What one habit will make the biggest difference to you and your business in 2019?
Billionaire Mark Cuban puts his success down to the fact that he spends 3 hours each day reading.
'I read every book and magazine I could. Heck, $3 for a magazine, $20 for a book. One good idea that led to a customer or solution and it paid for itself many times over.'
Warren Buffett said the same to a class of students at Columbia University:
'Read 500 pages... every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.'
If you do nothing more than commit to reading more business books in 2019, you'll make a massive difference to your bottom line. But both Cuban and Buffett went further than this: they both wrote books as well as reading them. And that's where the real magic happens.
If your 2019 resolutions include writing more effectively for your business, this is the episode for you. Seven brilliantly practical tips from Extraordinary Business Book Club guests to help you establish a successful writing habit and get that book out of your head and into the world.
I've got a feeling that this is going to be a good year: start here.
If you're a working parent, you won't need telling that this isn't really working. You might not, however, be aware that it's not working for pretty much everybody. In her research for The Mother of All Jobs, Christine Armstrong uncovered a conspiracy of silence that means every working mother feels uniquely incompetent when in fact the system is fundamentally broken.
But even if this topic isn't of burning interest to you, Christine's warts-and-all account of how she wrangled her material into book shape and the support systems she created to make the writing possible are invaluable for any writer.
Oxford University Press identified 'post-truth' as its Word of 2016, in the wake of both Trump and Brexit campaigns, and we've all been quietly adjusting to that new reality in politics ever since. But it's not just a political issue: if, as Sean Pillot de Chenecy contends, 'Consumer trust is the basis of all brand values', what does it mean when companies betray that trust? In a world of more transparency than ever before, how can businesses create and maintain trust?
But the problem with writing about such a topical issue is that as soon as you go to press, there's another breaking story just screaming to be included.
'I do remember, literally when it was on the printing press, just begging the printers to allow me to lob in one more quote,' confesses Sean.
But the solution isn't to keep holding back. Listen to Sean's superb advice for anyone writing a book dealing with topical issues.
The days of getting one degree and working your way up the ranks with one employer are long gone, says Alexandra Levit. In the future of work:
'You have to be comfortable branding yourself, selling yourself, and you have to be comfortable with constant reinvention, and change, because nothing is going to stay the same for very long.'
Alexandra has an optimistic vision of the future of work - which is perfect, as this show is powered by optimism - and she shares the key ideas of her latest book Humanity Works in this week's conversation.
She also talks about her approach to writing books, which she sees as 'both an educational mechanism, but also a branding mechanism'. And she shares her tips on breaking down the huge task of writing a book into steps that you can take today. Pure Extraordinary Business Book Club gold.
Why does adversity make some leaders and break others? Dr James Kelley stumbled across the answer - he thought he was going to write a book on corporate wellness, but what emerged from his conversations with over 100 CEOs was a pattern of how effective leaders choosing to redefine a critical moment of adversity as the source of growth and strength.
James's strength is the spoken, not the written, word, so he developed a brilliant methodology to write a chapter a week using a smart mix of writing and speaking, which he sets out in detail in our conversation.