Jan 30, 06
If you are looking at kicking off year 2006 with brilliant ideas and great insights from wonderful thinkers, here is a list of books that will make a huge difference to your thinking, your outlook and more importantly the possibilities that they create. They have made a huge impact on me!
I am sure each of you has your personal list of ‘Must Read’ books.
I would love to hear from you on the books that have made a great impact on you. It would be a great sharing and a wonderful learning!
I look forward to your ‘Best of the books’ list.
Ten Books to reshape your thinking!
1. Getting things done: Mastering the Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen
100 emails to be answered, countless meetings to attend, numerous follow ups, special projects, things to do; all to be completed this instant. Workplace stress has risen significantly.
David Allen’s productivity solutions’ offers ‘a method to all the madness’, a way to streamline your priorities and bring sanity to your life.
2. A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink
A book that gives you insights on the skills that you need in the New New World, a world where you are competing against the best minds, where people are competing for your job at a fraction of your fees and where technology is levelling the field like never before!
How do you prepare yourself for such a world?
As Daniel Pink in the book says, “The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.”
3. The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker
Each of Peter Druker’s books is worth reading and re-reading. It has been a very difficult task to pick one of his books to list here. Our last issue shares some of his thoughts from this book.
The Effective Executive is a good place to start or even revisit and you would come away with some great ideas to practice and become effective.
4. The path of least Resistance, Robert Fritz
Robert Fritz outlines an approach based on Systems Thinking to apply creativity in everyday life. He shows that creativity is not a special gift given to the very few, but a skill that can be learned in order to change and improve every aspect of life.
His insights on creativity and thinking give you a direction on how to go forward in achieving your objectives and goals.
His interview with HR News and Views can be read here.
5. The 5 patterns of extraordinary careers, Jim Citrin and Rick Smith
Have you ever wondered why some people reach the top while others don’t make it all the way in spite of possessing abundant talents? Is it about getting the right breaks, seizing opportunities or high levels of Emotional Quotient and Right brain thinking?
Unlike earlier times if you joined a large organization, your career would be managed by the organization. Today, not only are you on your own, you are faced with multiple choices, jobs becoming extinct and no safety net. ‘The 5 patterns of extraordinary careers’ helps you navigate and examine the skills that you will need to add on your way to the top! What are the skills that will make it possible? Reading this book will offer you insights based on the careers of successful and the not so successful professionals.
It comes with an action plan for putting the patterns into practice and with a Spencer Stuart Job survival guide.
6. The Bodacious Book of Succulence, SARK
“You are succulent even if you don’t know it yet. Succulence is a process of aliveness and discovery, and it means living your life in Full Colour, out to the edges, and in celebration of your radiant, eccentric self. Bodacious means: Splendid, bold and Remarkable. That’s You!”
That is just a sentence from the book! How could I not include this book? Even reading a page fills you with passion for life, zest for living and energy.
7. Reimagine! Tom Peters
Innovation, Design, Change, Leadership, Trends and Life in the brand New World… Tom Peters book offers it all and in technicolor.
One of the most powerful quotes from the book is by General Shinseki, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
You will come away wanting to pursue ‘wow projects’, pursue mastery, relish change and be passionate in whatever you do!
His website offers generous sharing of ideas and resources for you to try out.
8. The World is Flat, Thomas L Friedman
This is one of the most powerful books to be published last year, appearing on best-seller and Best of 2005 lists. As the cover of the nearly 500 age book says, it is a ‘brief history of the twenty-first century’.
In this book, Friedman explains in detail how the flattening of the world happened, the forces that caused it and what it means to live in the world of today.
As Friedman says, “There has never been a time in history when the character of human imagination wasn’t important, but writing this book tells me that it has never been more important than now, because in a flat world so many of the inputs and tools of collaboration are becoming available to every one. They are all out there for anyone to grasp. There is one thing, though, that has not and can never be commoditized-and that is imagination.
9. Learning Journeys, edited by Marshall Goldsmith and others
A book in which top management experts share their personal stories, their lessons on becoming leaders and mentors.
Many a times when I’ve read about great leaders, I’ve wished I’d known them personally, so that their knowledge and wisdom could some how become mine! This book allows you to read about the journeys, the lessons they learnt and through the re-telling of their person stories, it allows us to think and reflect on our own journey and to discover our own answers.
I have shared one of the stories in my blog here.
10. Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
To share with you in the author’s own words, “It’s a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions… In “Blink” I’m trying to understand those two seconds. What is going on inside our heads when we engage in rapid cognition? When are snap judgments good and when are they not? What kinds of things can we do to make our powers of rapid cognition better?
Whatever your thoughts after reading this book, you will definitely become more conscious of the first two seconds of your thinking and perhaps you will listen to it more!
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