Tag Archives: reading list

It’s All About Who You Know – Recommended Reading

Many years ago as I was transitioning out of the military into civilian life, I worked with a recruiting firm that placed JMO’s (junior military officers) into corporate America.  At one of their career fairs Roger Cameron asked everyone to share their favorite motivational saying and we all went around the room.  You can guess that in a room full of young, ambitious military guys (it was probably a 90% male group) the contributions ranged from inspirational to blustery, some as short as one emphatic syllable .  I hadn’t given the question any real thought and when it came my turn, I reflexively blurted out the ancient Greek aphorism “Know thyself“.  It sort of fell flat in that room, like I was answering the wrong question or something.  Twenty plus years later I see the truth revealed in how I answered that question, as self-knowledge has been one of my strengths and great stumbling blocks.  I’m old enough to see the experiences in my life where it’s been one or the other.

With that in mind, my recommended reading for this month is Peter Drucker’s timeless HBR article, Managing Oneself.   At the foundation of managing oneself is knowing oneself, and this article addresses the topic in some specific areas that are important at any stage of life or career.  It’s worth your time to read the article but more importantly, turn it into a homework assignment and write down answers to the questions posed.   I did it about a year ago and I still refer to the notes occasionally to make sure I got it right and that I am working on the right things.

 

 

March’s Recommended Reading

I like to share ideas and content that have been powerful or useful in my career and life in general.  Today I’ll share one of my favorites – it’s a blog by a former private equity guy turned elite triathlete turned coach and blogger, Gordo Byrn.   Check out his blog here.

To get you started, here are two of my favorite recent posts.

Behavior not Protocol – I’ve always told athletes “the workout you’ll do is always better than the one you won’t do”.  Too many folks obsess on the details of this plan or that plan, but they won’t execute either plan consistently, so it really doesn’t matter.  Byrn elaborates on this more eloquently than I can.

The Freedom of Not Knowing – Selective ignorance is a valuable thing.  There are a lot of things I choose not to be informed on, because they just don’t impact my top priorities in life.   At best they are time sinks, at worst they are a cause for anxiety and unnecessary emotional arousal (this was a big factor in my decision to delete my Facebook account earlier this year).

Byrn also writes a lot about financial planning for families, and his own experiences as a father.  If you are looking for a blog to add to your regular reading list, you should consider his.