Happy New Year!
The other day I posted the best book covers. The artists and designers who create book jackets deserve recognition for the outstanding job they do. Whether we realize it or not, the cover is often responsible for drawing us in.
Kicking off this year, I am thinking about the goals I have for the year. The book covers offer a metaphor for our goal-setting process.
Glancing at a book cover, we judge the content and the author. When strangers look at us, like it or not, they often judge us in the same way. They take a look, and judge on our appearance. Unfortunately, this is common before anyone even understands our story.
MOST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOCUS ON THE COVER
Is your goal this year to lose weight? Stay on that diet? Exercise more? Eat healthier? Like a book cover, we often focus on how the world sees us by focusing on our physical appearance. We don’t stop there. We also think about our reputation. Reputation defender services now help combat unwanted or unfair reviews online.
I can hear some of you saying, “Wait. Skip, it’s the inside that matters!” Some of you may be thinking about the verse in Samuel: “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
I love what Jim Rohn said about that thought. He said, “Work on the outside for people. Work on the inside for God.”
NEW YEAR GOALS
If your life was a book, you would want the cover to be an award winner, and you would want the narrative to be superbly written. Design your goals the same way.
Keep your external goals. Losing weight may be just what you need. Regular exercise may just save your life. Eating more vegetables is always a good idea. But make sure to add internal goals to your list.
1. Divide your goals into two lists: the cover and the story.
A COVER goal is anything that is visible. This list could include such things as quitting smoking, getting a better job or obtaining your ideal weight. Anything that is seen by other people and the outside world goes in this column.
A STORY goal is what’s on the inside and goes into the second column. Do you want to be a better friend? How about being less critical and more positive? What are your spiritual goals?
What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” -Vern McLellan
Readers of this blog know that I love books. There must be some psychological label for someone who must have a book within reach at all times. Whether at home or at the office, whether on a flight or a long drive, I am uncomfortable unless a book is close by.
In recent years, my career has me surrounded with books. As I walk down an aisle of books, I need to use all my willpower not to stop and start browsing. And what captures my attention? Book covers.
Book Covers Pull You In
Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover? Book covers do that. A well-designed book jacket stops you. Maybe makes you squint or smile or pause for a second. It calls you to pick up the book and look inside.
I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place by Howard Norman
Shouting Won’t Help by Katherine Bouton
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive by David Goldstein and Otto Kroeger (see my interview with David Goldstein here.)
East of Denver by Gregory Hill
As the year comes to an end, now is the perfect time for business professionals to reflect on the past year, review what they did well, and determine what skill set areas need improvement. One skill that every businessperson should possess is leadership. Great leadership qualities are a key to success and allow people to be able to take charge of situations to ultimately get the job done. No matter what field you are in, having good leadership skills is critical to your success. Use the following tips and insights from Dale Carnegie Training, one of the leaders in leadership training, to help bring out your inner leader.
Work on Your People Skills
One skill that is often overlooked in the business world is people skills. More than just being social and likeable, people skills allow you to understand how to deal with other people in an efficient and positive manner. This skill can ultimately help leaders win business simply by creating positive experiences for people with whom they interact. People skills are also extremely important in resolving conflict and can help leaders keep team members motivated and engaged at all times. By learning how to interact with others in an effective way, you will be able to better collaborate with your team to ultimately reach company goals.
Communication is Key
In order to effectively lead, one must become an expert in communication. The way people communicate can instantly cause a positive or negative reaction, which can greatly affect the outcome of any situation. Leaders should be able to inspire others while also remaining confident and professional.
Good listening skills are also a big part of effective leadership and communication. By listening to those around you, and keeping the lines of communication open, you will have a better understanding of the wants, needs and ideals that are critical to fostering a successful environment.
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain-and most do. –Dale Carnegie
Invest in Leadership Training
For some, being a leader comes naturally. However, most leaders could greatly benefit from management training programs to help them develop and fine-tune these skills. Look for leadership development learning opportunities. Whether you find a seminar offered through your company, or opt to take an online course on your own, these seminars can be extremely beneficial and can help improve communication and interpersonal skills. Leadership training can provide useful tips, insights and valuable hands-on experience. Even if your company doesn’t offer training opportunities, make it a point to find training opportunities for yourself and be proactive about your leadership.