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Those Who Read, Lead

The title of this post comes from what someone said to me recently. This discussion started with me sharing the number of books I have read over the past couple of years. I wasn't always a steward of the written word, but something triggered one day while I was thinking of ways to improve my career potential.

Since that point I read and read and read. Actually this is kind of a misnomer. I listen, and listen, and read. One of the best tips I ever received was in the form of a book from Brian Tracy called Eat That Frog! Mr. Tracy's tip was to turn your car into a mobile education studio. I took that to heart. When my car starts up, more often than not, a book gets played. I have even convinced Ashley to do the same. We are both in school, and we both had full-time jobs, so setting aside extra time to sit down and read books was a problem for us. Now we use our commuting time effectively.

We are relatively new to investing in real estate, so yes I have been poring over endless books on the subject. Yet be warned...to focus solely on one specific area of learning will make you an expert only in that area. There is much more to this world than real estate investing. I love listening (and reading) books on psychology, time management, leadership, and many business skills.

So what books would I recommend? Well any really. Start small with something you are interested in, and then expand. I think the one book that should be required reading in all of our schools is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This book was a big eye-opener for me, and helps teach basic fundamentals of investment and personal finance. Another good starter book for finance is The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.

If you are interested in the psychology of business I would recommend The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, Peak by Chip Conley or Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.

For those who want to get insight into general business principles they should check out Good to Great by Jim Collins, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, or Execution by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan.

Although I have plenty of other recommendations, I have reserved one final section for this post; let this be known as the 'waste management' section. No, I don't plan to talk about garbage trucks or landfills. This is a section near and dear to my heart. I can give you an endless array of books to read on this subject, but I will give you a handful that I believe all should read. Lean principles and better project management aren't only for the automotive and tech sectors, respectively. Here are some of my absolutes faves:

The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt (Theory of Constraints)

The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker (Toyota Production System)

Scrum by Jeff & JJ Sutherland (Agile Project Management)

Lean Thinking by James Womack and Daniel Jones (General Lean Principles)

Andy & Me by Pascal Dennis (General Lean and Toyota Principles)

So, without further ado...get to reading; thank me later.

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