Recharging and Reading Over the Summer

If you have some time to spare over the summer (or the winter, if you’re in the southern hemisphere), how do you recharge? Reading is a great way to both relax and recharge: great novels help you escape from the daily grind while non-fiction helps you learn new ideas and return to work inspired.

I asked my network, clients, and blog readers for reading recommendations. Pick out one book and spend some time recharging.

Nine lies about work

As strengths guru and bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence head Ashley Goodall show in this provocative, inspiring book, there are some big lies–distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking–running through our organizational lives. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration and ultimately result in a strange feeling of unreality that pervades our workplaces.

With engaging stories and incisive analysis, the authors reveal the essential truths that freethinking leaders will recognize immediately: that it is the strength and cohesiveness of your team, not your company’s culture, that matters most; that we need less focus on top-down planning and more on giving our people reliable, real-time intelligence; that rather than trying to align people’s goals we should strive to align people’s sense of purpose and meaning; that people don’t want constant feedback, they want helpful attention. This is the real world of work.

The Simple Truths About Leadership

Larry Peters writes about the few Simple Truths that have always mattered for engaging the heads and hearts of people and how to develop a People-Centric culture.

Many leaders today are looking for new answers to the tough people issues they face. Far too often, these people issues are the result of their own decisions and actions in a sort of karmic feedback loop. We need to see our own role in creating the problems we face and solve them in the best way possible – by avoiding them in the first place. When we build and maintain positive relationships with our people, they show up for us every day… and when we need them most, in times of change.

There are numerous books that prescribe salve for this pain. Few speak to the personal foundation that is necessary to not just treat the symptoms, but cure the disease that may have spread throughout the culture. This book is about the mindset of leaders and to keep these Simple Truths in their minds and in their hearts.

Kimberley Barker’s reading list

Kimberley Barker is not only an avid reader, but also a great university teacher about culture, change, and leadership. She discusses books on her Youtube channel and here’s her summer reading list to inspire you.

Richard Branson – The virgin way
“If it’s not fun it’s not worth doing”

Francois Heon – The yin and yang of leadership
Theoretical and practical guide to democratic leadership

Melinda Gates – The moment of lift – How empowering women changes the world

David Brooks- The road to character
Let’s challenge the culture of the Big Me. Don’t focus on wealth, fame, status. Instead, embrace kindness, bravery, honesty, faithfulness.

Richard Sheridan – The Chief Joy Officer
The CEO of Menlo Innovations on how great leaders elevate humans and eliminate fear

Alison Levine- On the edge: the art of high-impact leadership

The Halo and the Noose

This book’s title is derived from the observation that there is always potential for a halo to become a noose and vice versa. We can become strangled and trapped or liberated and enlivened by the stories we tell and deal with as people within organization, and as organizations interacting with an increasingly challenging world. Here is THE way to develop and sustain your story culture.

Written by Dorian Haarhoff and Graham Williams, a consultant and coach passionate about bringing healing to organizations and their people. The Halo and the Noose is different to the plethora of books about story in the market because it’s written specifically for corporates – it is not about performing, entertaining, impressing – but about taking advantage of the many applications in business that contribute to improved engagement and performance.

For Graham, ‘story’ embraces narrative, anecdote, imagery, symbolism, metaphor, archetypes and is presented in four parts: Why use stories in more and more areas of business? Ways that stories work in organizations, the art and craft of story-telling and listening competence in a business context, and carrying on the story conversation in more depth for leaders and others serious about practical, effective and ethical story use in their organization.

Seeds of Potential

Seeds of Potential – An anthology of positivity, is a collection of thirty-three powerful self-help and motivational stories from the pen of multiple-author Pat Grayson. Stories teach, entertain, and provoke thoughts. Stories such as; What would you do if you knew you could not fail! or Life – does it have to be Fair? or Calling your Will, and more. Truly, these are seeds of potential: and perfect to ponder these issues when you’re on a break with more time to reflect than usual! Keep an eye on this book that’s to be released this month by

Winging It

CEO and entrepreneur Emma Isaacs forgot to draw up her life plan, and she doesn’t have a list of five-year goals. She doesn’t believe in work/life balance – after all she has five children and heads up Business Chicks, Australia’s largest community for women.

Like Sheryl Sandberg, who told us to ‘lean in’ to find success, Emma wants to show us that you can’t plan every detail and wait for the confidence to kick in before you begin; instead, take action now, do what feels right and figure the rest out as you go along. In other words, you’ve got to learn how to ‘wing it’ rather than wait.

* What’s your reading tip? Please add it in the comments!

© Marcella Bremer, 2019. All rights reserved.

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