Your Official, Must-Read Summer Reading List (Plus a Book Giveaway!)

summer-reading-list

Summer is just around the corner. As an avid reader, I always look forward to immersing myself in the world of books as I visit parks and beaches, enjoying the beautiful summer of Pacific Northwest. A lot of my friends have been asking me what books I’ll be devouring this summer. Here’s six books I haven’t read, but were highly recommended. I plan to read these books in next several months.

As a big thank-you for my readers, I’m giving away one of the six books here. To enter the FREE book giveaway, simply share this post on your social media platform AND comment on this post which book you’d like to read and why.

PowerCues_72dpi

Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact Take control of your communications—before someone else does. What if someone told you that your behavior was controlled by a powerful, invisible force? Most of us would be skeptical of such a claim—but it’s largely true. Our brains are constantly transmitting and receiving signals of which we are unaware. In this provocative yet practical book, renowned speaking coach and communication expert Nick Morgan highlights recent research that shows how humans are programmed to respond to the nonverbal cues of others—subtle gestures, sounds, and signals—that elicit emotion. He then provides a clear, useful framework of seven “power cues” that will be essential for any leader in business, the public sector, or almost any context. You’ll learn crucial skills, from measuring nonverbal signs of confidence, to the art and practice of gestures and vocal tones, to figuring out what your gut is really telling you. This concise and engaging guide will help leaders and aspiring leaders of all stripes to connect powerfully, communicate more effectively, and command influence.

creativity,inc

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” From the early days at Lucasfilm to Pixar, success caused Catmull to ask why companies expanded like bubbles and then burst. “What was causing smart people to make decisions that sent their companies off the rails? Can paying careful attention to the missteps of others help us to be more alert to our own? Or is there something about becoming a leader that makes you blind to the things that threaten the well-being of your enterprise?” Creativity, Inc. provides insight into the answers to these questions from his experience at Pixar. It’s “about the ongoing work of paying attention—of leading by being self-aware, as managers and as companies.”

essentialism

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.

whats-best-nextWhat’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done Do Work That Matters. Productivity isn’t just about getting more things done. It’s about getting the right things done—the things that count, make a difference, and move the world forward. In our current era of massive overload, this is harder than ever before. So how do you get more of the right things done without confusing mere activity for actual productivity? When we take God’s purposes into account, a revolutionary insight emerges. Surprisingly, we see that the way to be productive is to put others first—to make the welfare of other people our motive and criteria in determining what to do (what’s best next). As both the Scriptures and the best business thinkers show, generosity is the key to unlocking our productivity. It is also the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in our work. By anchoring your understanding of productivity in God’s purposes and plan, What’s Best Next will give you a practical approach for increasing your effectiveness in everything you do.

what-youre-really-meant-to-doWhat You’re Really Meant to Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential How do you create your own definition of success—and reach your unique potential? Building a fulfilling life and career can be a daunting challenge. It takes courage and hard work. Too often, we charge down a path leading to “success” as defined by those around us—and ultimately, are left feeling dissatisfied. Each of us is unique and brings distinctive skills and qualities to any situation. Is there a road map that will enable you to defy conventional wisdom, resist peer pressure, and carve out a path that fits your unique skills and passions? Harvard Business School’s Robert Steven Kaplan regularly advises executives and students on how to tackle these questions. Kaplan shares a specific and actionable approach to defining your own success and reaching your potential. Drawing on his years of experience, Kaplan proposes an integrated plan for identifying and achieving your goals. He outlines specific steps and exercises to help you understand yourself more deeply, take control of your career, and build your capabilities in a way that fits your passions and aspirations. Are you doing what you’re really meant to do? If you’re ready to face this question, this book can help you change your life.

cover44123-mediumIt’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best Why surround yourself with the best? Because it matters—in all aspects of life. In fact, in professional environments, getting people right—what global leadership authority Claudio Fernández-Aráoz calls “the art of great ‘who’ decisions”—marks the difference between success and failure. To thrive, you need to identify those with the highest potential, get them in your corner and on your team, and help them grow. This series of short and engaging essays outlines the obstacles to great “who” decisions and offers solutions to address them in a systematic way. Drawing from several decades of experience in global executive search and talent development, as well as the latest management and psychology research, Fernández-Aráoz offers wisdom and practical advice to improve the choices we make about employees and mentors, business partners and friends, top corporate leaders and even elected officials. Starting with the cases of Amazon pioneer Jeff Bezos and Brazilian tycoon Roger Agnelli and continuing with individual and corporate examples from around the world, Fernández-Aráoz paints a vivid picture of what great “who” decisions look like and presents a fresh and commanding argument about why they matter more than ever today.

How to Enter the FREE Book Giveaway:

1) COMMENT one of the six books you’d like to read from this summer reading list and why?

2) SHARE this post on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The more places you share, the greater chance you’ll actually win the giveaway!

The giveaway will end on June 18th Midnight (PST). I’ll announce the winner on June 19th morning on my blog!