The internet is great for finding little bits of information quickly, but for most people, good old-fashioned books are still the best way to learn things in depth. You’re holding back your business growth if you don’t learn from reading the best; but you also don’t have time to filter out all the junk. To help, here’s three recommended books that changed the way we think about things:
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. This isn’t really a business book, but helps guide you towards habits and mindsets that will make you better at accomplishing whatever you want to do. Habit #7: Sharpen the saw. Constantly working yourself to exhaustion will leave you like a dull saw – ineffective. You need to occasionally sharpen the saw – recharge and strengthen yourself by spending time with loved ones or relaxing with a good book.
2. Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This book teaches you 6 characteristics that make your ideas more memorable and contagious. The first characteristic: simplicity. The book quotes a successful defense lawyer saying “If you argue ten points, even if each is a good point, when they get back to the jury room they won’t remember any.” Unify your message into one core point.
3. Good to Great, by Jim Collins. This book is the result of 15,000 hours of research into the question “How does a good company become great?” They identified 6 main differences. The second difference: First Who… Then What. Good companies will set a business strategy, then hire people to get the job done. Great companies focus on hiring great people, then let them figure out a strategy.
Do yourself a favor and pick up one of these books now. If you’re just starting your business or thinking about it, pick up the 7 Habits. If you’re trying to get the word out, grab Made to Stick. And if you’re thinking of growing or hiring people, read Good to Great. Each one has incredible teaching value for your time and money investment.