If you’re like me, there’s never enough time to read everything that we want to read. But, as the old saying goes, “Leaders are readers, and readers are leaders”….. and we all need to carve out a little time each day or week to keep up with not only what’s going on, but also how to improve our performances both on and off the job. Remember that you’re never too old and it’s never too late to learn more.
I read the trades (Catersource first, of course), Time, Newsweek, Forbes, BizBash, Entrepreneur, Food Arts and Restaurant Hospitality…and since I’m really telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth……Golfworld. Then there’s the stack of mainly self-improvement books next to my desk that seems to get higher, rather than lower…..the three I am reading now, in my opinion, are “must reads” if you have not yet read them. And if you have, it might be time to reread them….
Good To Great by Jim Collins You may argue that some of the firms that he touted are no longer in business, but you cannot argue with the Hedgehog Principle, as outlined in this book. If you don’t know what it is, you should….It basically demonstrates how a strong combination of passion, excellence and profitability link together to form the unifying theme that helps firms grow from good to great. Coupling the Hedgehog Principle with the “Bus Principle” of getting the right people on the bus (your catering company) and then getting them into the right seat, you will have a great start towards taking your business to new levels of success, revenues and profitability.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
This book is full of great ways to streamline your life with over 50 practical tips and case studies from readers who have reinvented themselves through better use of their time. The book includes real world templates for negotiating with clients, as well as plenty of high tech shortcuts for a better life. It’s a quick read……most of the good stuff is in the first half of the book. Also, Ferriss even suggests an overseas personal assistant to handle routine job duties at really cheap fees. This book is all about living more and working less…and I think we all want more of that.
Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono
This book was introduced to me recently by my new Director of Operations, Adam Bershad who claims that by applying the principles outlined in this book he has achieved a quantum leap in running more effective meetings. This easy-to-read book has impacted thousands of corporate executives, business owners and managers by showing them how to unscramble the thinking process. We’ve all attended meetings that accomplished little, if anything (more than we can count)……this book will put an end to these types of meetings with six simple steps, or hats.
The author says that the main difficulty with thinking is confusion. (I can relate to that!) We all try to do too much at once by bringing together emotions, information, logic, hope and creativity. It’s like juggling with too many balls. The solution is to unscramble the thinking process with “six thinking hats”….and here they are:
White Hat Neutral, objective, concerned with facts and figures.
Red Hat Emotional view (and boy in catering do we hear lots of that)
Black Hat Careful and cautious…the “devils advocate” hat
Yellow Hat Sunny and positive
Green Hat Fertile growth, creativity and new ideas
Blue Hat Cool, the color of the sky, and above everything else…the organizing hat.
The book explains how to use each of these hats separately in order to come to clear, concise outcomes.
All three of these books are not only worth reading, but also worth buying copies for your key staffers….they most definitely will have a serious impact on the way you conduct yourself and your business.
Buy the books and make (notice I did not say take) a few minutes each day to delve into these treasures….you’ll be very glad you did.