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Good to Great by Jim Collins

About the book: Good to Great is a fact-based exploration of the best companies that went from mediocre performance to consistently outperforming the market by three times or more. It focuses on the characteristics that differentiate these companies from others in their industry. Jim Collins categorizes his findings into three main ideas: 1. Disciplined people: the right people do not need to be disciplined or motivated, they do not need supervision, and they are even more important than having a vision and/or strategy . 2. Disciplined thought: Strategy cantered around facts and adjusted in a timely manner. 3. Simple,   fact-based , consistent approach to planning and to problem-solving. Buy book, e-book, or audio book . Actionable lessons: 1) (NOT) To-do list: We are all good at making to-do lists and ticking things off. That's one most basic forms of management. But, how much time do you spend doing things that are not in your list? Or how many things th
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Mindset by Carol Dueck

About the book: Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, presents her research on two thinking patterns, the growth and fixed mindsets, which have a strong influence on the way people behave, their self-esteem, and their attitude towards challenging situations. Growth-minded people are those who acknowledge that all skills can be acquired, only through practice. These include artistic, mathematical, and physical skills. Takeaways and Paths of Action: 1) Be aware and share the message. Intelligence is something you need to work for; it is not given to you. Success is not about proving you're smart, it is about learning. This is not very specific nor applicable. However, I do think that being aware that we are born knowing close to nothing but can learn anything through practice and concentration is very important. We should share this message with friends and family. 2) Be a good loser. With an open mind, look at people who are doing better

Why Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

About the book: Simon Sinek teaches leadership and management principles with real examples from companies, governments, and the military. He primarily talks about the importance of good relationships among employers and employees. Sinek also explains the biological roots of what motivates successful leaders. Takeaways and Paths of Action: The brain chemicals behind our emotions and motivations: The most important thing I learned from this book is how our brain rewards and motivates itself. It uses four chemicals, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins (DOSE).  The details are just chemistry. The most important thing is that we can use what we know about these chemicals to "trick" our brain and achieve more of what we want. Note: this is advice that you may already be tired of reading. What I intend to provide is a little explanation of the neurological mechanisms that make it work. Hopefully, it will help you believe in them and apply them more. They rea

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

About the book: Stephen Covey talks about seven strategies and ways of thinking that will lead you to be more effective as a person. In the beginning, I thought it was just another cheap social strategies book, but it turned out to be very eye-opening and practical. The seven habits are divided into two groups, four personal and three social. The first group can be summarized in the phrase: "Make a promise, keep a promise". The second can be summarized as: "Involve others in the problem and work out the solution together." In essence, the seven habits are only extensions of two principles, integrity and loyalty. Takeaways and Paths of Action: Habit 1: Be proactive. Change the way you speak about your tasks from reactive to proactive. Here are some examples: Reactive: "I have to meet this deadline." Proactive: "I have chosen to be responsible and to deliver the project on time." Reactive: "This happened, now I have to do it.

Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

The book: This book is a very practical guide to transforming ideas into messages that your audience will care about, understand, and remember. The authors, Chip and Dan, are professors at Stanford and Duke University, respectively, and work with students and entrepreneurs applying their research every day. (They know what they are talking about.) Every one of the 6 principles of sticky ideas is explained through several examples. At the end of each chapter, there is an "idea clinic" where the authors show a real message and improve it using one of the six principles. Takeaways and Paths of Action: At Stanford University, 10 students were asked to present to their classmates about the importance of hat non-violent crime in the U.S. The speeches were evaluated by their peers and ranked from "best" to "poorest". As one may expect, the students with more public speaking experience, who were more eloquent, delivered the "best" speeches.

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish

The book: This is a management guide by Verne Harnish, the founder and CEO of the strategic planning firm Gazelles. Harnish tells how to implement the three Rockefeller principles, Priorities, Data, and Rythm. This book is particularly useful for leaders of growing companies, although several principles can be applied to any type of project, for example, holding regular meetings and getting feedback from stakeholders. There are few detailed explanations, a lot of repetition, and several fictitious stories to help explain the concepts. Takeaways and Paths of Action: 1. Get the numbers (Data): What can be measured, can be done. Every member of your project or organization must have a "smart number" that serves as a quick review of his/her progress. For example, a salesperson may use the number of sales in the week or the number of recurring customers. The COO may use the number of goods produced divided by the number of hours worked; it does not have to be a who

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The book: Charles Duhigg explains how habits are created and how they can be changed. In the first section, the author explains what neuroscientists and social scientists have discovered about habits. Like every chapter, this one is full of real stories that illustrate the concepts. Then, with a similar approach, Duhigg explains organizational habits and how they affect a company's culture and performance. In this section, he also tells how much big companies know about us (what you think is not even close) and how they use that information to change our buying habits. In the third chapter, Duhigg focuses on social habits (that is, habits shared by large communities) using examples from the civil rights movement and a thriving church. In the prologue, the author summarizes the process to change a habit. Takeaways and Paths of Action:  How to change a bad habit Bad habits can be biting nails, eating the candy that you promised you wouldn't, not exercising, spend