BOOK REVIEWS

7 habits of highly effective people.jpg

All of the books I have chosen to include on this page, The Seven Habits is the most extraordinary. It’s the one I re-read.

It’s the one I look to for advice.

It’s the one I get my quotes from.

It’s the one I pick up and dip into when I have a spare few minutes.

And, it’s the one I recommend my clients read.

Stephen Covey was a speaker, educator, author, businessman and an inspiration.

So, who is this book for? Without a doubt everyone will be able to take away some brilliant tips from this book. Even if you have read it once, you’ll pick up gems the second time too.

My favourite parts?

  • Failing to really understand other people’s perspectives because of our engrained use of autobiographical responses during conversations

  • Using the four generations of time management to focus on what is actually important (sooo good!)

  • Synergy. How working on one area of personal development can naturally begin to enhance your ability in other areas.

The art of resilience.jpg

This book is brutal!

Ross is an athlete who made the unusual decision to try to be the first person to swim around Great Britain.

Yup, you read it right.

He swam for 157 days without setting foot on shore so he could share his personal story of tenacity resilience. So now there is no need for you to do the swim, you can just read the book.

It’s best suited for ambitious individuals who wish to explore the limits on what they think they can achieve. Ross explores both a physiological (there is a fair few chunks of sports science) and psychological look at some of the challenges he overcame. Most usefully (for those of us not swimming non-stop 1,780 miles), Ross imparts some really important lessons around bullet-proof resilience, mindset, belief, vision and stoicism. I refer to his ‘Art of Acquiescence’ on a very regular basis. Defeating the uncomfortable feelings that come with pushing ourselves beyond our limits, this book demonstrates how success in the face of adversity is achievable and the living proof comes straight from one who dared break limits and to do the impossible

After reading this, perhaps you’ll feel more like some of the daily nonsense we routinely encounter isn’t really that bad and you can achieve more than you previously thought possible.

The leadership skills handbook.jpg

I love this book.

It’s so accessible and practical.

You can literally look up an issue in the contents page and follow the suggestions on what to do in a given situation. Or, you can read it cover to cover to broaden your knowledge of leadership.

Jo Owen is a keynote speaker, author and entrepreneur whose book compiles principles and strategies that have worked for him in real life. The book is brilliantly suited for leaders of any capacity to help them maintain effectiveness in their leadership experience.

The book is as straightforward as the title. It comprises ninety essential skills that are explained in short chunks of up to two pages each. There is immense use of real-life illustrations to drive the point home. It’s a very credible and honest book, hence why it’s both a best-seller and award winning.

Team of Teams.jpg

Okay so I’m slightly bias towards this book because it uses fascinating and often very exciting examples of leadership from within the military.

 

I would though recommend reading or listening to almost anything that Stanley McChrystal says on leadership and this book is certainly no exception. Not heard of him? He is a very accomplished US Army General who retired in 2010.  

With insights into Special Ops in Iraq, he takes the reader of a journey of his themes of leadership, management and teamwork and in particular looks at the critical relationship between teams, silos or divisions.

 

This book is best suited for leaders, managers and even team members that are looking to generate the utmost effectiveness in their operations by helping them understand the fundamental nature of their system.

 

The root of McChrystal’s book is a comparison between complicated and complex systems and he looks in detail at agility, adaptability and resilience in order to handle uncertainties both internally and externally.

The Chimp Paradox.jpg

If you are master of procrastination like I sometimes am, then this book is for you.

But it’s also so much more.

Steve Peter’s vast exposure to the fields of medicine, mathematics, psychiatric training coupled with his collaboration with the British cycling team all contribute to the detailed examples and explanations in his writing.

The book is summarily about understanding our own behavior and improving our social relations with others. The author creates the chimp from the concept that the brain is being controlled (or fought over) by two opposing forces, the chimp being one of them. There are many lessons to draw from the book depending on each reader’s understanding and interpretation of the text. One key lesson from the book is the need to take charge and allow the correct force to dominate depending on the situation. It’s a brilliant guide to understanding how to make good decisions and appropriate judgements. emphasizing the need for balance between rationality and emotion.

If you’ve not read it, you should.

P.S. No animals were hurt in the writing of this book.

The trusted executive.jpg

Every time I read this book or hear John speak I want to say, ‘…that’s what I think!’

He writing chimes so strongly with my belief that all roads of leadership lead to (you’ve guessed it)…. TRUST.

Trust is the foundation, glue and oil on which to build, bind and enable leadership to function effectively.

The Trusted Executive is an essential tool for every organizational leader and business owner. In a world that is quickly growing in academic qualifications and deteriorating in virtue, the author focuses on the backbone of successful and sustainable organisations; trust. It’s a rare and priceless component in so many business eco-systems today but is bought to life with fascinating and inspiring interviews, peppered throughout the book. His text is broken down into nine leadership habits with the end goal of expanding the results, relationships and reputation and his three pillars of ability, integrity and benevolence. John emphasizes the fact that success can happen to anyone – but it does need hard work, learning and perseverance to implement the strategies but in this book.

No need to worry though, if you go on a journey through the book with John, he’ll show you how.