I am an avid reader. While growing up in Nigeria, I read mostly science and engineering related books mostly because parents wanted their kids focused on a particular than being jack of all trades. Upon attending college in America, I realized that being well-rounded was nothing to be ashamed of, and it was somehow wired into my DNA. I decided to read more marketing/entrepreneurial books and even picked up some photography along the way.
Here are some books I am reading right now.
Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others
by John A. Daly
I bought the audio version of this book for my commute to and from work, which isn’t long but at least, I get to have an inspiring drive.
When a group of people gather together to generate ideas for solving a problem or achieving a goal, sometimes the best ideas are passed over. Worse, a problematic suggestion with far less likelihood of success may be selected instead. Why would a group dismiss an option that would be more effective? Leadership and communications expert John Daly has a straightforward answer: it wasn’t sold to them as well. If the best idea is yours, how can you increase the chances that it gains the support of the group? In “Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others”, Daly explains in full detail how to transform ideas into practice. To be successful, leaders in every type of organization must find practical and action-oriented ways to market their ideas and achieve buy-in from the members of the group. Daly offers a comprehensive action guide that explains how to shape opinion, inspire action, and achieve results. Drawing on current research in the fields of persuasion, power relations, and behaviour change, he discusses the complex factors involved in selling an idea – the context of the communication, the type of message being promoted, the nature and interests of the audience, the emotional tenor of the issues at stake, and much more. For the businessperson, politician, or any other member of a group who seeks the satisfaction of having his or her own idea take shape and become reality, this book is an essential guide.
Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World
by Beverly Schwartz
I also got this in an audio version and I am listening to it for the second time at work. It is a very captivating book if you are in the social entrepreneurial route. The examples detailed in this book will compel you to think differently and inspire you to pay attention to the world’s suffering, and hopefully you will choose to make a difference.
Drawing on the knowledge and experience of working with hundreds the world’s top social change leaders in all fields, Beverly Schwartz presents a model for change based on five proven principles that any individual leader or organization can apply to bring about deep, lasting and systematic change.Rippling shows how to activate the type of change that is needed to address the critical challenges that threaten to destroy the foundations of our society and planet in these increasingly turbulent times.
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg
I wrote about Lean In the week it was released. I was very vocal about it, so go ahead and read my review here. I highly recommend it, if you are one those people who need a little help in strengthening your confidence muscle. You can’t get ahead in this mean crazy world without some backbone, ruthlessness and determination to go after what you want. You also have to learn to compromise when it comes to family, love and relationships. Sheryl talks about everything in this book that holds women back from the lives they were born to live.
Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.
Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
This is a book that is not on my own shelf because anyone who knows me personally can attest to my animated + extrovert nature. I am not an introvert, however, what most people don’t know is that this is a facade. I am actually an introvert when I am all alone, and I relish being by myself to ask myself questions, focus on details and zoom in on reality. I also tend to be an introvert when I first meet people (especially men, they get this impression that I am quiet). Give me a day with them, and by the end of the evening, I am rattling my tongue off. So, in some way, this book is for me as well, to digest the world of introverts and see if in some way, I can learn to make the most of those quiet moments.
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters
by Jon Acuff
I missed Blissdom this year because I was in San Francisco, partying it up with some entrepreneurs. Jon Acuff attended and gave everyone his book. Jon, I am eyeing you! Anyways, I missed my opportunity, but I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed Jon’s book Quitter, which I got from Blissdom 2012, and I was absolutely looking forward to this book as well. I am yet to place an order, but it is on my list this summer. Because, I love sentences that includes punch and escaping the 9 to 5. Yep!
Over the last 100 years, the road to success for most everyone has been divided into predictable stages. But three things have changed the path to success:
Boomers are realizing that a lot of the things they were promised aren’t going to materialize, and they have started second and third careers.
Technology has given access to an unprecedented number of people who are building online empires and changing their lives in ways that would have been impossible years ago.
The days of “success first, significance later,” have ended.
While none of the stages can be skipped, they can be shortened and accelerated. There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome.
I am headed to Morocco the first week of August, just towards the end of Ramadan. This book by Maryam Montague of MyMarrakesh is a must read if you love colorful decor with bits of cultural influences and traditional elements. You can definitely mix with modern flavor to create a more contemporary feel. I am in love with this book!
What do you have on your list for summer?