It’s important to keep growing and developing as leaders and business owners, and most of all, to live happily. And the best way to learn and grow is by studying those who have succeeded. Elite athletes learn how to improve their performance by studying champions and by being coached. To develop your ability to become more persuasive, become more effective at building rapport, and closing more sales, the personal development is a popular genre to delve into in order to achieve peak performance.
Selling is about the other person but it fundamentally starts with you. Through no fault of our own, you’ve grown up with a lot of past conditioning and limiting beliefs that don’t serve you, and which drastically effects your state, resulting in poor sales performance.
The Personal development book genre is a $multi-billon industry, with hundreds of authors to chose from. If you’re thinking of reading one for the first time, selecting a book can be a daunting task. For those of you thinking about dipping into this genre, I’ve put this post together. I’m certainly no expert and haven’t written one myself, but I have read around over 40 books in this genre, so I might be able to offer some guidance.
Personal development books tend to fall into three categories that I call spirit, action and meta. Spirit and action tend to sit on opposite scales, Echkhart Tolle describes them as “be-ers” and “do-ers”, and meta floats around the middle.
Action, or do-ers genre includes authors like Tony Robbins, Darren Hardy, Jack Canfield and Napoleon Hill. Their primary focus is on the external world, achieving material success. That’s not to say they don’t work on our insides, far from it. Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, is about how you think, controlling what goes on in your internal dialogue. Tony Robbins, whilst encouraging goal setting and achievement, warns how material possessions and achievements will not make us happy, but how finding our passion and purpose in this world, contributing to help people, will make us happy. This genre is grounded in a connection with your spirit, with an emphasis on action.
Spirit or be-er are authors like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, James Redfield, Hermann Hesse and Wayne Dyer focus on our internal world, living consciously and purposefully, and enlightenment. The spirit category is not just about sitting in a daze of spiritual oneness with all that is; their emphasis is on how to stay connected to spirit whilst going about achieving success in the world of form, and how to be more effective in the world of form by connecting to your spirit.
It’s just like we have introverts and extroverts in this world; they both get things done, they just have different ways of going about it. Oprah and Ellen are equally successful at what they do, but Oprah is an extrovert and Ellen is an introvert.
Finally, meta authors are the ones who explore the metaphysical aspect of spirit and power, David Hawkins, and the recently popularized law of attraction movement; authors like Christian D. Larson, Charles Haanel, Wallace D. Wattles, Joseph Murphy, Rhonda Byrne and Abraham Hicks. These authors sit in the middle of the polarities mentioned earlier.
I enjoy reading all of them; I always find gems hidden amongst the pages to help me in some way.
Now over to you – let me know how you get on or if you’d like any recommendations.
All great leaders are readers