Contributors to the August 2020 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
Paul J. Zak
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Chris Hadfield
How does a Canadian become one of the longest serving NASA astronauts? Hadfield shares a story of persistence and having fun while making an impact. He also discusses how to play a guitar in space and why slowing down to look out the window once in a while is so important. It's funny and inspirational.
The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money by B. Joseph Pine III and James H. Gilmore
This updated version of the1999 edition further elucidates why creating extraordinary customer experiences is what generates high profit, loyal customers, and protectable businesses. A key innovation in this book is the authors’ use of theater techniques to stage amazing customer experiences—and the book is full of examples.
How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom by Matt Ridley
Failure is how innovation starts. Having the space and freedom to fail is something all organizations say they do, but few practice this. The author includes great examples from history and current events of how innovations, not just inventions, get to the marketplace and improve lives.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink
Pink talks about the importance of timing and helps you determine when to kick off a new project with a customer, when to drive activity, and when to promote—in other words, how to make sure everything you do is successful.
Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline
Whether for business or personal reasons, everyone needs to give themselves time to think about what they want from a situation, an event, a relationship, or life itself. Kline lays out a wonderful way to be of service to others and help them think.
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
As one of my all-time favorite leadership books, Leadership and Self-Deception helps leaders grow their own self-awareness in relationship blind spots. This is relevant to all people who work with others and desire to have success.
The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay
This is a book to be savored. Gay’s writing is luminous as he finds moments of celebration and wonder in the ordinary: the flowers that grow in a crack of the city curb or the swaying, jazzy moves of a praying mantis, for example. He does the same with the less than ordinary in life, such as the trembling of a tomato plant as he goes through the airport security with it. Lest you think this book is one long sappy greeting card, Gay also writes on the terrors of being a Black man in America and on the violence he sees with us destroying our planet. Mostly though, Gay is funny and lyrical, often in the same paragraph.