Thursday, July 5, 2012

Read and Boast IV: Nonfiction for Work

The day has come, my friends, when I now read more for work than for fun. In addition to no longer having the time and motivitation to post here regularly, I also no longer have time to read for pleasure regularly. I have, however, managed to squeeze in a few not-that-fun nonfiction novels in the last couple of months--partly because I was interested and partly to put on my shelves at work so it looks like I give half a shit about my professional development.

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.  Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown.

Ms. Wiseman was part of a leadership series offered by my company earlier this year, and spoke about what makes the best leaders.  Interestingly enough, her research led her to believe that it is those leaders who regularly challenge those around them while giving ample room to grow into their skills.  This includes leaving those around you with the room to fail and not necessarily stepping in to help just because you can do something better than they can.

I really enjoyed Ms. Wiseman's presentation and read about 3/4 of this book.  I figure I'll read the rest when I become a "real" manager.
Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.  Cialdini, Robert, and some other people whose names are much smaller but who probably did most of the work.

I was fortunate enough to hear Mr. Cialdini speak at the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) National Conference this year in Vegas.  While I enjoyed this book in that it couches psychological findings in concrete examples of persuasion in everyday life and have used some of the "scientifically proven ways" in my own work, I felt slightly dirty reading this kind of thing and only finished about half the book.  (Also, Mr. Cialdini shamelessly used his methods of persuasion on the audience at the conference, immediately after telling us what those methods were.  The fact that the line at his book signing table was around the corner afterwards made me want to yell at all the sheeple. In protest, I later bought the book used at Half Price Books.)
I'll probably finish reading this when I've completed my transformation into a soulless corporate shill and want to know how best to manipulate those around me.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

Chip Heath was also a speaker at this year's ACMP conference.  He's an engaging speaker and uses metaphors deftly in his presentations.  I found the book on sale and put it in my office but haven't read it yet.
... I told you I didn't have time to read anymore.  Sigh.
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