Harry S. Truman famously said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” I believe that reading quality books is one of the fastest ways to accelerate your career. It helps you develop the hard and soft skills, plus characteristics necessary for success.
Now, I could give you a lifeless list of curated titles you should be reading as a forward-thinking professional. But I won’t bore you to tears.
(Neither will I perpetrate like I’ve read those books and insinuate that I’m somehow cooler than you!)
Instead, I’m going to share a few of the titles that I’m toggling through on my Kindle right now and, more importantly, what inspired them.
One of the things I love most about working at Blytheco is our leadership’s attention to the entire team’s professional (and, by osmosis, personal) development.
Early in 2016, after our all company Quest conference, we launched what we call 360 Development Groups. All 110 of us were organized into peer groups that meet monthly. The groups center on strengthening certain qualities the members hold in common. The intent is that mastery would help us to get better at achieving the world-class level of service and care Blytheco continually strives to give our customers and to one another.
I absolutely love the group I’m in; we’ve dubbed ourselves “Rock Steady.” Two weeks ago, one of our leaders, Apryl Hanson (Blytheco’s Director of Partner and Customer Strategy), gave a motivating presentation based on Brian Tracy’s book Get Smart: How to Think and Act Like the Most Successful and Highest Paid People in Every Field.
Anecdotally, the meeting was on a Monday. When Apryl asked for our thoughts before we ended the call, I quipped up that although I had been to church the day before, I felt as though I had just been again!
I wasn’t alone; I got a few “Amens!”
Just like listening to a great sermon that inspires you to be the best version of yourself, her presentation resonated and harmonized with thoughts I was already having about my career and areas I have been consciously working on improving.
I couldn’t get off the call fast enough to race over to Amazon. Thirty seconds later, Brian Tracy’s book was loaded up to my Kindle Fire.
I’ve always been a literature geek, so reading multiple books at a time is nothing new for me. A few of the other titles that Brian Tracy knocked out of the top spot on my Kindle are Tim Ferris’s The 4 Hour Work Week, Danny Iny’s The Audience Revolution and Mark Morgan Ford’s How to Speak Intelligently about Everything that Matters.
But just as quickly as Brian Tracy stole the top spot, he was bumped off! Two days ago, a motivating blog post on The Muse gave James Altucher’s Choose Yourself and his wife Claudia Altucher’s Become an Idea Machine current top billing. Sorry Brian! We’ll pick up where we left off soon.
But I’m not the only read-o-saurus at Blytheco, or even in my local office. Just for fun, I asked some of my fellow #BlythecoATL teammates what they are currently reading. Here are their responses:
Who’s Reading – Glenna A. Curlutu, Front Office Concierge
Title & Author – War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Work Related? – No
Why are you reading it and what do you love most about it: “I always wanted to read it, and when the miniseries came out, I wanted to see how closely it followed the book. Books are always better!”
Who’s Reading – Amber Hubbard, Solution Specialist
Title & Author – The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Work Related – Yes
Why are you reading it and what do you love most about it: “I am reading this book to help me understand how I can be more present and ways on how I can remain present in both my professional and personal journey.”
Who’s Reading – Greg Went, Marketing Project Manager
Title & Author – The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh
Work Related – Yes and No
Why are you reading it and what do you love most about it: “I am reading this for a Project Management course that I am currently taking through the University of California, Irvine online program. What I love most about the book are the practical advice and case studies it offers for each of the foundation principles of project management.”
Who’s Reading – Billy Balser, Sage 100 Consultant
Book #1 – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance. “I’m not reading this for work. I just like to read biographies of fascinating people.”
Book #2 – Clash of Kings (2nd book in Game of Thrones series) by George RR Martin. “This book is definitely not work related. I am listening to this as an audiobook, even though I’ve never seen the HBO series. I like audio books during drive time and while hiking with my dog on the weekends.”
Book #3 – Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. “This is work related. Someone in my 360 Group recommended it. I’m reading this to improve my skills in being more productive.”
Hopefully, some of the books we’re into right now will give you some new titles to put on your reading wish list. What’s on your Kindle or your nightstand today and how is it impacting you? Share with us in the comments below or on Facebook.
And if the idea of being around super cool folks who read and work on personal development together intrigues you, check out some of our open positions and join us!