Inspired in 2015: My Top 5 Books

As is traditional at this time of year I thought I would enter into the spirit of things by sharing with you five books that have inspired me this year.  They have all had an impact on me in different ways.  Whether improving my understanding of others, getting my creative juices flowing or helping me shine a light on my own development I have enjoyed reading every one.

In alphabetical order they are…

Helping by Edgar H Schein
My personal takeaway:  As helping involves more than one person it is more beneficial for it to be viewed as a relationship rather than a one-way  process.  By understanding what constitutes a good relationship for all involved we are able to improve open communication and build trust.  As someone who often takes on an advisory role this approach has assisted me in further developing my own skills in relation to helping others.

Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
My personal takeaway:  Repeatedly ‘re-living’ and ‘pre-living’ past and potential future events tires me out!  Being more in the present has helped me gain clarity and get my mojo back 🙂

Reinventing Organisations by Frederick Laloux
My personal takeaway:  The four quadrant model enabling deeper understanding of the interplay between organisational culture and systems and peoples’ beliefs and behaviours helped me find the missing dimension in my work on high performing technical teams.  Fred Laloux is a legend!

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo
My personal takeaway:  ‘The rule of three’ is based on an insight that most people are able to happily remember three pieces of information.  Using the rule has encouraged me on several occasions to cut through the rubbish and hone in on my key messages.  It has been an extremely useful framework to follow.  Though I must confess that sometimes it’s not quite gone to plan but that’s been down to me getting carried away!

The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin
My personal takeaway:  In a world full of sound bites, everyone seems fixated on black and white answers and quick-fix thinking.  Creative, inspired solutions to complex challenges are often born out of the tension that exists between two opposing, conflicting ideas.  This book reconfirmed my view that ‘either/or’ thinking is just not enough and the power lies in harnessing integrated thinking and your opposable mind.

If you decide to explore these books too, I hope you enjoy reading them.


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