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7 Books Sheryl Sandberg Recommend You To Read (Only If You Want To Succeed At Work)

7 Books Sheryl Sandberg Recommend You To Read (Only If You Want To Succeed At Work)

As the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg has become a national leader. Here are the seven books that Sandberg recommends – a surprising mix of fiction, fact and more. Of course, you can also read her 2013 book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.”

1. A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

AnnaQuindlenBook

    Quote: ““You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.”

    This book of stories is a perfect read for those going through a milestone in life. Often given as a graduation present, Quindlen’s book prompts us to consider think through each moment. Work matters and it is only one part of a full and happy life. We all need inspiration to get through life’s difficult moments – this is a great book for those times.

    Buy A Short Guide To A Happy Life on Amazon

    2. Bossypants by Tina Fey

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    Bossypants

      Quote: ““Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

      As one of the world’s most successful comedians, Tina Fey’s memoir makes for a great read. For fans of the “30 Rock” show, reading this book will give you the inside story behind making the program. Fey also shares insights and commentary on beauty and what it means to be a woman in modern America. The book is also incredibly funny with many great moments (the honeymoon story on the cruise ship comes to mind).

      Buy Bossypants on Amazon

      3. Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values by Fred Kofman

      ConsciousBusiness

        Quote: “To change a culture, the leaders have to change the messages people receive about what they must do to fit in. When people understand that there are new requirements for belonging, they adjust their behavior accordingly.”

        Kofman’s book inspires business owners, entrepreneurs and the rest of us about the importance of leadership. Based on his research and work as a consultant, Kofman shares exercises and activities designed to help leaders improve their organizations. Those looking for an easy read will need to go elsewhere. Kofman describes his program as comparable to running a marathon.

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        Buy Conscious Business on Amazon

        4. Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis

        HomeGame

          Quote: ““Memory loss is the key to human reproduction. If you remembered what new parenthood was actually like you wouldn’t go around lying to people about how wonderful it is, and you certainly wouldn’t ever do it twice.”

          Michael Lewis is best known for his gripping books that explore the financial industry (“The Big Short” and “Boomerang” are my two favourites). In this book, Lewis explores the family through the perspective of fatherhood. It’s a new perspective on family that shows just how much children change your life. The book has three sections that comment on each of his children. Oddly, there is not much discussion of Lewis’s wife in the book. If you’re seeking a novel gift for Father’s Day, this is the book for you.

          Buy Home Game on Amazon

          5. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton PhD

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          Now Discover Your Strengths

            Quote: ““At an early age, you started hearing it: It’s a virtue to be “well-rounded.”… They might as well have said : Become as dull as you possibly can be.”

            Where exactly should we focus our efforts at work? Common wisdom suggests that we ought to focus on fixing our weaknesses. In this groundbreaking book, the authors point out that there are far greater results to be had from a focus on your strengths. Knowing yourself and your strengths is essential to becoming successful in business. Not sure what your strengths are? Read “StrengthsFinder 2.0” and take the online test that comes with the book.

            Buy Now Discover Your Strengths on Amazon

            6. Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber

            QueenOfFashion

              Quote: “This ornamentation impressed upon all viewers their king’s ability to channel limitless resources into his own, and his family’s, supreme glorification.”

              Like it or note, clothes matter. What you wear to the office shapes how you are perceived. Caroline Weber explains how Queen Marie-Antoinette expressed her power through clothing. What the Queen wore to events mattered; her decisions on which clothes to buy could also make or break careers. As a long time student of history, we have much to learn from works of scholarship. If you are working to develop your personal style, you can learn a great deal from this 18th century Queen.

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              Buy Queen of Fashion on Amazon

              7. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

              the-leanstartup

                Quote: ““A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”

                The Lean Startup has become the Bible of 21st century startup companies. Small companies that rapidly build products and innovate based on customer feedback are often inspired by this book. Companies that use the book’s methodology include Dropbox, Votizen (now called Brigade) and Grockit. If you want to start a company and achieve results fast, this is the book for you.

                Buy The Lean Startup on Amazon

                Featured photo credit: Sheryl Sandberg/Wikimedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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                Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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                Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                  Why You Need a Vision

                  Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                  How to Create Your Life Vision

                  Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                  What Do You Want?

                  The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                  It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                  Some tips to guide you:

                  • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                  • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                  • Give yourself permission to dream.
                  • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                  • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                  Some questions to start your exploration:

                  • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                  • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                  • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                  • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                  • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                  • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                  • What qualities would you like to develop?
                  • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                  • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                  • What would you most like to accomplish?
                  • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                  It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                  What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                  Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                  A few prompts to get you started:

                  • What will you have accomplished already?
                  • How will you feel about yourself?
                  • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                  • What does your ideal day look like?
                  • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                  • What would you be doing?
                  • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                  • How are you dressed?
                  • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                  • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                  • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                  It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                  Plan Backwards

                  It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                  • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                  • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                  • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                  • What important actions would you have had to take?
                  • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                  • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                  • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                  • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                  • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                  Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                  It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                  Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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