2013 Reading List

I was fortunate to read some great books in 2013. From time to time, I am asked what I’ve been reading. For those of you that are interested (and for my sake!) below is a list of the books I read in 2013.

Mostly everything was business focused. In 2014, I’d like to expand my non-fiction and read more – a lot more. My blogging hero, Shane Parrish, has read 16 books in December alone! (note: please check out Shane’s blog!)

I was able to make it through 18 this year (with read a few of those on the list twice). In 2014, I have the goal of reading 26 books – 1 every 2 weeks.

Thanks for checking out my blog in 2013. Happy New Year!

 

Books listed in the order read.

1. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Daniel Pink

2. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World – Tina Seelig

3. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works – Roger Martin and AG Lafley

4. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God – Timothy Keller

5. Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Tedd Tripp

6. Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy – Joan Magretta

7. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation – Tim Brown

8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

9. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? – Seth Godin

10. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses – Eric Ries

11. The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence through Leadership Development – Jeffrey Liker and Gary L. Convis

12. Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy – Dev Patnaik

13. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen

14. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants – Malcolm Gladwell

15. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon – Brad Stone

16. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All – Tom Kelley and David Kelley

17. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard – Chip and Dan Heath

18. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die – Chip and Dan Heath

Errors of omission

source: investingcaffeine.com

Most errors fall into one of two camps:

  1. Errors of omission – a mistake involving not doing something I should have done. Example, I did not call my grandmother on her birthday.
  2. Errors of commission – a mistake involving doing something I should not have done. Example, driving 82mph when the limit is 70mph.

For me, the errors of omission sting and haunt me much more that the errors of commission. To paraphrase Seth Godin, the biggest mistakes in your career are the risks that you didn’t take. The job opportunity that you turned down, the times you failed to speak up in the meeting, the tough conversations you didn’t have.

Living life will involve mistakes of commission. If you spend a lot of time with people, you will say things you wish you wouldn’t have said. If you create a lot of presentations, you will have some that don’t have page numbers. If you generate and analyze a lot of reports, some of those reports will have errors or you will miss something in the analysis. Errors of commission are the cost of doing business and living life.

If you spend all of your time focused on avoiding errors of commission, you will increase your errors of omission – and this is a tragedy.

Who wants to live squarely in between the margins? Who on their death bed thinks, “I am so thankful that I played this life safe.” Or “I am so glad that I made 75% of the people in my life sort of happy.”

Take action. Making an error of commission involves action. Missing a work function to go to your kid’s ballet recital involves taking a risk. It may look “bad”, you may get passed over for a promotion, a fire may start at work – but there are some things that you cannot hedge. If you put every chip you have on every number on the roulette wheel, the house will win every time.

The next time you think, “I should have called her” or “I should have spoken up” or “I should ask how he is doing”, write this down. Actually recognizing that you are “omitting” is a huge first step into making fewer errors of omission.

I came up with big error of omission in my life just this weekend. I do not reach out enough to the people in my life who matter the most to me. They matter deeply to me and I think about them often, but they don’t know it. It would be so easy to make a phone call or send a text, but I fail to do this, time and time again. So today, I took a first step. I wrote down my error and came up with a plan to take action.

Life is too short to have your money on both red and black. Take a stand, have a point of view and make some mistakes along the way.

Talker’s block

In Seth Godin’s amazingly awesome book, The Icarus Deception, he claims that it’s not often that you hear people discuss talker’s block. We talk without thinking about it. We’re not worried about our speech being on a wordpress blog forever. And by talking often, we can improve the way we talk (if we observe what more advanced “talkers” do and put some of these practices into action).

But with writing, it’s entirely different. For me, the fear of blogging about a topic I haven’t thoroughly researched is a little scary as is the permanence of my posts – the idea of what I have typed remaining in the ether for all of time. But as with talking, you have to write frequently to get better.

A brilliant friend of mine who has written a book and contributed to several other works recounts that while he was writing his PhD, his goal was to write something everyday. He might not have finished with research necessary to finish a chapter, but he wrote anyway. He would write about anything remotely relevant to his dissertation topic. He wanted to improve and to do this he had to take a risk that what he would write would miss the mark.

Inspired by Seth Godin and my friend, I see that I need to write more. I haven’t blogged in almost two weeks. In two weeks I’ve watched a couple of TED talks, read a book, and observed all sorts of problems and otherwise interesting topics that I might blog about. But I’ve let the desire for perfection get in the way of me honing my craft.

In order to create a habit, I am challenging myself to blog something everyday for the next month. I may lose every reader I have, but I feel like I need to this to hone my craft. I hope you enjoy some of what you read.

Thanks being interested in my work and helping me become a better writer.

Lance