My favorite tweet theme (and LinkedIn now for that matter) currently goes something like this: “In order to be awesome, I read a book a week.”

This sentiment may also be followed by expositions of awesomeness around other daily growth hack routines like getting 8 hours of sleep, working out, meditating, putting in a 12 hour work day, hanging with friends, before making it home for dinner and then putting the kids in the bath/bed just in time to have couch cuddling with your spouse.

That doesn’t sound like a 24-hour day to me, but perhaps I’m not the achiever I once was.

I still get hung up at the book a week challenge. A week? What are you taking from these books? Can you retain or implement the concepts with any intention at all?

I’d get idea whiplash: too many thoughts, no direction, or intentionality.

In Acumen’s mastermind community and peer advisory teams, we discuss off the shelf resources, like books, that can be taken back into the organization. Strategies and tools from the books are retold as parables and allow for a lively discussion that involves best practices, experiences, wisdom, and failures based upon the topic. It’s fruitful and eye-opening and helps many CEOs feel less crazy while energizing with new ideas.

Purposefully, We limit the number to four a year, one per quarter. Topics cover leadership, people, execution, culture, operating systems, strategy, and more.  (If you missed our 5 leadership books we use to run our business blog check it out here).

The point is that there is enough time to engage with the content and then explore, engage, ideate, debate, and then implement.

We are currently finishing Traction, by Gino Wickman. If you don’t have an operating system or are looking at options, Traction should be on your list. (Why Operating Systems matter).

This next quarter we are starting to unpack Patrick Lencioni’s The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities. It’s his latest and what he calls his most important book.

Why? Exactly.

It deals with Why people lead. Without the right why, your what and how can become a liability. Are you a rewards or responsibility centered leader? What are you abdicating, delegating, or ignoring that is sabotaging the performance of your company? And, what are the five omissions of a reward centered leader?

We’ll dig into these and other questions in our monthly councils for the rest of the year.

Learning is essential, but so is intentionality. Don’t overfill your brain with too much content. Be an essentialist – less, but better and save yourself from idea whiplash.