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Project Design Books – Twelve of the Best

The thing that I am most proud of around Project Passion is that it was fuelled by Book Rapper. Yep, re-reading my own material provided the insight I needed. It’s a neat reminder for me about the value of great books and the RAPs as a quick reference guide. Thus, this list of Project Design books.

TIP: What can you learn by re-visiting some of the things you’ve created previously? At the least, you might just remind yourself of the value you can offer. And, it might just spark something new…

Project Design Books

These are the twelve (we added two more!) books and RAPs that Project Passion is based upon. These are our top twelve Project Design books.

CRITERIA: Our criteria for selecting these Project Design books was simple: which ones made the biggest impact on the design of Project Passion?

Project Design Books - The 12 Best from Book Rapper

1 Switch

Switch by Chip and Dan Heath – rapped as Sticky Change

This book was the key driver behind the program and provides the metaphor of the Elephant and the Rider. My big ‘aha’ moment… The reason most projects fail is because of a lack of motivation. It’s the emotional elephant that lets us down. From this came the key shift from Project Planning, which only focuses on the ‘what’ to Project Design, which includes the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.

2 Three Laws of Performance

The Three Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan – rapped as Frog Power.

This book offers the key to the ‘why’ framework through the principle of the Default or Almost Certain Future. If we keep going as we are where will we finish up? This is a compelling question that if you sit with for just long enough can offer explosive motivation to move you forward in new ways.

3 Simple Rules

Simple Rules by Donald Sull and Kathleen Eisenhardt – rapped as Rules Rule

This book is possibly the most powerful I’ve ever read in terms of its impact. Previously, I used to plan a lot. It took a long time and it stopped me from taking action. It was partly my Architect background at play and my procrastination gene being expressed. No more! Simple Rules turns big plans into rules of thumb that will have you take more action in a focussed and strategic way with less effort.

4 Succeed

Succeed by Heidi Grant Halvorson – rapped as Victory

This book provides the powerful idea that we often fail to achieve our goals because we choose the wrong TYPE of goal. The classic example is an outer goal versus an inner goal. We need an inner goal and some intrinsic motivation to keep us moving when things get tough.

5 Drive

Drive by Daniel Pink – rapped as The Motivated Organisation

This book provides further supports to our previous comment on intrinsic motivation and the need for autonomy, mastery and purpose.

6 The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – rapped as Pioneer

This classic book provides two powerful ideas… The first is some guidance on choosing the right measures. This is crucial to help you focus on what causes your desired results. The second is the concept of testing and the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – how can you test your idea in the fastest and easiest way?

7 Outliers

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – rapped as Anti-Self-Help

As always Gladwell presents a highly engaging book filled with rich stories. In this book, they’re all about the hidden things that cause success. In particular, he talks about the 10,000 hour rule and Deliberate Practice.

8 Talent is Overrated

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin – also rapped as Anti-Self-Help

This book parallels Gladwell’s Outliers in that it also focuses on the myth of talent and that the true path to success is hard work through Deliberate Practice.

9 The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – rapped as Automatic Success

This book zeroes on how to take the right action at the right time more often with less effort. That’s a powerful possibility! When you think about a project as a creator of change, if we want to create fresh results then we need to develop fresh habits.

10 Influencer

Influencer by Grenny, Patterson, Maxfiled, McMillan and Switzler – rapped as Influence

This book highlights the importance of the environment in shaping your actions. What situational tweaks do you need to make to enhance your project attention? For instance, what do you need to measure? What structure could you add to your daily schedule? How can you make progress more visible?

11 The Design of Business

The Design of Business by Roger Martin

The crucial path to overcoming your most important business challenge and creating your next big thing is to focus on one of two types of work: Projects. In this book, Martin takes us through the important and key elements of designing projects.

12 On Becoming a Leader

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

Everything starts with an idea and ultimate a declaration of your intention. This is the key message from Bennis’ classic leadership book. It cuts to the heart of what you need to take action on the things that matter the most to you.

Buy These Book Summaries

Want to read all ten of these brilliant books? Instead of spending more than $200 buying them all and more than a week reading them, you can read our Book Rapper versions in only 30 minutes per book and for only $47 for all of them.

Buy the 12 Book Summaries

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