And so once again, the clock strikes midnight and another year officially begins. The year, 2015. The resolution, get better, lose weight. Right? This sounds like the same old same old for so many of us. We renew our gym memberships, start that big diet, commit to changing. I mean for heaven’s sake, the dog is going to have the neighborhood memorized after we go on so many walks! Right?
So you may ask yourself, “Now that I have these high ambitions and dreams, what can I do to actually change my thought process, my action process?” “How can I be the best professional, the best employee, the best husband or wife?” “How can I improve my quality of life, as well as the quality of those around me?” “How can I invest in my co-workers and my children, friends and family’s growth?” Well, what if you were to learn from other successful people? Use their stories and pull bits and pieces of what has worked from them? Learn from others mistakes, and better yet, successes. It is my opinion that this process of redefining oneself occurs through reading, absorbing and implementing strategies, processes and concepts.
So you don’t like to read? Well I’ve got good news for you, you are normal, and like me! I know, I know…finally finding out from me that you are normal is rather anti-climactic. Most of the titles I am recommending have unabridged audio book versions. Do yourself a favor: write yourself an email with a copy and paste of this list of books. Do a Google search of each one and pick a few that you think suit you best. Next, check your local library for hard copies or better yet, check for digital copies through your library or on Amazon Kindle, Google Play or Apple’s Store.
The Top 10 Books To Read for Professional & Personal Growth in 2015 Include
- Getting Naked: Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by David Covey
- The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
- The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews
- Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
- The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
- Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim
There are so many additional good books that I could recommend. It is equally important to retain and remember the information you learn and let it guide you to your goals. One easy way to recall this is to answer a few questions after completing each read. At our office, we have an incentive program tied to reading and reviewing books.
Our book review and book evaluation criteria includes
- How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to get into it? How did you feel reading it— amused, sad, disturbed, confused, bored…?
- Write 2 or 3 paragraphs about key takeaways for personal growth and development from this book.
- Create an outline or list out the key concepts (the main things you learned / main ideas presented). Think of this as a reference for you to look back at later to refresh your memory about what the book was about. This should list the most important things you learned in the book.
- Tell me about how the concepts or strategies learned in this book might improve or apply to life at The Social Firm.
- What strategies and/or concepts can we take from this book relating to improving our interactions and relationships with our clients?
- Would you recommend this book to fellow Social Firmers?
Anything on these lists look or sound familiar? Have you read any of these titles? I would love to hear which books are your favorites. Do you use any additional criteria which would be useful for recalling, summarizing and sharing information from books you read?
In the interest of creating the best professional and personal development book list, leave me a comment and let me know which books have made the biggest impact in your personal and professional life. I wish you the best in your journey in this new year. If I can ever be of any assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter (@matterney).