5 Must Read Books and Why
One of my business boundary pushing colleagues, Jason Kellie, recently brought up a few thoughts on “books” and “reading” on his blog.
Jason wants to know a few things:
You can see Jason’s answers to those three points on his blog Idea2Opportunity.com.
Jason and I tweet to each other daily, swap emails weekly, and skype occasionally. I respect Jason for his entrepreneurial ways and his willingness to act on his thoughts. He is business savvy, has a record of success, and fearless when it comes to exploring new territory. He also started an awesome CD / DVD company called DittoBite where you can print short-run or just one disk for about $1 and I think that business fits well with the growth in consumer production where “everyone” is now a producer. Jason is also a Linchpin and one of the earliest members of The Linchpin Way community.
Jason, here are your answers…
Why I read books:
I read books with an open mind so it’s easy to be inspired when the information is let in freely. For me, books inspire me to create, experiment, contemplate, and go somewhere I may not have gone before. Books like Linchpin inspire me to act.
I want to grow personally and books allow me to learn the truest lessons of the author. Think about that. A book is typically the cream that rises to the top in the author’s mind and you get it just by reading what may have taken them years to ascertain. Talk about short cuts to personal development.
As a mentor, it’s my responsibility to learn, stretch and grow so I can take information and teach others. No new information, no new teaching. Every book I read becomes useful to a future lesson I have not yet shared. Books like Marketing 2.0 inspire me to teach social media for business where as books like All Marketers are Liars inspire me to grow the potential of every marketer and business owner.
The only way to see around corners and through walls is to have unexpected insight that most do not have. As a leader, the books I read coupled with my own real life experience allow me to see around corners, develop a broader worldview, and see trends, cycles and patterns that others don’t see because they don’t have the incoming data points to connect. Books like the Long Tail and Tipping Point allow me to better define the “why” behind the “what” and because I know to look for it – I see it when others don’t.
Yep, I said it. I read books for attention… Well I mean, I read books for the nuggets that are repeatable, easy to share and interesting. I read books for the story-telling value, the ability for me to have unexpected connections to conversations and ideas with other people. No-one likes a no-it-all, but everyone loves a good story (and the story-teller). Books keep me full of good stories to tell.
My reading process:
I have several books I am reading at a given time. As few as three and as many as six. I have my “clutch” book, the one I’m committed to reading the fastest. Then I have my “in progress” books that I want to read, but don’t have a mental timeline in mind. Then I have my “fluff” book that is my time away book (I treat this book like TV time – its entertainment). Then I have my “travel” book which is an audio book in my truck and instead of talk radio or music, I listen to an audio book – even if I’ve heard it already.
I read my clutch book about 20 – 30 minutes daily. I typically read from my in progress books about 5 – 10 minutes daily. I read my fluff book when the moment feels right which is usually a few times a week for about 20 minutes. My travel book is the duration of my road trip so usually at least 30 minutes.
Right now, I am reading 6 books as described above. Also, not that it matters, but I always read two pages at least and when I stop, I always stop on the left page at the first noticeable break or paragraph end so I know where to pick up later. Yes, I am a dork.
Justin’s Top 5 Books
This is tricky and it’s possible if you asked me at a later date I may not select the same books. I have intentionally not included spiritual books that are indeed on my top list.
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason – Ground Zero for understanding personal finances.
- The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino – We are all salesmen and this book is paramount for integrity based selling.
- How Full is your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald O Clifton – Truly understand why and how positive interaction will change your life and those around you (it’s a lifestyle).
- Linchpin by Seth Godin – Own your life and live it fully. Your art is a gift, do the work that matters, don’t be a cog in the system.
- Purple Cow by Seth Godin – Success follows things that are remarkable. Be remarkable.
What are your Top 5 Books? Tell me below and don’t forget to tell Jason on his blog.