How do people become better at getting stuff done? Research by Albert Bandura, the father of social learning theory, has shown that self-assurance (labeled “self-efficacy” by cognitive psychologists), not self-awareness, is the strongest predictor of a person’s ability to set high goals, to persist in the face of obstacles, to bounce back when reversals occur, and, ultimately, to achieve the goals they set.”
People with higher levels of self-efficacy will make more effort and when executed well results in successful outcomes. On the other hand, people with low self-efficacy won’t make the effort and fail. Developing stronger self-efficacy includes learning how to progress towards a goal. Build on past success. And watching others attack a task. These books provide different systems and styles to getting projects done.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
Do you remember the last major initiative you watched die in your organization? Did it go down with a loud crash? Or was it slowly and quietly suffocated by other competing priorities? By the time it finally disappeared, it’s likely no one even noticed. What happened?
The “whirlwind” of urgent activity required to keep things running day-to-day devoured all the time and energy you needed to invest in executing your strategy for tomorrow. The 4 Disciplines of Execution can change all that forever.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following the 4 Disciplines—Focusing on the Wildly Important; Acting on Lead Measures; Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard; Creating a Cadence of Accountability—leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable
ore more than two decades, legendary trainer Tim Grover has taken the greats—Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and dozens more—and made them greater. Now, for the first time ever, he reveals what it takes to get those results, showing you how to be relentless and achieve whatever you desire.
Direct, blunt, and brutally honest, Grover breaks down what it takes to be unstoppable: you keep going when everyone else is giving up, you thrive under pressure, you never let your emotions make you weak. In “The Relentless 13,” he details the essential traits shared by the most intense competitors and achievers in sports, business, and all walks of life. Relentless shows you how to trust your instincts and get in the Zone; how to control and adapt to any situation; how to find your opponent’s weakness and attack. Grover gives you the same advice he gives his world-class clients—“don’t think”—and shows you that anything is possible. Packed with previously untold stories and unparalleled insight into the psyches of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time, Relentless shows you how even the best get better . . . and how you can too.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer
Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.
Some of the biggest problems facing the world―war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation―are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to do less, but better, and declutter and organize their own their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
Getting It Done: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge
Let’s face it. In this chaotic world of teams, matrix management, and horizontal organizations, it’s tougher than ever to get things done. How do you lead when you’re not the one in charge? How can you be effective when joint action is needed? You need an edge in order to reach solutions and effectively work with others.
Siddhartha (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Hesse’s famous and influential novel, Siddartha, is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin’s search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, through the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation. This new translation by award-winning translator Joachim Neugroschel includes an introduction by Hesse biographer Ralph Freedman.
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
By focusing their energy on one thing at a time people are living more rewarding lives by building their careers, strengthening their finances, losing weight and getting in shape, deepening their faith, and nurturing stronger marriages and personal relationships.
Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
How do you go from dreaming to doing? From talking about the great idea to executing it? The creative force behind the Levenger Circa Action Method Notebook has the answers. And… they work! Scott Belsky’s Making Ideas Happen is a practical handbook on moving from “what if” to “we did it.”
Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters.
You work hard. You put in the hours. Yet you feel like you are constantly treading water with “Good Work” that keeps you going but never quite moves you ahead. Or worse, you are mired in “Bad Work”―endless meetings and energy-draining bureaucratic traps.
Do More Great Work gets to the heart of the problem: Even the best performers are spending less than a fraction of their time doing “Great Work”―the kind of innovative work that pushes us forward, stretches our creativity, and truly satisfies us. Michael Bungay Stanier, Canadian Coach of the Year in 2006, is a business consultant who’s found a way to move us away from bad work (and even good work), and toward more time spent doing great work.
When you’re up to your eyeballs answering e-mail, returning phone calls, attending meetings and scrambling to get that project done, you can turn to this inspirational, motivating, and at times playful book for invaluable guidance. In fifteen exercises, Do More Great Work shows how you can finally do more of the work that engages and challenges you, that has a real impact, that plays to your strengths―and that matters.
Getting Things Done
Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.
Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles.
The 80/20 Principle – Richard Koch
Did you know, for example, that 20 percent of customers account for 80 percent of revenues? That 20 percent of our time accounts for 80 percent of the work we accomplish? The 80/20 Principle shows how we can achieve much more with much less effort, time, and resources, simply by identifying and focusing our efforts on the 20 percent that really counts. Although the 80/20 principle has long influenced today’s business world, author Richard Koch reveals how the principle works and shows how we can use it in a systematic and practical way to vastly increase our effectiveness, and improve our careers and our companies.
The unspoken corollary to the 80/20 principle is that little of what we spend our time on actually counts. But by concentrating on those things that do, we can unlock the enormous potential of the magic 20 percent, and transform our effectiveness in our jobs, our careers, our businesses, and our lives.
Making Things Happen – Scott Berkun
In the updated edition of this critically acclaimed and bestselling book, Microsoft project veteran Scott Berkun offers a collection of essays on field-tested philosophies and strategies for defining, leading, and managing projects. Each essay distills complex concepts and challenges into practical nuggets of useful advice, and the new edition now adds more value for leaders and managers of projects everywhere. Based on his nine years of experience as a program manager for Internet Explorer and lead program manager for Windows and MSN, Berkun explains to technical and non-technical readers alike what it takes to get through a large software or web development project. Making Things Happen doesn’t cite specific methods, but focuses on philosophy and strategy. Unlike other project management books, Berkun offers personal essays in a comfortable style and easy tone that emulate the relationship of a wise project manager who gives good, entertaining and passionate advice to those who ask.
Results Without Authority – Tom Kendrick
t’s tricky enough to spearhead a big project when you’re the boss. But when you’re the leader of a team of people who don’t report to you, the obstacles are even greater.Results Without Authority is the definitive book for project managers looking to establish credibility and control. A groundbreaker in the field, it supplies a start-to-finish system for getting successful project results from cross-functional, outsourced, and other types of teams.
For project leaders lacking clear-cut authority, getting everyone on board–and keeping them there–can be a challenge. Results Without Authority is the must-have guide for getting the best results from your team.
Work the System – Sam Carpenter
Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less, Third Edition, guides the reader in modifying his or her fundamental perception of the world, moving from an inaccurate vision of barely controlled chaos, to a more accurate one: that life is an orderly collection of individual linear systems each of which can be improved and perfected one at a time. The reader is guided through the process of ”getting” this new vision, and then through the specifics of applying it via Carpenter’s “system improvement” methodology.
For start-ups or multinationals, the methodology is simple, believable, and mechanical; not mystical or theoretical. Carpenter developed the “systems mindset” protocol in the business he purchased in 1984 and still owns today. With that company, he moved from an 80-100 hour workweek to a one hour workweek, while multiplying his income dozens of times. He is CEO of an international business consulting firm, and several other spin-off businesses, as well as an international non-profit, all of which are operated in the same systems mindset fashion. With a diverse background in engineering, construction and business management, publishing, telecommunications, journalism, and politics, he calls his approach a “workingman’s philosophy.”
The Bounce Back Book: How to Thrive in the Face of Adversity, Setbacks, and Losses by Karen Salmansohn
A bad breakup. A serious illness. The loss of a job. Life has a habit of throwing people curveballs. To which Karen Salmansohn says: “When life throws you curveballs, hit them out of the park.”
In The Bounce Back Book the dynamic author whose quirky self-help books—including How to Make Your Man Behave . . . and How to Be Happy, Dammit—mixes from-the-gut wisdom, humor, feistiness, and sophistication to create a hip, inspiring resource that will brighten the darkest mood. The book is grounded in happiness research, psychological studies, Greek philosophy. And it delivers: Here are 70 easily digestible, potentially life-changing tips on how to bounce back from adversity, each on a spread that’s as punchy in look as it is powerful in message.
“Shrink negativity into nuggetivity.” “Think of yourself as the type of person the world says yes to.” With its attitude, techniques, and advice on everything from exercise to staying connected, it is a full-on guide to moving forward with great positive energy.
The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?
In The Impact Equation, Brogan and Smith show that to make people truly care about what you have to say, you need more than just a good idea, trust among your audience, or a certain number of followers. You need a potent mix of all of the above and more.
Use the Impact Equation to figure out what you’re doing right and wrong. Apply it to a blog, a tweet, a video, or a mainstream-media advertising campaign. Use it to explain why a feature in a national newspaper that reaches millions might have less impact than a blog post that reaches a thousand passionate subscribers.
Consider the phenomenally successful British singer Adele. For most musicians, onstage banter basically consists of yelling “Hello, Cleveland!” But Adele connects with her audience, pausing between songs to discuss a falling-out with her friends, or the drama of a break up. Each of these moments comes off as if she were talking directly with you, and you can easily relate. Adele has Impact.
Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life
In Getting Results the Agile Way, author J.D. Meier introduces Agile Results®-a simple system for meaningful results! It’s a systematic way to achieve both short- and long-term results in all aspects of your life-from work to fun. It offers just enough planning to get you going, but makes it easy to change your course as needed. It also provides fresh starts for your day, week, month, and year. Even if you already use another time management system, Agile Results can supplement it to increase your impact and sense of fulfillment. In today’s world, change happens quickly; learn how to be flexible and responsive to new opportunities. Don’t just check off tons of stuff from your to-do list; do the things that make a difference. Stop trudging your way through life; bolster your energy with habits that will carry you forward each day. Quit sacrificing your personal life for your work life (or vice versa); give each facet of your life its due and find balance. In other words, learn the skills to go the distance in an ever-changing world. The beauty of Agile Results is that you don’t have to adopt the entire system to see the benefits
Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly
In this revolutionary book, economist John Kay proves a notion that feels at once paradoxical and deeply commonsensical: the best way to achieve any complex or broadly defined goal, from happiness to preventing forest fires, is the indirect way. We can learn how to achieve our objectives only through a gradual process of risk taking and discovery-what Kay calls obliquity. The author traces this seemingly counterintuitive path to success as it manifests itself in nearly every aspect of life, including business, politics, sports, and more.
This is part of a Real World MBA curriculum. Other parts of the curriculum include Management, Decision Making, Startups, Strategy, Career Success, Finance, Dealing with People, Communicating, Ethics, Biographies, and Marketing.