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“What Are 1 To 3 Books That Have Greatly Influenced Your Life?”

I’ve been pretty excited to read Tim Ferriss’s new book, Tribe of Mentors.

As I worked through the introduction, I saw the 11 questions that Tim used to gain the insights that he received that make up the book.

As a thought exercise, I thought I would answer each of the questions over the next few days.

The first one is about the 1-3 books that have had the biggest impact on my life.

Here we go:

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. This book is a work of fiction and it is pretty amazing because I can’t remember that Bowles ever truly describes the main characters, Kit and Port. But all the friends that I have shared this book with have described the characters in exactly the same way.

There are a few reasons that this book ended up having such a big impact on me:

  1. After reading the book, I realized for the first time that literature didn’t need to be stuffy or complex to be powerful.
  2. I found exposure to new ideas and new ways of looking at the world and experiences through literature for one of the first times as an adult.
  3. This was the first book I remember avidly sharing with friends for the express reason of wanting to discuss a book with other people.

Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss. The fifth edition came out a few months back and it was earth shattering. I’ve read many of Dr. Weiss’s books, but for the first time everything in his work clicked and codified for me into a coherent philosophy of consulting.

I could say that there are many of his books that have been really influential, but I think that there is something tremendously transformative about the latest edition of Million Dollar Consulting. Also since Tim asks about books you have gifted most often, I think that the editions of this book are the ones I have handed out the most.

Managing For Results by Peter Drucker. This is the book credited as the first book ever written on strategy. For me this book taught me about thinking about business in a way that enabled me to think from a bigger POV about the challenges facing the modern business economy.

The other thing that was really important about this book was that it opened me up to the work of Peter Drucker.

There isn’t a finer business writer that’s ever lived.

If we all have someone we aim for or an ideal, for me that ideal is Peter Drucker.