- Leadership. I just can't get enough lessons in leadership. Of course some of the best lessons come by doing - and screwing up - and then reflecting. But books play a big role in my education, too. You can see a number of books I've read and recommend by clicking on the books category in the left-hand column. Here are some leadership books I'm looking forward to reading in the next few months:
- Language. For a few years, I have been planning to learn Mandarin Chinese. However, a job in Thailand intervened and I spent most of my language-learning energy on that language. Now I'm ready to tackle a new language, and I'm thinking it will be Arabic. Why? Because I don't know enough about the Arab speaking part of the world, and trying to learn the language is one way to learn more.
- Asia. I continue to look for more information about Asia -what's going on there now and what is likely to come next. For example, I just listened to a couple of podcast interviews with Jim Womack on the Lean Blog. You will recall Womack as the man who taught us about Lean Thinking. In these two interviews, Womack reports on his recent visits to China and what is happening in Chinese manufacturing companies.
- My self. I think every great leader must work at learning what he does well and what he does badly, and try to strengthen the good stuff and compensate for the bad stuff. So I'm constantly on the look out for interesting new ways of getting inside my own head. Recently, for example, I was exposed to the Workplace Big Five tool.
- The great world religions. Whether it is in our homes, our communities, our workplaces or our world, religion plays a part. The more we understand about the various great world religions, the better we can work with folks from different backgrounds. Whether it is working with people of different religions, selling to people with different backgrounds and values, or helping decide who will run our country, we all need to understand more about religions not our own. Inspired by a Roger von Oech post, I bought my first iPod and downloaded a course on Islam from The Teaching Company. It was brilliant, and I plan to return for more courses on the other great religions of the world.
What are you planning to learn this year, and how? Please share links and books with us - I'd love more ideas to keep my mind growing this year.