Hands-on Advice

Of all the summaries you have read, which one has offered the most hands-on, potentially life-changing, advice? We’ve posed this question to members of the getAbstract team. Below their top picks.

Hands-on Advice

We all want to get better at something – be it managing our time, leading a team, building healthy habits or staying more focused on our goals. Here a list of some of getAbstract’s most actionable summaries for tackling a specific challenge:

How to Stick to Your Self-Improvement Goals

Image of: Mini Habits
Book Summary

Mini Habits

One small step for a man or woman equals one giant leap in your mini-habits improvement program.

Stephen Guise CreateSpace
Read Summary

We all know how it is. We have the best intentions to work out more, read more or eat more healthfully – and then get discouraged for failing to follow through. Turns out, sheer willpower and iron self-discipline often won’t get us to where we want to go. A better strategy is to tap into the subconscious brain’s ability to automate repeated behaviors without us having to make a conscious effort. In Mini Habits, Stephen Guise introduces you to a step-by-step program to build positive habits – one mini-step at a time.

How to Be Productive in a Distracted World

Image of: Deep Work
Book Summary

Deep Work

You don’t succeed by answering emails quickly. You succeed by regularly practicing deep work.

Cal Newport Grand Central
Read Summary

The push to network, tweet, respond quickly and multitask prevents us from focusing on those work tasks that will produce the most value. In Deep Work, Cal Newport shows us how to build periods of intense, focused work into our daily schedules so we can be more productive and reach better results.

How to Optimize Your Brain

Image of: Your Brain at Work
Book Summary

Your Brain at Work

Understanding how your brain works can help you boost your mental processes, improve your focus and cope with stress.

David Rock HarperBusiness
Read Summary

The market demands that you become a knowledge worker, and rewards you most for staying focused and creative. Understanding how your brain works helps you make it perform better. Leadership development expert David Rock applies cognitive science to life in the workplace with surprisingly practical results. He explains and applies numerous studies on memory, focus, attention and consciousness that will help improve your focus.

How to Make Your Perfect Day Come to Life

Image of: Your Best Just Got Better
Book Summary

Your Best Just Got Better

Take your life to the next level by working smarter, thinking bigger and making more time, money and joy.

Jason W. Womack Wiley
Read Summary

For most of us, there is a gap between the way we want our days to unfold and the actual way we spend our time. Executive coach Jason W. Womack offers practical advice on how to get more out of your day and achieve results by working smarter; maintaining self-efficacy – the belief that your actions will succeed; and creating a continuous cycle of improvement. 

How to Become the Best Version of Yourself

Image of: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Book Summary

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

To be highly effective, just initiate, focus, prioritize, connect, cooperate, improve yourself and let others win.

Stephen R. Covey, Sean Covey and Jim Collins Simon & Schuster
Read Summary

In what has been named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the 20th Century, the late Stephen R. Covey describes seven habits that will allow you to live a life of great and enduring purpose. Start with the first habit: Be proactive. By taking responsibility and acting, you will expand the realm of the possible. You will get stronger as time passes, and become able to do more and more. Start by committing to change something interior and you may eventually change the world around you.

How to Improve Your People Skills

Image of: Emotional Intelligence
Book Summary

Emotional Intelligence

Your IQ is only 20% of your success. Emotions play a much bigger role. How do you feel about that?

Daniel Goleman Bantam
Read Summary

Soft skills, including high levels of emotional intelligence, regularly rank among the most in-demand future job skills. In his groundbreaking work, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman introduces you to the psychological skills and traits that are crucial for life success.

How to Increase Your Influence

Image of: Influence without Authority
Book Summary

Influence without Authority

To exercise influence above and beyond your power, learn what people want and swap it for their compliant cooperation.

Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford Wiley
Read Summary

You may not be in a formal leadership position – but that does not mean you cannot have influence over others. Leadership is a mind-set and revealed in your behavior and actions, Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford explain in Influence without Authority. The authors outline five leadership practices you can follow to make a difference in any role or situation.

How To Offer Feedback Without Poisoning the Relationship

Image of: Radical Candor
Video Summary

Radical Candor

Good managers know that they often need to be cruel to be kind. Learn how to deliver constructive feedback.

Kim Scott First Round Review
Read Summary

We all need feedback in order to improve. As a manager, you won’t be effective by only giving positive feedback for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. If your criticism comes across as a personal attack, however, it’s unlikely the person will take your advice to heart. The best guidance occurs through “radical candor” – the ability to offer frank criticism without creating an adversarial relationship, management consultant Kim Scott explains in her powerful video talk.

How to Coach Effectively

Image of: The Coaching Habit
Book Summary

The Coaching Habit

Asking “seven essential questions” can improve your executive coaching skills.

Michael Stanier Box of Crayons Press
Read Summary

Coaching is a skill like any other, yet few managers receive proper training on how to coach effectively. In this hands-on guide, Michael Bungay Stanier shows how to use coaching techniques not just to support your employees but also to improve your relationships with superiors, customers, colleagues and family.

How to Create a Vision That Inspires

Image of: Start with Why
Book Summary

Start with Why

How and why great leaders are “the complete opposite of everyone else.”

Simon Sinek Portfolio
Read Summary

What sets successful leaders and companies apart? It’s their ability to identify and formulate a compelling purpose, cause or vision. In Start with Why, Simon Sinek introduces you to his “Golden Circle” process of finding your passion starting with the question of “why.”

How to Stay Competitive in a Rapidly Changing World

Image of: The Curious Advantage
Book Summary

The Curious Advantage

An actionable guide to building an organizational culture of curiosity and learning.

Paul Ashcroft, Simon Brown and Garrick Jones Laiki Publishing
Read Summary

Paul Ashcroft, Simon Brown and Garrick Jones make a strong case for why curiosity is the most important skill for individuals and organizations to nurture if they want to stay competitive. In The Curious Advantage, the authors offer actionable strategies for how you to ignite and nurture this inborn human skill in yourself and others .

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