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My Top Three Books of the Moment

April 15, 2019

Some of the most influential leaders are both well read and constantly learning. Both powerful and empowering, books can serve as a source of inspiration for those looking to grow and take action

At leadership training events, I often offer extensive book lists to the class participants, and I have found that, years later, former students reach out to me for more recommendations.

Personally, I love that feeling I get inside when I’m reading and come across an idea that inspires me to think, “Yes, I’m going to try that!”

Here are three books that have recently harnessed those reactions in me: 

 

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

I recommend this book to any leader striving to be more intentional with strategy, time, or ability. I consistently go back to this book again and again for ideas on how to create more valuable and meaningful outputs in the work I do. 

Newport hypothesizes that the ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare and, at exactly the same time, increasingly valuable in our economy. The few who cultivate this skill and integrate into their working life will thrive. Thriving in the informational economy means being able to master hard things quickly and produce at an elite level in terms of quality and speed.

Shallow work (all the texts, IMs, tweets, likes, walls, posts, and busyness) detracts from what’s possible. Busyness, for some, has become the proxy for productivity. 

“What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore—plays in defining the quality of our life.” -Cal Newport 

 

 

Insight by Tasha Eurich

Eurich suggests self-awareness is the meta-skill of the twenty-first century. People who know themselves and how others see them are often happier, more confident, and better communicators. 

Self-awareness can be developed, and this book is chock-full of suggestions, areas of focus, or ways of being to provide a standard for evaluating our actions. 

This book has helped me hone how I ask for and receive feedback, and it has reinforced why it is important to work on values, passion, and patterns. I even took the plunge and had one of the suggested “Lunch of Truths” with my partner in which we both talked about what we liked most and least about each other. Learning in action! 

“Self-aware teams must begin with a self-aware leader who models the way.” -Tasha Eurich

 

 

Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way to Think About Human Interactions by Roberta Gilbert, M.D. 

She had me hooked when she wrote on page three, “The quality of relationships most often determines the quality of a person’s life. If people can develop a better way of thinking and find a better way to manage self, they can solve any relationship or other problems as they arise.”

After reading this book, I am more aware of my relationship patterns, how I behave in conflict, and the influencing role of anxiety. I continue to work through the questions and activities at the end of each section and have found some of that work cathartic. 

Sometimes the biggest challenge is the self. 

What about you? What makes your booklist of the moment and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

And if you are looking for a more comprehensive reading list, feel free to click [here] to see how many of the books from my list you’ve already read (and maybe find a new one or two to explore).

 

Lead on and read on,

Kirsi 

 

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