Let me premise this list with a declaration that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more than one book a month for 2017 (one of my other resolutions was to run a half marathon and I did that back in April). With that in mind, I’ve read a few books already this year that really influenced my life positively in many ways.
They say the best way to access the advice and experience of the world’s leading mentors is through books. I hope these books allow you to tap into that knowledge and change your life for the better, as they have mine.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and others don’t by James Collins. James uses a team of researchers to unpack the reasons why some companies are able to maintain large financial returns for long sustained periods while others inevitably appear to fail or reach a status quo and never surpass it.
You might be surprised by the businesses that make the list.
What really influenced me however, was the idea of incremental change towards success. They use the analogy of a flywheel, every positive change a business makes is a push on the flywheel. Over time these consistent pushes in the right direction build momentum and the momentum is what pushes businesses to greatness. It’s kind of like compound interest. This concept can be applied to any area of your life, from your profession to your health, relationships and so on.
It’s all about consistently pushing that flywheel for your own momentum.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.It’s important to balance all the self-help/management/marketing/buzzword-heavy books with something fictional. The timeless tale of Alice is a nice short break from reality. I really love the quote:
“Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
The idea of direction in terms of travelling as a metaphor for career progression really struck a chord for me. How do any of us really know which way we should be going and does it really matter?
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. There are so many incredible tips in this book; I really struggled to find that one piece of gold that everyone should know. One thing I really enjoyed was the basic question “what are the two things that you should do today that will have the most impact for the future?” We live in such a busy world that sometimes we get a little lost trying to achieve everything we set out to. However, if you were limited to doing only two things a day, that would really make you stop and think about where you are trying to go and what would push that flywheel in the right direction.
With so much information available in any quality book, just like these, it can be hard to turn ideas into action. That’s why I always try and find one or two to focus on and bring them into how I live both personally and professionally.
It can also be really handy to have someone to chat with about a book. I love sharing books with friends and colleagues that have similar views so that we can talk through the key takeaways and advice.
That’s why we are starting a book club! Fellow Hunter Young Professional Director, Alyssa Gill and I have launched Newcastle Business Book Club so that others can benefit from a space of personal and professional development and knowledge sharing. We would love you to join and share the book loving adventure.
Kian West is an avid entrepreneur: Managing Director of Newcastle Mirage, Principal Social Media Strategist for Oasis Social Media, Partner with Dan Beazley running the Newcastle Podcast Network, Newcastle Business Book Club, Project Manager of songwriting competition Tip Jar, DJ, and band member in The Secrets.
Kian is also a Director on the Board of Hunter Young Professionals.