• James Walton

Helpful Books I Read in 2020

I continue to believe that a book remains the best investment in the world. It is the simplest, easiest, most widely available and reliable tool to improve yourself. Here's a recap of some of the titles that I benefitted from this year. [2019's list is here.] The Book: The Start - Up J Curve by Howard Love The Big Idea: Launching a business can be mapped into six phases: Create, Release, Morph, Business Model, Scale, Harvest. Knowing the phases helps you recognize where you're at in the journey and provides a map out of the 'dark winter' every startup experiences. How I Put it Into Practice: In both my own business (Trellis Group turned 2 this month!) and in the businesses I consult with, this mental framework provides valuable guidance at every phase. The Book: Mastery by Robert Greene The Big Idea: Greene's work is a guide to overcoming boredom, impatience, fear, and confusion to achieve heightened levels of knowledge and intuition. The great geniuses of history were not unique prodigies, rather, their course followed a predictable pattern that can be repeated. How I Put it Into Practice: I've long been fascinated with the idea of being at the bottom of a steep learning curve, and Greene's dictum's of "Revert to a feeling of inferiority" and "Move toward resistance and pain" helped frame that sensation into its broader context. The Book: Build an A Team by Whitney Johnson The Big Idea: Your role as a leader is to provide opportunities for your people to grow. Loyalty to the organization and effectiveness in the work both grow when people are given opportunities to expand their competencies. How I Put it Into Practice: Johnson's contention that the best employees grow into their roles helped me rethink the possibilities of where people can fit inside organizations. The Book: The Effective Hiring Manager by Mark Horstman The Big Idea: Horstman provides, as ever, actionable guidance for exactly what to do to get the most of out the hiring process. Especially if you don't hire often, this guide will give you the framework you need to exceed your competition is selecting the best possible candidate. How I Put it Into Practice: Hiring is the most important work a manager engages in, and this is my go-to text every time I need to hire. The Book: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles The Big Idea: The first nonfiction book I've read in a decade or more, this well-told tale has echoes of our collective 2020 journey through quarantine. How I Put it Into Practice: I read this book over several weeks, most frequently while sitting on my porch swing with the sun in my face and my dog by my side. The act of taking time to become engrossed in a story was well worth it. What were some of your favorite reads this past year? What's on your list for 2021? P.S. No email this Friday, Happy New Year!

_____________________________________________ At Trellis Group, we believe chaos is the enemy of the small business. It's our mission to partner with small business owners and their teams to develop the managerial practices and processes to crush chaos. If you feel overwhelmed and need a proven system to focus on the next best thing, we can help. Companies who work with us see revenues go up, anxiety go down, and work becomes a force multiplier for good in the lives of your people. Reach out to discover how the Trellis Group can help you crush chaos.


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