Great Additions to Your Summer Reading List - American Society of Employers - Mary E. Corrado

Of Interest…

Great Additions to Your Summer Reading List

My summer reading list just keeps getting longer, and I just stumbled upon this list of seven New York Times bestselling business books that all professionals should read.  I’ve only read one of them, so I guess my list just grew by six more books!

This list of recommended business books was published by The Next Big Idea Club:

  1. The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger – Wharton marketing professor, Jonah Berger, teaches you how to become a catalyst in this book. Key insights include:
    1. Don’t push harder – just take off the parking brake. He discusses how to let off the gas when trying to persuade someone or change their mind.
    2. Reduce reactance by offering a voice. Giving people options lets them feel more in control and less like they are being persuaded to do something.
    3. Ease endowment by pointing out the costs of the status quo. It’s human nature to want to continue to do things the way they’ve always been done.  But learning how to point out the flaws in the status quo can allow you to be an effective catalyst to change.
    4. Start small. When offering a change to the status quo, start with small changes instead of doing a complete 360, which can trigger fear and resistance to the idea.
    5. Offer customers a trial.  The same holds true for customers.  Sometimes diving all the way in is too much for a customer but offering them a limited trial allows them to dip their feet first.
  2. A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload by Cal Newport – Newport is a computer science expert who gives a unique approach to how he views the broken work system by liberating workers from their inbox.  Insights include:
    1. Email makes us less productive. Newport claims that going back and forth between concentrated work and glancing at our emails causes mental fatigue.
    2. Email makes us miserable. According to Newport, knowing our inbox is filling up and not immediately tending to it, gives us anxiety.  We feel a need to respond immediately which causes added stress throughout our day.
    3. A world without email is inevitable.  Newport believes that eventually organizations will have to find new ways to collaborate that will increase productivity and reduce the use of email.   
  3. The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel Pink – In this book the author debunks the myth of the “no regrets” philosophy of life. Key insights include:
    1. Regret is universal. We all have regret; it’s how we handle it that matters.
    2. Done right, regret can make us better. Regret makes us do better by making us feel worse. It can sharpen decision making, elevate our performance, and strengthen our sense of meaning and connectedness.
    3. Be careful when anticipating regret. Anticipating regret can be helpful by slowing our thinking. However, most humans are not very good at predicting regret and it could prevent you from making the best decision of your life.
    4. There are four common, core regrets. The four most common regrets in life stem from foundation, boldness, moral, and connection.
  4. Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones – The author uses humor and honesty to teach what we must get right within ourselves before we can do things that scare us the most.  Some key insights from this book include:
    1. Professional troublemakers should be celebrated. Jones describes a professional troublemaker as “someone who speaks the truth, always shows up as themselves, and is almost unable to bow in the face of a world that demands it.”
    2. Speak hard truths. People tend to fear the reactions of others if we speak the truth. Jones recommends asking yourself these three questions:
      1.  Do you mean it?
      2. Can you defend it?
      3. Can you say it thoughtfully?
    3. Be willing to fail loudly.  Ask any successful person if they’ve failed, and they will say yes.  Failure can lead to success when handled correctly and learned from.
  5. Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire by Brad Stone – Bloomberg journalist, Brad Stone, analyzes the rise of Amazon. Insights include:
    1. Great leaders change altitudes. He discusses the importance of leading from afar but swooping in closer when necessary to help problem solve.
    2. Amazon builds new business with people but runs them with algorithms. Building a self-service function for sellers is what allowed them to bring on millions of sellers very quickly.
    3. The future belongs to the relentless. Amazon is constantly evolving, which keeps them viable. Bezos terms this “Day One Mentality.”
  6. From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life by Arthur C. Brooks – The Harvard professor shows how true-life success is attainable. Insights include:
    1. Happiness is not just up to chance. Happiness is made up of enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose – all of which we can control.
    2. Don’t add without subtracting. A common trait in happy people is that they know when to add to their lives and when to subtract.
  7. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant – This book teaches you how to embrace the joy of being wrong and how to encourage others to rethink highly political viewpoints. I have read this book and found it very thought provoking. Key insights of this insightful book include:
    1. Think like a scientist. The ability to rethink and unlearn are crucial cognitive skills. Gant challenges you to surround yourself with people who think differently than you and challenge you.
    2. Open other people’s minds. According to Gant, “If we approach an argument as a war, there will be winners and losers. If we see it more as a dance, we can begin to choreograph a way forward. We have a better chance of finding a rhythm.”
    3. Complexify the world. Complexifying is showcasing the range of perspectives on a given topic. In the workplace complexifying can encourage us to ask questions that challenge the status quo.

Have you read any of these books?  Which ones will you be adding to you summer reading list? Email me at [email protected].   I will be adding the first six of these to my already long list of books I hope to read before the summer’s end:

  • Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership by John C. Maxwell
  • Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success by Esther Choy
  • The Extraordinary Power of Leader Humility: Thriving Organizations and Great Results by Marilyn Gist PhD
  • The Art of Gathering: Why We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker
  • The Great Game of Business, Expanded and Updated: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company by Jack Stack



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