain functions. However, there were many wonderful “gems” included in the book about how to get rid of clutter in the brain, allowing it to operate most effectively…thinking only about the things you need to at a given moment.
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business – There’s that word again…”habits.” So much of what we do everyday is influenced by habits. And this book helps you to recognize the habits that you want to change, and provides advice on the best steps to take to make those changes.
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Ok, so not everyone is an introvert, but it is almost a certainty that you have a personal or professional relationship with one. As I am an introvert, I felt empowered after reading this book, as the introverted author revealed that being an introvert is not a bad thing, but that it is a personality trait just as important as being an extrovert (who excel at using Dale Carnegie techniques).