Calgary TEC Chair KATHERYN SMALL is our next contributor to the #shelfie series and shares reading recommendations from her bookshelf that inspire her as a business leader and mentor. Share your own #shelfie with us on Twitter @TECCanada
Start with Why – Simon Sinek
A few years ago I was participating in a Strategic Planning session and Simon’s TED Talk ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ was shown to inspire the conversations. And inspire it did – it lit a fire within me that made Simon’s cause – my cause. Naturally, I stopped at the first bookstore on my way home and bought ‘Start with Why’, and spent the next few weeks devouring and studying the concepts within. Simon brilliantly identifies that true leadership must intrinsically be aligned with a cause or belief. He speaks to the emotional connection required to influence behaviour (a sale, a vote, or a motivated team) and gives tangible examples of how to implement his concepts into your organization immediately. Another very critical element that is emphasized is how to communicate your ‘Why’ effectively, get out of the ‘What’ headspace and expand your service offerings so that it makes sense to your consumer. Simon profoundly changed the way I view opportunities and how I approach all tasks. I now consciously make every effort to operate from a Why perspective and the impact it has made on my life both personally and professionally has been astounding. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to inspire those around them to instigate positive change.
Influencer – Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler
We all want to be able to influence behaviour to some degree, and this book masterfully provides the formula required to do so. This book is full of powerful and inspiring case studies of influenced behavioural change; many of which motivated me to become a better influencer: To not fall into the manipulation trap, but to influence behaviour from a true leadership perspective. Before I read this book, I had never given influence any deep reflection, so in reading it I became enlightened with the science behind instigating the change you want to see in the people, situations and realities in the world around you. I see myself as a visionary, and as Muhammad Yunas puts it “Ideas can change the world – but only when coupled with influence – the ability to change hearts, minds and behaviour.” Influencer is the first place I go whenever I come up with another ‘big idea’ that requires either buy in from others, or behavioural changes within myself. Regardless of what you are trying to influence – the answer of ‘how’ you do it, lies within the pages of this book.
The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
This book came highly recommended to me, from an individual who is a living example of the compound effect at work. Often when I want to make changes in myself, I look at the end goal, and get discouraged before I make any real progress. What Darren highlights in this book is that the power of small and consistent behaviour over time is the catalyst of true change and growth. Although I found this invaluable, I actually had a slightly bigger takeaway from one of the examples he used. Darren shared his personal story of how he found his wife, and before he met her, he had identified what he would define as the ‘perfect woman’ for him. Before he went looking for her, he introspectively asked himself a very important question; “What would a woman like that, want in a husband?” He was able to look at himself and see where he might be lacking, then applied the Compound Effect to these areas to make himself the man he needed to be to have the woman he wanted most. To me, this was a profound exercise that I use regularly, not just in romance, but in any professional or personal relationship I desire. “What would an employee like that, want in a boss?” Once you identify the change required – apply the simple concept of compounding the behaviours consistently overtime, and nothing will get in your way.