The Leader’s Bookshelf
Edited by Joshua Lansell-Kenny and Daniel G Taylor
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (25th Anniversary Edition): Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. By Stephen R Cover. Simon & Schuster, 2013 $24.99.
Few books merit reading more than once. Of those, even less are worthy of being reread every year. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one such book.
The habits that the late Dr Covey teaches are concerned with greatness of character. To achieve this, you first master yourself. Only then can you achieve effectiveness with other people.
The final habit overlaps all the others: take care of yourself as you pursue your mission. The 7 Habits steps beyond the label of “classic” and is worthy of being called “wisdom literature.” That’s a label Covey himself gives to the greatest books.
Each time you read The 7 Habits , you’ll learn something new. What it teaches you will be as relevant today as it is five, ten, fifty or 500 years from now.
And while Covey attracted criticism for his use of management jargon, in many places his prose is as simple, elegant and beautiful as anything you’d find in the greatest classics. What strikes me most about The 7 Habits after studying it for 20 years is how it captures the humanity of Dr Covey; it’s imperfect, but it is authentic.
This is one of the few books I recommend anyone read. But if you’re a leader, then this is your basic text. -- DGT.
The Wolf of Wall Street (Film Tie-in Edition). By Jordan Belfort. Hachette Australia, 2013. $22.99.
CEOs beware: only read this if you’re looking for a big lesson in how NOT to run a company.
Jordan Belfort rises from nothing and then loses everything that matters. He’s open about his flaws.
His arrogance sees him go sailing into 20-foot waves. He lost his helicopter, boat -- and nearly his life.
He believes he’s bulletproof, breaking several securities laws. As a result, he has a lifetime ban from the brokerage market.
As a “man of power,” Belfort thinks he can sleep with as many women -- and take as many drugs -- as he wants. Instead, he loses his wife.
At heart, The Wolf of Wall Street tells of a life destroyed by cocaine-fuelled insanity and how Belfort goes on to pull his life back together. It’s because of this, he can offer hope.
Through blatant disregard for the law, Belfort’s career shifted to high gear, earning more than one million dollars a week.
At the peak of his drug use, he was down to three hours of sleep -- a week. After a psychotic episode, he went into rehab and came out clean.
If you think you’ve been through some setbacks, this book will show you how to bounce forward. -- JLK.