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Books I have read – December 2009

Another monthly update on the books I read during the past month. For a complete a list, you can visit my virtual bookshelf.

Systemic Thinking

I read Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization a few times so I was looking forward to his new collaborative book.

The Necessary Revolution: How individuals and organizations are working together to create a sustainable world

My Rating

A few words on the book: This time, Senge and his collaborators propose a systemic approach to help solve the environmental and social challenges we are currently facing (Energy & Transportation, Food & Water, and Material Waste & Toxicity). He provides real life examples of people and organizations who have successfully implemented sustainable solutions by: following a systemic approach, collaborating, and inspecting & adapting their production methods.  Although at times the picture seems very bleak, seeing true solutions to some of the most complex problems our planet is facing was encouraging. Overall, a good book to read.

Servant Leadership

In the past year, I have heard references to servant leadership hundreds of time. Since I like to learn about various leadership styles and after a colleague suggested this training course, I jumped in. For more details on this training course, you may want to read my summary.

The Servant Leadership Training Course: Achieving Success Through Character, Bravery, and Influence

My Rating:

A few words on the book: A word of advice, although the beginning of this training course (audiobook) sounds like preaching by an experienced motivational speaker, the references and analogies used throughout the course are useful and eye-opening. Our organization strongly relies on servant leadership principles and getting the bigger picture will hopefully help me improve along those lines.

Stewardship

After releasing his audiobook The Right Use of Power, Peter Block wrote this book that provides more explanation around his philosophy of stewardship.

The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters

My Rating

A few words on the book: In this book Block details his philosophy about life and work and breaks many of the common assumptions one makes when entering the work force. He offers new paradigms and presents why the old patriarchal type relationship between boss and employees does not work. If like me, the status quo isn’t your perspective, you will like Block’s thinking but beware implementing some of his suggestions is very demanding as society doesn’t (yet) work as Peter suggests.

People keep asking “How?” as a defense against living their life, says best-selling author Peter Block. In this witty, insightful award-winning book, Block shows that many standard solutions and improvement efforts, reinforced by most of the literature, keep people paralyzed. Here he places the “how to” craze in perspective and teaches individuals, workers, and managers ways to act on what they know. This in turn allows them to reclaim their freedom and capacity to create the kind of world they want to live in. Block’s “elements of choice” — the characteristic of a new workplace and a new world based on more positive values — include self-mentoring, investing in relationships, accepting the unpredictability of life, and realizing that the individual prospers only when the community does.

Amazon.com

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Interesting list. If you’re thinking about books for 2010, consider “Drive: The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us.” by Dan Pink. He has ideas about the need to move from ‘management’, which is about blind compliance to ‘engagement’ that I think are very interesting and worthwhile.

    I would also still love to do a series with you on Semler. We’ve completed buying the payroll service bureau and I actually gave “Maverick” to my two partners. We’re thinking a lot along these lines as we’ve got to reshape the company we bought.

    Andy
    .-= Andrew Meyer´s last blog ..The Real Reason Twitter is Business Critical =-.

    January 9, 2010
    • Funny coincidence – I added Pink’s other book to my shopping cart a few weeks ago (A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future)… I’m starting to fall behind on my reading. I have 6 books on the corner of my desk just waiting for me to give them attention ;-)

      I’ll add your suggestion to the cart. At least, that backlog won’t be on my desk…

      Congratulations and good luck with your new acquisition. Drop me a line when you’re ready to initiate a collaborative blog post.

      January 9, 2010

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