It’s been a while since I’ve posted a reading list. So long, in fact, that it’s hard to narrow one list for a month, but that’s the job I have before me. With winter coming and days getting shorter, there will be more time for reading and this is a pretty good list to fill those hours. 

The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Oscar-nominated movie is the most pirated movie of all time. It set records for profanity and is at time brilliant and at others just plain vulgar. The book that the movie was based on is similar in many respects, only much better.  The story of how Jordan Belfort built his empire is just plain riveting. There are plenty of lessons to be gleaned for anyone with big ambitions, from how to launder money and select the best drugs. Or better stated, how illegal activity and drugs and kill success no matter how much money you have. It’s a fascinating read that I can’t recommend enough   

The Way Of The Wolf

As soon as I finished The Wolf of Wall Street I was determined to read Jordan Belfort’s Sales Training book and I wasn’t disappointed. This is the story of the strategies and tactics Belfort used to become The Wolf. Heavily based on the science of Neuro Linguistic Programming, The Way of the Wolf breaks down how to influence others to action both in person and on the phone but embracing one of the fundamental facts of life; that people who like people like themselves. It is a powerful read full of practical advice and entertaining as hell to read. If you check it out, you will not be   

Pivot

Anyone who has ever looked at their life and said to themselves, there has to be more to life than this, must read this book. Jenny Blake has lived an interesting life and pivoted into and out of several careers. The true benefit of this book is being able to use her experience to avoid many of the pitfalls of career transition.  The most powerful part of the book is Blake’s outline for a one year vision. Because I try to start every year with a plan, this really appealed to me and I learned a few things that will make mine for 208 even stronger.    December is a tough month for reading. Yes, it’s cold and dark but it’s also festive and filled with parties. For this reason, I think three books is enough. Enjoy the books and drop me a line to let me know what you think. ]]>

You probably wouldn’t know it to look at me, but since I was a young kid, I’ve dreamed of being a cowboy. Not the John Wayne, western movie type of cowboy, but the open range, cow working, trail driving cowboy. This fascination has led me to read, research and investigate just about every part of their lifestyle. One part, in particular, has really stuck out to me and that’s the cowboy diet.  If you look at old photographs of the real cowboys from the last part of the 19th century, you will be hard-pressed to find a plump cowboy. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for this, including the fact that they had to work really hard every day and therefore burning a lot of what they ate off before it could settle as fat, but their diet, I’m convinced played a large part in keeping them in good shape and modern science is backing me up. If you look at some of the most popular nutritional concepts of the last five years; Intermittent Fasting, High Protein, Low/Slow Carbs, and more whole food, the cowboy diet seems to fit right in line.  Some of you might be wondering why this would be a topic for this blog, but the issue is really high performance. As a person that spends a lot of time on the road and a lot of time being “on”, I’m constantly looking for new ways to get the edge. With my love of cowboy culture and red meat, I think that this is a concept worth pursuing.  Research has led to the belief that cowboys ate mostly one large meal, at the end of the day. They started most days with a light breakfast featuring strong coffee, followed by a light afternoon meal consisting of whatever they could carry in their saddlebags, and when the work was done, a heavy, meat-rich meal with the one staple of every chuckwagon; beans. This isn’t sexy, but could it be effective? I’m going to give it a shot and keep you posted on my results. My plan will be as follows:

Breakfast

4 cups of strong coffee with heavy cream.

Lunch

Beef jerky, almonds, and smoked meat sticks.

Dinner

Beef of some kind (preferably steak), beans and biscuits.  Obviously, there will be some variations of this but noticeably missing are sugars, fruits, and other starches. The only possible carbs will come at dinner with beans and a biscuit after a hard days work. The great thing is that this is a diet that can be found virtually everywhere even when I’m on the road. It just requires a lot of water and a little thought.  I would invite you to join me in this experiment and see if we don’t all end up looking like Gary Cooper before we’re done.   ]]>

In the last year, I’ve learned a powerful truth that has become a godsend to me. Having spent countless hours watching people in airports, engaged in hundreds of conversations and led dozens of seminars, the one truth that I’ve finally found is that when communicating with people, it’s not enough to treat people as you want to be treated, in our hyperconnected world, we must treat people as THEY want to be treated.  Think about all of the communication conflicts that we see in the world. Blunt people treat people bluntly. Long winded people go on and on. Emotional people love to talk about their emotions. We never see ourselves as the problem in any communication conflict because we’re treating others exactly as we would like to be treated and that’s the problem. it is, after all, human nature to assume that other people are like us and if we’re not bothered by someone being abrupt, or chatty, or driven by our feelings, we assume that others aren’t either and because we don’t adapt ourselves to the situation, our message goes unheard. When we instead try to understand others and observe the way others like to communicate, we increase the likelihood that our message will be received because we can deliver our message in such a way that it appeals to our listeners. Doing this becomes our secret weapon for being heard and minimizing conflicts.  It has come as a great shock to me that the majority of the people who walk through the doors of our communication seminars were sent there by someone else. Nearly 80% of the time, the people I’m working with have been told that they’re too blunt and need to learn to communicate with more tact. The funny thing is that most of these folks don’t see anything wrong with the way they’re communicating. To them, there isn’t a lot of time for chit-chat and rapport building. They need to just get the facts out an move on.  When they’re dealing with other people just like they, this is no big deal. They appreciate the fact that their communication partner doesn’t mince words and values time. The problem arises when they communicate with people who aren’t like they are;  people who don’t feel valued unless they other person takes the time to talk with them. When one person prefers bullet points and the other prefers a conversational style, conflict will always arise and one person will be called blunt.  The only way around this situation is to adapt our styles to the people with whom we’re speaking and treat others the way they want to be treated. This means when we talk with the bullet point person, we’re going to just state the facts and we’re not going to ramble. When we’re dealing with talkers, we’re going to slow down, ask more questions and give fewer orders. We’re going to mind hack our relationships and interactions by following their style rather than our own and when we do, our message will be received. It’s a powerful truth that works like magic. ]]>