We will continue to be held back if we don’t shift our focus from the WHAT to the WHY and HOW.
Bonus: Massive book list at the end of the post.
Last week I read an awesome post by Tai Lopez (who reads a book a day) on his Facebook page where he said, “It’s a funny world. People bragging about how big their house is or how nice their car is. How about bragging about how big their library is?” He had one guy reply and suggest that we don’t brag at all.
It got me thinking about what bragging really is.
(click here or on the play button below to hear this post)
Don’t we live in a materialistic world full of brands trying to steal our attention? In the over-informed, hyper-aware, constantly-connected world we live in, we are inundated with images, videos, and “stuff” telling us how great people and products are. I think bragging, but more so promoting is a necessary part of life. I am a huge fan of personal branding, and being known for something. What do you want to be known for?
“It’s a funny world. People bragging about how big their house is or how nice their car is. How about bragging about how big their library is?” – Tai Lopez
How many images do we see of celebrities or even people we know who just brag about the things they have? All around us, people try and posture to be bigger than they are. As Jim Rohn would say, “They built their houses on the sand, not on the rock.”
Wouldn’t it be great if those you admired showed you the resources they used to acquire those things, rather than the things themselves? That was why I was so interested in Tai’s post. Aside from the ones who get accidentally rich and famous, how do REAL successful people get to where they are?
For me, I always love studying the things successful people do.
- The books they read
- The habits they have
- The ways they interact with others
- Their spirit, intention, and presence
Often, I am amazed by just how much goes into success and how so many “unsuccessful” people think it is easy. Success can’t and shouldn’t come overnight, and those who build long-term habits, consistently, will reap the benefits. And that the most successful people are not materialistic.
I probably buy about two to five books a week. I buy some for my Kindle app, but mainly I LOVE getting real books for my shelves. Usually I will buy one to read on my phone or tablet right away, while I wait for the second one to come in the mail. Then I make time each day for about 30 minutes to an hour (more if I can) and focus on reading.
Leaders are Readers.
Have a look at this Forbes post on Why Leaders Must be Readers and see for yourself
Also look at this Harvard Business Review Post called For Those Who Want to Lead, Read. It says “Business people seem to be reading less — particularly material unrelated to business.” That’s a big lesson, often overlooked.
- Read about the world
- Read about people
- Read about history
- Read about science
- Read about spirituality, nature, and everything!
What should you read? Well, everything! Over the past few years, I have learned an amazing lesson…
Read it before you need it.
Let me tell you a quick story about needing some reading. I recently signed on a new client who is a huge, billion dollar multinational manufacturing company. Last month, I traveled across the continent to do a workshop for them on complex selling, neuroscience, and personal mastery. As part of the initial discussion prior to getting them on board, we talked about enhancing the corporate capabilities, including operations and manufacturing. This is vitally important in selling in today’s markets because sales is no longer an isolated function and we wanted to get a number of cross-functional departments heads involved. To increase the overall performance, we need to look at all parts of the whole, so we had a very systemic conversation about sales as part of the larger organization.
Rewind about a year ago…my mentor, who is a world-renowned expert in systems thinking, organizational complexity, and project management (including massive manufacturing), gave me me books to read. These books were on project management, systems, statistical process control, and even nature! So I read them and actually really enjoyed them. I had no idea I would these concepts, but fast forward back to today and the language I use in discussions is now much more robust than it has been in the past.So read it before you need it.
What are you reading? Are you focusing on just one area? Are you limiting yourself and missing opportunities?
For all my single friends out there. One of Tai’s best pieces of advice he gave me from last year is that if you are struggling with dating, you probably should read more. Have something to say.
In sales, as in life, here is what I say; “It’s not that they’re not interested, it’s that you’re not interesting. Get interesting.”
My Book List: Books that are Currently Inspiring Me
Here is one of the slides from a recent presentation:
Take a look at this list and do yourself a favor. Buy one or two of these books and start reading today. Download the kindle app for your phone or tablet and just get reading while you wait for your other shiny new books
This Year’s Reading List: (Books I have read or am currently reading)
- Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
- Man and His Symbols – Carl Jung
- It’s Not Luck – Eli Goldratt
- The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life – Benjamin Zander
- Critical Chain – Eli Goldratt
- Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos – Donald Wheeler
- Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – Seth Godin
- Million Dollar Consulting – Alan Weiss
- The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation – Corporate Executive Board
- Account Planning in Salesforce – Donal Daly
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
- Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm – Verne Harnish
- SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham
- What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story – Michael Bosworth
- The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential – John Maxwell
- The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale
- Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy – Paco Underhill
- Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials) – Jim Collins
- Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – Nelson Mandela
- The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty -CEB
- How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships – Leil Lowndes
- Dinosaur Brains: Dealing with All THOSE Impossible People at Work – Bernstein
- Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life – Maxwell Maltz
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen
- Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing – Harry Beckwith
- Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back and Tell Everyone They Know – Jeffrey Gitomer
- Meditations– Marcus Aurelius
- You Can Read Anyone – Lieberman
- The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization – Peter Senge
- The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems – Fritjof Capra
- Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
- Iron John: A Book About Men –
- 50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life from Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus – Tom Butler
- Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
- Civilization and Its Discontents (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change –
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life – Spencer Johnson
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – Eckhart Tolle
- Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers
Upcoming Reading List (Books I have just bought or plan to buy):
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions – Dan Ariely
- Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently
- To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Daniel Pink
- Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction – Kahneman
- Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
- The Power of Intention – Wayne Dyer
- The Winner’s Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success – Brown and Fenske
I was going to write some of my thoughts on these books, but if you are serious about taking the next step, you should check them out for yourself and see which ones resonate with you personally!
Here are some other lists to check out:
- 23 Best Leadeship Books of All Time -CEO.com
- 12 Must Read Leadership Books for Young Adults – Growing Leaders
- Top 10 Books Every Leader Should Read – Business Insider
- Bill Gates: Top 10 Books to Read – Favobooks
- Best Leadership Books of All-Time – Inc.com