Tammy Tansley and John Dela Cruz share the business books that have had the most influence on the way they run their business.
The business book that has had the most influence on the way I run my business is Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck.
Mindset is the ‘popularisation’ of many decades of research for Dr Dweck who specialises in researching achievement and success. It is a fascinating book to read; partly due to the application of her work (leadership, coaching, schools, parenting, relationships – pretty much every aspect of life!); and partly due to the subject matter itself.
At the heart of Dr Dweck’s theory is that there are two categories of individuals – those that have a fixed mindset and those that have a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is, as it implies, that the individual has a ‘fixed’ view of their ability, intellect, sporting or musical prowess – whatever. That can be a good or bad view. The growth mindset believes that there is the ability to develop and grow..
This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all going to end up as Olympic athletes or the Prime Minister as talent and aptitude do of course have a place; but simply that there’s always room for growth through learning. Dweck gives the example of a little girl who desperately wants to be a ballet dancer. She’s not blessed with the natural physique of a dancer, and so her dreams of becoming a professional dancer are not fulfilled. But, she does discover a lifelong joy of music and dance as part of the process of learning to dance.
Dweck describes how damaging having a fixed mindset can be (as a parent, as an employer, as a coach). And more importantly, provides tangible examples of how to change this.
This research has really important implications for the way that we treat people at work; the way that we encourage and praise our children and the way that we view ‘working on’ our relationships when things get hard. The implications for leadership are equally important.
If you read one book this year; read this one. I guarantee it will challenge the way that you’ve been acting in some aspect of your life. And challenge is a good thing. Stopping to think about the way we do things is a good thing. Making conscious considered decisions is a good thing.
John Dela Cruz
Two books have helped me with my start-up business.
The first book is Start with Hello: How to Convert Today’s Stranger into Tomorrow’s Client by Linda Coles. My Myers-Briggs personality test result of ISTJ sums me up perfectly. I am an introvert. Running a small business however demands that I network and meet my prospective leads.
What I love about the book is that it gives real practical tips on how to help me approach people. I relate well to methods and goals. That makes sense to me. So the suggestions on step-by-step approach in this book makes networking, easier.
I think Ms Coles tips would be useful to anyone starting out.
The second book that has shaped my business practices is The 4-hour Work Week : Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris. This book is simply, Fantastic! The practices suggested by Mr Ferris surprised me. I thought that I was the only lazy business owner into Quality Management Systems.
My view on work is simple. Learn enough of what is required and then fast forward with the ultimate goal of automating. This book also provides real helpful tips to third party systems that he used to run his successful business.
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