This book is written by the founder of Birkman International, Inc. and the Birkman Method Questionnaire. Birkman International, Inc. is a consulting firm that has researched the way people relate to their jobs, each other, stressful situations, and the dynamics that occur in a group of very different people with the same goal. In the book, using sixteen questions from a questionnaire, Dr. Birkman helps readers determine their personality types so that self-understanding will enhance their personal lives, relationships and careers.
One of the basic ideas in leadership is that you don’t ask others to do what you are not willing to do yourself. This book is about the personal quality journey -- quality for the individual in work and in everyday life. A major emphasis is on a tool called the “Personal Quality Checklist”. This book can help one address improvement in all aspects of life that affect us personally, everything from getting to work on time to improving your exercise routine and weight control. Applying the quality principles and tools personally is a good way to understand your commitment to the improvement philosophy.
The book focuses on quality of life. The author is a psychologist who has spent the last 25 years studying the times in life when people are actually enjoying their experience. He calls these experiences "flow" - a state of concentration where we are absorbed in an activity. When we experience flow, we feel strong, alert, in control without effort, not self-conscious, and at the peak of our abilities. This book describes how this pleasurable state can be controlled and not just left to chance. A flow experience will include some or all of the following components: confronting tasks we have a chance of completing, ability to concentrate, clear goals, immediate feedback, free from worry about everyday issues, a sense of control over our actions, no concern for self, altered sense of time. This book is a great introduction to a growing area of psychology.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen Covey presents a principles-centered, holistic approach to managing one's individual, as well as one's professional life. The seven habits are:
Begin with the end in mind.
Put first things first.
Seek first to understand, then be understood.
Sharpen the saw.
Covey explains these individually, but then shows how the "7 habits" fit together to form a view of life. He makes effective use of anecdotes and storiestaken from his consulting experience.
In this 1936 classic, Dale Carnegie lays out his approach to happy relationships. This book has sold over 15 million copies and the title has become a cliché. The book outlines several broad principles for influencing people and winning friends. Each principle is supported by short stories and quotations. Taken from many sources, these quotes range from China's Lao-Tse to Franklin Roosevelt. The book does not claim to be based in psychological theory, but rather is presented as an empirical approach to improvement in relations. The book is written in a light and entertaining style.