Yellow Owl's top 4 holiday reads.
If you are taking a break this summer (or winter..depending where you are reading this) but want to stay connected to some personal development or management literature here are a few books worth considering.
QUIET by Susan Cain
This book explores the concept of being an introvert in a world that celebrates extroversion. If you suspect you have qualities of an introvert, work with introverts or even have children that may have characteristics of an introvert, this book is worth reading. I found this book profoundly liberating. I related so much to Susan's stories and her understanding of being an introvert. ‘Quiet’ is grounded in lots of empirical evidence, which I also really value.
TIPPING POINT: HOW LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE by Malcolm Gladwell.
Gladwell draws on real life examples as well as loads of empirical evidence to remind us that little actions can have a big impact. His two big stories are on the rise of the popularity of Hush Puppies in the 90’s and the drop of crime in New York after 1990. Gladwell will introduce you to various principles he thinks contribute to ideas and trends that become popular. For me this was a reminder that when working on goals, with clients or myself, little actions over time do matter.
GOOD TO GREAT by Tim Collins
Tim Collins and his team of researchers spent years identifying what were the key qualities demonstrated by companies who experienced long term, consistent share value growth? My main interest in the book is in the first few chapters where he explores the qualities of leaders behind these ‘great’ companies. He refers to them, as Level-5 Leaders and the parallels to Authentic Leadership are endless. Collins and his team blow the need to be a charismatic, loud, larger-than-life leader out of the water. In fact, the leaders behind these companies tended to be quiet, humble and worked effortlessly for the benefit of their people, not themselves. None of them have business autobiographies and all were dedicated to doing what was right and needed for the greater good; most of the leaders are unknown to the public. Besides all the great stories there is loads of evidence backing up the team’s conclusions. Informative and thought provoking.
SANE NEW WORLD, A MINDFULNESS GUIDE FOR THE FRAZZLED by Rub Wax.
This is a great book if you are looking for a gentle introduction to mindfulness. Ruby authentically shares her personal story of clinical depression and the challenges she has faced because of it. She also shares how she came to mindfulness and how it has helped her manage her depression on a daily basis. Again, this book is grounded in empirical evidence all the way. For those of you who may not know, Ruby is not only a psychology graduate but also a graduate of the Masters of Mindfulness program at Oxford University. Throughout the book she also offers practical tips on how you can begin to implement some of the tools offered by the practice of mindfulness. This is an informative and of course, funny read.
Hope this is useful. If you are managing to squeeze in a break, have a great one! Otherwise, if I can help you or your organisation find ways to inspire even more positive performance at work please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07443118322.