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Most "self-improvement" books are fluff pieces...

Every leader recommends you read XXX book, and I just have to say - 99% of the books are total fluff. Believe in you. Enhance the team. Yada yada yada.


I'd never admit this on LI where all my mentors are floating around and have recommended such books to me, but I have to know - am I the only one who feels like most of these books are a waste of time?

Do you actually love a good self-improvement book?
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23
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
If they get you thinking about your own situation they are good. For me they are a starting point to evaluate what I’m doing and where I’m going.Β 

Β If they are just fluff and you read them just because, they are not.Β 
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
I could definitely improve the mental attitude I have when approaching a new book. I've certainly developed some negativity around the whole subject.
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
πŸ‘Β 
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
up in Fiji, under paddy
I'm pretty over them... I've read my fair share and they're all the same after a while.Β 
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
Self help books are there for those that need help. So if you don't see the benefit of reading them or really searching answers in them. Well I think they have served their purpose
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
It's tough with leadership always encouraging us to read the 'latest and greatest' - the last few picks haven't had much variation. But you want to read and know the 'buzz words' management is about to start throwing around.
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Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
A ton of them are over generalized sociological best practices - but if you're unaware or they can make a minor improvement on something you're already doing well, what's the harm?

Plus reading is a phenomenal habit to keep alive, regardless if the info can be redundant.
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
Fair enough - first, do no harm. And I'm sure some repetition helps it stick.Β 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Senior Account Executive
I see where you are coming from, and I do agree to an extent.

Any book you personally gained knowledge/learned something new from is valuable.

Chris Voss will always be valuable to me.
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
That one is an all time favorite of mine. I think I may have just reached a saturation point.

Going to pick up some trashy beach reads and come back to self-improvement in a few months haha
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Senior Account Executive
Ooh I love beach reads. People, Soap Opera Digest, and Vogue are my favs.Β 
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detectivegibbles
Politicker
+8
Territory Rep
The act of reading keeps me in a routine and filling my end with junk. Essentially, I read for my own mental well-being.Β 

Sort of like that "you're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with" idea, but for the brain.Β 
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
I'm an avid reader. Reading some of these responses, I think I may just need to take a break and find a new category for a bit. Because I have learned a lot from the books I've read; lately every one I pick up has felt the same, though.
Ch
ChuckDiesel
SDR - Team Lead
If you read one, you've read them all.
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+6
Sales Associate
Always remember, the books are written about the author's stories/successes. A good self improvement book will make you reflect on your own situations while giving you potential solutions.Β 
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
Great approach!
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
I find a lot of value in sales books. Do I think they could get the point across in less words - yes but overall I find I learn so good concepts from them
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
I think less words could suffice in almost every sales call :) Maybe we should write a book about that!
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
agreed! haha
Nairobi
Politicker
+7
BDR
I stopped having expectations for books cause most of them were disappointing me lol I just read to keep my brain busy and sometimes I might learn something new that will help me.Β 
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
If you set your expectations low enough, you can achieve them every time!
paddy
WR Officer
+10
Account Executive
Most are bullshit with generic advice I agree. There are a few out there that offer practical mental exercises that you can actually implement which do help.
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
Agreed. Some applicable exercises helps. Some are just too academic.
Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Much are very redundant and some ideas are obvious. It’s good to focus on a methodology versus ad-hoc help books. Personal reflection has been my biggest self-help.
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
Nothing like a good look in the mirror, though it's hard to be objective.
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
Jim Kwik said something something that's stuck with me all year. Books are the years of knowledge, experience and wisdom put down on paper, we can accumulate those years by reading those books. True eye opener for me.
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
Always easier to learn the lesson second hand... but hard not to go out there and learn it in first person haha
iworkinchonies
Politicker
+4
Growth Enablement Manager
Many of them can be helpful, but also could probably just be blog posts. I often find it best to take the principle that is often supported by 137 stories and try to apply it to my own situation. It's never a true 1-1 correlation, but I think I've learned a good amount from them, but boy can they be frustrating to read.

Ryase1113
Opinionated
+3
Regional Director
Personally I think they all say almost the same exact thing, but they organize their thoughts differently.Β  Sometimes a different perspective at a different point in your life is valuable (i.e. reading a book when you're in your 20's vs. reading a book in your 40's).Β  My goal if/when I read a book like that is to try and take 2-3 actionable things away from the book in total.Β  Β If I can do that, I usually find myself getting better.Β  But yes, there are plenty of books that are shit and I stop reading them.
SaaSbod
Contributor
+3
Sr Sales Account Exec
Any category of anything has some fluff to it. Most are repackaged ideas of others yes but not all. And as one commenter mentioned, it's not about the content but what it inspires you to do.
Beefany28
Politicker
+6
Business Development Representative
I HATEEEEE READING!!!
Wo
Woody
Opinionated
+3
Business Development Executive
First question to ask is was it self published.Β 
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
This made me chuckle :)
bareknuckles
Valued Contributor
+4
CEO of my kitchen table
Most of those books have good points however they are all carbon copies wrapped in different words selling to different markets.
msp_sales
Opinionated
+4
Full Cycle Sales
It really depends. What bothers me is the book that spends the first third of it explaining why you should read the book. Clearly it's just fluff and it makes it difficult to get anything useful out of it.
beerisforclosers
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
100% - I already bought your book no need to sell me on its value just show me. We're in the POC now.
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
I totally depends on what you are looking for to develop IMO
Beasthouse
Opinionated
+5
Corporate trainer
heres the thing, its not that their fluff its that the content is not relevant to you. what you call fluff others call it context. just like you can deliver the wrong message at the wrong time you can also gain the wrong information at the wrong time
CharmingSalesGal
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
I think it's important to read through the fluff. I read A LOT and just the act itself seems to keep me somewhat sane because it's relaxing for me. With that being said, there are a lot of books where I will skim things because it is all the yada yada yada. If you can pick up the important lessons, and read between the lines if you will, there's a lot of valuable information out there!

I also struggle with author's personalities. I typically HATE books that are wildly aggressive and blunt to the point of rudeness but those are the people I seek out in a professional world. Balance.
Executioner
Opinionated
+3
Business Dev.
Depends. If you keep searching for a new "silver bullet" on an old shortfall of yours, then they wont help. If they are addressing a new problem/shortcoming/weakness/etc. then they often are very helpful (caveat: take into account survivorship bias and context of the author - look for the PRINCIPLES)

I love the intro to 7 Habits (an actually good book, regardless of role or goals), where Steve Covey my bro talks about "new" vs "old" self help. New focus on "tactics" and gimmicks, old focus on timeless principles. The latter is what you want to get. Also check out Commoncog's blog on "tree and branch books". Note most "bestsellers" in the business section of the 'zon are branch books, and the gold is MUCH harder to find. the Tree books are mostly the classics.

All of that said, reading is good for you. Never hurts. Just aim up. I personally recommend a mix of styles of books.
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