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The Secret To A Successful New Year

Jan 22, 2015
Books Newsletter

I tell my audiences every day that the key to success is taking action. Take a minute to look over this weeks featured articles and videos that highlight the different ways you might take action and have it positively benefit your bottom line.

The Secret To A Successful New Year

by Kevin Daum
You’ve got a great opportunity to make reading at least 2 books per month a New Year’s resolution. Reading new books is the simplest and fastest way to grow smarter and more successful all on your own. Here is how reading more books each month can help you on the path to success.

  • You will learn about yourself.
    Self-exploration is a critical component of success. You have to understand the way you think and act in order to constantly improve. Books like Strengthfinders and 5 Temptations of a CEO can help you self-assess and adjust your style and communication.
  • You will get a better cultural understanding.
    Biographies and historical fiction provide great insight into how the market thinks. I have learned much from books like Devil in the White City or The Poisoner’s Handbook. It’s difficult to grasp today’s society if you don’t understand the history of how we all got here.
  • You will stimulate your imagination.
    I just spent a cross-country flight reading a book by Garrison Keilor. The escape fiction was on one hand a great rest for my mind, and on the other, it stimulated new thoughts and ideas. Stories make your mind expand beyond the fix it, solve it thinking of normal work.

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3 Keys to Creating a Culture of Trust

by Ben Peterson
Trust sets the stage for meaningful ideas and contributions that take a company to the next level.
Every great company started from a great idea, or built upon an existing great idea. Somewhere, an entrepreneur with a desire to make things better had a thought about a product or service the world needed, and they went for it. But that’s not all it takes. Along the way, other people joined the team and contributed new and thoughtful ideas, adding to and supporting the original idea.

Companies are built layer upon layer from great ideas given by your team. These ideas encourage and direct ways to become better, differentiate your business, solve problems, take away pain, do great things and win. When new ideas stop, business stalls and failure increases. Ideas come from people, growth comes from people and successful business exists because of talented people.

So, trust your people! Without trusting your team to contribute in meaningful ways, you fail. It’s the leader’s responsibility to ensure a culture of trust exists, which invites and rewards opinions and innovative ideas.

Here are three keys to building trust.

    1. Listen.
      Many of us are horrible listeners because we’re too busy, we assume we already get the point, we jump to conclusions, we keep adding our own two cents or we just don’t care enough. We need to be better. When we really listen, we build trust. Listening makes us more approachable, and employees will believe we have an open mind and that we’ll both hear and understand them. Employees know when you’re faking it–so it needs to be real.Action follows if you truly listen, even if it’s to simply explain why an idea is worth pursuing or if it just can’t be a priority right now. Also, where it makes sense, give ideas life and a chance to succeed or they’ll stop. Listening is active, not passive.
    2. 2. Be humble.
      Regardless of how smart you are, you don’t know everything and you’ll never have the collective brainpower, knowledge and insight of every employee. So be humble enough to recognize that great ideas come from everyone.I worked with a programmer who was incredibly intelligent and at times offensive to other team members. It built resentment and frustration, not trust. I asked him to operate under the assumption that there is always the possibility that he could be wrong. I suggest we all operate that way. Be open to improvement, change, innovation and then make sure to highlight others. It’s amazing the trust that can be built by giving honest praise to the true sources of good things.

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My List of Must Read Books in 2015

    1. SCALING UP, by Verne Harnish
    3. GOOD TO GREAT, by Jim Collins
    4. GREAT BY CHOICE, by Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen
    5. STEVE JOBS, by Walter Isaacson
    6. START WITH WHY, by Simon Sinek
    8. HYPER SALES GROWTH, by Jack Daly
    9. GETTING NAKED, by Patrick Lencioni
    10. GO GIVER, by Bob Burg, John David Mann
    11. THE CHALLENGER SALE, by Matthew Dixon
    12. THE EMYTH REVISITED, by Michael E. Gerber
    13. DOUBLE DOUBLE, by Cameron Herold
    14. THE SMALL BIG, by Steve Martin
    15. DRIVE, by Daniel H. Pink
    16. DELIVERING HAPPINESS, by Tony Hsieh
    17. NUTS, by Kevin Freiberg, Jackie Freiberg
    18. MANAGING BY STORYING AROUND, by David M. Armstrong
    19. CREATING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE, by Jaynie L. Smith, William G. Flanagan
    20. LEAN IN, by Sheryl Sandberg
    21. HOW TO MAKE A BUCK AND STILL BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING, by Richard C. Rose, Echo Montgomery Garret
    23. THE PLATINUM RULE, by Tony Alessandra, Michael J. O’Connor
    24. LEADERSHIP IS AN ART, by Max DePree, Joseph Campanella
    26. GREAT CEO’S AND HOW THEY ARE MADE, by John Wilson
    27. 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES, by Bob Nelson
    28. CORPORATE CULTURE AND PERFORMANCE, by John Heskett and co-author John Kotter
    29. COMPENSATING NEW SALES ROLES, by Jerome A. Colletti, Mary S. Fiss

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