Sometimes Old is Better Than New: Lessons from 3 Impactful Leadership Books

January 7, 2018 7:55 pm Published by


In thinking about the New Year, making goals and New Year’s resolutions, I tend to go back to those books which have impacted me over the years.  I thought I would share some gleanings from these books.

First Things First by Stephen Covey

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

“Humility truly is the mother of all virtues . . . It unleashes all other learning, all growth and process.”

“We need to be constantly asking ourselves, ‘What is needed out there, and what is my unique strength, my gift?'”

“We’re getting more done in less time but where are the rich relationships, the inner peace, the balance, the confidence that we’re doing what matters most and doing it well?”

“More than any other factor, vision affects the choices we make and the way we spend our time. If our vision is limited . . . we tend to make choices based on what’s right in front of us.”

We must focus on those activities which are important, not necessarily urgent.  Examples of important but not urgent activities include:

  • improving communication
  • taking better care of oneself
  • preparing better
  • seizing new opportunities
  • personal development

In Successful Intelligence by Robert Sternberg

Successfully intelligent people:

* defy negative expectations.  They do not let other people’s assessments stop them from achieving their goals.

* find their path and then pursue it, realizing that there will be obstacles along the way and that surmounting these obstacles is part of their challenge.

* have a “can-do” attitude. They realize that the limits to what they can accomplish are often in what they tell themselves they cannot do, rather than in what they really cannot do.

* actively seek out role models. They also observe people who fail, and note why they fail, and then make sure they do things differently.

Successful intelligence balances three different aspects of thinking:

– analytical thinking

– creative problem-solving

– practical application to everyday life.

“We don’t produce successfully intelligent people by coddling them — by always making things easy for them. We produce successfully intelligent people by making some things easy and others hard and by allowing students both to capitalize on their strengths and to compensate for their weaknesses.”

“Successful people allow themselves and others to make mistakes.”

The On-Purpose Person: Making Your Life Make Sense By Kevin McCarthy

The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder, a waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.

~Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

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I hope you find these helpful as you think through your goals for 2018.

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January 7, 2018 7:55 pm

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