Here's part three of the review of all the books or audio-books that went through my hands and ears between march 2017 and November 2018. The two previous parts are to be found here for part 1 and here for part 2.
Since I started writing this 3 part review, I finished a few other books:
1. Start with why by Simon Sinek
Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. It was their natural ability to start with why that enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things.
In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way -- and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not money or profit-- those are always results. WHY does your organization exist? WHY does it do the things it does? WHY do customers really buy from one company or another? WHY are people loyal to some leaders, but not others?
Starting with WHY works in big business and small business, in the nonprofit world and in politics. Those who start with WHY never manipulate, they inspire. And the people who follow them don't do so because they have to; they follow because they want to.
Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them (GoodReads)
This book is a classic that I hadn't read until now. It is very inspiring, high paced and thoughts triggering. I highly recommend it.
2. Exactly What to say by Phil M. Jones
Often the decision between a customer choosing you over someone like you is your ability to know exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to make it count. Phil M. Jones has trained more than two million people across five continents and over fifty countries in the lost art of spoken communication. In Exactly What to Say, he delivers the tactics you need to get more of what you want. (Goodreads)
A weird but very interesting book. I cannot recall where I heard about it first. It goes in details about different sentence formulations and their effects on people. For example:
- I’m not sure if it’s for you but…
- How would you feel if…
- When would be a good time?
- I’m guessing you haven’t got around to…
- I bet you’re a bit like me…
I have caught myself thinking about those formulations more and more in my daily life.
3. The origin of political order by Francis Fukuyama
Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.
Francis Fukuyama, author of the bestselling The End of History and the Last Man and one of our most important political thinkers, provides a sweeping account of how today’s basic political institutions developed. The first of a major two-volume work, The Origins of Political Order begins with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning of the rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe up until the eve of the French Revolution.
Drawing on a vast body of knowledge—history, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and economics—Fukuyama has produced a brilliant, provocative work that offers fresh insights on the origins of democratic societies and raises essential questions about the nature of politics and its discontents (Goodreads)
This book is very interesting. I started listening to it when going to bed and realized that it is both very interesting and soothing. So it is now part of my sleeping ritual: I put in on, set a 30 min sleep timer on Audible and go to sleep with stories of political order of ancient China, medieval Europe or India. I am currently in my third listening cycle and still very pleased about it.
4. It doesn't have to be crazy at work by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
In this timely manifesto, the authors of the New York Timesbestseller Rework broadly reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today.
In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson introduced a new path to working effectively. Now, they build on their message with a bold, iconoclastic strategy for creating the ideal company culture—what they call "the calm company." Their approach directly attack the chaos, anxiety, and stress that plagues millions of workplaces and hampers billions of workers every day.
Long hours, an excessive workload, and a lack of sleep have become a badge of honor for modern professionals. But it should be a mark of stupidity, the authors argue. Sadly, this isn’t just a problem for large organizations—individuals, contractors, and solopreneurs are burning themselves out the same way. The answer to better productivity isn’t more hours—it’s less waste and fewer things that induce distraction and persistent stress.
It’s time to stop celebrating Crazy, and start celebrating Calm, Fried and Hansson assert.
Fried and Hansson have the proof to back up their argument. "Calm" has been the cornerstone of their company’s culture since Basecamp began twenty years ago. Destined to become the management guide for the next generation, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work is a practical and inspiring distillation of their insights and experiences. It isn’t a book telling you what to do. It’s a book showing you what they’ve done—and how any manager or executive no matter the industry or size of the company, can do it too (Goodreads)
Like Rework, a must read!
5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
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 best seller 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. (Goodreads)
This book was in itself very interesting. It does go a bit too far in the mystical realms, but its premise is really healthy to consider. I cannot say that I cleaned my space Konmari style yet, but I have been thinking a lot about decluttering my universe since.
6. Never split the difference by Chriss Voss
A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.
After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues to succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counter-intuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.
Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car; negotiating a salary; buying a home; renegotiating rent; deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion. (Goodreads)
Negotiating is probably one of my least favorite topics. But after this fantastic book, I believe I could start liking it a little bit. The context used (FBI-Hostage Negotiations) is just captivating and highly visual. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
I'm having a hard time making a best of with this short list. I would come to this top 3:
Not necessarily in that order.
And here are the ones I have already on my desk waiting for me:
And those are the books I am reading right now or about to read:
- The effective executive by Peter Drucker
- The elements of mentoring by W. Brad Johnson & Charles R. Ridley
- The principles of Scientific Management by Fredrick Winslow Taylor
- The elements of mentoring by Brad Johnson and Charles Ridley
- Wie sich menschen organisieren, wenn ihnen keiner sagt was sie tun sollen by Lars Vollmer
- The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks
- Soonish by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
- Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers by Ed Burns
PS: the Amazon links present in this post are affiliate links. It is not much, but the few € they occasionally bring, contribute to paying for the services I use to create more value: this blog on Ghost, the DevJourney Podcast on Buzzsprout or Zapier with which I automate many background processes. Thanks for your understanding!