Brad, at Straight North, asks, “What’s Your Favorite Business Book?” He wants to compile a list of blogger favorites. This is my entry into his group project.
I have to admit, I’m a reader. While some people might like to watch television or listen to music, my idea of relaxation is to curl up with a good book. When I was in school other students groaned at reading assignments, but I was secretly glad to be given something else to read.
The book that has influenced my life more than any other is the Bible. It’s a guide for how I live my life. More than that, it contains a peek at the God that I worship.
Of course, that’s not quite the question that Brad asks in his group project. Brad’s question is “what is your favorite business book?”
I’d have to say that my favorite business book is not one book, but two:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy by Stephen Covey and A Roger Merrill
I was actually assigned to a class based on these books twice at two different corporations where I worked. Each time I attended the class, I was given a copy of the books.
It’s been about fifteen years (yikes, has it really been that long?) since I read those books, but the concepts taught in the classes still remain with me.
My managers saw these books as a time management tools. I found them to be a bit more than that. By stressing getting your life in order and living your life with integrity the books helped me to wade through the daily distractions to focus on goals that are really important to me, both in business and in life.
In fact, if there’s one concept that I got from the books it would have to be that personal and business life are entwined. You can’t really separate one from the other. Personal problems impact business and vice versa.
If you really think about it, you’ll see that this makes perfect sense. If you didn’t sleep well last night, you’re not going to perform well on the job today. If you’re angry and upset about a fight you had with your loved one, you’re not going to be fully focused on the difficult problems.
Of course, we see extreme examples of this principle with substance abuse. Eventually, an alcoholic brings their alcoholism to work with them.
Understanding the concept of the relationship between my business and my personal life has helped me tackle many difficult business decisions over the years. In fact, my decision to work from home is indirectly a result of what I learned from these books.
In fact, just writing this post has made me want to go back and reread these classic business books. You may want to do the same!
Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.