Good morning everyone.
With summer upon us, with its holidays and long weekends, I wanted to share my summer reading goals and hopefully encourage you to grab a book or two yourself. It is easy to get caught up in our devices of all shapes and sizes, but this is exactly the time of year to bring a good book to the beach, or on the plane, or in the car. There are more great bnnooks being published every year than most of us can keep up with. However, simply investing the time to read even one book could share insights you never knew or could apply in your career.
Admittedly, the three books I will be focusing on this summer are not necessarily new releases, per se, but are ones that have caught my eye to focus on:
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain – by John Ratey
- SO WHAT: I found this book through another blog I was readying and happened to follow the thread to this book. With so much being written about studies in neuroscience of the brain and how getting away from our devices, not sitting, and getting outside are beneficial, I knew I really wanted to read this book.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – by Ed Catmull
- SO WHAT: I picked this book up last year on a recommendation of another author I follow. I also recently heard Ed Catmull speak at the Leadercast event. Mr. Catmull was the co-founder of Pixar Animation studios and shares the keys that enable the creativity that have launched major movie successes such as “Toy Story”, “Monster’s Inc. “, and most recently “Inside Out”. One of the things that was most encouraging is his confession that the first draft of most new movie ideas are junk (that is truly encouraging).
Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney – by Lee Cockrell
- SO WHAT: When people talk about leadership in business these days, so often people talk about Facebook, Google, or GE. But Disney has been developing leaders in their “cast members” for decades. The author of this book Lee Cockrell, was the executive vice president of Disney operations for over 8 years. I jumped at the chance to get some insight into how Disney builds leaders, that are also amazing customer service professionals.
One extra little point, as you will see six books in the picture above….I read books to learn and ultimately be able to share information with my direct team and on the blog. Which means, that whenever I read a book, I typically have a stack of small post-its with me to mark quotes, ideas, or passages in the books I’m reading to go back and take notes later. Hence, the additional three books below, which I have a goal to finish taking notes on over the summer:
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – by Seth Godin
- SO WHAT: This book has absolutely made its way to my own “Must Read” list. Seth’s argument is that we have been molded into a factory style work environment: constantly refine what you are working on, but don’t try new things. His point is in the new economy, where connections rule, we have more opportunity than ever to connect with people who have the same passions and goals as we do. There are tribes everywhere, just waiting for someone to lead them and start a movement.
Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day – by Todd Henry
- SO WHAT: I am a big fan of Todd Henry. I truly enjoyed his first book “The Accidental Creative”…and his new book was equally as good. Like Seth Godin, Todd Henry is encouraging readers to put their creativity into the world. Specifically, that we all have a unique contribution to make, but how many of us will keep those great ideas bottles up, never to see the light of day.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t – by Jim Collins
- SO WHAT: I actually read “Good to Great” some years ago, and recently dug it out to re-read after hearing Jim Collins on a Podcast. This is a fantastic book that will force you to think not only at the corporate level, but also how your individual organization is performing and leading.
So tell me….what books are you planning to read this summer? Leave me a note in the comments section…..I am always looking for new books to add to the reading queue….
Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 articles:
The Tyranny Of The Adequate – by Todd Henry – via accidentalcreative.com
- SO WHAT: A great post from one of the authors features above. We can get numbed into settling and shipping work, that is “close enough”. Don’t do it…..don’t settle in your work.
- Tags: Creativity
3 Tips For Overcoming Fraud Syndrome – by Meagan Francis – via quietrev.com
- SO WHAT: One of the best things I read all week. Too often our inner critic is seemingly screaming at us, when in reality the tips in this article are exactly what we should turn to in order to get real perspective.
- Tags: Leadership
The problem with holding a grudge – by Seth Godin – via @thisissethsblog
- SO WHAT: This is truth. “The problem with holding a grudge is that yourhands are then too full to hold onto anything else.”
- Tags: Leadership
Five Elements of Effective Thinking – by Shane Parrish – via Farnam Street blog
- SO WHAT: Interesting suggestions for improving your decision making skills. **I might have to add this to a future reading list.
- Tags: Decision-making
Infographic: 24 Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter – by Valerie Chang – via Design Taxi
- SO WHAT: Print this one out and stick it on your wall. Read and apply.
- Tags: Creativity
All the best, kevin