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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Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters By Jon Acuff

In life, we must always take a step back and ask ourselves the following question: “Where am I?“.

Everybody successful person who has accomplished something in life went through the following 5 stages in life: Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting and Guiding.

Most people don’t follow these 5 stages and instead choose the Average Path. Why?

Because the Average Path is comfortable and effortless. People who go down the average path are just existing and don’t make decisions.

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters By Jon Acuff

How to get away from the Average Path?

To get away from the Average Path, you just need to Start no matter how old you are

In reality, the way you Start your journey in 100% in your control. You are sure of your Start but you will not know how it will end.

To have a good Start, you must first be realistic about your current situation and your goals in life.

You have to be focused and work hard on your Start.

You must also recover a childlike perception of yourself all while using the tools you have gained as an adult.

Do I Need To Know My Purpose To Start?

You don’t need to figure out your purpose to Start.

You don’t need to determine the end results before taking your first step because doing so puts too much pressure on you.

Furthermore, you will not want to do anything and will not want to fix your life before finding it.

The truth is you don’t need to find your purpose but just do everything with purpose. You can start anything you want without a purpose.

What Happens When I Start?

When you start going after the things you want, fear will show its ugly face.

It will make you question your self-worth and make your journey more torturous.

It will make you think that it’s too late and that you are behind in schedule.

It will tell you that everything needs to be perfect.

You honestly have to find a way to deal with your fears.

You have to live your life without regrets.

The Learning Stage

At this stage, you are in your 20’s.

You are still testing the waters and trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.

The Editing Stage

In your 30’s, you start looking back at your 20’s.

You select what matters most to you and going after what worked for you in the past.

You start focusing on your career and relationships. 

To edit your life, value what you have, search for your passions, find out what brings you the most joy and what activities align most with who you are at your core.

You don’t have to wait for outside to live the life you really want to live.

You don’t have to stay places where you grow as a person or where you have no passion for.

The Mastering Stage

In your 40’s, you mastered every thing that is important to you.

You are more self-assured and are certain about where you are going.

To master your life, you have to put in the hours and hone your craft by volunteering, taking up part time jobs and participating in hobbies that bring you closer to your goals.

In mastering your life, you will face many obstacles and challenges.

The Harvesting Stage

In your 50’s, you reap what you have sowed in your 30’s and 40’s.

In this stage, it is wise to:

  • Treat people right
  • Not get complacent or lazy
  • Treat your accomplishments as rewards and not reasons for what you do.

The Guiding Stage

At this stage, your are in your 60’s.

You are retired and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

You start mentoring, helping people on their journey and start giving back to your community.

But once you are in this stage, you have to return to the Learning Stage and start all over again. To guide people, you must ask people questions and listen to their stories.

Then, you can tie your guiding experiences to something you were always interested in. 

Review

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters by Jon Acuff is a funny book with great life lessons.

The principles behind the Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters are very similar to those in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

Jon Acuff‘s examples and introspective comments are hilarious but also liberating. He shares his strengths, his weaknesses and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

I truly recommend this book because it provides comfort and encouragement. In addition, at the end of the book, Jon Acuff shares a practical step by step guide for you to overcome fear and escape average. 

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

the surprises life gives are always better than the things you think you see coming.

Average is so popular because average is familiar. We all know how to do average. Ninetynine percent of the people on the planet do average. The road is well worn, the decisions are obvious, and the next steps are crystal clear.

Every journey has a first step. Every dream has a first destination.

No matter what fear and doubt tell you, your identity is not at stake with the decisions you make and the actions you take as you learn.

Don’t buy the lie that changing the world has to be a chore or make you miserable. Be brave enough to have fun with whatever you whittle down in your life.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Jon Acuff

 

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Ego Is The Enemy By Ryan Holiday

In Ego Is The EnemyRyan Holiday teaches you to stay humble in your aspirations, gracious in your success and resilient in your failures.

How to achieve your aspirations?

Ego is your worst enemy and can easily sink your ship.

Ego blocks your progress in life and sometimes fast tracks your downfall.

To improve and fight your ego, you must:

  • Be open to feedback but learn to evaluate your own abilities.
  • Practice detachment, tame your imagination before it runs wild and go through life with a quiet confidence.
  • Don’t stay stuck in your head. Instead, participate in what is going on around you.
  • Try staying silent in conversation. Silence can be strategic and is sustainable.
  • Always seek to learn. When you are a student, you absorb what is going on around you, you are focused on gaining knowledge and improving yourself.
  • Avoid being passionate. Instead, favor purpose and realism.
  • Ignore when people slight you and brush off the pain. Just think of it as you paying your dues.
  •  Avoid being prideful. Pride leads to arrogance. It impedes your ability “to learn, to adapt, to be flexible, to build relationships”.
  • Doing ever stop working.

Ego Is The Enemy By Ryan Holiday #book #bookreviews #leadershipbooks #leadership #ego #JourneyToLeadership

How to maintain success?

You have aspirations and you have worked so hard to climb the ladder of success.

However, when you start succeeding, you will start facing new ego problems that can quickly erode your success. To maintain long-term success:

  • Don’t pretend that you know what you are doing. Instead, keep learning, stay focused on facts and do your best.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others or try to keep up with the Joneses because you will end up doing things you don’t want to do.
  • Always remember your purpose and what is important to you before saying yes to opportunities.
  • Don’t be paranoid, entitled or controlling.
  • Learn to organize your thoughts, manage yourself and others.
  • Understand that selflessness and humility are strengths and not weaknesses.
  • Don’t try to be the center of attention, hug the spotlight and take credit for something you didn’t do or deserve.
  • Patiently progress towards you goals. It is better to go at it slow and steady.

How to handle failure?

Ego, power and success can make you delusional. You have to constantly self-monitor and stay attentive for your own downfalls.

Moreover, everybody goes through setbacks in life. Failure is not fair and happens to good people too.

But with a big ego, you tend to get caught by surprise. Your ego will make it hard for you to handle rock bottom.

To be resilient in your failures:

  • Know your worth.
  • Stay humble and on purpose.
  • Don’t abandon your principles and maintain your character.
  • Don’t depend on recognition and reward.
  • Make use of your environment and transform your failures into something positive.
  • Understand that, even if you do everything right and perfect, you still will experience failure.
  • Discipline yourself to do the right thing. It will be hard but it will makes you less self absorbed on the long run.

Review

Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday is short, practical and direct self-development book. 

According to Ryan Holiday, there are three stages in life: aspirations, success, failure. You will have to discipline your ego in all three stages if you want to get somewhere.

Ego is our own worst enemy. It becomes detrimental to suppress or manage our ego before we develop bad habits. For example, he warns us against common knowledge:

  • Don’t be passionate or you will fail. It is better to be apathetic and acknowledge the realities of your passions.
  • Don’t flatter your ego.
  • Don’t think you know everything.

Ego Is The Enemy is ideal for leaders who want to tame their ego, improve their leadership and relationships.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned. Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artifice. One is
girding yourself, the other gaslighting. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous.

Detachment is a sort of natural ego antidote.

For your work to have truth in it, it must come from truth.

We will learn that though we think big, we must act and live small in order to accomplish what we seek.

The ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong.

All of us waste precious life doing things we don’t like, to prove ourselves
to people we don’t respect, and to get things we don’t want.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Ryan Holiday

 

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Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World By Cal Newport

According to Cal Newport, Deep Working is “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.“.

What is Deep Work?

Deep Work means that we must learn to focus intensely on a single task for long periods of time without distractions and without breaking concentration.

Deep Work:

  • Requires a sense of confidence and a conviction that you will succeed.
  • Is at a disadvantage in a society that values social media.
  • Is not a trend but it can make you more efficient and transform a boring job into a satisfying one.
  • Is rare but is valuable in today’s economy. Deep Work ethics in the workplace is rare as well. Most people have embraced distraction because it is easier and allows us to avoid planning and concentration.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World By Cal Newport #books #bookreviews #success #focus #productivity #motivation #leadership #leadershipskills #leadershipmatters

How to train your brain and build habits for Deep Work

To create real value and to get ahead in this economy, it is imperative to develop an ability to:

  1. Learn and master hard things quickly.
  2. Produce at an elite level.

There are several rules to Deep Working and to replacing distraction with focus.

Rule #1: Work Deeply daily 

Deep Working is about building habits and rituals that go beyond willpower and that will help you sustain focus.

Personal desires such as eating, sleeping, sex, television and music are the main cause for distractions. Willpower is not sustainable enough to fight off distractions because your will will eventually be strained.

That is why Deep Work necessitates rearranging your schedule. You can schedule Deep Work by:

  • Minimizing shallow obligations from your day to day.
  • Dedicating a full day or more to concentrate on a task and to shut out all exterior noises.
  • Routinely going deep everyday at the same time and for the same amount of time.
  • Fit in Deep Work wherever and whenever you can.

Besides scheduling your Deep Work and to maximize your success, you must also establish how, what, where, when, for how long you want to practice Deep Work.

Rule #2: Embrace boredom

Deep Working requires that you focus on a task and reject all distractions in a world where your brain has been conditioned to research distraction.

Outside of Deep Work sessions, you have to take care of your mind, embrace boredom, learn to meditate, schedule a break from focus to give in to distractions, rewire your brain to resist distractions.

Surprisingly, embracing boredom will help you improve the limits of your concentration abilities.

Rule #3: Quit social media

There are many benefits to social media.

However, Cal Newport states that modern technology is to blame for shallow work and suggests that social media should be intrinsically used as a tool.

He also emphasizes that you must assess your priorities in life and the impact of social media on your life.

To regain control of your time and attention, you can apply the law of the vital few over your network tools then avoid using Internet to entertain yourself.

Rule #4: Drain the shallows

A deep life is a good life. - Cal Newport in Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Click To Tweet

Shallow Work can be damaging to your life. Shallow Work can be defined as “Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

To identify and remove the shallowness from your life, you must apply the following strategies:

  1. Schedule your entire day to avoid spending time on autopilot and to fully benefit from Deep Work.
  2. Determine how mush time you are spending on shallow activities and eliminate them.
  3. Become hard to reach via your network tools.

Review

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World By Cal Newport #books #bookreviews #success #focus #productivity #motivation #leadership #leadershipskills #leadershipmatters

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport explains all the strategies you can implement to become more productive and more focused in this economy .

Cal Newport takes most of his analogies from educators because they have to go in depth in their field of choice and provide quality work.

However, this book is written for bosses and leaders who want to go to the essential, be more productive, efficiently organize their day, improve workplace culture and who want to achieve their highest potential.

It is sad to see that meditation, Deep Working and deep thinking have disappeared from and been perverted by the corporate system.

Indeed, corporate culture promotes shallows activities. People are busy as ever but are often distracted by network tools and forced to break from their concentration.

Furthermore, people –if they are not the person in charge–who practice Deep Working are not well perceived in the workplace even though they are high achievers and improve productivity.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport is a good reminder to stay focus and to go to the essential in life.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

A deep life is a good life.

Deep work is at a severe disadvantage in a technopoly because it builds on values like quality, craftsmanship, and mastery that are decidedly old-fashioned and nontechnological.

The deep life, of course, is not for everybody. It requires hard work and drastic changes to your habits. […] But if you’re willing to sidestep these comforts and fears, and instead struggle to deploy your mind to its fullest capacity to create things that matter, then you’ll discover, as others have before you, that depth generates a life rich with productivity and meaning.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Cal Newport

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow By John C. Maxwell

According to John C. Maxwell, there are 21 irrefutable laws of leadership that every leader should hold on to.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow By John C. Maxwell #books #bookreviews #leadership #leadershipskills #leadershipbooks #selfimprovement #selfawareness

1. The law of the lid

Your ability to lead determines your effectiveness, the height of your success, the limit of your vision, the impact of your influence.

To overcome the law of the lid, you have to increase your ability to lead.

2. The law of influence

Influence is an important part of leadership.

You have to put in work to gain influence. It is not about a title or a leadership position and cannot be bought.

With influence, you can rally people to a cause, move people in a new direction, and you can win people over on the long run.

3. The law of process

Leadership is a lifelong process.

LEADERSHIP IS DEVELOPED DAILY, NOT IN A DAY. - John C. Maxwell in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Click To Tweet

Leadership is a collection of skills that need continual improvement, personal growth and learning.

Leadership requires a lot of self discipline and determination. It is important for leaders to open themselves up for improvement to start slow and fight their way up.

4. The law of navigation

Leaders need to effectively navigate their way through life, while knowing people are depending on them.

In order to give themselves the best chances at success, they:

  • Are realistic.
  • Have to stay focused and in control.
  • Have a solid vision for their destination.
  • Have enough visibility to change course in time if they want to.
  • Draw their itinerary from their past failures and successes.
  • Listen to what their team has to say.
  • Don’t make commitments lightly.
  • Plan the course of their action.

5. The law of E. F. Hutton

Leaders become real leaders thanks to their character, relationships, knowledge, experience, past successes and abilities. People will not follow you because of your position.

The law of E. F. Hutton helps you figure out who the real leader in the room really is. To find the real leader, observe the reaction of the people in the room when the real leader speaks.

6. The law of solid ground

Leaders must communicate their character, exemplify their behavior, maintain their credibility and avoid breaking the trust of their followers.

When leaders make a mistake, they must quickly admit it and ask for forgiveness.

7. The law of respect

Leaders who are stronger and better leaders than their followers tend to gain respect.

8. The law of intuition

The law of intuition is a complex part of leadership, relies on instinct, facts and other factors.

Leaders who work with the law of intuition are able to sense a situation, to read people and themselves, to use their intuition to achieve their goals and to solve problems.

9. The law of magnetism

The law of magnetism states that who you are is who you attract.

Leaders who follow this law are able to attract the people who possess the same qualities as they do.

They attract people with same attitude, from the same generation and background, with the same values, life experiences and abilities.

Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. - John C. Maxwell in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Click To Tweet

10. The law of connection

Leaders who observe this law touch people emotionally, know how to communicate with people, connect with them and show that they care.

The more leaders work on the connection with their employees, the more employees are loyal and demonstrate a strong work ethic.

11. The law of the inner circle

The people in the leader’s inner circle will determine the leader’s potential.

Leaders understand that they cannot be a lone ranger and acknowledge the purpose and strengths of the inner circle.

12. The law of empowerment

Successful and secure leaders empower and believe in their team.

Those who don’t create a barrier that their employees cannot overcome.

13. The law of reproduction

The law of reproduction works in a way where only leaders are capable of developing leaders and by teaching them what they know.

Some leaders don’t develop other leaders because they don’t have time or because of their own insecurities.

14. The law of buy in

People buy into leaders who have a vision.

If they don’t like the leader or the vision, they get another leader.

If the leader is credible, then people believe that the vision is credible as well.

15. The law of victory

Leaders who observe this law refuse defeat, dedicate themselves to victory and find a way to achieve success.

16. The law of the big mo

Leaders understand that to create change they need to create momentum.

Momentum is contagious, improves performance and makes the leader look good.

17. The law of priorities

Leaders spend their time prioritizing and recognize that doing more does not equate success.

They use the Pareto principle and the three Rs( requirement, return, reward).

18. The law of sacrifice

Sometimes, leaders have to sacrifice themselves to succeed and to gain opportunities.

The higher you go up on the ladder, the more you have to sacrifice.

19. The law of timing

Successful leaders read situations, recognize when to lead and when to take the right action at the right time.

20. The law of explosive growth

Potential leaders are hard to find and to attract but leaders who develop other leaders multiply growth within their organization.

21. The law of legacy

Leaders who leave a legacy lead with tomorrow in mind, make developing other leaders as part of the culture, sacrifice for future success and pass on the torch.

Review

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow is an easy to read leadership development book.

In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow, John C. Maxwell makes a list of 21 laws of leadership to help people better themselves and their organization.

These laws are the universal foundation for every area of your life. They can be learnt, be in standalone, have serious consequences, be practiced on a daily basis.

Maxwell has spent most of his life in leadership position. So, he entertains us with uncommon, historical and adventurous examples that everyone can relate to.

Finally, he encourages leaders to learn and go apply what they learnt.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Leadership is complicated. It has many facets: respect, experience, emotional strength, people skills, discipline, vision, momentum, timing—the list goes on. As you can see, many factors that come into play in leadership are intangible. That’s why leaders require so much seasoning to be effective.

The good news is that your leadership ability is not static. No matter where you’re starting from, you can get better.

The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader, and then the dream.

MANY PEOPLE TODAY WANT TO CLIMB UP THE CORPORATE LADDER BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT FREEDOM AND POWER ARE THE PRIZES WAITING AT THE TOP. THEY DON’T REALIZE THAT THE TRUE NATURE OF LEADERSHIP IS REALLY SACRIFICE.

Ratings 4/5

Author

John C. Maxwell