- February 19, 2021
- Posted by: aopp-admin
- Categories: People Development, Retention
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I worked for many years with a leadership coach, Dave Maguire. As each year-end approached, I looked forward to receiving a carefully curated non-fiction book from Dave’s personal library. Most years the choice made perfect sense: Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate by Robert Caro arrived during a re-election year. Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life: Life is Long if You Know How to Use It was a well-timed gift during a time of personal despair. Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. Uh, no idea!
As I reflect on these gifts which still adorn my office bookshelves, it seems he was simply saying: Read. Expand your brain. Learn to be a critical thinker. Of course, he was also using books to give me a few specific lessons to supplement our many discussions.
I haven’t yet reached the point where I am sending books to all my clients on an annual basis. But I do wear them out with frequent references to some of my favorites. So, I figured, why not share a few book recommendations with all of you? My goal is to share a book recommendation twice per month. Let me know what grabs your attention and why. I’d love to hear from you.
Starting a project like this means I have to make a first choice. Those of you who know me well have heard me describe my theory about lists. My experience is that what people put first and last are significant; often the others are ordered haphazardly. This theory does not apply to this project! I have over 50 books I want to tell you about. You get to decide which ones you find most impactful.
I am starting with one of my favorite books from the last year. You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy. This was a 2020 choice of the Next Big Idea Club, a readers’ group I joined which was started by Dan Pink, Susan Cain, Adam Grant and Malcolm Gladwell. Kate Murphy’s book is an informative and approachable study of a skill that most of us aren’t very good at. ( Me included.) I learned a lot about why we are bad listeners and how to get better at it. I now believe that listening is the most important skill we all need to be effective communicators. This book will help you with your boss, your customers, the people you supervise, and with those you love.
Let me know what you think. I promise to listen.
Ed Offterdinger is a former CEO and Managing Partner who served in senior leadership roles for 25 years and is now a leadership coach, strategic advisor and author. His first book, co-authored with his AO co-founder Catherine Allen, is titled ‘‘Conscious, Capable and Ready to Contribute: How Employee Development can become the Highest Form of Social Contribution.” It’s set to publish in 2021 through Conscious Capitalism Press. Connect with him on LinkedIn.