First, Break All the Rules is an extremely valuable resource for managers.
The Gallup Organization interviewed 80,000 managers from 400 different compaFirst, Break All the Rules is an extremely valuable resource for managers.
The Gallup Organization interviewed 80,000 managers from 400 different companies. The results of their study are compiled into this quick read for managers which includes:
12 questions that management can use to measure the strength of the workplace:
1. Do I know what is expected of me at work? 2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? 3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? 4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work? 5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? 6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development? 7. At work, do my opinions seem to count? 8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important? 9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? 10. Do I have a best friend at work? 11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress? 12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?
...as well as the Four Keys of Management (each of which is covered in-depth in its own chapter):
1. select for talent 2. define the right outcomes 3. focus on strengths 4. find the right fit
This book was eye-opening for me when it comes to the word "talent," which seems to be a buzz word these days. More and more companies are saying they don't care about education or experience because they hire for talent. But what does that really mean?
Gallup breaks down the different types of talent: striving, thinking and relating, and includes an Appendix with lists and descriptions of the most common talents under each of these areas. The writers help managers understand the importance of identifying which talents are necessary for their roles and how selecting for those specific talents leads to the success of the employee as well as the company.
First, Break All the Rules is a must-read for managers. I highly recommend it....more
Warning: When Breath Becomes Air is incredibly sad, but it is also incredibly inspirational.
Paul Kalanithi wrote this book while he was dying. He wasWarning: When Breath Becomes Air is incredibly sad, but it is also incredibly inspirational.
Paul Kalanithi wrote this book while he was dying. He was just 36 years old and in the final stages of residency for neurosurgery when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. What are the odds? And how does one face terminal illness like this at such a young age?
Paul's writing is insightful. His topics range from compassion (in the doctor/patient relationship) to marriage to education (he was an avid reader) to faith and the meaning of life. His story is heartbreaking, but his message is moving and unforgettable.
I read and reviewed The Power of Habit last year. I thoroughly enjoyed that book. It made me want to read anything and everything by Charles Duhigg.
SmI read and reviewed The Power of Habit last year. I thoroughly enjoyed that book. It made me want to read anything and everything by Charles Duhigg.
Smarter Faster Better is similar to The Power of Habit in that it is also jam-packed with fascinating stories and information. Both are books you could probably read over and over again and get something out of them every time. Smarter Faster Better, though, is different in that it's not centered around one thing (i.e. "habits"). Instead it's about a LOT of different things -- the names of the eight chapter give you an idea of the overview: Motivation, Teams, Focus, Goal Setting, Managing Others, Decision Making, Innovation and Absorbing Data. All of these topics are related to being "smarter, faster and better" in the workplace.
Some of the more powerful messages for me were:
* The importance of psychological safety discussed in chapter 2: "Teams succeed when everyone feels like they can speak up and when members show they are sensitive to how one another feels."
* The five different types of corporate culture described in the chapter 5: "Hands down, a commitment culture outperformed every other type of management style in almost every meaningful way."
* The paralyzing effect of information blindness which is "our mind's tendency to stop absorbing data when there's too much to take in." Our brains get overloaded when faced with too much data (or too many choices) and it functions best when we break things down to two or three options.
I highly recommend this book to anyone in a position of management or leadership....more
I had no idea who Shonda Rhimes was before I read this book. Maybe I live under a rock. I just don't watch much television. I'm aware of Grey’s AnatomI had no idea who Shonda Rhimes was before I read this book. Maybe I live under a rock. I just don't watch much television. I'm aware of Grey’s Anatomy. I've heard of Scandal. How to Get Away with Murder...hmmm...nope. I don't know anything about that one. And I've never seen a single episode of any of these shows, but that doesn't matter at all. If you're more familiar with these shows than I am, it might help to have some frame of reference when she talks about them in the book, but it doesn't really matter since that's not really what the book is about.
"Year of Yes" may sound like the complete opposite of "Essentialism" -- i.e. "say yes to everything," but that's not it. Rhimes doesn't tell us to say yes to everything. Her "Year of Yes" was about learning how to face her fears and say yes to the right things, the things that challenged her and helped her grow -- personally and professionally. "Year of Yes" is also about learning how to say no when appropriate.
My favorite quote in the whole book was when Rhimes was talking about how her child's school required the parents to bring in cupcakes...and not just store-bought cupcakes, but they had to be homemade. Rhimes is a single working mother of three and this simply set her over the edge.
Here's the quote:
"I will take off my earrings and ask someone to hold my purse for the verbal beatdown we will need to engage in if you try to tell me that I must define my motherhood in the same terms as yours."
This may be the kind of quote where you "had to be there," but this particular chapter was very encouraging for working moms. If you're a working mom, you've more than likely experienced some form of judgement (maybe even ridicule) from "the other side." In a humorous way Rhimes asks us all to put our judgement aside and start supporting one another. AND DON'T FORCE ANYONE TO MAKE HOMEMADE CUPCAKES!
Year of Yes is lighthearted and inspirational for all women. Rhimes talks about motherhood, dating/marriage, family, health (i.e. diet, health and body image) and writing (which can be translated to whatever your passion might be). I highly recommend it. And if you're a fan of any of her shows, you would probably enjoy it even more than I did. ...more