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Each week on Steph’s Business Bookshelf I share the three big ideas I’ve taken from the business and non-fiction books I’ve been reading. As we’re now 6 months into our literary adventure, I wanted to share my ten favourite big ideas from over 60 that have featured on the podcast – all with a theme of work.
Whilst not all of these books are specifically about work, I’ve pulled out some of my favourite lessons that will help you work smarter, think bigger and team better.
6. Look out for your DNA (from Fierce Leadership by Susan Scott)
Your sticky fingerprints are all over the place. From the team member who isn’t performing (and you’ve avoided giving any ‘real’ feedback to over the last year) through to the mind-numbing management meeting you hate attending (and haven’t prepared for properly for the last six months), the chances are you are not helping the situations.
Apply it: pick one thing that’s not working in your team and give a hard look (no, harder than that) at how you contribute to or exacerbate the problem.
7. What got you here, won’t get you there (from What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith)
Many people succeed in spite of their behaviours, rather than because of them. But it’s easy to confuse the two and assume that your ability to ‘get to the point’ (read: abruptly cut people off and stop anyone coming to you with ideas) is your golden ticket to the big time. At some point, this behaviour is going to become a problem and stop you progressing further in your career.
Apply it: consider what you believe to be your greatest strength and flip it – what would it look like if this strength was ‘over-used’ or wasn’t a strength at all? How would this manifest? Test this with your friends, family and team – ask them if they see this behaviour in you. Listen to them.
8. If it’s not a ‘hell yes’ it’s a no (from Essentialism by Greg McKeown)
Sometimes we make bad decisions when we say yes to everything. Greg talks about challenging what we’re doing using a better framework – if it’s not a ‘hell yes’ then it’s a no.
Apply it: This can be applied for personal and professional decisions. Look for your calendar or diary and think of what you’ve made bad decisions on. What could you have said no to (or not yet/not now). This means you can better use your time and increase the quality of what you’re doing by focusing and doing it well.
9. Consistency is key (from Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck by Seth Godin)
If you’ve read other works of Seth Goding or his blog, he always talks about consistency. Consistency is the key. Getting things out, moving things along every single day, because what’s most important is getting things done rather than making things perfect. It’s the consistency of habit that will make you successful.
Apply it: Think about what habits, processes or outcomes you want and be consistent. Plan it into your diary, schedule it and then tick off. How are you being consistent?
10. Be a diplomatic rebel (from Originals by Adam Grant)
This book is about moving away from what everyone is doing and creating new, more original ideas. One of the good things mentioned in the book is being a diplomatic rebel. Sometimes having to hide your radical ideas into something a little bit more palatable to the people to get things through.
Apply it: Be a diplomatic rebel by finding little challenges to take on at work – challenge what’s not working as a diplomatic rebel to bring people on board with your new idea.
Music By: Orchards Song by When Mountains Move
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