The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

I love The Power of Habit! So much so that I went right out when I finished it and bought Duhigg’s next book titled Smarter Faster Better, which I’ll review down the road. You need to know, however, that I’m a bit of a scientific studies nerd. I watch NOVA, I listen to podcasts about the brain, I’ve listened to lectures about how the universe works, and how the human body is put together…I’m a nerd. So I know that this book won’t appeal to everyone.

With that said, let’s look at a few elements of this book to see if it’s something you’d like to pick next time you’re in Barnes and Noble. Duhigg stats the book by combining two things: a detailed explanation about how the brain is put together and what it’s parts do, and a touching story about a man who suffers a severe brain injury. I won’t ruin the story for you, but I will say that the point is clearly made…the power of habits is incredibly impactful in our daily lives.

Duhigg talks about Tony Dungy and his time spent as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He gives a great description of Coach Dungy’s approach and how it differed from almost everyone else in the NFL at the time. Honestly, I had forgotten what happened to Coach Dungy at Tampa Bay. How he wasn’t able to reap the benefits of his work because he was replaced by Jon Gruden.

One of the most impactful points that was made by this book was the story that relates to the idea of “keystone habits.” The story related to this concept is so great. I love stories that describe a person who knows where they want to go and how they want to get there, but everyone (and I mean everyone) around them is telling them they’re crazy. Then, as it turns out, they’re not crazy, just brilliant. I won’t tell you much more than that, but it’s totally worth reading because it makes leadership a little more simple and concise.

I could go on about this book, literally, my note on this one are extensive, but I know that if you’re not hooked by now you’re on going to be. Bottom line…if you like to delve into what makes a person, team, or organization run efficiently, or change efficiently, read this book.

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