Book recommendations for business leaders: 8/9/18

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Stephen King says that if you want to be a writer, there are two things you must do: read a lot and write a lot. This is about the “read a lot” part. I include reading lists and book reviews that will help you do business more effectively and write better for business.

In this post, I point you to reviews of Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You, The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive, Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together, and Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. Plus the Basecamp MBA readng list.

From Michael McKinney: Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You

“Asking for help makes most of us uncomfortable and we often go to great lengths to avoid doing it. We fear rejection. We fear that people we think less of us. We believe people don’t really want to help. But the truth is we need the help and support of others to succeed. To be sure, leadership is fundamentally about asking people for help. ‘Reaching your fullest potential—professionally or personally—requires you to understand how to enlist reinforcements when you need them. For many of us, ‘when you need them’ is literally every day,’ writes Heidi Grant in Reinforcements.”

From Wharton: Uncovering the Secrets of Successful Work Cultures

“Some companies are so dysfunctional that employees fantasize about quitting in a huff, dreaming of utopian workplaces where everyone works collaboratively toward a common goal. Author Daniel Coyle examines the DNA of great teams in his new book, The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups.”

Wally’s Comment: Here’s my review of The Culture Code

From Skip Prichard: Never Stop Learning

“Brad Staats is an associate professor of operations at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. His new book, Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive, provides the framework to help all of us become dynamic learners. He says that, ‘If we fail to learn, we risk becoming irrelevant.’ He also says that we aren’t so great at learning.”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Harnessing the Collective Intelligence of Humans and Machines

“For over a decade, MIT professor Thomas Malone has been conducting pioneering research on the collective intelligence of groups. Malone is the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, and has authored and co-authored a number of seminal articles on the subject. A few weeks ago, Malone published Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together, – a book that nicely explains the concept of collective intelligence and how our increasingly capable machines are now complementing the intelligence of groups of people. The book illustrates these concepts with a wide variety of examples and case studies.”

From Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund: Why Things Are Better Than You Think

“It is easy to be aware of all the bad things happening in the world. It’s harder to know about the good things: billions of improvements that are never reported.”

From Joan Stewart: The “Basecamp MBA” Reading List

“A few months ago, I met a new friend at a Creative Mornings talk. She is going to take some time off at the beginning of 2018 to work through the AltMBA reading list before diving into job searching. I thought this was a great idea and it got me wondering about the kind of reading material Basecamp would suggest for people who want to build a business like ours. Of course, there’s our previous books and the upcoming Calm Company. But with minds like the ones we have, I guessed we can could up with a really fantastic set of material that SvN readers would eat up. With that in mind, I asked my colleagues: Given your role at Basecamp, what one or two books/resources would you suggest to help someone prepare for the kind of work you do?”

Every Monday, I do a blog post about business reading and business books. Follow this link to the most recent post

Reading recommendations are a regular feature of this blog. Want more recommendations about what to read? Check out my Three Star Leadership blog, Michael McKinney’s LeadingBlog, and Skip Prichard’s Leadership Insights.

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