Table of Contents
In this post, we will look at some of the top Personality development books and will see if they have a power to transform a life or a career.
I received several requests for the answer. I felt that I should explain the crux of the knowledge acquisition process. It is a long post. Please bear with me.
It is difficult to identify any single book or attribute our learnings/success to one or two books.
We are influenced and inspired by several Personality development books, incidents, and sudden experiences. Such occasions will have a profound impact on our minds.
Let me share some of the incidents that shaped my knowledge.
During my school days…
I used to read several tales from Ramayana, Bhagavata, Panchatantra, and the like. These tales have primed my character, culture, and values.
During my college days…
I understood the importance of character and values from the personality development books of Vivekananda.
I learned the importance of English vocabulary from the books of Norman Lewis and peter funk.
Let me share a story of how we completed these books from cover to cover. It was in 1985. One of our college friends used to have these two books: Word Power by Norman Lewis and It Pays to Increase Your Word Power. By Peter funk.
I was impressed by these two books and wanted to read them, but I did not have money to buy them, and he refused to lend the book. So, I paired up with my close friend. Both of us wrote all words found in the index section in a notebook. Then both of us used to learn ten words each every-day. We then used to go to the bus terminal to board a double-decker bus.
We used to occupy the first seats at the top deck. Very few travellers used to take the stairs to come to the double-decker bus’s top tier. This would ensure minimal interruptions and disturbance. We used to share all words and reflect on sentence construction. By the time we reach another terminal point, we used to be equipped with 20 powerful words each! We also used to have a rule of using those words for ten days in every conversation.
Curious to know what happened to all three of us? I am what I am now. My friend is a Deputy General Manager at the State Bank of India. Another friend who bought the book never read it and refused to lend is working as a small company manager.
Message: It’s not essential to buy the book to read it. It is the passion and perseverance to chew; it is what helps. English vocabulary helped us expand our thinking and destroy the fear of reading other books. Therefore, the knowledge from these Personality development books has been helping us for over 35 years. 😊
During my early career …
- I understood the importance of attitude from: You can win by Shiv Khera.
- I understood the importance of professional development from a book called: Personality development – Rajiv K Mishra (One of the simplest Personality development books).
- I understood the cream and crux of management and leadership: Management thoughts by Promod Bbatra. It is a short book of powerful leadership quotes. This book had a profound impact and helped me to develop an interest in reading leadership and Personality development books.
When I started leading a team….
- Understood the importance of Identifying/strengths and setting off our weaknesses from: Go put your strengths/First break all rules – Marcus Buckingham
- Recognized the power of intention from the book: Power of intention – Dr. Wayne Dyer
- Minimized giving excuses when I read the book: Excuses begone – Dr. Wayne Dyer
- Improved my relationships with colleagues when I read the book: 5 dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
- Learned the importance of execution from 4 disciplines of execution – Chris Mc Chesney
- Realized the importance of trustworthiness from Speed of trust by Stephen MR Covey
- Grasped the importance of staying in a flow state from: 4 Fs of Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly
- Overcome procrastination by reading: Eat that frog by Brian Tracy
- Understood the life purpose: Finding sweet spot – Rajiv Vij and IKIGAI – Albert and Hector
- Learned the importance of writing: Accidental Genius by Mark Levy
- Appreciated the importance of Grit – Grit by Angela Duckworth
- Identified the need to schedule various activities and need for life planning – 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferris
When I headed the division/company
- How to respond to adversities: The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan holiday
- Importance of developing what is vital to customers: Tuned in by Craig, David, and Phil
- Power of data: Attackers advantage by Ram Charan
No doubt, these are some of the best Personality development books. However, there are some more useful sources.
I continue to learn how to strategise, prioritise, and present from the following sources:
- Several “Chairman’s messages” in various annual reports of several fortune 500 companies.
- Ted talks
I value all these as the most inspiring and relevant micro learning nuggets to improve my focus and resilience.
There are many Personality development books. However, at this juncture, it is essential to mention the following:
- People tell me I am good at several skills. I have developed all my skills only by practicing.
- Just the way any healthy body is composed of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients, our minds also thrive on each of them.
- Mere reading does not help reflection will.
- A mere inspiration does not help. Implementation will.
- Developing the growth mindset and adopting a continuous learning culture is more important.
- Learning can come from any place, anytime, and anywhere. It is not just from Personality development books.
Let me know if you find this interesting, let me know by upvoting or commenting on this post. Based on the number of reactions, I will cover a list of my favourite Ted talks in my next post.
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