At the prompting of a mentor of mine, Karl LaPan (CEO of the NIIC here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, last week I bought and started reading The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran. If you are wanting to become more efficient and get more done in business and in life, buy this book. I’ve provided the Amazon link above. It is excellent. Here are some excerpts that are causing me to think and act differently:
“Most of us have two lives: the lives we live and the lives we are capable of living.”
“The barrier standing between you and life you are capable of living is a lack of consistent execution.”
“Vision is the starting point of all high performance. You create things twice; first mentally, then physically. You will never outpace your mental models.”
“To be truly effective, your daily activity must align with your long-term vision, strategies, and tactics. Your results are created by your actions.”
“A study conducted a few years ago by Salary.com found that the average person wastes nearly two hours of every working day.”
“Accountability is not consequences but ownership. The only things you control are your thinking and your actions.”
“…the difference between greatness and mediocrity on a daily and weekly basis is slim, yet the difference in results down the road is tremendous.”
“…you can be great, beginning today, simply by choosing to do the things you know you need to do.”
I have set reading goals for 3 years now. The past two years, my goal was to read 12 books in a year. I did that two years ago. Last year I read 18 books. This year my goal is 24. I’m on my 8th currently.
I read about leadership, marketing, habits, biographies, and self-development. This is the book I just started last evening. I’ve read Dr. Helmstetter’s book What Do You Say When You Talk to Yourself. In fact, I’ve read and re-read it.
This new book is proving to be great as well.
“Your brain is changed by the thoughts you think. You can rewire your brain.”
I’m 59 years old. This thought brings me great hope! I can learn more. I can become more. You can, too!
I encourage you to live a life of learning. It’s not too late to start. For me, I learn most through reading. But there are seminars, continuing education, blogs, podcasts, mastermind groups…the list goes on. We have more resources available to us than ever before. Pick one and dig in.
You and I can become better. Go for it!
This is that time of year. Budgets have been turned in. We are closing out one year and getting ready for a new year. Strategic planning sessions have happened. Follow-up sessions may still be on the calendar.
What are you expecting for your business in 2019? Growth? Increase in revenue? Larger market presence? I’m sure most of that and more is true.
But what about YOU?
What are you expecting out of YOU in 2019? Now is the time to prepare. Here are some things you may want to consider:
If you know me, you know I am a big advocate of reading. The past 2 years, I set a goal to read 12 books/year. I did it 2 years ago. This year, I’m on track to read 19. My goal in 2019 is to read 24. How will I do that? I’ve already established a simple process that I learned from Jeff Olson (author of the Slight Edge). Read 10 pages/day. Most business books can be read in 1 month with this process. I am capable of reading 20 pages/day. This process works.
Make 2019 the year you better connect with the community of leaders around you. Find a meaningful networking group. Or start one like my brother and I did last year (we can help you do this!).
Make your work and your passions about serving others. What you receive back will be more than you can imagine.
Take time to think about big ideas and then take action on it. Experiment. Collaborate. Innovate. The world needs your creative passions to emerge! Get out of your rut and start asking yourself, “What if…?”
If you are looking for something to jump-start you, pick up the book Atomic Habits – Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear. I just recently heard about this book and ordered it. I started it last night. It’s not about goals but about the processes (habits) we can create to help us achieve far more than we thought possible. It is outstanding so far! If you have read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit or Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge, this book is an excellent compliment to those.
I set a goal for 2018 to read at least 12 books this year. In the spirit of accountability, here is what I’ve accomplished so far:
- Leverage (January)
- Mindset (3/4/18)
- The CEO Next Door (3/15/18)
- Millionaire Success Habits (3/4/18)
- High Performance Habits (4/3/18)
- The Energy Bus (4/4/18)
- Everyone Communicates, Few Connect (4/17/18)
- Strengths Finder 2.0 (May 2018)
- Born to Build (Clifton) (7/1/18)
On deck for me are the following books:
- Third Door
- Sharpen Your Verbal Edge
- The Future Belongs to Those Who Dare
- Super Connector
- The Surprising Power of the Coil
What are you reading?
I am reading John Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. I highly recommend this book! As you may remember, I strive to read 10 pages each day which allows me to read most books in a month or less. This is book #6 for me since January 1 – yes, I sometimes read more than 10 pages per day! This is one of those books.
In today’s reading, John writes about connecting with others goes beyond the words we use. I particularly like the section he entitles “What People Feel – Connecting Emotionally”. I suppose this struck home with me because I need work in this area. Here are some points that I want to share that are making me think and act differently:
- “The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change….People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to overpower.” (Rabbi Edwin H. Friedman)
- “The exact words that you use are far less important than the energy, intensity, and conviction with which you use them.” (Jules Rose)
- Effective communicators “pay attention to other people, and they desire to add value to them.”
- Do you want to improve you communication skills in one-on-one, group, and audience settings? “You need to be positive, believe in yourself, and focus on others.”
These are just a few of the tidbits found in this great book. If you are looking for books to read in 2018, add this one to your list!
Are you looking for leadership material to read and apply? I just found a great new resource called LeaderBox. Each month, LeaderBox will send you books on leadership as well as other resources to help you become better: a better leader, a better thinker, a better doer.
I am providing a link that you can use to learn more. Invest in yourself this year. LeaderBox can help!
Click on the icon below to get started:
Or follow this link to get started: LeaderBox
Do you read regularly? Are you intimidated by a book? Do you take a book off the shelf at the bookstore and think “I should probably read this” but then think “I’m never going to make it through 200-300 pages”?
You’re never going to read an entire book in a sitting. So don’t set yourself up for failure – at least in your mind. Try this instead.
Read 10 pages a day. That’s it. Just 10 pages a day. If you were like most adults, you can read 10 pages in 10 to 15 minutes. Perhaps faster.
If you can do this, and I believe everybody has at least 10 – 15 minutes a day to do that, you will finish a 200 – 300 page book in a month or less.
So grab that business book you’ve been putting off reading. Head to the bookstore. Go to your library. Get a book that’s going to motivate, inspire, educate, and change you. Start reading. 10 pages a day. 10 to 15 minutes a day.
You can do this. Read, Leader!
Is this your response if someone asks you to read a book? I’ve heard it from many people that I encounter.
Studies have shown that when a person graduated high school and even college that a vast majority never read a book after that. When I ask people why they don’t read, I usually get responses such as “who has time to read a book?”
The answer is simple. You do. No, you really do.
In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson tells us exactly how to read a book, an entire book, and as little as 30 days. Olson suggests that you set aside time to read 10 pages each day. Now I’m not a fast reader, but I can read 10 pages in about 10 minutes. Olson states that if you read 10 pages a day, you’ll finish a 300 page book in a month. But I think too many people look first at the 300 pages and become overwhelmed thinking “I’m never going to read this”. And then they don’t.
But if you break it down into simple segments – 10 pages a day – you can easily get through a book in a month. This is the secret to the slight edge – taking small incremental steps each day that gets you towards a goal.
What happens when you start to read?
- You expose yourself to insights and thoughts that you wouldn’t get any other way.
- You get an opportunity to learn something.
- Ideas come to you.
- A difficult situation may become more clear after reading.
- You begin seeing your world from a different perspective.
- It will positively affect your leadership style and your leadership abilities.
We probably all have heard it said that leaders are readers. There really is no downside to daily reading a book.
One of my goals for 2017 is to read 12 books this year. So far this month I’m about to finish book number 2. They’re not “long” books but I’m using the slight edge principles to read at least ten pages a day. As a result I’m moving through the books quickly and I’m gaining new knowledge and insight. And I’m journaling things that I’m learning (another goal of mine).
So, what are you reading? Yes, you! Put the slight edge in your favor, find a great book, and start reading. If you need a book list, start with The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. At the end of this book he lists around a hundred books that he would suggest leaders start reading. That would be a great place to start. Or listen to your favorite podcaster. I bet they’ll be some suggestions there.
In your town there may be a used book store. You can get great deals at places like that. Or go to Amazon. You can buy great used books for a fraction of the original cost. And many of those used books are in great condition.
Don’t limit your leadership abilities by giving yourself excuses not to learn and grow. Start reading. You really will love it.