Asking questions is a fundamental part of our lives from our toddler years. Early on our questions may have been motivated around stalling our bedtimes or trying to distract our teachers. As we matured, our questions became more involved. We learned that there are open ended, leading, hypothetical, probing questions that help us in getting to the answers we are looking for. However, we also learned that asking questions is often met with mixed responses from others. This book review is about, A More Beautiful Question. In this book, Warren Berger lays out the arguments and a framework for asking questions to bring about breakthrough ideas and meaningful change to our lives. There is so much great content in this book. It will challenge your thinking and bring to mind so many applications in your life as a leader and change maker.
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While listening to a podcast a while back, I was struck by the mention of an issue that is demoralizing workplaces and limiting big results in companies. The issue is ego in the workplace. As I began looking into the research and the thinking behind this, I found Cy Wakeman’s book, No Ego.
The driver behind the research and theory of this book is workplace drama and entitlement – or “emotional waste” as the author calls it. This could be further defined as “mentally wasteful thought processes or unproductive behaviors.” The research shows that the average worker is spending approximately 2.5 hours per day in workplace drama. According to the research, ego influences activities such as: Read more
Building a business is hard – building a great business is even harder. As leaders, we are thinking about strategy, processes, team building, workflow, technology, customer attention and care, pricing, and so many other things every day. In fact, when we sit back and reflect, we know that we are generally ordinary people trying to do extraordinary things. The stories of Apple, Uber, and Amazon dominate business leadership books and leadership “manuals,” however many of us are not running a company like one of these. We are building those Small Giants in our efforts to make a difference in our sphere of influence. However, there are companies in ordinary industries around the world, whose leaders who reimagining what is possible in their very own businesses. In Simply Brilliant, we have stories of companies doing remarkable things in industries like office cleaning, retail banking, grocery, and electrical manufacturing – could we do this in the accounting profession?
William Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company and the author of Simply Brilliant, lays out these stories of success based on 4 principles that rose to the top in his research. Here is a recap of some of those things that seem ordinary but are producing extraordinary results. Read more
Every couple of months, I go back to a book that I have read and write up a book review. In these book reviews, I try to organize my thoughts and learning – this helps me to document my understanding and hopefully it also shares some worthwhile insights for you.
For the past several months, I’ve been working through the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Yes, this is the same guy who has made this phenomenon of a 4-hour workweek common language among entrepreneurs. If you are like me though, I didn’t read The 4 Hour Workweek. The simple reason is that I completely dismiss this notion because I find it insulting to me – a four-hour workweek – “in who’s world?” However, when Tools of Titans came out toward the end of 2016, I heard so many positive reviews from a number of authors, speakers, and leaders that I follow and respect. So, why not, I’ll give this Ferris guy a shot and see what he is all about. Read more
Do you have one of those books that you keep telling yourself that you should read, and yet for whatever reason, that book stays on the shelf. Well, for me, Small Giants – Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlingham was that book that sat on my shelf for years. However, it caught my attention again as I was captured by the title as I related it to my role as a business owner and an advisor to other small business owners. Isn’t this the question we ask ourselves and our customers ask themselves every year – “do we want to grow big?”