Atomic Habits

My favorite habits author James Clear’s book Atomic Habits is releasing today.

benefited from his work over the last many years. The concept of Identity-Based Habits which I first learned from his blog has helped me in many ways especially with building and keeping my exercising habit.

I like his style of writing and explaining ideas. So I bought the book as I know I not only enjoy reading it but learn a ton. If you are a regular reader of his blog like me, you may find some ideas repetitive, but I think that’s a good thing. None of us need more new ideas. Just simple basics repeated over time will create wonderful results. Having known all this, I still fail at a lot of my habits and that’s one more reason why I am looking forward to read the book and reinforce my learning and habits.

Here is how yo can help yourself as well as James:

Not enjoying The Effective Executive

I know it’s a classic and a couple of people I admire recommended it. But I’m not enjoying reading The Effective Executive book.

It felt like a boring management text book. I think I didn’t like the flat writing style. I tried to get interested few times but I finally gave up.

Tomorrow I’m going to return this book and collect The Power of Now from the library.

Book Review: The Ghost of My Father

I read Scott Berkun‘s latest book The Ghost of My Father. It is a memoir about Berkun’s failed relationship with his father. Given I am a father, the theme sounded interesting. So I hoped to buy and enqueue this book to my current reading list. However Berkun tweeted:

I subscribed with a feeling that he might giveaway this book. And he did, indeed. So to return his favour, I started reading as soon as I received the book.

This memoir gave me an interesting perspective on people. As this is an intimate personal story of the author I love to read, I am keeping my opinions of the characters in the book, to myself. I felt awful to learn what Berkun had to go through in his childhood. I am glad that he became what he is today despite the hardships in his childhood. My respect from him grew manifold.

I strongly recommend this book to dads and mums out there. This books is by no means a parenting handbook but it gently teaches how not to treat our children. Witty yet thoughtful Berkun’s writing style will inform and entertain at the same time. I thank Berkun for his willingness to share his intimate personal story with the world and thereby providing us useful insights on family and relationships.

Book Review: Delivering Happiness

Last week I finished reading Delivering Happiness book by Tony Hsieh. The book has also has its own resourceful website.

I work in Customer Support and have plans to advance my career in this area because I love learning things, solving problems, and helping people. So reading this book made perfect sense.

Most of this book is about Tony’s personal entrepreneurial story leading to acquisition of Zappos by, with an emphasis on company culture and its importance. The action oriented tiny chapter at the end got my thinking hat on and articulate what happiness means to me personally. I did that exercise but am not yet ready to share my happiness plan publicly. But this was an interesting exercise to do.

The wowing customers part particularly resonated with me. I would be cheeky if I claim that I wow my customers all the time. But I try my best and be as close as possible to the utopia. So this wowing thing did not feel foreign to me. For any business that intends to be relevant, I can’t think of anything else that can take precedence over delighting customers.

Taking cue from the book, I pinged one of the Zappos customer support team to check if they ship to New Zealand. I really felt like ordering something, if they can ship. But it seems down under is too far for Zappos to ship their “Happiness Box”. However as I read in the book, the customer service rep offered me a visit to Zappos facilities in Las Vegas. If I ever visit Vegas, I will remember Zappos and would be glad to visit their facilities and understand their culture first hand.

As an aside, I made a list of what some companies I admire call their customer facing teams. So far I listed Customer Support, Customer Experience, Customer Happiness, Customer Success, Customer Loyalty, Customer Care, Customer Service and Customer Excellence. I would be glad to know if you are aware of any other name that can be added to this list.