BR 48: The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Good book. Lots of little principles that concern selling and being effective in general. Gitomer has got a very ‘put yourself out there’ style that can tend to be strong, pushy and aggressive but it does make sure the book is an entertaining read.

 

BR 47: The 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen R Covey

Category: 1 – Read ASAP! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: The 7 Habits is the best book I’ve read – judging by its impact on my life. It’s not a book to be ‘read’ – it’s a book to be ‘studied’. I liken it to a manual that gives you a new way of thinking about life. And your approach can make all the difference in the world. You can look at it as a book wherein you expect to find a cool concept or two to apply, and that’s what you’ll find. You can look at it as a book you’re reading JUST because a few others recommended it and expect to find nothing amazing, and hey, guess what – that’s what you’ll find.

Or you can read it expecting it to give you ideas that will change your life, and that’s exactly what you will find.

In this book, I found many a framework which has helped me think about life. The guiding framework of moving from being a kid -> being a “teenager” of sorts (independence) -> being an adult (interdependence) was powerful. Lots of very meaningful stories and tons and tons of wisdom.

These are 3 things that changed within me post reading the book –

1) Got me started on changing my mentality to one that believed in abundance and hence, gradually took me away from the ‘envy’ path to the ‘happiness’ one.
2) Got me to write my own set of principles to live life by and follow them.
3) Got me to start ‘responding’ to every situation rather than ‘reacting’ to it by drilling in the concept that I had full control over my response to any problem.

And lots more – but these are probably the 3 biggest areas of impact. Give the book a chance and I’m sure you’ll never regret it!

Add on Mar 16, 2016: Many years since I studied this book, all of what I’ve written here still holds true. An incredible book.

BR 46: Harry Potter (series) by J.K.Rowling

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Fantastic series. The fan in me couldn’t resist putting this up just as soon as I watched the 7th movie of the series. The only reason this isn’t right at the top is because only after you read the whole series do you appreciate some of the deep learnings from the book.  Some of those learnings which have stuck with me –

1) We always have a choice between what’s right and what’s easy

2) ‘The biggest mistake that adults make is that they forget what it is to be young’

3) Harry’s loyalty to his mentor was admirable and was the reason he ended up being successful. Loyalty can make or break us!

4) Some may think being dragged into an arena for a fight until death and walking into the arena with your head held high makes no difference as the terms of the fight are the same after all. But, little do people know that it makes all the difference in the world.

5) Most adventures sound cooler than they were in reality. (I find this SO amazingly true!)

6) The most powerful force on earth is love.

Add on Mar 16, 2016: I am amused to find Harry Potter here as I think this blog became largely about non fiction books. I guess my love for the series found its way here. I think this book might be the last of fiction books I’ve written about here. For those who love this sort of this, A Song of Ice and Fire (popularly “Game of Thrones”)  series is a must read too!

BR 45: Success Mastery Academy by Brian Tracy

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Decent audio. Nothing to write home about. Collection of a whole bunch of Brian Tracy motivation.

Add on Mar 16 2016: I was clearly coming to the end of my sales book phase. 🙂

BR 44: Thomas Alva Edison – The Scientists and Inventors series by David Allen

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: A story of arguably one of the greatest inventors that ever existed. What made this man formidable was his appetite for the extraordinary combined with canny business sense. A decent book – just not one I’d be in a hurry to read.

BR 43: The Power of Creative Intelligence by Tony Buzan

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: I enjoyed reading the book – short, easy to get through and high on impact. It convinced me that I was a creative genius and hidden (deep) inside was a great artist, musician, poet and the like. 🙂 Most importantly, inspired me to try a hand at poetry for a while and encouraged me to take a few ‘creative’ shots! In this book, Tony Buzan attempts (rather successfully in my view) to convince us that we are all brimming with creativity and ideas that only got stamped out of us because of some unfortunate incident as a child. The book tries to bring out that creativity and encourages us to practice it regularly.

It was a fun read.

BR 42: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: I can hear all the anti-self help/self improvement activists scream right now. And before I give my comments, let me give you a warning – this book is very preachy. It is also true that this book doesn’t delve into the human psyche like the ‘7 Habits of highly effective people’, for example, among other books. This book is purely focused on the personality side of things and yes, you can ‘fake’ all those ideas in the book and yet, they might just work.

Having said that, this book offers a starting point for those who have difficulty connecting with people. And if that is not enough, the book makes it easier for us (thanks to many many stories) to understand why people are the way they are. And as a result, we are then empowered to use all the ideas and traits mentioned in the book in our day-to-day life.

And, while it can be argued that anyone can adopt most of the principles by ‘pretending’ or ‘faking’ it, I doubt anyone can do so without being found out in due time. If you care, it shows.

My view was simple – if we can even fully understand and implement principles that are consistent with our styles, we would likely be more successful socially and professionally than we are now. Principles vary from ‘Never criticize’ to ‘Compliment people’ among many others. Simple in theory, difficult in action.

If you haven’t read it, I’d still recommend buying it and read it. And if you still don’t like it, that’s still fine. I believe you will be richer by this experience. At the very least, just make sure you read the ‘Father Forgets’ letter twice. 🙂

Add on Mar 16, 2016: I think I’ve become less and less a fan of the book over time. However, I still think it is worth reading it to understand what the fuss is about. I definitely learnt a thing or two from the book. And, as a psychology oriented book, it was definitely well ahead of its time.

BR 41: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: If you are a worry-wart like I was when I read this book, I’d definitely recommend checking it out. To put this in context, this book was written during the ‘Great Depression’  – so there were likely a lot of worried people then. The book had many simple ideas and stories and thoughts on how to execute them. Ideas that stuck with me were to ‘live in 24 hour compartments’, ‘stop rushing’  among others.

Again, at a time when I was prone to worrying a lot, the book was definitely positive.

BR 40: The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople by Stephan Schiffman

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Very good book if you like sales. Gives you simple steps that you can implement. Very useful for anybody who feels they are constantly trying to sell ideas (which is everybody in my point of view but then again.. :)). It had a collection of clear principles that involve building credibility with a client, building credibility in an industry with thought through examples.

BR 39: Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Great book. In many ways, it felt like a continuation of ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell but is a fantastic stand alone as well. It is exceptional as it brings about a framework for ideas that stick that is not too hard to apply in our own lives if we are disciplined enough.

What to expect: Lots of examples and proof that the ‘SUCCES’ principle is what makes great ideas stick. Great ideas are  S(imple), U(nexpected), C(oncrete), C(redible), E(motional) and are packaged in a S(tory).