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The CEO Book Club: Back to Basics

Now and then I like to share what I’m reading. In my past lists, I’ve shared books on business success and building great teams. This time, I’m getting back to basics with some more introspective reads that help with personal growth and performance.

Essentialism – Greg McKeown

The point of this book is, well, essential: If you don’t prioritize your life, others will. It is an excellent guide to get your mind focused on how to invest your time to maximize the use of your energy and resources. In particular, the chapter on creative ways to say “no” (gracefully) is worth the price of the book. While being “busy” has become something of a status symbol in our culture, this book is a good way to motivate yourself to course correct and do what is essential to your success, and in turn, the success of those around you.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? I have kept this one on my list of recommendations over the years because, even though the list seems obvious at face value, truly digging into the details of each habit allows you to take a full inventory of how you’re doing. It’s probably even worth a revisit now and then as you move up and around in your career. Again, as in the Essentialism book, the chapter on First Things First helps greatly with thinking about focusing on things that make the most impact. I’m still working to stay focused on “Quadrant II” stuff.

Strengthsfinder 2.0 – Tom Rath

Do you focus on your strengths? We’re all guilty of focusing in on our weaknesses and failures, but many times it’s because we’ve been coached or told that it’s more important to “fix” the things we’re not so great at, rather than investing in getting even better at what we do best. This book and the companion test are a good way to validate or uncover your real strengths, so that you can invest more of your time and energy into how to leverage those things even further.  This is one you definitely want to discuss with others close to you for validation and input.

What books would you add to this list of books on personal growth?