Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World By Admiral William H. McRaven

Sometimes, you are not living the life you want and other times, life itself is fighting with you.

However, there are several strategies you can apply to help you handle whatever life throws at you.

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World By Admiral William H. McRaven #bboks #bookreviews #leadership

1. Start Your Day with Making Your Bed

making your bed in the morning has a great impact of the outcome of your day.

Making your bed in the morning is a daily act of self discipline, self-love, motivation.

It is a small task that should be part of your routine, bring a sense of pride and a sense of structure.

2. Value Teamwork

Teamwork can help you achieve difficult tasks.

Your team has the ability to remind you of who you are and to support you through tough times.

3. Develop Grit

When it comes down to it, money, skin color, background don’t matter.

What matter are your grit and your willingness to see things through.

4. Acknowledge That Life is Not Fair

Life is not fair. The sooner  you understand that the better your life will be.

You have to learn how to deal with life effectively.

If something unfair happens to you, there is no need to dwell on the way you were treated, to blame yourself or the way you were raised.

No matter what happened to you, you just have to keep on moving.

5. Embrace Failure

Failure teaches you your limits, shows you that you are human, and gives you the motivation to do your best at all times.

You musn’t be afraid to learn from your failures and try again.

Not because you have failed as a leader that you are a failure or lack leadership.

6. Dare Greatly

Life is filled with many difficulties.

To get things done, you must learn to push your fears aside and trust yourself.

7. Stand Up to the Bullies

Don’t let bullies run your life and take advantage of your fears.

You have to find the courage to stand up to them or they will prey on you.

8. Rise to the Occasion

In time of needs, in your darkest moments or in your deepest pain, you have to find the strength to be your best and to rise to the occasion.

9. Give People Hope

One person can make the difference, can inspire the people around them ro rise above the pain, to take courage and to carry on.

10. Never, Ever Quit!

Even if it seems like the only reasonable solution, quitting doesn’t make things easier and only creates regrets.

Someone always has it worse than you do.

Review

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven is a motivational book, geared towards leaders or people wanting to start a military career, gain leadership qualities and to overcome personal challenges.

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World is easy to read and gets straight to the point. 

At first, I thought that it was one of those self help books who just reiterate the general knowledge about leadership. However, Admiral William H. McRaven gives good advice and tough love.

In addition, Admiral William H. McRaven shares lots of military examples that are simple and patriotic. I have to say I did not really enjoy the military examples as they were not relatable, felt embellished, glorified the horrors of military life or felt like a lot of details were swept under the rug.

However, everyone is free to narrate their experiences or to share their opinions.

After reading it, by omitting the examples, I felt invincible, filled with confidence and adherent to the general message that some things in life can get you down. You just have to keep moving and looking forward.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Those mornings that I stayed in the barracks I would roll out of my Navy “rack” and immediately begin the process of making my bed.

I learned early on in SEAL training the value of teamwork, the need to rely on someone else to help you through the difficult tasks.

SEAL training was always about proving something. Proving that size didn’t matter. Proving that the color of your skin wasn’t important. Proving that money didn’t make you better. Proving that determination and grit were always more important than talent.

You will pay for your failures. But, if you persevere, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments.

Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.

Our goal, which we believed to be honorable and noble, gave us courage, and courage is a remarkable quality. Nothing and nobody can stand in your way. Without it, others will define your path forward. Without it, you are at the mercy of life’s temptations. Without courage, men will be ruled by tyrants and despots. Without courage, no great society can flourish. Without courage, the bullies of the world rise up. With it, you can accomplish any goal. With it, you can defy and defeat evil.”

Ratings 3.5/5

About the author

Admiral William H. McRaven

 

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Admiral William H. McRaven

MEET THE AUTHORAdmiral William H. McRaven  is a retired commander from the U.S. Navy Retired and the is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Make Your Bed.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever By Michael Bungay Stanier

Building a coaching habit, as difficult as it is, is an “essential leadership behavior” that should be adopted by most managers in order to:

  • Help their team unlock their true potential.
  • Make their team members more confident and therefore self-sufficient.
  • Provide purpose and value to their team on a daily basis.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever By Michael Bungay Stanier #bookreview #books #habits #selfdevelopement #leadership #coachinghabit

Seven Essential Questions

Leaders and managers often admit that they don’t get or give effective coaching.

Most often, coaching is too theoretical, too boring, unpractical and not empowering enough. The greatest reason why coaching doesn’t seem to work is because it is difficult to shake off old habits.

There are seven questions that you can pose, one at a time, to coach someone in seven minutes or less. These seven questions will assist you in leading a full conversation and successfully coaching yourself and your team.

1. The Kickstart Question: “What’s on Your Mind?”

The Kickstart question breaks the ice and helps you start an opened and focused conversation.

It allows people to easily talk about the things that matter to them the most.

2. The AWE Question: “And What Else?”

The advice that leaders and managers gives is not always the best.

The AWE question restrains the need to give advice and instead helps you to stay quiet, curious and genuine.

It stops you from offering up advice in the form of a question.

3. The Focus Question: “What’s the Real Challenge Here for You?”

Leaders may want to always have the solution and be able to fix the problem without identifying it or having their team fix the problem.

The Focus questions helps you help your team identify the challenge that needs sorting out

4. The Foundation Question: “What Do You Want?”

It takes courage to ask for what you want knowing that the answer can be possible be no, that your question can be misinterpreted.

The Foundation question is a direct question that gives people the “responsibility for their own freedom” which is difficult to do.

5. The Lazy Question: “How Can I Help?”

Leaders and managers love to step in, be helpful and feel needed. However, this need to help gradually becomes the root of their frustration.

With the Lazy question, you get a clear and direct request. Then, you stop helping for no reason and you save up on time.

6. The Strategic Question: “If You’re Saying Yes to This, What Are You Saying No To?”

Leaders have to be clear about their boundaries which means they have to know how and when to say yes or no.

The Strategic question allows you to be clear about what you want, to be committed to your “yes” and definitive to your “no”.

7. The Learning Question: “What Was Most Useful for You?” 

Leaders need to create learning spaces for their teams.

The Learning question is a great way for you to finish the conversation and leave people with a sense of empowerment.

Review

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier is easy and fast book to read, with great tips for managers who are looking to improve their leadership and communication skills.

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier is written for on the clock managers who have no time for long-winded trainings.

The seven questions are direct and allow leaders to minimize their stress and to improve the interaction with their team.

Furthermore, The Coaching Habit presents several tips and scenarii to help managers specifically identify their emotional, situational or locational triggers. With The Coaching Habit, managers are able to pick up some new skills and define different habits in less than 10 minutes.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Tell less and ask more.
Your advice is not as good
As you think it is.

Ratings 3/5

About the author

Michael Bungay Stanier

 

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Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking By S.J. Scott & Barrie Davenport

Our thoughts are a way for us to process our experiences and deal with our emotions…

Our thoughts are necessary  for us to understand our situation, to find solutions, to make decisions and to plan for the future.

Our thoughts plague us with negative emotions, stop us from leaving in the present, steal our joy and peace of mind.

It just seems that we just don’t stop thinking and our mind is constantly cluttered.

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking #books #bookreview #mindulness #stress #stressrelief #positivity

Four Reasons For Mental Clutter

Mental clutter can trigger several mental illness and physical symptoms. It may cause us to react and to respond in an unconventional manner.

There are four main reasons for mental clutter.

1. Life stress

We are stresses by our jobs, the daily headlines or social expectation. The first reason for mental clutter comes from our everyday life.

2. Too many choices

Having to choose between too many options can be a great source of anxiety, indecision, paralysis, and dissatisfaction. 

3. Too much clutter

Our home is filled with things that we don’t need.

Our mind is filled with data that doesn’t serve us.

Our time is filled with distractions and trivialities.

After a while, we start being too busy to declutter and start thinking negatively.

4. Negativity as reality

We react to negative events more easily, quickly and intensely than positive ones.

That is because we are “hardwired to overthink, worry, and view situations more negatively than they are in reality”. 

Therefore, we accept negative thoughts as being reality, we see “threats as more threatening and challenges as more challenging.”

Habits To Help You Declutter Your Mind

Mindfulness is the art of staying present, of identifying your thoughts and decluttering.

It requires a lot of patience, practice and building specific habits.

1. Deep breaths

Our breathing habits is directly connected to our thinking habits. Whenever we feel anxious or overwhelmed, our breathing changes immediately.

However, we have the power to adjust our breathing to control our thoughts.

To regulate your breathing, several times a day, you can:

  1. Adapt your posture. Sometimes, the way we stand or sit constricts the air in our lungs. It is imperative to sit up straight or to relax your body.
  2. Pay attention to your breathing pattern throughout the day. 
  3. Use abdominal breathing techniques.
  4. Practice slow and deep breathing. Deep breathing relaxes the body, improves general health, quiets the inner dialogue and forces you back in the present.

2. Meditation

Meditation, practiced for thousands of years and originated in ancient Buddhist, Hindu, and Chinese traditions, can be used as a tool for exercising and decluttering your mind.

Meditation reduces negative thinking, redirects to the present moment and improves creativity. To see the benefits of meditation, you must:

  1. Practice meditation daily or in stressful times.
  2. Find a quiet place and a adequate position to practice meditation.
  3. Let your mind wander but always bring back the focus on deep breathing.

3. Mindset monitoring

Many people fall victim to their negative thoughts. They believe the negativity and think that they have no control over what they think.

however, our thoughts are not our identity and we have the power to challenge and reframe them. To do so:

  1. Be aware of your thought pattern. You can witness them without judging  or becoming them.
  2. Give a name to your negative thoughts in order to seperate yourself from them. 
  3. Interrupt them before spiralling. You have the power to say no to the flood of thoughts coming your way. You can also use the rubber band technique to interrupt your thoughts. 
  4. Identify your triggers. 
  5. Distract yourself with positive thoughts and projects.

4. Mindset improvement

After decluttering your mind from negative thoughts, you need to fill your mind with new positive ones.

To integrate a new mindset:

  1. Challenge the negative thoughts whenever they happen and replace them with positive ones.
  2. Accept the negative situation that you are in instead of mentally fighting it. This will give you more control over your thoughts and the situation.
  3. Take positive action that aligns with your values, goals and priorities.
  4. Don’t stay too long in your head. Instead, set a timeframe where you can expand on your worries. Then, find something to distract yourself from your worries.

Review

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking is a collection of several blog posts from S.J. Scott & Barrie Davenport.

It is written for people who want to become more productive, who have problems focusing and finding their peace of mind.

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking frees you from addiction, distractions, overthinking, from negative and unproductive feelings.

It gives you tips to help you save time, build up your priorities and set the proper boundaries. The tools given are common knowledge and may not work for everyone. I find that the rubber band technique is painful for no reason, is not discreet and is not helpful when it comes to reducing negative thoughts.

However, there are different options that can work for you and your situation.

Furthermore, there is no reason to get discouraged because these techniques require huge commitment and have to be practiced quasi daily for you to see results.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Our powerful brains are constantly processing all sorts of experiences and
analyzing them in the form of thoughts. Thoughts form what we perceive to
be reality.

We worry about our health, our jobs, our kids, the economy, our relationships, how we look, what other people think of us, terrorism, politics, pain from the past, and our unpredictable futures. Our thoughts about these things make us suffer and undermine the happiness we could experience right now if we didn’t have that constant voice in our heads stirring things up.

Ratings 3/5

Author

S.J. Scott

Barrie Davenport

 

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Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline By Peter Hollins

Following through is hard but gratifying in the long run…

Some people usually don’t follow through because they self-sabotage, misuse their time and energy by procrastinating, setting impossible goals, managing their time poorly, yielding to temptations and distractions.   

Other people have internal roadblocks that impede them from taking action because they are either lazy, lack discipline and willpower, fear judgement, rejection or failure, try to be perfect, are too insecure, lack self-awareness, are unconsciously protecting themselves.

Indeed, people who have interval roadblocks and who fail to follow through:

  • Set unrealistic expectations for themselves and end up underachieving or underperforming.
  • Overthink everything and lean towards negative thoughts which paralyzes them. Making a decision becomes difficult because they don’t have clear rules and priorities.
  • Worry too much. They ruminate on past, present, future, real, fictitious problems that are most likely out of their control.
  • Don’t know themselves well enough to create the best goals and environment for themselves.

Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline By Peter Hollins #books #bookreviews #selfdiscipline #resilience #emotionalintelligence

The Requirements of Following Through

Following through requires four elements: focus, self-discipline, action and persistence.

With focus, you are able to keep “your head in the game and your eyes on the prize”. You concentrate all your effort and energy onto achieving your goals. 

With self-discipline, you are bale to regulate your thoughts, control your focus and to work regardless of your emotions and your circumstances.

With action, you are able to get closer to the finish line, execute the plan and translate your intentions.

With persistence, you will develop resilience and be able to push through until you have achieved success.

How To Start Following Through?

To start following through, you have to take a good look at yourself, build a better relationship with yourself, develop the right mindset and equip yourself with the best tools to succeed.

To develop the mindset, you must believe that:

  • You are capable and hard work leads to success.
  • The steps that you take are purposeful and fit into a bigger picture.
  • Discomfort is necessary to success. Following through will require you to get out of your comfort zone and do things that you have never done before.
  • The information and knowledge you acquire increase with the steps that you take. You learn more about yourself on top of learning new skills and life lessons.
  • Taking care of your mental health will reinforce your willpower and discipline.

Is Following Through Good For You?

Sometimes, you will have to make the decision to follow through or to give up.

To make the best decisions, you have to create a set of rules that will serve as a guideline, a code of conduct, a task roadmap and a mission statement.

Methods For Following Through

To stay motivated enough to follow through, you must identify the things that motivate you.

Some people want to avoid negative consequences at all cost and will do everything in their power to succeed.

Others are pushed forward by the need and desire to improve their lives.

To stop procrastinating and to follow through:

  • Associate your present goals with an activity that provides instant gratification.
  • Break down huge goals in small manageable steps.
  • Evaluate the risks of inaction.
  • Create an environment free from distractions and temptations.
  • Avoid multitasking and focus on one single task at a time.
  • Group similar tasks together and accomplish them all in one batch.
  • Create lists of tasks that don’t add value or that are out of your control in order to discharge your mental load.
  • Acquire between 40% and 70% of information.
  • Allow yourself to recover mentally from time to time to avoid burnout.

Review

There are many reasons why people stay stagnant in life. In Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline, Peter Hollins breaks down the psychology and the art of following through on your goals.

Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline is recommended for people who struggle to get things done and is full of powerful tools to help you take action and achieve your goals.

Peter Hollins jumpstarts you towards your dreams, shares several tactics to execute whatever you set your mind to and makes some very good points when it comes to the mistakes people make when pursuing their goals.

Following through boils down to extracting lessons from past failures and knowing yourself well enough to create the best environments, rules and roadmaps for you to succeed. 

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Focus guides your thoughts in figuring out how to follow through and directs your actions toward achieving your vision.

Leisure is an important part of life, but if it’s excessive and takes the place of reasonable productivity, then it becomes a vice.

Follow-through is 100% mental. It takes a cognitive effort to follow through on something, especially when you hit discouraging obstacles.

Stop judging yourself and others for being different. We are all different.
Our productivity is very fragile and requires particular care to flourish. Treat yourself to what helps you thrive if you want to follow through.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Peter Hollins

 

 

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Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce ShawAccording to Robert Bruce Shaw, in Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them. The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better.

Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them. In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.

In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.

How to characterize leadership blindspots?

First of all, leadership blindspots  are often associated to leadership strengths. They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.

Second of all, blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.

Thirdly, blindspots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful.

And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.

Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?

Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance.

To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:

  1. their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
  2. their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.

The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation.

If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant. If there are too few blindspots, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Are there different levels of blindness?

There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:

  1. Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
  2. Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
  3. Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.

How to identify your leadership blindspots? 

In order to identify your blindspots:

  1. Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of blindspots, areas of lack of self-awareness, and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised  to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
  2. Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
  3. Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.

Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to  distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.

What are the different types of leadership blindspots?

Robert Bruce Shaw has classified leadership blindspots in 20 categories:

  1. “Overestimating your strategic capabilities”
  2. “Valuing being right over being effective”
  3. “Failing to balance the what with the how”
  4. “Not seeing your impact on others”
  5. “Believing the rules don’t apply to you”
  6. “Thinking the present is the past”
  7. “Failing to focus on the vital few”
  8. “Taking for granted your team model”
  9. “Overrating the talent on your team”
  10. “Avoiding the tough conversations”
  11. “Trusting the wrong individuals”
  12. “Not developing real successors”
  13. “Failing to capture hearts and minds”
  14. “Losing touch with your shop floor”
  15. “Treating information and opinion as fact”
  16. “Misreading the political landscape”
  17. “Putting personal ambition before the company”
  18. “Clinging to the status quo”
  19. “Underestimating your competitors”
  20. “Being overly optimistic”

Which factors trigger blindspots?

Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.

There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:

  1. Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
  2. Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
  3. Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
  4. Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
  5. “Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
  6. Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
    • high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
    • subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
    • high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
  7. Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.

How to overcome blindspots?

According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them?

To handle blindspot:

  1. Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
  2. Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
  3. Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
  4. Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
  5. “Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.

In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged. Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved.

It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.

Review


indexIn Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses. He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away. Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone.

In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them. I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers.

It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity. After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.

Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them.

I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.

Favorite quote(s)

People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.

Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.

The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Robert Bruce Shaw

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Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath

Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath, introduces people to new strategies to increase their productivity and overall well-being at work and in their lives.

Are you Fully Charged_ The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath

STRATEGY #1: Find meaning in helping people

Through his research, Tom Rath found that bringing meaning is detrimental to organizations and to self. Deriving meaningfulness from money and power is the fastest way to sabotage yourself, is not sustainable because it opens up door to comparison, damages your well-being and relationships.

In order to create meaningfulness, to strengthen your relationships and increase your performance at work:

  • Stop seeking happiness and stop putting your well-being first all the time. Sometimes, put people’s need before your own.
  • Create meaningful interactions to protect yourself from negative thoughts, depressions.
  • Contribute to a collective good to make a difference.
  • Dedicate extra hours to meaningful activities.
  • Avoid doing what people expect of you but explore different areas of interests.
  • Focus on the impact of your work, on internal motives rather than external motives. Find ways to remind yourself of your internal motivators daily.
  • Understand your contribution to your organization, your efforts to work. Your efforts can be attached to a larger purpose afterwards.
  • Identify the right work to that it is not only a monetary transaction and that you are emotionally engaged, have better interactions with your colleagues, be more productive. Financial security contribute to happiness.
  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses and apply them to the organization, fill a specific need. Work on your talents to grow and be great at something
  • Say no to distractions. Being busy is not synonymous to importance or progress.

STRATEGY #2: Create positive interactions

To thrive in the workplace and to better your work performance, it is important to intentionally create positive interactions:

  • Assume the best of a situation and of an interaction and learn to convert a negative into a positive.
  • In performance review, spend more time discussing strengths than weaknesses.
  • Use positive words to build on relationships. Creating strong bonds with coworkers fosters creativity and increase effectiveness at work, takes a year to solidify. When confronting or in a difficult situation, preface with positive words.
  • Take small steps and appreciate small wins. For example, make someone smile before making them laugh.
  • Pay attention to people so that they don’t assume the worst about you.
  • Ask questions to initiate a conversation, to engage a debate, to build influence, to negotiate.
  • Share embarrassing moments and mistakes to instill trust and to remain humble.
  • Mirror someone else’s behavior to better the conversation.
  • Don’t use your phone when spending time with people, show that you value the conversation, their time and openness.
  • Create enjoyable experiences with loved ones to create long-lasting positive memories. We tend to forget the purchase of material goods over time even though we felt good while buying it.  Create experiences instead and treasure the memory.
  • Spend money on people you care about. Seeing them happy will instantly make you happy.
  • Plan experiences ahead and share the details with people around you so you can look forward to something and increase your well-being.
  • To motivate people to work for you, have them do something for someone else or for the benefit of the team.
  • Be sincere, help someone see their potential and develop their self-confidence.

STRATEGY #3: Take care of yourself

Leaders are the first to arrive early at work and leave late, to sleep less hours. they claim they are busy but their lifestyle is unsustainable and will lead to burnout.

  • Watch what you eat. Acquiring the right food has nothing to do with calories count but everything with quality. Therefore, eat healthy, avoid fried foods, carbohydrates, sugar and eat more vegetables to boost your energy and to positively influence your mood.
  • The human body isn’t built for a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise, avoid sitting down and add as much exercise and movements a day as possible, especially in the morning.
  • Sleep 20 minutes through the day and sleep longer at night to increase your ability to think, your productivity, health and well-being. Lack of sleep reduces alertness and awareness.
  • Don’t work on a same activity for too long, it will diminish your performance. Take multiple breaks.
  • To improve sleep quality, close the light of your electronic devices, cancel out noises with white noise or noise cancelling devices.
  • Good lifestyle habits create a buffer against stressful situations and slow down the aging process.
  • Take a minute before responding to a negative situation.
  • View stressful situations as challenges.

Review

Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life, by Tom Rath, is an easy to read self-help book, a practical guide to life and social interactions. It teaches us how to increase our well-being and make the mots of a bad experience.

Tom Rath has been battling an illness his whole life and as a consequence has the ability to put a positive spin on any situation.

Favorite quote(s)

I have discovered that creating meaning is central not just to my existence but to that of every organization in society today. Businesses, schools, governments, families, and faith-based groups are being challenged more than ever to show how they make a meaningful contribution to society. The essential thing people want in a job today is work that will allow them to create meaning for others.

Work should be more than a necessary means to an end.

The best experiences create memories and well-being that last for years to come.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Tom Rath

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So Good They Can’t Ignore You By Cal Newport

The culture that we live in encourages people to live their dreams and follow their passions. We don’t necessarily have a guideline to live the dream, to exercise our passions and to find the career that best suits us.

It seems that to get a fulfilling job or to do great work, following your passion is definitively not the way to go.

Why not?

Because following your passions is difficult, rarely successful and dangerous. Studies have shown that:

  • Passions are not determined at birth.
  • Most people can have several passions that have nothing to do with choosing the right job. Some people don’t necessarily have a passion to follow.
  • Passions for a job takes time to develop. It takes time to build relationships, to become efficient at what you do and see the impact of your work.
  • You become passionate when you master a skill.
  • You become confused and anxious when you follow passion.

So Good They Can't Ignore You By Cal Newport #bookreviews #books #success #purpose #mission

What should you do then?

When going after the career you want, you must measure the importance of growing a set of skills and adopt the craftsman mindset.

Indeed, there are two ways of thinking about work. There’s the craftsman mindset and the passion mindset.

The passion mindset focuses on what the world can offer you. It sets you constantly on high alert, seeking for what you don’t like. It leaves you perpetually in a state of confusion.

The craftsman mindset is useful in building the career that you want, irrespective of what type of work you do. It focuses on what you produce and what you can offer the world. It leaves you with clarity and a love for what you do.

How to acquire the craftsman mindset?

Great work is a combination of creativity, impact and control. This combination is rare but valuable.

Matter of fact, great jobs are rare and valuable. To find them, you need to build up great skills and in turn offer skills that are rare and valuable.

The craftsman mindset is the best way to acquire skills Capital.

To grow a craftsman mindset, you can follow these 5 steps:

  1. Decide what Capital Market you belong to.
  2. Identify the type of Capital you want to pursue.
  3. Define clear goals for yourself.
  4. Get out of your comfort zone and stretch your abilities.
  5. Be patient.

How to gain control using your new found Capital?

Gaining control over what you do is an important part of enjoying what you do and is the hardest part.

Gaining control turns out to be tricky: you cannot ask for more control if you don’t have enough Capital to back it up or you have acquired lots of control that you can no longer evolve in your role.

It serves to have a unifying focus or mission for your career. A mission will focus your energy toward a useful goal and increase your impact on the world. To accomplish your mission, you can take small steps that generate concrete feedback.

Review

So Good They Can’t Ignore You is an extremely practical, logical guide to get the career that you want and to be so “good they can’t ignore you”.

In So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport believes that you should not pursue your passions in order to achieve career success.

Instead, you should seek to improve your skills and apply yourself in a particular field. By mastering a skill, you will gain in efficiency and gradually become passionate about the work you do.

According to Cal Newport, people who solely follow their passions end up shifting careers when they realize that their career is not what is cracked up to be.

To get a fulfilling job and the career that you want, he suggests 4 rules or principles that are extracted from many successful people lives and that are difficult to implement.

It was very interesting and somewhat refreshing to hear an unpopular opinion. His principles and opinion are not designed for dreamers. It is however designed for people at entry-level at their jobs, for analytical people who are geared towards efficient performance and who are career focused.

Even if I’m a practical person, I admittedly don’t see anything wrong with pushing people to follow their passions that might get them out of their comfort zone and into their dream job.

I think that there isn’t one approach to success or else everybody would be doing it. Some people are motivated by having a solid plan, others by an unshakable purpose and others by an exciting passion. 

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Ratings 3/5

Author

Cal Newport

 

 

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Unf*** Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life By Gary John Bishop

Self talk is everything. Matter of fact, it has been proven that negative self talk has tremendous impact on your health and your level of success.

Indeed, we can determine our emotions and actions by steering our thoughts. We can then control out thoughts by monitoring our self talk and the language we use. We can finally use strong and assertive language when speaking to and about ourselves.

There are several principles to change your mindset, to unf*** yourself and to achieve true success.

1. Your life won’t change until you make it

You must understand that you:

  • Have the life that you are willing to put up with.
  • Are not defined by your circumstances but only how you respond to them.
  • Even if you have no control over life events, you have full control of how you respond to it.

So, it is imperative that you stop playing the victim, stop blaming others, stop blaming luck, your childhood and other external influences for your circumstances.

You must also find out what you are willing or unwilling to pursue and put up with.

2. You will succeed at whatever you set your mind to

The reality is that you are already winning at the life you have.

Your failures and hurts are hidden victories that are pushing towards your subconscious goals in whatever domain you are working in.

You will find out sooner or later that you are really good at what you believe, at realizing your assumptions about yourself.

Therefore, once you understand that principle, you can use that aspect of our mind to go after positive goals.

Unf*** Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life By Gary John Bishop #books #bookreview #overcomefear #success

3. It’s all a matter of perspective

Negative experiences have a tendency to spread like wildfire. It seeps through our everyday life and turn small problems into bigger ones.

The reality is everybody has problems but your problem is not always as big as it seems. To put things into perspective:

  • Don’t allow your struggles to overlap with different aspects of your life.
  • Take several steps back until you have a clear logical view of your problems.
  • Face your past and future. You have probably faced these same problems in the past or worse and have overcome them. Looking back at your past, you will realize how ridiculous some problems now seem.
  • Believe that the future has great things in store for you. 
  • Solve problems one by one.

4. You must take risks to be successful

We are obsessed with a need for safety and for certainty. Subsequently, we have stopped taking risks.

At some point in your life, you were taking risks.

Those risks have now become an inherent part of your routine. The moment you stop taking risks is the moment your life becomes flat and unsuccessful.

To be successful, you have to be willing to take risks, to face uncertainty, to look stupid and to be judged.

5. You are not your feelings

What you think and what you do are two different things and won’t necessarily align.

Most successful people and overachievers have understood that principle.

They feel the negative feelings but focus and act independently from their thoughts.

You don’t have to feel like it to act like it. By acting or by fully immersing yourself in activities, you reduce the amount of negative thoughts that you experience.

6. Success is waiting outside of your comfort zone

Some of your biggest achievements happened when you stepped out your comfort zone.

The more you remove yourself from your comfort zone, the more you will feel a sense of accomplishments when you succeed.

7. You have to be relentless

To get what you want, you have to be relentless, avoid distractions and disagree with negative thoughts.

You also have to start focusing on the problems in front of you, one obstacle at a time.

You don’t give up, you don’t quit, you don’t change your plans.

8. Your expectations won’t always be met

Remember that you have the freedom to choose.

Life and opportunities will never fully meet your expectations.

That’s why you have to learn to expect nothing and accept everything.

Review

Unf*** Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop, is designed for people who feel stuck in life, who lack introspection and who need to build themselves up from the inside out.

Unf*** Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life teaches you how to talk to yourself, to find your true potential, to stop self sabotage and being offended.

Gary John Bishop repurposed the ancient principles of stoicism and shares tips on how to master your mind in order to be successful.

He also provides you with great words of affirmation and personal assertions. So, check it out!

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

The more you tell yourself how hard something is, the harder it will actually seem.

It’s entirely within our power to determine how we think about and talk about our problems. They can be a nuisance or a stepping stone. They can hold us down or lift us up.

everything is solve-able, and if you can’t see a solution, it only means you haven’t worked it out yet.

Success is never certain. It never comes without risk.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Gary John Bishop

 

 

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The Successful Introvert By Wendy Gelberg

Many introverts evolve in society feeling like something is wrong with them, like they don’t belong or out of sync with society.

That is because we see people on TV acting out their emotions and interacting with other people.

Introverts Characteristics

Introverts live inwardly and are often engaged in internal activities.

They are uncomfortable in social situations. they find social situations to be draining and enjoy long periods of solitude, which makes it challenging for them to advance in the workplace.

Introverts are good listeners and process information before they speak.

Some of the adjectives that frequently come up in describing introverts are quiet, serious, calm, reserved, detached, restrained, and private. - Wendy Gelberg in The Successful Introvert Click To Tweet

Furthermore, introverts can be seen as “fair, thoughtful, intelligent, competent, diligent, and trustworthy”.

The Successful Introvert By Wendy Gelberg #books #bookreviews #introversion #success #leadership #leadershipdevelopment

How To Manage Your Introversion?

Introverts must understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Introverts must also discipline their active minds. They tend to make assumptions and create stories in their mind that hold them back and are not always true. Instead, they must pick stories that propel them in life.

Introverts must learn how to protect their energy and take breaks when they need to in order to rejuvenate and be more alert at work. 

There are several additional strategies to manage your introversion in order to achieve success:

  1. Focus outward.
  2. Keep your eyes on the prize.
  3. Practice and fake it until you make it.
  4. Feel fear and go towards it anyways.
  5. Be unafraid of rejection.
  6. Embrace solitude. Protect their space and energy. 

The Skills Every Introverts Need To Succeed

Introverts need to learn other extroverted skills to make them more effective in the workplace and to get out their comfort zone.

1. Networking

Networking is challenging for introverts but is necessary and inevitable.

For introverts, networking seems self-serving and distasteful.

To be able to network and connect better with people, it helps to listen to people’s needs, to ask them for advice and to understand that every interaction can pay off in the long run.

2. Communicating Consciously

Because introverts withdraw in their own world, must:

  • Pay attention to their own thoughts.
  • Be careful when and how to communicate with others so that the latter don’t make negative assumptions about them.
  • Stay detached from their work enough to be able to socialize.

3. Promoting Themselves

Self-promotion makes introverts very uncomfortable.

However, your work will not speak for itself.

You have to learn to promote your own work and competencies.

Review

Most books about career development and success are generally geared towards extroverts, which can get discouraging for introverts.

In The Successful Introvert, Wendy Gelberg gives hints on on how, when and where to use your introversion. She shows that there is strength in introversion, that there are places and moments where your introversion is valuable. 

The Successful Introvert by Wendy Gelberg is eye-opening. I recommend this book for shy and introverted leaders (in progress) who want to gain self-awareness, optimize their leadership and develop their career.

Some of us are not leaders yet and wish to become leaders. The thing is our introversion is often times what stops us from getting what we really want in life.

In addition, the corporate world does act like introverts are problematic and often singles them out. Introverts have to learn to accept who they truly are and make the best of their personality type.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

The key to success is versatility.

Introversion is not a limiting characteristic, although the accompanying traits may require some special accommodations (also true of extraversion, but that’s a subject
for another book). We make comparisons to people who are highly successful and see the ways in which we fall short. Meanwhile, we don’t get to see the struggles or challenges that they had to deal with, so their success looks falsely uncomplicated.

Some of the adjectives that frequently come up in describing introverts are quiet, serious, calm, reserved, detached, restrained, and private. All of these speak to our inner focus, and they can contribute to success when used appropriately.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Wendy Gelberg

 

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