I’m writing this on the cusp of a three-day weekend. And many of us like to kick back with a beverage and a book. But what? Sure, you can grab some paperback candy you’ll forget about tomorrow. But how ’bout getting your brain in back-to-work shape, by reading a few great books for the weekend that are good for you AND fun, too (promise).
(P.S. These are affiliate links, which mean if you buy it, Amazon pays me a few cents for the referral. But I don’t care how you get them–most are also available at your local library or may already be sitting in your bedside guilt stack, unread. Just read!)
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
Ever wonder why it’s so hard to get rid of a bad habit? Wonder why “just do it” doesn’t always do it?
Duhigg, a New York Times reporter, takes a fresh, fun look at how we get our habits–and how we can change them. I liked his simple model that showed the three different places we can make a change in order to change a habit. It’s a simple formula you can use right away, and it’s an easy read filled with stories about how our habits are telling the world who we are.
It’s a great book for the weekend, especially when you’re wondering why you can’t motivate yourself to do that thing you want.
Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty, by Patrick Lencioni
No, this isn’t a book about Prince Harry in Vegas. It’s a little story about a consulting leader and how he gets his ass-umptions kicked learning what techniques really work with clients and customers today.
I saw Patrick speak at the SHRM National conference–he’s smart AND funny, which equals an engaging read. This isn’t his most recent book, but it’s the one I picked up first, and given that many of our readers here at Red Cape Revolution come from the consulting or professional services side (where I grew up), I think you’ll find some immediately applicable thinking here, packaged in something you can swallow in an hour or so.
Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, by Jonathan Fields
I had the pleasure to interview Jonathan earlier this year (see our interview here) and talk more about what’s happening in our uncertain world, and how we can build our muscle to deal successfully with it.
If you’ve been feeling a little lost and wiggly on your feet these days (and who hasn’t?!), you’ll appreciate the ideas and perspectives shared in Jonathan’s work.
This isn’t Seth’s latest book, but it tends to be the one I keep referring over and over.
Seth is brilliant at turning the childhood mantra “quitters never win and winners never quit” upside down. Instead, he says you MUST quit many things if you want to be excellent in something.
If you’re wondering if you need to keep pressing forward on your path or whether you’re at a dead end, this short, simple book can really help you out. (I also have it on audio and find Seth’s voice kinda soothing on long car drives. . . .)
How to Kick Fear’s Ass (ebook)
My intrepid colleague Todd Schnick released his collection of short essays from entrepreneurs and authors (including yours truly) sharing stories on how they’ve kicked fear’s, ah, gluteus maximus.
Generously, Todd’s made this available for free download, and you can grab it here. Plus, if you want more book recommendations, Todd keeps a hot list at www.intrepid-llc.com.
The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler
If you’ve ever been called “shy” or “quiet” at work, you MUST read Jennifer’s insightful and helpful book. If you know you’re an extrovert and want to get along better with people or be a better leader, you MUST read Jennifer’s insightful and helpful book.
I’ve known Jennifer for a few years now and consider her a friend as well as a colleague. (See our interview here.) But my bias toward her work is independent of how much I like her personally! As someone who “leans extrovert,” I really have had my eyes opened about the choices and decisions of those whose personalities are more introverted, and have shared the book with several clients and friends who thought that they needed to be someone different than who they are naturally in order to succeed today.
A new book is on the way next year from Dr. Kahnweiler–can’t wait!
No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington, by Condelezza Rice
No matter what your politics, I found former Secretary of State Condelezza Rice’s take on life in Washington and today’s issues to be insightful and easy to understand. I heard her speak live this summer and was so impressed with her well-informed but down-to-earth, engaging and non-partisan take on how mega-issues impact our day-to-day lives.
I’d crossed my fingers she’d be running for office–any office, on either side of the aisle–but alas, I didn’t get my wish. She’s a great example of the kind of leader that’s important in any line of work.
Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence & Control, by, ah, me
Shameless, I know. But I’m proud of what people have been saying about this short, simple, and practical handbook filled with actions and ideas that you can put to use at work.
Read it already? Thanks so much. I’d love it if you’d honor me with a review on Amazon, or even a few words we can share on our website to tell folks about what they learned (or more importantly, did) after reading the book. And of course, you can download a free chapter here–but why not grab the whole thing?
YOUR TURN: What are you reading this weekend? Tell us about it here, on Facebook or Twitter!