My 12 Favorite Books of 2015
Here are my favorite books of 2015.
Humans are underrated by Geoff Colvin - The world of work is changing. This book talks about the key 21st century skills that machines can’t replace. Empathy, connections, and social sensitivity are the most important skills we need and will not be replaced by machines. What we need more than knowledge workers are relationship workers. It was a great read and gives hope that machines ultimately can't replace everything humans do. There is a detailed account of how the military used after action reviews to improve outcomes. There are chapters on storytelling and innovation as well. You can check out my review here Humans are Underrated Review
Work Rules by Laszlo bock - This book contains a wealth of wisdom on how to hire people, keep people inspired and what an organizations mission should be. Coming from a practical practitioner of the art it is more authentic. Some of the ideas which are common sense are give your work meaning, hire people better than you, pay unfairly, and manage rising expectation. Google has a very tight hiring strategy and it is explained in detail here.
The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman -This is a wonderful book on how to keep employees motivated through office design, and other great stories among which are casinos and hostage negotiators. It contains research based examples on how to keep workers engaged.
Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli - I must admit I was skeptical since I had already read the one by Walter Isaacson. However I was pleasantly surprised by the content of this book and the inspiration it provided. This book showed how Steve Jobs became a great manager on his second coming to Apple. Check out my article on lessons to learn from Steve Jobs Lessons from Steve Jobs
Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance – This is by far the best biography I have read. It was interesting right from the start to finish. You can check out my lessons learnt here. Check out my lessons learnt here 7 Inspiring Lessons from Elon Musk
Disrupt yourself by Whitney Johnson - Disrupt yourself is a philosophy based on the classic process outlined in the book the Innovators dilemma by Clayton Christensen. Usually it is the disruptors on the low end of the market who disrupt and push the market leaders out. For example Toyota came in with a new model in the 1950’s and the other automakers did not pay attention. We all know the rest of the story. I like the book Disrupt yourself by Whitney Johnson. Check out my review here 7 Principles to Disrupt yourself
Friend and Foe by Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer – This is a wonderful book with rich examples on what competing means and cooperating means. One of the examples given is the competition between David Miliband and Ed Miliband where Ed won the labor party presidency which led David to leave the UK.
BOLD by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler- The main theme is about exponential technology. Also the six D's are discussed in detail namely digitalization, deception, disruption, demonetization, dematerialization, and democratization. There are also billionaire thinking strategies from Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos. This book gives a compelling exciting future vision. My review of the billionaire thinking strategies is here Billionaire Thinking Strategies
The Road to Character by David Brooks - This book is an emphatic call to get back to the character ethic. Brooks says there are two types of lives we have one is the resume where we want more things and status. The second is the eulogy life which is what would you want people to say at your funeral and match your actions to that end. When asked about this all of us would say eulogy life is more important but unfortunately we always are looking at the career life. This books aim is to reverse that trend. There are a lot of historical biographies which are given as examples of character virtues. It was an interesting and informative read.
Rising Strong by Brene Brown – This is a strong call for all of us to get up when we fall down. Filled with rich research and personal examples it is an engaging book which changes the way we think about ourselves and our failures.
Performing under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P.Pawliw-Fry- We all face pressure moments in both our personal and professional lives. It is the ability to deal with pressure that ultimately determines the success of the individual. There are some nice strategies shared like befriend the moment, downsize the importance of an event, and focus on your mission and many other strategies. My review is here Performing Under Pressure
Strategy Rules by David B. Yoffie and Michael A.Cusumano - This is a wonderful book on the strategies adopted by the three greatest CEO’s of all time namely Andy Grove, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. My review is here Strategies from Three great CEO's