You, like me, may set up crazy New Year’s resolutions. In 2010, I’m sure eating better and more exercise were at the top of my list, but the goal I still remember was for me read 20 books by years end. That may not sound like much to you, but for someone who had averaged about 4-5 books a year, that was a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).
When I’ve taken the time, I’ve always enjoyed novels. Some of my favorite Christian novel writers are Dee Henderson, Frank Peretti, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Ted Dekker. All are very creative writers that offer suspense-filled story lines. Although my reading goal did include some novels, I also wanted to begin reading about different business strategies and ideas.
My plan was to focus on book topics outside of the accounting field so that I could better serve our clients in overall business strategies. As I began working towardmy goal of 20 books, I discovered that I really enjoyed reading.
3 key strategies that helped me learn to read
- Setting aside designated times for reading. This made it part of my regular scheduled routine.
- Getting some books in an audio format so that I could listen to them while exercising, walking, running, treadmill, etc. Good idea if you are into multitasking. (Sometimes I would have to listen to a book twice.)
- Recording my reading progress and reporting it to my staff along with a summary of each book. You would be amazed how a little accountability can be a big motivator.
At the end of 2010, as I looked back over the list of books that I read, I discovered that I had actually read over 50 books that year! (I wish I could say I accomplished the same positive results with my diet and exercise resolutions).Better than hitting some arbitrary book count though, I have re-energized my passion for learning and love the creative ideas that have been generated though the wealth of information that I've been exposed to.
Here are my top 5 recommended business books
- Eat that Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – by Brian Tracy
- Endless Referrals – by Bob Burg
- Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance – by Bob Buford
- EntreLeadership – by Dave Ramsey
- Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable About Solving the Most Painful Problem in America – by Patrick Lencioni
A great tool to help you keep track of your reading is www.shelfari.com It allows you to create an electronic bookshelf of all the books you read as well as easily comment and post your reviews to other social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can check out my profile and see all the books that I've read at: http://www.shelfari.com/rustyfulling Since early 2010, I've been able to read over 150 books and I'm always looking for the next great read.
What would be on your top 5 recommended reading list?