For the past two years, I’ve started the New Year with a review of my Balance Scorecard for Life: the goals I met for the year, and the ones I missed, and how to I close the gap on those goals I missed during the year.
One goal I had for 2013 was to read 20 business-related books. I’ve got quite a list of books I want on the list, which is currently more than 65 books. In 2013, I read 16 out of the 20 or performed at 80 percent. I’m happy with that, but would have loved to hit 100 percent.
For 2013, three books really stood out for me. I believe every young professional should take the time to read these three books. Of course, I will be rereading two of them.
First, Maverick by Ricardo Semler. The best way to drive performance is not through fancy incentive systems that really need a rocket scientist to figure out. Interestingly enough, employees who are on pay for performance incentive programs have them figured out. Which means they have an enormous amount of brain power – yet we continue to look for brawn. Maverick, in many ways, challenges the current paradigm of organizational alignment from top down to bottom up. For instance not only using employees for their brawn, but to involve them in driving improvements, making decisions on company direction, rating their leaders on performance (including how much they should be paid), etc.
Second, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. (Free eBook version) This book moves you to think less about “what if” or “if only” and provides a guide to help you find a route to what you want most in life. It challenges your current mindset (or attitude) and provides a how-to that will change your current thinking patterns to move you from, “I can’t do this” to “I think I can.” This is one book I will read again this year.
Third, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. As many of you know I’ve been working on developing courage. By far this book moved me closer to embracing my vulnerabilities and living more courageously. It helped me implement a decision that I wish I had made a couple of years ago. If you want to better understand how to have courage, this is a must-read book. I will be reading this book again this year as there will be something new to learn that was missed the first time through.
So, courage—and New Year’s resolutions—where am I? An update is long overdue…
Image: Courage by Network Geek via Flickr CC