- It’s Not Luck by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Why: Thinking tools. Game given in the form of story. Provides processes to help make your thinking explicit. Mastering these thinking tools gives me confidence that I can completely transform the insights I have into a workable solution in just about any situation I’ll ever be faced with personally and professionally.
Favorite excerpt: “If you don’t understand something, it’s not that it doesn’t make sense. There must be something you are not aware of. Obtain more information or find someone with more insight on the situation.”
- The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge
Why: Leverage. This book helped me see the world from a systems perspective and helped me structure my learning in ways that I could create the leverage necessary to achieve desired results.
Favorite excerpt: “Avoid the by-products of static thinking. You can have you cake and eat it too, just not at the same time. Things only appear as rigid “either-or” choices because we think of what is possible at a fixed point in time. Real leverage lies in seeing how both can improve over time.”
- Leadership: The Inner Side of Greatness, a Philosophy for Leaders by Peter Koestenbaum
Why: Greatness. The Leadership Diamong and the Four Strategies for Greatness are life-changers. All too often people say “knowledge is power.” I don’t agree. My belief is that knowledge only represents potential. Knowledge properly applied is power! This books makes a promise to you and overdelivers on its responsibility. If you want to at least double the measurable success of your performance as a leader, simply learn and apply the knowledge found in this staple of my library.
Favorite excerpt: “You are free. And we mean by this that you possess free will, not necessarily political freedom. Political freedom can be taken away from you, but your free will cannot. That freedom is a philosophic and theological “fact,” not a scientific fact. But your freedom is constrained by two opposing facts. For one, you are not free to give up your freedom, that is, you are not free to “choose to choose.” Only death can deprive you of that last sliver of free will. The second is that freedom is confronted with the fixed alternatives of the real world.”
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
Why: “Conscientização!” The conscious competence learning model describes the stages a learner goes through when learning a new skill. The first of those four stages is called Unconscious Incompetence, which basically means you’re at the stage where you don’t know what you don’t know. It took reading this book for me to realize and then admit that I was “afraid of freedom.”
Conscientização is the term used to refer to the learning I began after being inspired by Mr. Freire. It refers to learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality, a cause I am absolutely dedicated to creatively progressing.
Favorite excerpt: “Human existence cannot be Silent, nor can it be nourished by
false words, but only by true words, with which men and women transform the world. To exist, humanly, is to name the world, to change it. Once named, the world in its turn reappears to the namers as a problem and requires of them a new naming. Human beings are not built in silence, but in word, in work, in action-reflection.”
- The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life by Robert Fritz
Why: Love. Robert Fritz is a genius! The way he breaks down the creative process is brilliant. This book is important to me because it helped me understand and articulate the reason why I do the work I do in the way I choose to do it. The motivation I hold to as a creator stems from a core desire for the future I am creating to exist. Mr. Friz says it beautifully: “the reason you would create anything is because you love it enough to see it exist.”
This book helped me understand the principles behind how I got where I am and how to utilize that understanding to get where I truly desire to be. In doing so, I’ve developed skills and tools to help others do the same with much less pain and other unnecessary costs.
Favorite excerpt: “As you begin to consider what you want to create in your life, it is good for you to know that the circumstances that presently exist are not the determining factor of the results you desire to create. You are not limited by them, even though it may seem you are entrenched in them.”