Book Roundup – What’s New? What’s Worth Reading?
The pile of books beside my desk has grown too high; it’s time to cull the best from the herd and let you know about them.
One of my favorites in the pile is this quick, clever analysis of the most common sins that (especially) beginning speakers make – and too many experienced ones as well. Failure to understand your audience? Flat opening? Lack of focus? Bad Storytelling? No emotional pull? These are all sins that we speaking coaches have worked to eliminate amongst our coachees, and Rob is right to call attention to them. A fun, light, and highly useful read for beginning speakers and more experienced ones who want to avoid complacency.
Chip and Dan have done it again. Like their previous two bestsellers, Decisive takes an idea from a deep thinker (in this case Thinking Fast and Slow’s Daniel Kahneman), simplifies it, turns it into a readily digestible action plan, and wraps it in stories. In this case, it’s all about the lousy track record we have for making decisions. Here’s how to do it better. First, recognize you have four biases that push you to making bad decisions: narrow framing, confirmation bias, short-term emotion, and overconfidence in the future. To combat these, widen your options, reality-test your assumptions, get distance, and prepare to be wrong. Brilliant clarity and another example of the Heath brothers’ uncanny ability to simplify and make actionable. I’d be very surprised if Decisive wasn’t another bestseller.
This simple, clear book outlines the responsibilities of leaders, heavily based on insights gained from studying the Marine Corps. Sinek’s book touches on the biology of leaders and tribes – what feels good, what drives us, and so on – but at heart this book is really a sermon on leaders and what it means to accept the mantle of leadership. We need more leaders, Sinek says, by which he means responsible leaders, and we can only wholeheartedly agree.
I love this little book on time saving and productivity. If you haven’t recently conducted a personal audit to see how productive you are, time to do one, and this is the perfect book for it. James advocates 15-minute meetings, 3-priority days, and non-negotiable dates in your week – and a host of other smart ideas. Take the time, read the book, save the time.
I love this workbook – both its design and the ideas. It takes the nine pieces of a business model – customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure – and gives you ideas, questions, activities and examples to generate ideas in each area. Work through this book if you’re thinking about starting a business and the result is far more likely to be successful.