J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Best Books to Read on Personal Development

Best Books to Read on Personal Development

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What are the best books to read on personal development, business, leadership, management, etc.?

How To Find the Best Books to Read
That’s a tough question to answer because it’s about context, relevancy, and your particular situation.  That said, maybe a better question is, how do you figure out the best books to read?  The approach I've used is three-fold:

  1. I've spent a few hundred dollars on books each month and I test them at Microsoft in terms of leading teams, driving results, personal growth, building leadership skills, improving time management, etc.  (My pain can be your gain.)
  2. I've asked the most effective people I know, which books have changed their life or in some way helped them build skills or mental models and strategies to get results.  (This has been the most surprising and effective way that I find the books to read that help the most.)
  3. I've focused on solving relevant and real-world problems, using both with timeless truths, and new books with emerging practices.  I’ve found that the value of a book is the value of the problem solved.

It's been many years, blood, sweat, and tears, of cultivating a library of the world's best insight and action for work and life.  It's all part of the path.  Part of my staying power is that it's a labor of love -- I have a passion for reading, and long ago, I learned to embrace continuous learning as a success strategy for life.

One thing I do need to say is that while it might seem like a long and winding road, books have always been my short-cut.  They are self-paced and, as a fast reader, I can learn the information and apply it very quickly to get results.

Best Books to Read
Here are some of my collections of best books to read:

Hopefully, this can help you find the books you've been looking for, or at least help you find new and interesting books to read that might help you in ways you didn’t expect.  Hopefully, this also saves you a lot of time on your journey by providing a "book map" of useful books organized by key categories.

The landscape is always changing, so I'm always interested in hearing about books that I should read.

  • Thanks. FYI, the Career, Leadership, Management, and Personal Development bullets all point to the best Business Books URL.

  • @ Al -- Thank you.  I fixed the links so they should be working properly now.

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