Some of the books I have tackled this summer.
I have noticed a common thread in some distinct readings. This common thread relates to positive habits and how to build them. Fitness, personal or professional habits can be shaped if you, “Grease the groove.”
Russian Kettlebell guru, Pavel Tsatouline coined the term. He uses it to describe synaptic facilitation — that is specific exercise plus frequent practice will equal success. He preaches that good, small habits can lead to big gains. Granted he is usually talking about pull-ups, but “grease the groove” can be applied to all aspects of life.
Grease the Groove for Strength by Pavel Tsatsouline
I found the same “grease the groove” concept in the writings of Paulo Coelho. Coelho, the international bestselling author, blogs and even pirates his own novels. I have enjoyed many of his books and given away many copies of The Alchemist.
Favorite Quote: By changing the way you do routine things you allow a new person to grow inside you.
Paulo Coelho’s Blog
The same “grease the groove” concept can be found in The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals by Keith Ellis. The writing style is clear and authentic. It details what you need to do to help make your wishes into habits and habits into goals and reality.
Interview questions. Your resume. That start up idea. Music lessons. A cooking class. Pull-ups. That half-marathon. “Grease the groove” and make it happen!
I have had a lot of conversations with very talented people that seem lost in this new economic reality. Understandably many are upset about their respective employment situations; however, as a whole they seem to be forgetting what has made them great. Here are some recommended reads for some positive “mojo”:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I first borrowed a copy of the Alchemist in 1996 while backpacking in Australia and devoured it in a single day. I hated to return it. Since then I have recommended the book countless times and given away many copies as gifts. It is work checking out Coelho’s blog where he posts daily and even links to pirated copies of his work.
The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership by Steve Farber
This is a great short read about leadership. First read in 2004, I have taken the time to re-read it about once per year and see how I measure up.
The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals by Keith Ellis
I recently came across this book. Would recommend. It is authentic and can help you get you from A to B.
Hang in there and read on.
Three recent business books that I have read, enjoyed and recommend.
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr
Summary: Carr argues that computing, no longer personal, is going the way of a power utility.
Why I liked it: The historical perspective matches the current cloud computing trend. Nice parallels, but later chapters are lacking in determine what is next.
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie
Summary: Useful anecdotes about creativity and the creative process in a corporate setting.
Why I liked it: Great stories and vignettes. Enjoyed the pyramids and plum tree organizational structure idea.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
Summary: Offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence through examples of 11 companies that made the transition.
Why I liked it: Preaches simplicity and discipline for a corporate vision (or hedgehog concept).