In the golden words of Charles W. Eilo, “Books are the quietest and the most constant friend; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and most patient of teachers”. For a professional like us or perhaps a budding entrepreneur like you, Reading is very essential for our success since it can allow us to access the breadth of experiences, research and enhance our skills. Moreover, it can urge us to be imaginative and open doors to all kind of new possibilities.
Hope you are doing well and staying safe! If you are reading this blog then I would like to congratulate you, since it reflects that you have an aspiration to better yourself and get the edge from the others in the crowd. Like we witness for any business, the survival isn’t easier like it was back in 80’s. In order to survive in this dynamic era there is a constant need to change and innovate. Similarly, we intrapreneurs if we want to thrive in our careers, we need to update ourselves such that we can create value for our organization, deliver better in whatever we do and enhance our quality of life. On that note, I wanted to recommend below 5 books that will offer you essential framework to solve hairy problems, help in development of Inter and Interapersonal skills that can create whole new Blue Ocean exclusively for you! These are some of the most important reads that will help you to “Think out of the Box” and boost your creativity such that you feel happy at the end of the day! So without much ado, lets dive right in!
Book 1: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
First one on the list is Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Understanding emotions can really help you to contribute more and help you to understand other people.
You may be able to appreciate more in life as well as create kind of connection that can help find solutions to many social challenges in life. In the book, Goleman offers many evidences derived from the research offering us specific scientific explanations to how and why emotions affect our mind and body. How these emotions change our behavioural characteristics. This read shed lights on multiple aspects why sometimes emotion hijacks our intellect and how we react in an unanticipated manner. Probably that is why I love the book because I have a curiosity in this genre of developing emotional intelligence and strongly believe emotion drives actions. First section of the book talks about brain and biological setting that is wired in us. If you want you can also skip this part to further chapters! Nevertheless, science in the book is by no means complicated and author does a great job in explaining any complicated scientific topics that he talks about. So, if you don’t have any idea or you are somewhat apprehensive that the science might be too complicated really don’t worry! It is beautifully explained in the book. Truly, before I read this book, I didn’t realise that people can have control over their emotions when it came to biologically interpreting their emotions before they happened but in the book the Goldman gives basic understanding of the triggers that happen when you feel certain emotions.
Book 2. Deep Work by Cal Newport
This is the second book from the list, that should be on your list and definately in your bookshelf is Deep Work by Cal Newport. Why I particularly loved this book is because, it’s all about productivity! It speaks to enthusiast’s knowledge workers, entrepreneurs, people who basically want to get more out of every single minute of their day. If you went through my earlier review on The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, you know that it talks about focusing on specific thing. But it didn’t necessarily put into words how can one master doing that One Thing. My intent of providing back to back reviews of these two books is that you can draw parallels between the two and have all the required insights as well as tool to build your distraction free productive habit to achieve your goals.
What I like most about Cal Newport’s Deep Work is one it is actually bifurcated into two parts first segment where he explains about what Deep Work is and different methods by which you can do it. Second part of the book is about how you put what you have learned into action which I think is pretty rare! In a lot of books, you often get them explaining the really deep concepts that you need to grasp but they don’t give you how-to actually do it.
Book 3. Mindset by Carol Dweck
I have picked-up one of the most talked about and promoted book in last five years, The Mindset, Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in growing the Growth Mindset. Carol is a Stanford Professor, who has decade of research behind this masterpiece in domain of human psychology, thousands of hours of studies and thousands of students she has seen from all age groups. Her research of more than ten years on achievement and success led her to discover what great parents, teachers, CEOs and athlete already know that our mindset is basis of accomplishment. Her focus is primarily on why some people keep moving forward while others give up.
I find it quite intriguing and fascinating; I am sure questions like “how did she become the best swimmer in the town while we join swim class together?” for instance must have crossed your mind at some point. I mean everyone who is good at something today, wasn’t good at it earlier. So, what made the difference for some of us? How do some people achieve their goal while others remain where they were? How do you learn new things without judging yourself? Get on with your own team and go from mediocrity to excellence with one simple shift. It’s a known fact that none can destroy iron, but its own rust. Similarly, none can destroy you but your own mindset! Although, this book is not a light read, perhaps 290 pages loaded with tonnes of research but truly a phenomenal book.
Book 4. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
I simply love this book as it brings a fresh prospective to approach our career and makes so many different distinctions. Well, the book has a very unique message, that compels us to think beyond what we call passion and urges to develop skills that can make us indispensable in whatever we do.
The question at the heart of the book is how do people end up loving what they do for living even if it isn’t their passion. Wow! That’s one of the question that always puzzled me in life. I am sure you remember the commencement speech given by Steve Jobs in Stanford University in 2005 right! Where he eloquently explained the importance of the quest to find what we love in order to be successful and happy in life. Therefore, if we don’t find a job that we love we will miss out on a significant amount of joy in our lives.
By adopting a craftsman mindset and taking on challenging projects and then using deliberate practice to improve your abilities you will quickly become rare and valuable within your team and become an asset for your organization and the marketplace. In fact, you will be so good that no one can deny your request for more creativity and control over your work. Moreover, since your work is so dam good you get paid well for it and it has a significant impact on your co-workers and customers. When you unlock these three-work traits you can’t help but say to yourself Wow I just love what I do for living! Truly, it is a great read and it’s something I would recommend to someone looking to make a career change!
Book 5. Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward Burger Michael Starbird
Many of us think, once we are done with our formal schooling or have achieved a degree our education is over, if only that can be true. This book celebrates the reality that our education is never over and learning is a continuous process. Yet, we might not have our teachers and professors to guide and counsel us always. As I ponder what can we do when we no longer have the support of our professors to guide our way through the complex hairy problems. Well, what I found is that this book gives us specific action items that can help us become our own Socrates and how to get more out of what we are!
The book Five Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward Burger & Michael Starbird is a classic read that includes the importance of deep understanding and how can thoughts propel innovation. The core message from the book is that wherever you are in the spectrum of understanding there is always a deeper level you can go! For instance, even the greatest minds can think deeper, or a student at its basic level needs to challenge oneself to discover greater understanding instead of being satisfied by a superficial level of understanding. Besides this, what I liked most about the book is that it talks about the power of failing! To be honest, there aren’t many people in the world that talk about failing however, failure and improvement are the fundamental aspects for any breakthrough to take place. This book provides one with insights on how to fail that can further inspire innovation, epiphany perhaps Ahh moment! This book goes a level deeper to keep me hooked as it nudges me to come out of my comfort zone! Let’s say you put yourself in a position where you train yourself to constantly think of questions. This can help us to see things that we would otherwise miss.