Humble Inquiry by Edgar H. Schein
Nothing shuts down communication faster than when one person tells another person what to do. It doesn't matter whether you are the CEO, a middle manager, or project leader, if you TELL without LISTENING, you will cripple your career... and your organization. Humble Inquiry is the art and practice "of asking instead of telling." This book is an easy read (and a must read for everyone who wants a successful, sustainable career).
I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvia Simmons
An Israeli Army officer once told me that he had had two profound experiences in his life. One was his first experience of combat. The other was when he attended a Leonard Cohen concert. As one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Cohen has influenced generations of artists, musicians, politicians, educators, and clergy. He has personally nourished me more than any other artist. When he died and I realized that I would never get to meet him, I decided to read his biography. It is a fascinating, insightful look at the creative influences that sparked his genius.
Strategic Management by Dess, Lumpkin, Eisner and McNamara
This book is exactly what it sounds like: A "how-to" guide for business strategy. If you want your business to be competitive and profitable, you need to either read this book... or hire someone who has.
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
A beautiful and tragic novel about the people of South Africa on the verge of apartheid (I was inspired to read this after meeting a young South African couple in Thailand this summer). The geography features so prominently in the narrative that reviewers have called the land “one of the book’s most important characters.” But this novel is set during a period of physical and cultural drought. The land is as barren as the tribal system that European colonialism has broken, uprooted and tossed aside. Beneath the surface is a story larger than Johannesburg, larger than Africa itself. It is a story of heartache and hope amid racial tension, and the possibility of reconciliation.
Flawless Consulting by Peter Block
A must-read for anyone wanting to go into management consulting or organizational development. Block lays out the fundamentals of contracting, dealing with resistance, capturing data, ethics, and implementation.
How about you? What books are you reading? What else should I have on my table right now?