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4 books that made a big impression

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“Show me your calendar, bookshelf, and photos on your phone, and I’ll know exactly what you value, what’s important to you, and what your true priorities are.”
– Alan Stein Jr

Well, I’m not going to show you my camera roll or my calendar, but I do will be let me show you my bookshelf.

As for what I’ve been reading lately, here are the four books that made the biggest impression on me.

Power Players: How to take the initiative, play more and increase your influence

Liz Wiseman

Who is it for?
Early and mid-career professionals who want to stand out at work. There is also a section for senior managers who want to help their team members become Impact Players. Honestly, everyone should read this book!

What is it about
Some talented, smart, focused people do exceptional work and make huge contributions (“Power Players”), while other equally talented, smart, focused people do solid or even great work but don’t have such stellar careers. which could be done (“Contributors”).

Wiseman explains why this happens and identifies practical, research-based steps you can take to become a power player and put yourself on a fundamentally higher trajectory of performance and career success.

My biggest takeaway
This book is filled with actionable strategies to help you develop the mindset and practices to help you become a power player – it’s impossible to choose just one. This is a book I wish I had when I was climbing the corporate ladder in my career. It would surely save time, energy and heartache!

Competing in the new world of work: How radical adaptation separates the best from the rest

Keith Ferrazzi, Kian Gohard and Noel Weirich

Who is it for?
Leaders who want to help their organizations thrive in environments characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity, and change.

What is it about
In a post-pandemic world where things aren’t going back to “normal,” you can’t stick to old ways of working and expect to succeed as a team or organization. Instead, it’s about adopting a new way of working, which Ferrazzi and his team call “radical adaptation.”

Discover four practices leaders must adopt to master radical adaptation, including actionable steps and findings from their research with more than 2,000 leaders during the pandemic.

My biggest takeaway
The common belief that “virtual is not optimal and in-person is the best way to connect and innovate” is wrong. We can achieve more innovation and incorporate more diversity of thought adopting good practices around virtual work. (See Chapter Two for details!)

Advantage: Why organizational health trumps everything else in business

Patrick Lencioni

Who is it for?
Leaders and managers who want to make their organizations better and reduce unnecessary politics, confusion, turnover and counterproductive behavior. It is also useful for aspiring leaders who want to get an idea of ​​what senior management must be thinking about.

What is it about
Most executives focus on getting the classic basics right, like strategy, marketing, finance, technology — what Lencioni calls the “smart” side of organizations.

But the key to organizational success is what Lencioni calls “healthy” — minimal politics, minimal confusion, high morale, high productivity, low turnover. He shares his four-discipline model for creating a healthy organization and effective ways to create one.

My biggest takeaway
What struck me the most were the six questions that leaders must be able to answer in order to provide employees with the clarity they need, achieve alignment, and thus improve organizational health. And the answers should be in plain English, without jargon, buzzwords or corporate language.

The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Be Mindful, Own Myself, and Win

Maria Konnikova

Who is it for?
Anyone interested in a story about an “underdog” who takes on a serious challenge and wins against all odds. You don’t need to know anything about poker, although poker players will probably enjoy it too. And it helps if you want to “connect the dots” to your situation.

What is it about
This New York Times bestseller is not a classic business book, but rather a “can’t wait to see what’s next” story of how Konnikova went from journalist to poker champion.

It’s on my list because it turns out that the world of poker has some interesting parallels with the world of work and careers: Experience impostor syndromebeing a woman in a male dominated field the importance of teachersand deal with failureto name a few.

My biggest takeaway
Pay attention. It sounds ridiculously simple, but so much of success and how to learn to be successful is just noticing, observing and, well, paying attention. And attention is an exceptionally rare commodity in these times of distraction.

What’s on your bookshelf?

These books are a part a new reading habit I adopted at the beginning of the year. While my original commitment was to read 50 pages a day, the reality fell a little short of that pace. But most importantly, I still read regularly!

What has helped me stick with my reading habit is knowing that I need to read enough to be able to make recommendations to others (thanks for helping me stay accountable!).

I also gave myself permission to buy whatever books I wanted to read.

Whether your source is a bookstore, library, or borrowing from someone else, give yourself the gift of knowledge and take the time to nourish your mind.

What about you? What have you been reading lately and what will you be reading next?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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