I like to read…a lot. Unfortunately, it seems like people are reading books that are entirely and completely unlike anything I read. I suspect it’s just because I have a small circle of friends, so I’m betting that if I post the titles of the books I have read/am reading, lots of other people will have heard of them and want to talk about them. (hint hint)
Books about how people think
- Thinking Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman): Rock solid science and research written in a way we mortals can understand.
- Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality (Dan Ariely): I was a bit late to the party when it came to the work of Dan Ariely, but he is one of my favs. I haven’t yet read his work on honesty and I am really looking forward to it! (it would be a good gift. just sayin’)
- Sway: The irresistible pull of irrational behavior (Ori Brafman and Ron Brafman): This book takes a long hard look at how we make decisions, and reveals that we don’t think we’re as in control as we think we are.
- The Invisible Gorilla: How our intuitions deceive us (Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons): Just go watch this. That’s okay….we’ll wait. (*whistle*) All done? Good. Now you know why this is an awesome book.
Leadership and Teams
- No Asshole Rule (Bob Sutton): The story of how the book came to be is pretty good (Sutton didn’t think the Harvard Business Review would print the word “asshole” and had a whole response about the sanitization in thought planned…until they DID print it. Seven times.). The concept is simple and brilliant – and all too often ignored by businesses willing to trade long-term fit and productivity for short-term gain. Great read.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Patrick Lencioni): Pretty much everything Lencioni writes is fabulous. You really can’t go wrong with them. This was the first fable-type book I read that sounded like real people, and it is incredibly applicable.
- Tribal Leadership:Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization (Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright): Like it or not, people tend to fall into cliques. This book gives some excellent advice on how to tap into that camaraderie.
- The One-Minute Manager: Situational Leadership (Ken Blanchard): Okay…the book itself is pretty cheesy. You can’t deny the power of the Situational Leadership II model, though. It’s one of the simplest and most effective leadership model that a manager can use to support his/her people.
- The Extraordinary Leader: Turning good managers into great leaders (John Zenger and Joseph Folkman): Another excellent example of research done right. Zenger and Folkman were my first introduction into the idea that by combining strengths in different ways, you can change perceptions of others as to what your weaknesses may or may not be. Not the zippiest book, but some excellent insights.
- BossyPants (Tina Fey): Okay, first of all, it’s frickin’ hilarious. Tina Fey isn’t one of the best comedic writers in the business for nothing. It’s also an incredibly insightful, humble, and useful look at how one person learned to lead. I particularly like the section on applying improv rules to leading. (Hint: Yes…and…)
Random Other Stuff I like
- ANYTHING by Malcolm Gladwell: You name it – Outliers, The Tipping Point, Blink, What the Dog Saw…I love ’em all. AND he has email conversations with Bill Simmons about sports!
- Switch: How to change things when change is hard (Chip Heath and Dan Heath): Interesting way of viewing change as a series of little steps. Makes it look easy (riiiiight).
- Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner): It’s a random, but surprisingly interesting collection of vignettes that shows the power of asking the right questions.
I’ll continue to add to these lists as I remember books and read more. What books do you like?