Contributors to the November 2019 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang
This is a great resource to help those who are looking to make a career change. It includes practical exercises and powerful questions to craft a vision for what’s next.
Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, and Laura Whitworth
This is a go-to guide for how to successfully execute the coach-client partnership for both new coaches and those looking to refresh their skills.
Courage: The Backbone of Leadership by Gus Lee and Diane Elliott-Lee
Here’s a study of measurable, learnable leadership behaviors of courage that fuel the power to change. Using real-world examples, it illustrates how successful executives overcome their fears to develop what Lee calls “moral intelligence.”
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work: Simple Ways to Minimize Stress and Conflict by Richard Carlson
The 100 brief lessons in this book help to put a hectic work life into perspective. By blending insights of what not to do and what to do, these lessons remind readers to be kind, intentional, reflective, sincere, creative, realistic, and self-soothing—and that a single deep breath can be very rejuvenating. Our behaviors (inside and outside of work) are very contagious, so taking a few minutes each day to put some positive energy into the world is always welcome.
Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin
This is a clear and compelling account of how so many leaders, athletes, performers, and scientists achieved greatness not because of their innate talent but because they worked at it. It’s not enough to have talent. In fact, we all do. The question is how hard we work to make it great.
The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be by Moises Naim
This is a modern and global take on how the fundamental nature of power is changing, and how we must rethink what it means to lead people and organizations to their full potential.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell
Talking to Strangers explores how our perception of others is biased based on our backgrounds. Gladwell uses newsworthy events to demonstrate how our misperceptions, misunderstandings, and assumptions can lead to disastrous, even lethal consequences.
Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson
This book examines how observer bias—differences in defining reality and relating to the world—results in misperceptions, inaccurate research findings, and our understanding of the peoples of Polynesia. This is about the excitement of exploring other cultures and the hazards of seeing the Sea People from your own biased lenses.
How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael J. Gelb
I was introduced to this book in 2006, and it still stands strong. Leonardo da Vinci was categorized as a genius. In this book, Gelb shares seven steps to “genius even day” by dissecting da Vinci’s rituals, routines, and techniques and creating exercises to guide the reader to becoming a more dynamic thinker.
The Success Case Method: Find Out Quickly What’s Working and What’s Not by Robert O. Brinkerhoff
Brinkerhoff shares the Use Case Method to easily measure the success of a learning programs. It focuses on identifying the most and least successful cases within your program and studying, comparing, and learning what to change to improve the rate of success. Using the Use Case Method, which is evidence-based, along with other learning evaluations, the reader will have the tools to effectively measure the success of their learning programs.
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
Sutherland is the co-creator of Scrum, the Agile methodology that changed software design. The book has all the things I love as a facilitator and coach: a focus on team, continual improvement, vulnerability, and high impact. We do the work we do to have impact. This book teaches a methodology to get there while challenging all the typical ways to create something new or improve on something old.
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle
This is my new favorite book. It is a tell-all book of the best kind. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, and other tech titans share the wisdom of their coach, Bill Campbell. It’s a behind-the-scenes look of a great coach who provides a combination of executive experience; fantastic listening; direct, honest feedback; and love. Imagine that—love in business.
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly
The Inevitable explains the forces at the intersection of technology, culture, and society that we can expect in the next 30 years. Kelly has had a front-row seat to the transformations that technology has brought to our world. He describes the 12 tendencies he believes are inherent in technology, which ultimately makes their acceleration and trajectory inevitable. Writing from an optimistic perspective, Kelly encourages readers to embrace the forces that will disrupt and revolutionize the way we live, work, and communicate. By understanding these forces, he argues, we will be better able to manage, leverage, and prepare for the changes that are coming.
Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future by Ayse Birsel
I’ve been playing around and exploring my universe with the help of Design the Life You Love. Birsel delights in deconstructing and redesigning objects and concepts. I resonated with her four-step process: deconstruct, point-of-view, reconstruct, and expression. Design the Life You Love is a unique workbook, written from the perspective of a product designer, of thoughtful exercises and delightful illustrations that you can use in a lighthearted way to invoke a few life changes or as a serious examination that leads to a meaningful reconstruction of your life.
Millennials, Goldfish & Other Training Misconceptions: Debunking Learning Myths and Superstitions by Clark N. Quinn
I really love how Clark goes about challenging some of the rather unhelpful concepts that appear to have entered popular learning vernacular such as “people learn in different ways now,” a clearly preposterous statement. Clark calmly and clearly goes about presenting rational arguments that enable learning professionals to cut through some of the hyperbole and focus on the important task of delivering effective rather than popular learning strategies.
How People Learn by Nick Shackleton-Jones
Nick has a brilliant track record in corporate learning and has led teams in a range of large organizations. He does not conform to “learning fashions.” Rather, he applies his skills as a psychologist to dissect and pull apart much of what many hold true in the learning field. Having done so, he presents strategies for developing and implementing strategies that are in sync with how people actually learn and develop. A stimulating and challenging read for anyone who really wants to make a difference in the discipline of learning provision.