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5 Great Books Every Leader Should Read By This Fall

5 Great Books Every Leader Should Read By This Fall

There are loads of books that a leader can read so where on earth do you start? Most of them have a bunch of reviews telling you how awesome they are, but many of them are just a general overview of repeated ideas. These 5 books stand out as key reads for leaders that want to improve 10x in everything from hiring to providing great customer service.

Entreleadership to learn that you’re the cap on your organization

The limiting factor in your business is not the people you have or the money you have it’s you. The leader is the cap on the organization.

…there is a lid on my organization and on my future, and that lid is me. I am the problem with my company and you are the problem with your company. Your education, capacity, ability, and vision are limiting the company. You want to know what is holding back your dreams from becoming a reality? Go look in the mirror. – Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey

Entreleadership is going to teach you how to take the cap off your organization by bringing in the right people and learning to give them the responsibility they need to support you as the leader.

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Work Rules! to stop being scared during hiring

Reading through this book you’ll get a great look at how Google does it’s hiring, and it’s not just on the whim of one person. It’s not done by the manager who feels the pain of the person missing. A group of interviewers and potential colleagues get to decide who’s hired.

As Eric Schmidt once told me, “The reality is, that there are some employees you should get rid of, but the goal of recruitment should be to have no such employees!” – Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock

Growing a Business to learn money doesn’t magically solve problems

Way to often in our tech-bubble world we hear about wild valuations of companies that aren’t turning a profit. In the mind of the author Paul Hawken, most of the time money is seen as some magic pill that will allow the company to one day turn a profit maybe. Growing a Business talks much about the fact that taking money continually means your business doesn’t have a crucial leg to stand on, the leg of people wanting to give you money for your product/service.

…businesses, at least entrepreneurial ones, are formed in order to address problems that money alone cannot solve – Paul Hawken, Growing a Business (emphasis his)

Switch to learn how to bring change to your business

Change in an organization is hard and Switch is going to tell you why.

Change is hard because people wear themselves out. And that’s the second surprise about change: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion – Switch, Chip and Dan Heath

This book will walk you through lots of strategies to keep changes moving through your organization. Stop just slamming change through just because you’re the leader. Stop being frustrated when it doesn’t stick, learn to make it stick by reading Switch.

Minding the Store to learn why turning down sales is good

How likely are you to sell a high priced item to someone that it’s clearly a poor choice for? I know many of you would just make the sale but not if you listen to the advice of Stanley Marcus.

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no sale is good for Neiman-Marcus, unless it’s a good buy for the customer. Minding the Store, Stanley Marcus

The most poignant story of great service is turning down the sale of a fur coat to a young girl and her father. They were both angry and left, but at home her aunt said that Stanley Marcus was absolutely right and she needed to go back say sorry and get whatever he said was the right purchase for the girl.

Then years later as this girl was getting married she bought the coat she originally wanted along with many other things and was a regular customer because she was assured that she’d get proper advice without thought to how much money the store would make.

Saying no to business is a skill a leader needs to learn and when you do you’ll really be serving your customers well and they won’t help but tell others about how awesome you are.

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Of course maybe you’re feeling a bit lost and before you can really dig back in to becoming a better leader you need some good reading to help you through life’s ups and downs.

Featured photo credit: mrhayata via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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