Reading for Success

I recently reordered my one bookcase so that all of the business, leadership and self-help books that I’ve purchased and have not read were shelved together. I figured it would be a small section. Wrong!

(Photo by Cynthia Price)

Then I looked back on my blogs for the past year and discovered I had only read four such books – and that included the ones I read for the business book club to which I belong.

The ones I read this year had some great points. Here’s a quick recap:

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink describes the secret to high performance. It’s about autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie tells the story of TOMS shoes but also offers lessons from innovative companies.  The section on “Keep it simple” particularly resonated with me.

TouchPoints by Douglas Conant and Mette Norgaard describes interruptions as “opportunities to touch someone and improve the situation.” The interactions are framed using the TouchPoint Triad: Listen, Frame, Advance.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith forces you to look at various habits that may hold you back. Fortunately, Goldsmith also provides ways to change for the better, whether it’s through feedback, listening, thanking or following up.

Business and leadership books are a great way to keep your skills and thinking fresh. One of the subjects I want to learn more about is change management. To make sure I schedule time for reading about the topic, I recently agreed to present a short session on the subject at work. Now I have no excuse.

What books would you recommend I add to my list?

Touch Points Provide Leadership Opportunities

In the preface of TouchPoints author Douglas Conant, president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, explains that he doesn’t get tired of “ceaseless interruptions” because he doesn’t see them as that. Instead, he says, “They’re opportunities to touch someone and improve the situation.”

That really resonated with me. I have many interruptions in my day, and I often viewed them as disruptive. But after reading this book, I have a new perspective on each of these interactions.

Conant and his co-author Mette Norgaard argue that through these interactions leaders are able to increase their impact and promote their organization’s strategy and values.

In the book the authors discuss the TouchPoint Triad: Listen, Frame, Advance. A good starting point is to ask the question, “How can I help?” Framing the issue ensures that we have the same understanding of the issue. Advancing means deciding what steps to take next. A final point, they make is to follow up to see how things worked out.

This isn’t a weighty book, but it definitely changed my approach to the opportunities I have to interact each day.

How do you spend your day? Do you have interruptions or opportunities?