First up, I just want to say that this book felt like a long read spanning across several decades. It was captivating though and had me completed the book in a short time. It covers the long journey Bezos had to go through to bring Amazon to its state today, it isnt surprising that there are tons of lessons in the book.
Throughout the book, the author tried to remain unbiased by including the negative reactions and practices that plagued Amazon and its founder. This kept the book fresh and provided views from Amazon’s competitors as well as collaborators.
Here are some of my takeaways from this book;
1. Not everything you do will produce a desired outcome.
…but there will be lessons and takeaways as long as you take action.
An example in the book is the meeting between Bezos and Costco’s founder, with which Bezos ended up with a lesson in retail and management, rather than his original quest of working together with Costco.
2. Have ambition.
Forget about dreaming big. Dream HUGH. and stick to it with “diamond hard” conviction.
3. Have a clear goal.
Here’s what Josh Weinstein said of Jeff Bezos “Jeff decided he wanted it and he worked harder than anyone else”
While Amazon had to go through various phases during its lifespan, Bezos remained clear about the type of company he wanted Amazon to become.
Although Jeff Bezos is seen as a successful man by many, he continues to read. The Everything Store has a list of books recommended by Bezos.
5. Continuous learning.
Although Jeff Bezos is protrayed as a stern and arrogant leader in certain situations, he is willing to learn whenever opportunities arise. I believe this is one of the ways he has guided Amazon through the various ups and downs that the company has faced.
6. Power of contacts (Network)
Bezos was able to convince and recruit some key people through the power of his network.
There are many lessons embedded in this book, and I think that there may be some lessons that could be picked up if you are at a different stage of life/career than me. Do share!
Picked up this book because I was at a point where I was frustrated with my job. Was probably looking for an argument (or encouragement) to tip the scale and to persuade myself to take action and actually quit.
Currently only halfway through this book. BUT! It is totally different from what I had expected. (partially my fault for not reading the reviews on the book or the small words that tag along after the title; “Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job” -.- I was that desperate)
This book is GREAT for people who are juggling between their ‘day’ job and their ‘dream’ job. Acuff shares his experiences and errors he made or almost made while nurturing his ‘dream’ job and holding a ‘day’ job.
He argues that quitting your ‘day’ job prematurely would only add stress and may end up killing your chance at the dream job.
So……Jeff Acuff basically gives us reasons NOT to quit our ‘day’ job. I only realised that about 2 chapters into the book.*facepalm*
Anyway, I will do a full review on this book once I am done with it. LOOK OUT FOR IT!
A book with a mere 200 pages carrying many life lessons, Singapore’s lost son by Kaiwen Leong is a great read. The author has seamlessly structured the book in a manner that allows him to use each of his personal heartfelt stories to bring forth an important life lesson. This made reading pleasantly easy and at the same time, highlights the importance of values and attitudes the author shares.
Through the book, the author has shared personal stories from his experience, and many values he had picked up along the way. However, there were two main values overshadowing throughout the book.
One, to believe in oneself and persist even when the odds are against you. This was to me, the main lesson in the early part of the book where we read about the author’s struggle in Singapore’s education system. His strong belief in himself struck me. If someone whom the society has deemed to be a failure can ignore what the world is saying and continue to trust himself and know his goal, why cant I?
Two, to give back to society. This was the greatest value that I thought the author was touching upon towards the end of the book. After he had achieved his initial goal, and was doing financially well, he came back to his home country. This was a strong lesson for me as I felt that there was no reason for him to return should he not choose to. After all the ‘abuse’ he had received from the society while he was growing up, no one would judge him or force him to return, but he did. And to top it up, serve as an educator even though it was the education system that brought him down in the first place. Kudos to him.
All in all, this book was a great read, and it warrants subsequent rereads because the stories shared and lessons taught may reveal different meaning to a different me, at a different time of life.
Chapter 9 from Dan Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational talks about the irrational behavior of wanting to keep as many opportunities open. I have and still am still carrying out this peculiar behavior. I have always linked my unwillingness to give up on opportunities, on greed. I am greedy because I still do not know what I truly what to do. I am greedy because I am worried that one of the doors that I close might actually be my ‘destined path’.
However, something that the author pointed out stuck me. He reminded readers to look at this issue from another perspective. He suggested that we should consider all the time we are wasting and memories missed, just from our unwillingness to decide on a door.
It stuck me that this boils down to the fear of loss. However, we only seem to feel this fear of loss towards the things that we have or we might have. Sadly, we ultimately still end up losing. We now need to be able to look at the whole picture and weigh the consequence of losing possible opportunities and the consequence of losing irreversible TIME.
Finally finished up this book. There were many great insights, was a good read.
In summary, as I mentioned in a previous post, the authors have listed out 5 Smart Trust actions;
1. Choose to Believe in Trust.
The “foundation” of smart trust is the belief in Trust. How can one practice something that one does not believe in.
2. Start with self.
The authors’ use of this quote is most apt.; “Trust yourself, and you will know how to live” – Goethe
To start with self, is to trust oneself and to become a person whom others can trust. The authors pointed out “Character and Competency” as the two main pillars to becoming one whom others can trust.
The authors also mentioned that “restoring trust is more difficult than establishing it”. In the face of such situations, their advise is that “you cant talk yourself out of a problem, you can only behave your way out.”
To build up self-trust, make sure you keep the commitments or promises you make to yourself, even the simple issues like promising to go for a jog.
3. Declare your Intent.
Declaring your intent helps to make your purpose clear to those around you, in addition to reducing suspicion. It is important to only make commitments that you can keep.
4. Do what you say.
This action is coupled with the previous. By doing what you said you would, people would know the value of your spoken word. The authors provided the following quote by their colleague, Roger Merrill, “Making commitments build hopes; keeping commitments build trust.”
5. Lead Out in Extending Trust.
This last action is said to separate managers from leaders. Extending trust helps to inspire and encourage people, improving results. Smart trust requires an element of analysis, however the authors suggest holding the view that everyone is trustworthy and honest, unless otherwise proven.
There were many lessons in this single book, I might have to read through it again. However, I am also looking forward to get my hands on Speed of Trust, another book by Covey. I hope this was useful for you!
The authors of Smart Trust had summarized the different levels of trust into 4 zones as shown in the image above. These levels of trust are dependent on the level of the 2 bases of Smart Trust as mentioned before, propensity to trust and analysis.
I think we tend to fluctuate between the different zones in different situations, but according to the authors, we should aim to stay within the zone of Smart trust regardless of the situations.