better business blog
Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
3 Cool Books!
3 February 2020
I love books. I don’t mind admitting it. I have more books than I have time to read them, but owning them seems the right thing to do, a fun thing.
Having the books on the shelf increases the possibility of me reading them and I like the fact that each book owned carries potential. We never know when we will need to learn something, check a fact, or seek inspiration.
Owning them means that when it’s late in the evening and I’m stuck writing an academic essay for my therapy training I know that salvation is just an arm stretch away.
And I believe that all books have value and all can teach us something, even if it’s how now to write a book.
Too many business books fall into that category in my opinion. They can be egotistical, full of waffle and take 100 pages to state what could have been thoughtfully shared in three.
However, there are some stars, and they more than make up for the waste of a good tree, that some of the others constitute.
So, in the spirit of applied usefulness here are three of my favourites …books that I’ve read cover to cover and would buy twice, if I lost them. They are:
1. The 4 Hour Working Week, by Tim Ferriss. A classic story of how a self-made person hit a wall and had to transform his life. Ferriss writes with candour and it’s so refreshing to read about someone who got it wrong, rather than someone who was on an elevator to success all their life. The book challenges our ideas about what it is to be a boss and how the less of a boss we are, the more our business can thrive. If you’re stressed and over-working then this book is both interesting and practical.
2. Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions, by Berg & Szabo. I love being a business coach and promoting confidence in others. There are more than a skip load of coaching books on the market and for me, a skip is where most of them belong. It’s not that they’re bad, rather that they’re full of complicated models. Now I love a good model, but when coaching the key to success is human contact and interaction. Brief Coaching is a powerful style of coaching, that cuts to the heart of an issue and really invites people to think. With it, you can do in 10 minutes what other coaches could achieve in an hour. So it’s a useful book for leaders too, who don’t want to be a coach, but who would benefit from using simple and powerful coaching approaches. The book is model-free and what I love about it is that it’s full of coaching conversations, so you can really get a sense of how to apply the learning. If you’re a coach, or a leader, then this is a great book to have (and even better if you read it).
3. Working it out at Work, Julie Hay. Understanding ourselves is what all decent minded adults need to do. This can feel threatening, as it raises the possibility of having to dive into the world of psychology. We often want to keep our secrets secret and to duck those questions that invite us to look into the mirror. Hay writes with ease and shares her considerable skills in Transactional Analysis in a way that is friendly and approachable. TA (for short) is in essence the study of communications; what we say to ourselves and how we interact with the world around us. I use TA in organisational settings, for example by sharing the tools and skills with teams and leaders. At the back of the book are useful exercises and the chapters flow and are easy to read and understand. It’s my go-to book for TA related client work. Worth a look, if you’d like to improve how you respond when stressed, or find time management a constant bug-bear.
That’s three of the coolest books on my shelf. You are welcome to investigate them, perhaps even buy a copy for someone you know who needs a lift.
In the spirit of sharing, I’m curious. What would be one business, or self development, book that you would like me to be aware of? One that has made a difference to you in some way.
This week we can all enjoy a good book. Books are always a gateway to something …we just have to explore them and find out what happens when we go through the gate!
Next week: The Sad Service Story
Click cover to view details on Amazon
Riding the Rocket
How to manage your Modern Career
Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish
How to get going again after a career setback
Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish
How to Keep Your Job
Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Job Hunting 3.0
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
Leave the Bastards Behind
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish
My Boss is a Bastard
Surviving turmoil at work
Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish