2019 has been a YEAR. There as been so much good to celebrate. In March, we welcomed twin girls, Mila and Fiona. This is also (coincidentally?) about the time that we stopped sleeping, reading books, or being able to focus for long periods of time. Lol. So you might wonder what I could possibly offer in the way of recommendations for reading, listening, and watching.
But as a result of my new normal, I’ve learned that audiobooks are amazing, rekindled my love of podcasts, and enjoyed long(er)-form articles that can be read on my phone, one-handed at previously unknown hours of the morning/night. Yep. This is my new normal and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I love a good fresh start—new school year, birthdays, new calendar year. As we head into a new year and a new decade, it feels like the right time to consider the bigger picture. I’m thinking about setting boundaries, creating systems, and being present in my life. I’m asking how I can show up as my best self for myself, my family, my clients, and my community.
Here are some recommendations from my reading, listening, and watching lists in 2019:
1. This article: You Don’t Need More Motivation—You Need a System is a great quick read with tips you can implement immediately.
Staying productive is a challenge for all of us. Whether you consider yourself to be a “procrastinator” or not, the key to sticking to your priorities and getting the important tasks done each day is finding a routine that works for you.
Of course, before you can create the systems that will help you to accomplish your goals, you’ve got to take the time to set those goals. Here’s a set of worksheets I discovered.
I’m going to work through these over the holidays. Also, vision and goal setting via Lululemon—who knew?
2. This op-ed: The Inevitable Takedown of the Female CEO has me thinking about the importance of setting corporate culture, our expectations of leaders, and the insidious nature of bias.
As Audacia Strategies enters its 5th year (Stay tuned for anniversary/birthday celebrations next year!), I’m focused on doing the hard work of building a company where people want to work. We are growing and I’m spending a lot of time thinking about scaling, company culture, and client success.
I’m also thinking a lot about how to understand what clients need, Audacia’s values and the value our team provides from the client’s perspective.
3. This manifesto of a company’s “Why” in memo form: We Don’t Sell Saddles Here was sent to the team at Tiny Speck, the makers of Slack, on July 31, 2013—two weeks before the launch of Slack’s ‘Preview Release’.
Here’s a great quote from the article: “Sell the innovation, not the product. The best—maybe the only?—real, direct measure of “innovation” is change in human behaviour.”
4. This LinkedIn article: After 25 years studying innovation, here is what I have learned reminds us that innovation isn’t one-size-fits-all.
In the article, the inimitable Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, offers us 5 key findings from his time studying innovation, management, and people. I found #4 particularly compelling. How often do we forget that we are more than our careers and our businesses? Christensen reminds us, it’s easy for high-achievers to “underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers.”
1. Click Here to Apply podcast. I’ve been listening to and loving Tony Sheng’s podcast. Each week, Tony interviews interesting people as he tries to figure out what he really wants to do with his own career.
In one especially interesting episode, Erik Torenberg discusses how we should build career moats. I think this analogy is spot on. If we don’t defend the castle that is our growing business or our career, we risk losing ourselves every time we come under siege.
2. The Startup podcast. I’m that person who learned about the Startup from an episode of This American Life way back in 2014. I’ve been along for the ride with the Startup team ever since and love their (sometimes cringe-worthy) candor in sharing their experiences. So I’m passing on the recommendation.
The final season of the Startup podcast is available on whatever platform you prefer to get your podcasts. This last season charting their path to acquisition by Spotify was really fascinating.
3. Dan Doran’s interview with yours truly. Speaking of fascinating recommendations (and with apologies for the shameless self-promotion), the episode of Dan Doran’s podcast where he interviews me was his most listened to episode of the year. If you missed it, you can find it here or listen on the Quantive website.
Do you know of a great podcast looking for a guest like me? Let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
1. The Irishman (Netflix film). I haven’t been as good about watching television lately. BUT we did watch The Irishman the other week. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it was compelling. I’d expect nothing less from an all-star cast of De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino. Special thanks to my husband, Chris, for making me put down my phone to watch it!
2. One Nation Under Stress (HBO documentary). I watched this one during a solo night at home. It’s thought-provoking and resonant for its personal appeal and also the implications for our community at large.
3. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (again). We just started Season 3 and I am literally giddy to queue up Amazon and reconnect with Midge and friends after we put the twins down. This show is a breath of fresh air and dialogue #goals. Someday, I’ll have comebacks as snappy as Midge!
As we wind down another year (and the decade, what?), I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on your year. In the rush to think about our business goals for 2020 and the wonderful, but distracting holiday chaos, it’s easy to forget to really take stock of everything we’ve accomplished. But it’s so important to take the time to look back.
What were your biggest accomplishments in 2019? What are you considering as we head into 2020? What are your recommendations for reading, listening, and watching?
From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and relaxing holiday season and a healthy new year (new decade!).
Photo credit: Jetstream4wd (Getty Images Pro)