Each January I pose the question: What book are you reading now? Charlie Rose in his nightly program of interviews often poses a similar question to his famous guests, most of whom are national or international leaders in their professions. They always seem to have a book they are reading about which they have opinions, insights, and comments.
Lifelong learning is essential to grow as a leader. A habit of reading books is important to that growth. What role do books play in your life? In your learning? Making time to read books is important. Technology helps. I read books on the Kindle app on my iphone when I have short periods of downtime away from home. I have friends who like audio books best.
My favorite books in 2016 had lessons for work and life but they were about being above the earth. In Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot, Mark Vanhoenacker describes the life of a commercial airline pilot with thoughtful reflections on the experience of flying. If you fly frequently, this book may deepen your appreciation of your experiences. Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth : What Going to Space Taught Me about Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything is summarized nicely in the title. I used in an MBA course. It was my favorite book this past year. I also enjoyed Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Good movie and good book.
The movie "Arrival" inspired me to read Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. If you enjoy science fiction, I recommend. 2016 was also the year I discovered the poems of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. And for those who might be interested, I found Stafford Betty's When Did You Ever Become Less by Dying? Afterlife: The Evidence intriguing.
As we begin 2017, here are books on my reading list:
- America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World
by Kevin Baker
- The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo
- The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women by Harriet Rubin
- The Landscapes of Frederic Edwin Church: Vision of an American Era by David C. Huntington
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them”, Mark Twain.
Or as the comedian Groucho Marx said, “Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
What are you reading?
Image Public Domain. From: https://pixabay.com/en/books-reading-reading-book-read-1316306
© John Ballard, PhD, 2017. All rights reserved.
Author of Decoding the Workplace, BEST CAREER BOOK Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2016.
"Decoding the Workplace: 50 Keys to Understanding People in Organizations is as informed and informative a read as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. . . Decoding the Workplace should be considered critically important reading for anyone working in a corporate environment." —Midwest Book Review