As a lawyer, in private practice, I prided myself on the depth and volume of my reading.
It wasn’t a case of one-upmanship, but, rather, wanting to go deep on my subject(s) area.
In particular, Contract law was something that fascinated me; and I still remember being the only trainee solicitor to buy his own copy of Chitty on Contracts, ahead of the firm (even) considering an update.
But looking back, I realise how poor my reading was.
I don’t recall reading a single book on leadership, entrepreneurship, finance, strategy, networking, public speaking, presentation skills, branding, marketing, sales, client service or the like.
No doubt, from the slightly repetitive stream of Tweets and posts to Google+, you have seen me commenting on a whole slew of books that I have raced to ingest (remember it’s not how many books you get through that counts but how many get through to you).
And it has brought me to life, quite literally.
For all those people in the legal or any ‘business’ space, I would urge you to think carefully about what you are reading. The thing is, if you want to be the best in your field – at whatever you do – you have to be prepared to get better (every day) and that means committing to a process of self-study.
Reading is not the only process of learning but it is a bloody good start.
Here are a few primers:
- In Search of Excellence by Messrs Peters and Waterman
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Blue Ocean Strategy by Messrs Kim and Mauborgne
- The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
- Marketing for Business Growth by Theordore Levitt
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Messrs Ries and Trout
- First, break all the rules by Marcus Buckingham
- Million Dollar Speaking by Alan Weiss
- The Manager’s Book of Decencies by Steve Harrison
- Brand You50 by Tom Peters
- The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis
- Branding with Brains by Tjaco Walvis
- Trust Agents by Messrs Brogan and Smith
- Small is the New Big by Seth Godin
- Survival is Not Enough by Seth Godin
- Strengthsfinder by Tom Rath
Please don’t assume that reading these or any other books will change you or your career. Reading of itself makes not a jot of difference. It’s only when you internalise the contents, or, better still, you speak to or teach others that you will begin to see external changes.
And if all this seems like too much hassle then sign up to Audible and download some of these books in MP3 format.