As 2018 winds down, I’d like to share a few of my favorite books from this year’s reading list. These 5 books are in no particular order, nor do they have a common theme. What they share is sharp, topical insight delivered exceptionally well!

This reading list contains fiction and nonfiction, business and pleasure as well as older and newer titles. One of the books  can be ready in a day and one book will need at least three weeks to digest (before moving on to the next books in this in its series!) I enjoyed them all and I invite you to do the same:

  

Turn The Ship Around! by L. David Marquet 

Reading List

 The author takes us through his Naval command career, showing us a new style of leadership, which empowers everyone in the chain of command to own their “link in the chain.”. With that ownership comes responsibility and a greater dedication to their job, mission and overall goals. 

A Key Take-Away: Send responsibility AND accountability down the line and work through the inevitable initial problems this will produce.

    

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neil Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Reading list

This science-fiction roller-coaster ride manages to weave together bleeding edge technology, magic, covert military operatives, witches and time travel! The writing partnership adds levity to the story’s gravitas and at the same time lends an air of seriousness to the fanciful! Definitely worth every minute you spend with this book!

Laugh out-loud moments are coupled with real scientific theories, all wrapped in an amazing thought experiment on the nature of time and the implications of changing history!

One of the best scenes: When the Viking marauders lay siege to a Walmart SuperCenter!

   

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

This book literally cracks the code on one of the most insidious barriers to women advancing in their chosen careers: Confidence! The authors mix evidence based research, medical science and personal anecdotes to define the challenge, it’s roots and straightforward answers for the reader: male and female. 

One of the most powerful sections of the book is when the authors set a working definition for “confidence“.  Breaking from the generally excepted idea that confidence is an attitude, using research observation neurological research they position Confidence as the propensity toward Action.

A-Ha Moment: “Confidence is life’s enabler – it is the quality that turns thoughts into action.”

  

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

I’ve read a TON of books in my time, but this was the first time I ever thought, in the moment, “This is beautiful writing.” The scale of this epic story is broken into three books, with”The Three-Body Problem” as the formidable structural foundation. Rooted in the recent past and rocketing generations into the future, Cixin Liu holds a mirror to humankind’s strengths and weaknesses.

Earth is being attacked by an advanced civilization that fears the potential of a primitive species that advanced from horseback to nuclear weaponry to space travel in less than 100 years. The vision of humanity’s political, societal and religious response to this attack make this book a compelling, challenging read!

Thought provoking moment #12: How would your faith withstand the knowledge that there was another, more advanced species in the universe?

  

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungat Stanier

Too many front-line managers throw the word “coaching“ around when discussing how they work with their direct reports. This book forces those  managers to re-examine their current habits and actions.

For a variety of reasons managers take on problems and activities instead of teaching and challenging their team members to become better at what they do. Using simple questions, the author presents new habits when dealing with our direct reports, 

Best new habit tool: “When _______ happens, I will ________” is 


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