That means finding great books.
Which isn't always easy. You can use bestseller lists as a guide, but sometimes a book's success has more to do with marketing than content. And on the flip side, some great books never receive the attention they deserve.
And that's why, every month, Amazon editors select their list of best books. Of course that means their list is subjective... but could also be a great place to find a book that will change your (business) life.
Here's a partial list -- pared down to ones I've read -- of what Amazon considers to be the best business and leadership books of 2019 so far:
The Making of a Manager is Amazon's current pick for the best business and leadership book of the year.
And for good reason: While Julie is the VP of Product Design at Facebook, she takes a refreshingly "classic" approach to leadership. How to find people who want to do the work, not just hold the position. How to turn a collection of individuals into a great team.
And most importantly, how to work through the fears, insecurities, and mistakes every new boss makes... and come out the other side the leader your employees deserve.
Jarvis is a freelance designer who has completed projects for companies like Mercedes, Microsoft, and Yahoo. With no staff, no assistants, no employees.
And from his home on an island near Vancouver.
If your dream of starting a business stems at least in part from your desire to no longer manage hundreds of employees (hi, younger me), Jarvis provides the blueprint.
And shows that bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. Or more successful.
Promotional copy for Girl, Stop Apologizing says, "(Rachel) knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people -- whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee -- instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself."
None of those issues or challenges are exclusive to women.
Which means men can benefit just as much.
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport
Plenty of books advise digital detoxes. Cal goes farther, providing strategies for deciding what technology truly work for you. Or makes you happier.
And then how to incorporate those tools into your life in a healthier, more satisfying way.
Which means you'll spend a lot more time being, as Seth Godin says, the user -- not the product.
Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World, by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall
My favorite lie? The best people are well-rounded.
Actually, the best people -- in terms of output, performance, and engagement -- are almost always lopsided: They do a few things incredibly, almost exponentially (compared to others) well.
Which is why the strongest predictor of a team's productivity is that each team member says yes to the statement, "I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work."
Matching strengths to work -- whether of the people on your team, or for yourself -- will increase productivity and job satisfaction.
Can't beat that.
The 30-Day Money Cleanse: Take Control of Your Finances, Manage Your Spending, and De-Stress Your Money for Good, by Ashley Feinstein Gerstley
I know: Pretty bold claim.
But if you're trying to save money to start your own business, or trying to gain some degree of financial freedom, Ashley's book is a great place to start.
Spend the month following her advice and you'll definitely save money -- and gain a different perspective on the role of money in your life.
After all: You only spend each dollar you earn once. Make sure you spend each one in ways that benefit you.