Why I started a Business Book Club
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December 17, 2018
The Slight Edge - Whats Your Edge
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January 31, 2019

“Why start a book club?” I have asked myself this question a number of times over the last couple of months. Followed by “do I even have time to manage a Business Book Club Group on LinkedIn?” And technically, no I don’t, but boy am I glad I’m making time for it.

Like so many of you, I should be focussing on my core business and career which for me is helping companies build their success culture. That’s what I know how to do best and I love it.

So is bookclub a distraction? Well yes and no – let’s make that a big NO!

The thing is, I read and listen to so many business books and podcasts and summaries as part of my personal Success Culture. 

I know if I broaden my knowledge for myself and my development, I am inevitably helping the people and organisations I work with. I am always on the lookout for different perspectives to share or right content for specific teams to help them build their success. So really a book club is just an extension of what I am already doing anyway within my work.

I believe that if someone has taken the time to put their life work into a book, that we only pay a pittance for, why not take advantage of that fabulous opportunity to learn and expand our worlds? 

I have been in a fiction book club (or two) for 10+ years and most recently a friend has started a fiction book club on Facebook, which I love. I love the sharing, the community and the different opinions. I don’t always get to read every book, mainly because business books is where my head is at the moment, but it’s inspiring to be part of a lovely community.

Research has shown time and again that we are creatures of community, we love to belong and feel safe.

Yes, we need downtime away from everyone but really think about how great you feel when you’re doing something you love and you’re sharing it with others. That’s the Business Book Club for me. It has married something I love with something I passionately believe can and does make us better and different people. Plus other people get to join a group where they can share and we learn from each other.

It’s important to share what is coming into our sphere. Yes, some books are better than others and the different topics will resonate with readers differently but how else do we find out which books to dedicate our precious reading time to?

At the moment I am the one picking the books for book club and I may not always get it right, but I also want to create the opportunity for people to share the books that have impacted them, that they believe will impact others and even the books they have written. We should support each other where we can.

This is how we build Team Intelligence and the ripple effect of learning, sharing and supporting has got to have a positive impact on my, yours, and our success.

I listen to books as well. Have you tried it? I found that to be so helpful in managing my time. I listen on my morning walks when I don’t have a podcast lined up, I listen in the car driving from client to client, I even get my kids to listen to one EarPod when we walk together! I’m not sure they love my book choices but I listen to their books as well.

Tip: If you struggle with reading or listening to books try just reading 10 pages a day, or even just 5, or 1. The average book is 300 pages, imagine if you just read one book in a year, surely you have to be better off with something that makes you think and do things differently? 

Want to Change Your Culture?

Culture is leader led. If you are the CEO, GM, HR Director, CFO what do your actions show when it comes to leading a culture of learning, development and self-improvement? 

So often I hear, “I should read more” but “ I don’t have time” – Yes and yes. But it starts with you and one page a day takes less than 2 minutes to read. Surely you have time for that and imagine the impact you can have on yourself, your family, your friends and your team

The one thing you control is your learning and how you implement it. You increase your value, with new skills, different thinking and mindset shifts. Who wouldn’t want a manager, leader colleague, friend that is trying to improve themselves?

I give away many books and one in particular which had a huge impact on me.And guess what it impacts so many others. 

I have had grown men in the late 30’s, 40’s and 50s come to me and thank me for giving them a book in a work environment, not one, not two, not 3 but 7 of these men have admitted to me that they are not readers and even more, they haven’t read a book since high school!

Some even sheepishly tell me they didn’t even finish a book in high school and then they light up and say “I have read the book you gave me or I’m halfway through and it has changed my life. I am doing this differently and this and this is how it’s impacting my family and I shared this new concept with my friend and now he’s changing the way he is doing things”… and it goes on.

Without fail I get teary because for me there is nothing better than witnessing this aha moment. This moment where someone is getting their edge. It is what I strive for in every session, in every area of my work, whether it is paid or voluntary. 

I am grateful to these people for sharing their stories with me which can’t always be easy. But how exciting to be a part of their ripple of change and their personal success. 

I am fortunate to be able to impact people through my work, but it doesn’t matter how many people cross your path, share with even one person what has helped you and you never know what positive impact you can have on them and the people in their world. 

That’s why I started Business Book Club – What’s Your Edge? 

Resources

Books I love and have written about.

The Slight Edge – I changed my business name because of this book! 

Books in Business Book ClubJoin us?

Review Article – Our first 5 books

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Other Books I Can’t Live Without

The Five Minute Journal

The Productivity Planner

Books delivered for Free

As much as I love and utilise technology, there’s something lovely about getting a delivery. I order my books through Book Depository, they’re usually 20% cheaper than book stores (which I do haunt as well. You may like to explore).