Two books made a big impact on my year in 2017, transforming my thinking. One for a massive amount of new insights and the other for improving my thought patterns.
Both books I’d buy again and give away—both are now open on my reading table each morning.
The Daily Drucker by Peter Drucker (2004)
(Edited by Joseph Maciariello—note: Drucker died in 2005, soon after this book came out.)
Here’s an example of a daily insight I wrote about: A Decision Without Action Is Only a Hope.
This book is now a “daily devotional” for me; less holy scripture and more mindset for effectiveness in business, life, relationships. The improvement on my thought patterns was immediate: I noticed the ideas and principles coming up in daily work and life conversations, the mindset for effective time tracking and outward focus on contributions accelerated my career growth, and I deepened my understanding of business and how best to run an organization.
My all-time favorite — now well-worn and bookmarked — is September 4, “Practices of Effective Executives.” A distilled summary from his bestselling book of the same name.
The September 4 “Daily Drucker” reading details the five practices for effectiveness: 1) know where your time goes 2) focus on outward contributions 3) build on strengths 4) concentrate on superior performance and 5) make effective decisions.
Which ties perfectly into Ray Dalio’s masterpiece where decision making is a key theme.
Principles by Ray Dalio (2017)
See a brief example of the insights I gained: Synthesis: Navigating Levels Effectively.
As I said in the beginning, this book hit me with a wall of new insights. I’m still processing it after 3 reads! Hat tip, Matt.
Top highlights of the book for me:
A winning formula: meaningful work + meaningful relationships + making a living. This ties in well with the freedom and mission that WordPress and Automattic stand for—a livelihood for anyone in the world with a website, blog, or shop.
Good principles are effective ways of dealing with reality.
Beware ego block by remembering that you’re looking for the best answer, not simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself.
Use pain to trigger quality reflections, learn what causes your pain and what you can do about it. This is the most effective habit Ray developed over 40 years.
Practice being open-minded and assertive at the same time, and think about your and others’ believability when deciding what to do. Find the most believable people possible who disagree with you and try to understand their reasoning.
Ideas versus decisions. Meritocracy is for hearing everyone’s voice — not for everyone making the decision.
You’ll find much, much more in the book; see also the book’s website: principles.com and social media. On LinkedIn Ray’s been sharing the most popular principles as readers give him feedback — with short audio clips.
I suggest buying both electronic and the hard copy. In 2018 I’ll share more thoughts and insights from the book, plus share experiences and learnings from putting the principles into practice.
What were your top books from 2017? Did anything become a must-read or daily habit?