Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Most Undervalued Resource - The Library Card

As one of the few people my age who not only still has a library card, but also continues to use it regularly, I’m able to easily keep up with the latest business books. I recently finished reading “From Values to Leadership” and thought it was by far one of the better books I’ve read on leadership in a while. As full disclosure, I actually work with the author of the book at my PE firm, but I’ve only had the opportunity to interact with him on occasion. However, I truly believe he is a great role model for all CEOs and leaders because of how well he has been able to balance and integrate all his commitments and passions, from sitting on the boards of several companies, teaching as a professor at Kellogg, and still finding time to get involved with several non-profits.
One of the better pieces of advice I found in the book was the suggestion to track and implement what he calls “Life Buckets.” By tracking how you spend your time across the most important areas of your life, you can really take a step back and see how balanced your life really is. Since I’m still relatively young and in the initial stages of my career, my distribution is slightly different than the example he provides for himself in the book, but I’m sure that as I get older the buckets will continue to shift:

Career: 60 hours (36%)
Family/Friends/Relationships: 15 hours (9%)
Spirituality/Reflection: 2 hours (1%)
Health/Sleep/Exercise: 59 hours (35%)
Fun/Recreation/Reading: 22 hours (13%)
Social responsibility/Making a difference: 10 hours (6%)
Total: 168 hours (100%)

I encourage others to take time and reflect on the balance in their own lives and if you’re not happy with where it is right now, start taking steps to shift the balance more towards what you value most.

Did I also mention, I’m a huge fan of Martin Seligman and his theories of Positive Psychology? (That’s actually also why I decided to call the blog Positive Ventures – combining my interest in positive psychology with new ventures!) It’s definitely worth learning more about and all his books are also very insightful.

Here is also a very comprehensive list of some great business books to add to your reading list:

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