November 12, 2008
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao
This may be a bit too “touchy feely” for some people, but Wayne Dyer is a bright guy, and I love the way he applies the teachings of the Tao to everyday life. I’ve read the Tao in a few different translations – the teachings are open to interpretation, and therefore mean different things to different people – but the Dr. adds his own (practical) spin to each. There’s great truth in his writing – so I give it a strong thumbs up.
Harvard Business Review on Leadership (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
I can never get enough of HBR. The quality of content is unsurpassed. I also recommend the HBR podcast (see below). There’s nothing wrong with a daily dose of HBR.
Jack Welch’s book. The most practical business book I’ve ever read (or listened to). Jack’s no BS attitude can be abrasive, but he give some great insight on how to get things done, and how to produce results. If you’re listening to the Audio book – take notes. He offers some serious gems that you can apply to your work life today.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61)
I recommend this book so strongly that I’ve given it as a gift to numerous friends and family. I listened to it numerous times since the first listen about 6 months ago. It’s powerful on a few different levels, and will make you view the world in a new light. If you liked the Secret – you’ll love this. Sort of the natural progression for anyone that felt a chord was struck in the Secret. Strong recommendation.
Best of YouTube
Great to break up any monotonous commuting. Careful though – you may find yourself laughing out loud while staring at your ipod. Funny when you’re sitting with friends. Not so funny when you’re on the subway. Although I’m sure a good conversation starter…
Harvard Business ideaCast
Part of my morning routine/toolbox. Another one to take notes on. Interviews with thought leaders in business. The format is entertaining and informative. This is a must listen to….save the $$ on the HBR, and listen to this podcast daily. You won’t regret it.
Guided Meditation. Helps if you feel like you need a helping hand to decompress.
November 10, 2008
I know I mentioned on this blog that I’m a bit obsessed with audiobooks. I’m thirsty for knowledge and I find that I can ingest the greatest volume of information as efficiently as possible in this format.
Recently I’ve been listening to another great audiobook called Goals! How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy. Setting Goals, seems like an obvious thing for professionals to do, but not everyone sits down and actually maps out what they’d like to achieve. I try to do this as often as possible. Trust me – it’s not as easy as you think, and it will challenge you to focus on what you really want. Give it shot.
Another audiobook that I’ve been “re-listening” to (I tend to go over the ones I really like a few times over the course of months). is: Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success
Jon C Maxwell discusses in this book how leaders are readers of themselves. He addresses the value of introspection, and self analysis. I continually address my own strengths, skills, weaknesses and current state of mind. Recently while doing this, it dawned on me that I’m a perfect candidate for an EMBA program. So I aggregated as much information on the topic as possible, and began to hone in on the Cornell EMBA program here in New York. Last week I attended an information session, and I’m in the process of filling out the application. I also met with the Dean of the Fordham University EMBA program. As I evaluate which program will suite my needs I’ll look to see which will help me develop new skills, fill in gaps in my current ability, and reinforce, and cultivate my strengths. Although I already hold an MS in Direct Marketing from NYU, I understand that I received this degree when I was much younger, and with much less responsibility in my work environment. Today as I find myself so thirsty for knowledge regarding management, I see an EMBA as the natural progression of my education. Who knows what the future may hold, but I know for certain that I will continue to grow, and change – because without change – there can be no growth. I not only commit to change, but I seek it. I know I’m not perfect, but I don’t hide those things from myself. I confront them head on, and evaluate how to improve them. I hope that you do too.
October 29, 2008
When I was in college I remember sitting with my advisor/mentor Dr. LoPresto. He sat with me as we chatted about my career options. At the time I was graduating in a few months with a degree in Psychology. I had spent my Junior year studying in Leuven, Belgium, and I had the “business bug”. While was in Belgium I took core business courses next to University of Chicago business students: and I was getting straight A’s. Now what?
I remember vividly Dr, LoPresto asking me what I wanted to do: and I said “I don’t know”.
Not the best answer to give to the man that had helped to make my Senior year at Loyola College so special. He pushed back and asked me
“where were you for the first two years at Loyola?”
“Who did you spend time with?”
“Who did you learn from”?
I had no answer. At this moment it dawned on me. Did I make an effort to get to know everyone that could assist with my career decisions? Had I consulted with students that were studying Psychology? Had I exhausted all resources in the Psychology Department – or had I waited until the last minute for the reality of graduation to set in.
What had happened here?
I hadn’t set Goals
I didn’t get to know EVERYONE
I didn’t listen
How can these lessons translate in business?
Dr. LoPreso helped me with many things that day. He helped to point out a few things I did wrong, but he also let me know what I did right. I was on the right path to business – but I had to cultivate that path. I couldn’t just aimlessly wander into a business interview with an answer like “I don’t know”….
Set Goals – know what you want, and go get it. I eventually realized I needed to further my business education before I could succeed after graduation. I applied to NYU, and went on to earn a MS in Direct Marketing
Get to know EVERYONE – I put myself out there, and didn’t hide. I tried to get to know everyone I could, and I picked their brains. what did they do on a day to day basis? How did they get there? Did they love it? Since then I’ve cultivated a network of colleagues I can say are friends as well. Life’s to short to use people as stepping stones. Who am I to say I’m better than anyone?
Listen – I shut my cocky mouth and started to listen. I realized I had so much to learn – and I still do. So I shut up and listen, and it will pay dividends.