The most valuable books for personal transformation are often short, practical and to-the-point. That is an apt description of Laura Goodrich’s just-released Seeing Red Cars: Driving Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization to a Positive Future. Laura is the co-owner of On Impact Productions; and also a consultant, radio/TV/film host and a fellow Berrett-Koehler author. You can read a free excerpt from her book and see her new promotional video at her page on the B-K website. I met Laura last June at the B-K Authors Cooperative Marketing Workshop. I wasn’t surprised that her book is full of solid, actionable advice, because in one of the exercises during the workshop, we were in the same “co-consulting” group to briefly discuss areas in our professional lives that we wanted to work on. I found her to be genuinely thoughtful and interesting/interested, while helping me to think about new ways to approach problems. That’s a big premise of her book: how we think about what we want in life determines not only how we act – or don’t act – but also what we create and receive, personally and professionally. We get more of what we focus on, and for many of us, we focus on what we don’t want, rather than what we do want. She covers both the personal and organizational levels, with exercises to help you determine your passions, interests, goals and values. What particularly interests me is her material on being well-rounded. Her added focus on family and friends, health/fitness, personal finance, spirituality/faith, volunteerism and other areas provides a strong added dimension beyond the workplace. Dr. Ellen Weber, a brain researcher who is interviewed in the book, also has an interesting post about it in her new Forbes blog, Mind Makeover. One final note: the company you keep has an effect on how you think and view the world. Remember this Goodrich suggestion from Seeing Red Cars this weekend and beyond: “Hang around with people who have very positive thinking.”