Read Together, Learn Together – Join the Online Book Club
Have you joined the Online Book Club (LinkedIn Group)? Here’s the link to join!
The Online Book Club is starting soon; so I wanted to remind everyone to get the book for January – it is Stoicism: Introduction to the Good Life. The author states that “if you apply the Stoic principles within this read, carefully and mindfully, then no matter what happens (good, bad, or indifferent), you’ll be equipped to deal with the highs, lows and plateaus of life with equal calmness.” In this first volume, Lewis Bennett lays out the most accessible and inviting introduction of modern Stoicism available. There is an art to living, and this book will help you live a more meaningful life. Disclaimer: The links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no cost to you, I’ll receive a commission if you buy the course using the links:
In February, we’ll be reading DEEP WORK: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. In DEEP WORK, the author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
In March, we’ll read This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin. No matter what your product or service, this book will help you reframe how it’s presented to the world, in order to meaningfully connect with people who want it. Seth employs his signature blend of insight, observation, and memorable examples to teach you:
* How to build trust and permission with your target market.
* The art of positioning–deciding not only who it’s for, but who it’s not for.
* Why the best way to achieve your goals is to help others become who they want to be.
* Why the old approaches to advertising and branding no longer work.
* The surprising role of tension in any decision to buy (or not).
* How marketing is at its core about the stories we tell ourselves about our social status.
In April, we’ll move on to Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. The author is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.
In May, we’ll read Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky. In a world where information refreshes endlessly and the workday feels like a race to react to other people’s priorities faster, frazzled and distracted has become our default position. But what if the exhaustion of constant busyness wasn’t mandatory? What if you could step off the hamster wheel and start taking control of your time and attention? That’s what this book is about.
In June, we’ll move to reading The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work by Thomas H. Davenport. Thomas Davenport offers a guide to using artificial intelligence in business. He describes what technologies are available and how companies can use them for business benefits and competitive advantage. He cuts through the hype of the AI craze—remember when it seemed plausible that IBM’s Watson could cure cancer?—to explain how businesses can put artificial intelligence to work now, in the real world. His key recommendation: don’t go for the “moonshot” (curing cancer, or synthesizing all investment knowledge); look for the “low-hanging fruit” to make your company more efficient.
In July, the book of them month is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma. This is an inspiring tale that provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance and joy. It tells the extraordinary story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance life, and the subsequent wisdom that he gains on a life-changing odyssey that enables him to create a life of passion, purpose and peace.
August is the month in which we read about the book on Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance. The author, a veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.
In September we’ll cover Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo. Ideas are the currency of the twenty-first century. In order to succeed, you need to be able to sell your ideas persuasively. This ability is the single greatest skill that will help you accomplish your dreams. TED Talks have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking. TED―which stands for technology, entertainment, and design―brings together the world’s leading thinkers. These are the presentations that set the world on fire, and the techniques that top TED speakers use will make any presentation more dynamic, fire up any team, and give anyone the confidence to overcome their fear of public speaking.
In October, we’ll learn about transforming businesses in Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz. Conventional accounting uses the logical (albeit, flawed) formula: Sales – Expenses = Profit. The problem is, businesses are run by humans, and humans aren’t always logical. Serial entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz has developed a behavioral approach to accounting to flip the formula: Sales – Profit = Expenses. Just as the most effective weight loss strategy is to limit portions by using smaller plates, Michalowicz shows that by taking profit first and apportioning only what remains for expenses, entrepreneurs will transform their businesses from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows.
In November, we’ll read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō. Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
Finally, in December, we’ll read Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown. Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s perspectives as we read through these books and hope to get some great discussions going!
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