These are four of the best workplace books that have crossed my desk this year. The world may be waiting for me to write the perfect workplace book but I'm too busy watching TV to do that. These are books that I highly recommend and stood out to me this year and make fine additions to anyone's holiday shopping. Here a some of Holiday Gift Ideas.
This book is not available to February 2016 but makes a wonderful gift. It is actually about how nonconformists move the world as written by a management professor at the Wharton school of the University of Pennsylvania. His intellect is in high regard and he explores what it takes to be an original in the workplace. Originality is not a fixed rate. It is a free choice. Abraham Lincoln wasn't born with an original personality. Taking on controversy wasn't programmed into his DNA; it was an act of conscious will. The author demonstrates the value of taking chances and overcoming your fear of presenting new thoughts and ideas. Even though America is a land of individuality and unique self-expression, most of us opt to fit in rather than stand out.
It is important to use mindfulness to reflect on what you're doing, why you're doing it and how you can do a better. This is a book that provides short but very insightful pieces that can be read each day and words that require us to think more deeply about the things we do. These are the thoughts of artists, authors, religious leaders and CEOs and touch on a range from silence to tension and anonymity to public speaking. At the end of each entry there is an instruction to guide your thinking. An example would be on criticism: people want your approval. They want to know what you think of them. Your criticism defeats those you want to change and paralyzes them, preventing them from improving. Minimize your criticism. Inspire with your feedback. This book gives you a reason each day to pause and think.
There are many books that offer instruction on how to manage, lead or win people over. This one is the best way to deal with other human beings by understanding how they think and why they think certain ways. Two psychology professors offer a Masters course in understanding your colleagues in this book. It can be dense at times that the book does an excellent job of presenting research and how one can use that in anecdotes and historical tales. They hammer home the idea that to better to understand another person is important to appreciate how that person sees the world and how actual situational influences and constraints t confront that person play a role. You can follow all the advice you want on how to win friends and influence people but you need to get inside their heads.
Fred Cook is an interesting person and interesting people write good books. Cook is now the CEO of the Chicago-based public relations agency Golin. Originally he was a cabin boy on her region tanker, a doorman, a substitute teacher and a tour guide. When the chapter begins with the sentence" I've met a lot of famous people" inclination is to roll your eyes. But stick with it and the author will take you through his experience managing a music company and is recognition that you can't get anywhere without a strong network of friends, family, teachers and coworkers. The author grew up in a small town Indiana and preaches humility. Keep old friends and everyday people in your entourage. No matter how successful you become, they're always happy to remind you that you're just a dumb Hoosier. It's a fun and instructional book in a delightfully weird way.