Great books I loved in 2019
I wrote this in January but somehow did not post it on time. Before the new year is over 😊, I decided to share.
I am one of those people who want to read books all day, every day, who has a list of another 30-40 to buy, while 10 of them are already piled up next to her bed. I know many of you in my circle can relate to that. I love it when people recommend good books, so I want to do the same for others like me.
Here are a few of the books I enjoyed in 2019 in no particular order:
Leadership, the Inner Side of Greatness is a book that was recommended by my friend whose book is also listed below; Doug Kirkpatrick. I just love how much humanity this book entails. I have not felt my heart feel so stretched for a long time by reading a book. How Peter Koestenbaum approaches leadership and work is nothing like I heard or read before. I have marks all over the book and I quote him all the time now. It became one of my favorite books to refer to when I write. Here is only one of the quotes I marked in his book:
“Work for the average person is external to life and is therefore experienced as a constraint on life itself. Time pressure is actually the pressure of existential guilt: people feel stress because they are not living up to their meanings – and bureaucracy thrives on guilt. When you find your meaning, instead of managing time from the outside in, you aretime- an inside out approach.”
I was intrigued by the title 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Harari when I read it in 2018. I am always interested in hearing different visions of our future. I found very compelling thoughts in this book. I also built an amazing admiration for Harari and his extensive knowledge which made me grab his book Sapiens next. I am always in awe with people who can bring so much information together in a book. It is a very special one which I categorize under my “everybody should read this” category. I learned so much. I am sure I am reading Homo Deus soon.
I got to meet Steven Pinker thanks to a friend of mine who told me he is coming to San Diego downtown library. I loved to hear his research that proves some of the positive improvements of our humanity that nobody seems to talk about. It made me think how the media distorts how we see the world by reporting mostly about all the negative things happening on our planet. His book Enlightenment Now has details about all the research he has done. It gave me another perspective to look at our history and also our future.
I just realized I have three books from my co-authors in my list. We wrote the book From Hierarchy to High Performance together in 2018.
The first one I read is Creating the High Performance Work Place by Sue Bingham. This book has so many valuable information about how we can change our view of our people in our organization and how we can behave as leaders. It is about better HR practices and more human performance enhancements. I use a lot of the information in the book during my talks and in my consultancy practice. It is my privilege to know Sue in person and we are working on another meaningful project together.
Great Mondays is also written by co-author Josh Levine. I like the book with all the well-thought sequence of its chapters. It has all the questions, exercises that any leader can use when they are set out to create a better culture. Since I care about Purpose so much, I love that there is a great chapter just on that too.
The No Limits Enterprise by Doug Kirkpatrick is another book I loved. This is the third book on my list from a co-author. I did not only love it because Doug is a great friend and amazing human being; not even just because he describes what self-management is so thoroughly but because it also explains the essence of human beings. You can go to the root of the self-management practice by understanding the potential and power everyone holds in themselves. Explains so well why we know what to do without the need for any command-control.
Helping People Win at Work is by my favorite CEO Garry Ridge and the legendary leadership training guru Ken Blanchard. It talks about a concept which is definitely not a common practice at the workplace. It talks about being responsible for the success of your people instead of performance reviews solely based on what they accomplished or not. Amazing, easy to read book.
Nice Companies Finish First is by Peter Shankman and it has great examples to show how cutthroat management is over and collaboration is in, as its subtitle says. It has a lot of references to real stories.
Process by Sarah Stodola is about writers and authors. How did they write? Where do they write? I was curious to find out how amazing authors I love create their masterpieces. The book shows that there is no one formula. Everybody is different. They all found their way to write no matter what. Some made money, some died poor. Some even found solitude in their bathtub to write better stories.
I thought these are at least a few worth highlighting out of my big list. I am grateful to all these authors who enrich my life. It is also a privilege to know some of them in person.