Hello All, It’s Newsletter time!
With all that’s going on this month and considering the daily emails, I thought this month’s article should be about anything but COVID-19. So, let’s talk books! If you recall in an earlier newsletter, I threw out a challenge to everyone.
I have read or listened on Audible to 7 books so far this year. Most of the books are business related, and I will give you an overview of each of them. I also read a couple for fun and want to tell you about them first. Today I’m reading the Last Bush Pilot. It’s a novel written loosely around a bush pilot in Southeast Alaska, Juneau, Alaska’s capital. It is based in the late 80’s so it’s about the time I flew up there. I flew in the bush 1978 to 1985, so I recall most of the places the book discusses. It’s a made-up story with a lot of drama though some of it is dead on and some of it is pretty silly. I’m only halfway through, so we’ll save the review for a later time. Here’s my 2020 list.
2020 Books read:
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. This book is about Beryl Markham. Beryl, pronounced barrel, was the first person to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic from England to the North America in 1936. Charles Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris in 1927. Beryl actually ran out of fuel 1 mile from shore crashing on the Nova Scotia shoreline. But that’s all I know about it because Circling the Sun was about her life leading up to that flight. She had a fascinating life, and this book was a good read. Beryl’s book, West with the Night, which I’ll read later this year, is her account of the flight.
Be the Best at What Matters Most by Joe Calloway. This is a business book that discusses why it is important to focus on those things in business that matter most and to spend less time working on things that really don’t matter but might make you feel better. This was an easy read, and I would recommend reading it when you can.
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. This is an outstanding book written by one of the founders of Zappos, the online shoes sales company. Tony makes a number of interesting observations regarding culture and company core values. This is so highly regarded that they give tours of the Zappos facility and teach classes on culture.
What You Do is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz. This book was recommended by Mark Fenner, our Scaling-Up coach. It is a very interesting business book that relates back to company culture as does Delivering Happiness. Ben profiles a number of people such as Martin Luther King, Genghis Khan, and Toussaint Louverture of Haiti. He gives you a history lesson on these famous people and a number of other leaders as well, then brings it all together to identify traits that made their culture. This is a fascinating approach to culture and leadership.
The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. This business book is a study in the traits and techniques that make salespeople great at selling high tech technical systems or solutions. It’s the way Lone Star has been selling for years and I had read it in 2009, but I wanted to reacquaint myself with it. This is a recommended read for sales staff.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek. This book discusses the reason people buy or get behind something. It’s not about features and function, it’s about WHY. How was Martin Luther King able to create a movement that goes on even today? It’s because he knew his WHY. It wasn’t how he was going to change America, he inspired people to change America because he gave them a vision of what it could be like and people wanted to be part of it. I Have A Dream, that was his vision.
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. This is a very good book that discusses the mistake most leaders make by aiming for a goal one year or three years down the road as if that’s when it ends. He specifically discusses the short-term view of some publicly held companies which is all about the short-term gain for the stockholders. His foundation is business never ends. It’s a long-term play that goes on forever, or at least the most successful companies view it that way. That’s what we are doing with our BHAG and our 3 to 5-year goals to align with our BHAG. It’s about the long game, not so much about tomorrow. Another great read, but read it after Who a method for Hiring, then read Start with WHY then read the Infinite Game.
These are next on my list to read. I like taking recommendations from people that have read a good book. I don’t have time to read them all and I hate reading a poorly written book.
Books recommended to me by others.
1. Guns, Germs and Steel
2. Cutting for Stone
3. Boys in the Boat
4. 100-year Marathon
6. Beyond the Goal
7. With You, There is No Us
8. Traveling to Infinity Steven Hawking
9. The Eight Dimensions of Leadership
10. Becoming a Category of One
11. It’s Your Ship, Management Techniques
12. Fire and Fury, Inside The Trump White House
That’s all for now! Ray