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5 Books on Leadership, Communication, Strangers, Focus and Business

Here are a few books I liked reading for the last 2 months. Books are really wonderful as they not only improve our vocabulary, they are also a good stress buster and if the research is to be believed they can extend life span as well. The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger –  Bob […]

Here are a few books I liked reading for the last 2 months. Books are really wonderful as they not only improve our vocabulary, they are also a good stress buster and if the research is to be believed they can extend life span as well.

The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger –  Bob Iger is one CEO I have always admired, and his success is there for everyone to see. This was a wonderful chronicle of his success story. There are a few principles he lives by namely optimism, courage, integrity, the relentless pursuit of perfection and focus. The other thing that struck me was how hard working he is. He is up at 4:30 am daily and exercises daily. So arduous work is the key to his success. There are also examples of how he dealt with negotiations and people. Overall a breezy interesting read.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell – I know this is a suggestion which not everyone would appreciate. The book is already number one on the NY Times Best Seller list. I have read his other 4 books as well. I wouldn’t say this is his best. However, it is surely worth a read. The main premise is why do we believe a stranger as soon as we see them. The second point is why do we believe some signals from them when others who haven’t met the stranger know them better. As is the case there are so many examples here and some of it disturbing indeed. You cannot argue with the story telling of Malcolm Gladwell. In terms of prose or quality of writing there are few better writers. So, do take a peek and be prepared for a surprise. It is worth a peek for sure.

Indistractable by Nir Eyal and Julie Li– This is a quick read with some splendid examples of how to eliminate distraction or should I say to increase traction. There are the usual suspects in terms of not having any notifications, controlling your social media usage and of course email usage. We should be more concerned with traction than distraction. To enable traction, create more time for yourself, and make sure your calendar reflects your priorities. For me turning off notifications has always worked in keeping focused.

Seeing around Corners by Rita McGrath – This is an excellent book that emphasizes the need for all of us to be vigilant of change. We all know what happened to Blockbuster as it was Netflixed. Strategic inflection points were coined by Andy Grove in his seminal book “Only the Paranoid Survive.” Strategic inflection points are the things that happen when it disrupts a whole industry. For example, the iPhone made the earlier iPod irrelevant. Obviously, all of us want to navigate these inflection points successfully. This is where this book can help. She has identified eight practices that can help us navigate and identify these inflection points earlier before we get Netflixed. Here is my article on this. Eight Practices to ensure you are Not Netflixed

Face to Face by Brian Grazer – This is all about clearing the clutter in our lives eventually leading to meeting people in person and establishing deep fulfilling relationships. His other book A Curious Mind was equally good. This is a fast read with a lot of good examples. He says eye contact is the key to all face to face interactions. It is also the key to getting a job.

There you have it 5 books you might want to put on your reading list for the fall.

The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.

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