Career Fundamentals

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Don’t know where to start with what to read next for a jump start? Here are some great titles for emerging leaders that helped me build my fundamentals.

Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time

by Bill McGowan

HarperBusiness, 2014

This isn’t a great book, but it offers many helpful coaching tips that are easy to remember. Sometimes a simple phrase makes all the different in a tense moment. For me, it’s the Mona Lisa smile.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2090269132

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

The Arbinger Institute

Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc., 2018

This book was re-recommended to me recently by another bona fide coach. My old copy was dog-chewed but still readable. It is slightly distracting to have the main theme of the book around being in the box and out of the box so different from how we sometimes talk about being out of the box. How we put ourselves and others in boxes and how we carry those boxes around with us are enduring lessons to contemplate.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2485604132

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

by Patrick Lencioni

Jossey-Bass, 2012

This book is the updated flipside to Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Instead of talking about dysfunctions, he talks about disciplines. Four, to be exact: building a team, creating clarity, over-communicating clarity, and reinforcing clarity. Clarity and discipline are words that resonate with me about leadership as much as about team building.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2028482132

Rework

by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Crown Business, 2010

This book is by the founders of 37Signals, of basecamp fame. It is mostly a primer on how to work, given in short sound bites that sometimes contradict each other. I don’t agree with some of their advice, but there are some good tidbits in here. Their advice to save the details for later speaks to the concept of larger decisions being derailed when someone wants to worry about the color of the curtains before the building is designed. Nothing derails like a detail.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1929125132

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

by Geoffrey Colvin

Portfolio, 2010

This book came before Malcolm Gladwell and his more widely-known book that talks about other kinds of outliers. Colvin’s book is about the theories that relate specifically to world-class success in a field. It’s highly entertaining and thought provoking. It gets into motivation for performing well and success in business. It’s a few years old now, but many of the ideas are still fresh and relevant.

https://www.tatteredcover.com/book/9781591842248

Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

Little, Brown and Company, 2008

Like Gladwell’s other books, this one is eminently readable. In addition to the 10,000 Hour Rule, he provides insight into statistical anomalies of success through stories and research. Gladwell is always worth reading.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1848592132

The Complete Guide to Buying a Business 

by Fred S. Steingold

NOLO, 2015

Even though it’s a few years old, this is a great primer for walking through the many decisions that go into buying a business. The author goes to great lengths to provide guidance and navigation for the uninitiated. One of the things that was so useful to me was that it was specifically targeted to my subject – buying an existing business. It gives practical advice, shares stories of successes and failures, and is straightforward without being dull or didactic. A truly helpful primer.

Pivot: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One

by Jenny Blake

Portfolio/Penguin, 2016

This book has many helpful examples of pivots that people have taken on their path to whatever success looks like for them professionally and personally. It is packed with exercises and questions. Usually I just read through a text like this, gleaning what’s new in the research or application of research on human behavior. There is not new research ground tread here, but there are some new ideas to explore. I decided to make the effort and do a few of the exercises in each chapter. They helped me make some good discoveries about myself. I highly recommend it.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2221864132

“How to Work from Home”

by Justin Ocean

Bloomberg News, 2020

While I’ve generally been to busy to read articles about how to work from home, here’s one that has some good tips from Bloomberg News.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-15/how-to-work-from-home-tips-on-staying-healthy-sane-productive

“This Company’s Two Sentence Remote Work Policy is the Best I’ve Ever Heard” 

by Justin Bariso 

Inc.com, 2020

Some simple concepts that resonate with our organizational values.

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/this-companys-new-2-sentence-remote-work-policy-is-best-ive-ever-heard.html

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

by Patrick Lencioni

Jossey-Bass, 2012

This book is the updated flipside to Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Instead of talking about dysfunctions, he talks about disciplines. Four, to be exact: building a team, creating clarity, over-communicating clarity, and reinforcing clarity. Clarity and discipline are words that resonate with me about leadership as much as about team building.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2028482132

Rework

by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Crown Business, 2010

This book is by the founders of 37Signals, of basecamp fame. It is mostly a primer on how to work, given in short sound bites that sometimes contradict each other. I don’t agree with some of their advice, but there are some good tidbits in here. Their advice to save the details for later speaks to the concept of larger decisions being derailed when someone wants to worry about the color of the curtains before the building is designed. Nothing derails like a detail.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1929125132

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

by Geoffrey Colvin

Portfolio, 2010

This book came before Malcolm Gladwell and his more widely-known book that talks about other kinds of outliers. Colvin’s book is about the theories that relate specifically to world-class success in a field. It’s highly entertaining and thought provoking. It gets into motivation for performing well and success in business. It’s a few years old now, but many of the ideas are still fresh and relevant.

Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

Little, Brown and Company, 2008

Like Gladwell’s other books, this one is eminently readable. In addition to the 10,000 Hour Rule, he provides insight into statistical anomalies of success through stories and research. Gladwell is always worth reading.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1848592132

The Complete Guide to Buying a Business 

by Fred S. Steingold

NOLO, 2015

Even though it’s a few years old, this is a great primer for walking through the many decisions that go into buying a business. The author goes to great lengths to provide guidance and navigation for the uninitiated. One of the things that was so useful to me was that it was specifically targeted to my subject – buying an existing business. It gives practical advice, shares stories of successes and failures, and is straightforward without being dull or didactic. A truly helpful primer.

Pivot: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One

by Jenny Blake

Portfolio/Penguin, 2016

This book has many helpful examples of pivots that people have taken on their path to whatever success looks like for them professionally and personally. It is packed with exercises and questions. Usually I just read through a text like this, gleaning what’s new in the research or application of research on human behavior. There is not new research ground tread here, but there are some new ideas to explore. I decided to make the effort and do a few of the exercises in each chapter. They helped me make some good discoveries about myself. I highly recommend it.

https://jeffcolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2221864132

“How to Work from Home”

by Justin Ocean

Bloomberg News, 2020

While I’ve generally been to busy to read articles about how to work from home, here’s one that has some good tips from Bloomberg News.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-15/how-to-work-from-home-tips-on-staying-healthy-sane-productive

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