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Tag Archives: leadership

I recently listened to a thought provoking and inspiring talk, the closing keynote to the APCO Canada 2014 Conference in Vancouver on 2014 November 6.

The speaker was Dr. John Izzo and his talk was entitled “100/0: 100% Responsibility/ Zero Excuses How Stepping Up can Change Your Company and the World” Among the points he  made were:

  • Always ask yourself “What can we/I do?” In other words don’t sit back (perhaps complain) and wait for someone else to take action to resolve an issue.
  • Do something, do anything“. However small the action may be and even it is just to get together with others to discuss what you can collectively do – take action!
  • Stepping up and taking action can lead to a ripple that leads others to act. Just by taking the initiative, your actions can be multiplied beyond what you thought you could accomplish alone.

Dr. John Izzo has written six books including his latest  “Stepping Up”, which was the basis for the inspiring talk at APCO Canada.

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In my last blog entry I talked about the general pros and cons of listening to audio books as part of your personal growth strategy.  I thought I would now share with you what I’ve been listening to. These are the 5 most recent books on my player and briefly what I think about them:

How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins.(4.75 hours) As I write I am about half way through this book. It is a good one and I am eager to finish listening to it. Collins who in previous works has addressed what makes successful companies great has in this book analyzed why some corporate giants have failed in recent times. Lesson learned…I would say.

Resonant Leadership by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee. (7 hours) I liked this audio book. It is a good perspective on what makes a superior leader. Boyatis has had a few previous books that are also recommended (but not by me – just yet anyway, simply because I have yet to read/listen to them)

Great Work, Great Career: How to Create Your Ultimate Job and Make an Extraordinary Contribution by Dr Stephen R. Covey and Jennifer Colosimo (3.5 hours). There is some very good advice here on how to make your work great and take your career to the next level – the key being this notion of your contribution. I’d recommend this (relatively short) book to everyone who has room to grow.

The Power of Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf (11.5 hours). This book is a collection of nine essays by the guy who coined the term “servant leadership”. To be honest I found this one a little difficult and have not yet finished listening to it. Many of the examples for the essays centre around leadership at universities and seminaries, so it does take some active listening to extend the concepts to other settings. Nonetheless, the concept of servant leadership I consider to be so important and fundamental, that I will work my way through the remaining essays of this book and most likely give most of them a second listen. I bought this book a number of years back and was quite delighted when I finally found it in audio format.

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux. (25 hours) This book has no direct link to personal growth or understanding business. It is just pure escapism for relaxation. This is the true story of the author’s epic train journey across Europe and especially Asia. More specifically it is his story of attempting to retrace the journey he had done 25 year earlier (an equally good book/ audio book entitled The Great Railway Bazaar).

I have also indicated the lengths of these audio books (all unabridged versions), which reminds me of a point I did not make in my earlier blog. We speak considerably slower than we read so the time invested in getting through an audio book is greater than if you read it (silently to yourself that is).

So what’s on your MP3 player/iPod? Feel free to share any audio book titles that you would recommend, or not!