Outsmart Your Instincts – book summary

You really have to respect a book that covers topics as modern as tomorrow with a Foreword that starts out. “I was born in Minnesota in 1928 …”. My curiosity was revved and I had to read this book. Besides, when there are three authors creating content for ten chapters in one book, most of them with the word ‘bias’ in the title, what would you do? Read it, of course. To give you just a little insight here, these are partial titles of each chapter. Negativity Bias, Availability Bias, The Curse of Knowledge, Status Quo Bias, Conformity Bias, Confirmation Bias, Framing – Like a Fish in Water, then my favorite chapter is titled, Confabulation – Of Course That’s Why I Did That! I guess it could be the word itself, confabulation, but more likely it’s the hint that there is an explanation for how stories from our history grow imaginary facts when processed through our memories. Are you curious yet?outsmart-your-instincts-book-cover

Since there are only 10 chapters with pretty cool titles, you, as the reader, could dive into the chapters that interest you most, or you could start at page one and systematically read through the entire book. You could – but I bet you won’t. I didn’t because some of the chapters were just too interesting to wait to read.

Outsmart Your Instincts. That’s how you move from what is into the potential of what can be. To sum up, you will be able to apply what you learn in this book as a tool for using the Behavioral Innovation™ approach to drive your company forward. In it there is a solid instruction like this statement straight out of the book. “Combat the tenacity of Cognitive Biases. Stay humble, keep curious, and never lose the sense of play.”

Read more about this lively, penetrating, and resourceful book here on the Biz Catalyst 360 network: https://www.bizcatalyst360.com/outsmart-your-instincts-how-the-behavioral-innovation-approach-drives-your-company-forward/ 

More Chocolate, No Cavities: How Diet Can Keep Your Kid Cavity-Free – Book Summary

Parents and dentists are often baffled when children in their care, who brush often, have enough fluoride, and don’t eat sugary treats, get cavities. Dr. Roger W. Lucas, DDS says the reason he wrote this book is so “parents who are motivated to keep their children cavity-free are not accidentally surprised when their child gets cavities.” This book, More Chocolate, No Cavities: How Diet Can Keep Your Kid Cavity-Free, was very easy and interesting to read. You will find that whether following a sequential path through the four unique sections or skipping about to whatever topic is most relevant right now, the context makes sense and is easy to follow. Besides parents, grandparents and anyone else concerned about cavities, this book is also written as a resource for dentists.More Chocolate, No Cavities book cover

The book summary is found here on the Bizcatalyst360 website.

“Cavities are 100% preventable.” Let me add here that Dr. Lucas goes into a deep and succinct explanation for his recommendations for preventing cavities in teeth from the time of the first tooth. His recommendations are on point for cavity prevention, but it is so sound, it can be extended to overall healthy habits.

I read this book and was intrigued by what I learned from the research and experiential knowledge of the author. It’s advice I can apply to my diet in general, and as a benefit, prevent future cavities.

URL: http://bizcatalyst360.com/more-chocolate-no-cavities-how-diet-can-keep-your-kid-cavity-free/

 

Beyond Books: BKPedia digital subscription

What’s your favorite part of going to a Chinese restaurant? Right. The fortune cookie that sort of ties up the meal when the tiny paper message is pulled from its cracked shell. Whoever is gathered around the table reads their fortune and everyone gets to decide if it fits or if that cookie belonged on someone else’s table. Recently, my fortune was tailor made for me. “Treat yourself to a good book for a needed rest and escape.” I have the perfect solution, instant gratification, because I have a BKPedia subscription.  This means I have hundreds or books available to read anytime, anyplace.  Berrett-Koehler publishers has collections of their own publications as well as content from The Center for Creative Leadership and AMACOM available to read electronically or as a printable PDF. BKPedia is the mecca for avid readers.

The very first thing I noticed when I scrolled down the page on the website [http://bkconnection.bkpedia.com/] was the collection of authors I have already come to admire through their books. Here are just a few whose books I can rave about honestly because I read their book and liked it enough to write a book report. See if any of these names stand out: Ken Blanchard, Jesse Lyn Stoner, Peter Block, Cheryl Bachelder, Jennifer Kahnweiler, Marshall Goldsmith, Devora Zack, Fred Miller Chip Bell, and too many others to list. Believe me – this digital subscription is valuable.Capture

Besides books there are also articles and case studies written by experts in the business, economics, and leadership communities. Here’s something you don’t see often. Along with each book, there are observations and thoughts to apply more of what the author is teaching. Many of the authors can be contacted by email to discuss subjects from their book in more detail. I’ve read books where the author provides contact information in their book and have taken advantage of that offer many times in the past. The advantages of dialog with an expert in a field I’m passionate about is something I appreciate.

If you visit BKPedia at http://bkconnection.bkpedia.com/ you can sign up for a trial subscription and if you love top selling books on leadership, organizational development, team building, and management this is an opportunity to try risk free. That’s what I did. I have access to two collections adding up to over 300 titles, Advances in Leadership and Management and Organizational Change and Innovation, so there is no way I’ll run out of excellent books to fill my quiver. The first book I laid eyes on in the very long list of titles was A Peacock in the Land of Penguins. That has been on my reading list for over a year and I was able to access the book in a matter of seconds.

Start with a free trial to see how easy it is to find books, read on your computer, tablet, or phone. I don’t know if all books are downloadable as PDFs but the ones I looked at have that feature. BKPedia is a valuable resource with instant access to feed my addiction to lifelong learning. Something for everyone who leads or follows in organizations or at home.

Here’s the link to the BKPedia website to sign up for your free trial. http://bkconnection.bkpedia.com/

The Serving Leader by Kenneth R. Jennings, John Stahl-Wert – Book Summary

Have you ever read a book that so overwhelmingly captured your heart you didn’t want it to end? That’s how I felt when I came to the end of The Serving Leader. Written in the style of a novel, this book teaches like a textbook that’s so interesting you can’t put it down. Each chapter adds precept upon precept, like building blocks which perfectly define and illustrate the Serving Leader.
Condensing the indispensable content of The Serving Leader is a challenge.

The Serving Leader is more than theory. It’s action. Each chapter title, in fact, starts with the directive, Action. This is because “Serving Leaders are in the trenches with their teams, businesses, and neighborhoods doing what others are just writing about.”

serving leader book coverAction: Upend the Pyramid
You qualify to be first by putting other people first.
You’re in charge principally to charge up others.

Action: Raise the Bar
To serve the many, you first serve the few.
The best reach-down is a challenging reach-up.

Action: Blaze the Trail
To protect your value, you must give it all away.
Your biggest obstacle is the one that hinders someone else.

Action: Build on Strength
To address your weaknesses, focus on your strengths.
You can’t become the best unless others do too.

Action: Run to Create Purpose
We all need to be assured of our purpose. If we are going to give our life to something, we want to know it has meaning and that our actions will make a difference. It’s how we are wired.

Read a full book summary here. http://bizcatalyst360.com/the-serving...

The Serving Leader was first written in 2003 when the idea of leadership from a servant’s heart was still a new concept, maybe even considered unlikely. Today, 2016, the authors have updated the text to provide broader insight and acute vision for the future of Serving Leaders

If you are searching for a way to up your game as a leader, become a Serving Leader. This book will inspire you to be a Trailblazer. You can serve a greater purpose. You can make a difference.

Leadership vs Followship

I’ve been thinking. Surprising, huh?

I read page after page every day of how to be a leader, how to direct and orchestrate the activities of others, how to turn chaos into creativity and ideas into innovative performance. I don’t read much about how to be a follower. There isn’t as much glamor in saying I’m a follower instead of I’m a leader.  Well, I’m different. I’m a self-admitted follower.  In fact, I’m an expert at followship because I pay attention to leadership.  I’ve never done this here before, but I read a book with a curious title ‘Hacking Leadership’ by Mike Myatt, and think people like me who are expert followers will like to read it too. Being a good follower takes just as much skill and ambition as being a leader. I should know; I’ve been a follower for many years and have a proven track record in Followship.  If you’re interested in what Hacking Leadership has to say, read my book review – then get your copy from Barnes & Noble or at Amazon.

I was introduced to Mike Myatt through reading his articles in Forbes. When I learned of his new book, Hacking Leadership, I was curious to learn how he would write an entire book on the topic of hacking and leadership. From page xi – the Prologue- I was hooked.  He told about a quote hanging in his office that I, myself had read and discarded as defeating. The quote was ‘It is what it is.’ Mike didn’t discard the quote as I did, he took action and reconfigured it to read ‘It is what it is … Until you take action.’ My thought? Let’s see how action works in the life of the man recognized as America’s Top CEO Coach. Mike gives us 11 major categories that begin with “Hacking the” and ends with ‘gap’. Between those words are gaps within gaps that need to be closed to be a successful, trusted, and productive leader.

Without editorializing, here are my favorite quotes from Mike Myatt’s design for Hacking Leadership.

  1. Hacking the Leadership Gap – Leadership is not about power and control, it’s about the betterment of people whom the leader serves. Leadership is improvement, inspiring positive change, and challenging conventional thinking. The purpose of leadership is to unlock the potential of others so they can shine and unlock the potential of countless more.
  2. Hacking the Purpose Gap – The best leaders understand the importance of transforming personal values into a greater sense of purpose. Leadership is pursuit – of excellence, of what if, of what’s next, of change, of value – the pursuit of excellence.
  3. Hacking the Future Gap – To hack the future, you must have clear perspective on the past; must understand how to navigate the present.
  4. Hacking the Mediocrity Gap – Leadership exists to disrupt mediocrity. Stable leaders pay attention to the four pillars of stability: True North – strong convictions and principles / Play how you practice – train, develop, keep learning for a lifetime / Lead with compassion – empathetic / Freedom to Fail – Make it safe for people to fail. Reward for right behavior, not punished for them.
  5. Hacking the Culture Gap – Diversity is finding people who share your vision, but bring a different set of relevant professional and life experiences to the organization. Smart leaders do business based on doing the right things, rather than doing them right; promote based on the character and contribution of the individual.
  6. Hacking the Talent Gap – Well, maybe a little editorializing here. This powerful chapter sold the book to me. – Leaders don’t put people in boxes; they free then from boxes. True leadership is about helping people reach places they didn’t know they could go. Within this major gap ‘Talent Gap’ Mike discusses the closing of these other gaps:  Trust, Loyalty, Talent, Hiring, Definition, Quality, Consensus, Fit, Pressure, Turnover – Buy the book for Chapter 6, everything else is a bonus.
  7. Hacking the Knowledge Gap – Sometimes you must ‘unlearn’, Best leaders constantly seek out and engage those who challenge their thinking. They are curious, inquisitive, with insatiable appetites for learning.
  8. Hacking the Innovation Gap – Big difference between ideas and innovation. Ideas are ethereal. The value is proven when ideas are executed.  Chapter 8 lists the 6 step process to obtaining value from ideas. Have you heard of SMART? Find it in Chapter 8 Hacking the Innovation Gap.
  9. Hacking the Expectation Gap – The author says this is the shortest chapter in the book but the most important. To be a trusted leader, learn to align expectations, commitments, and accountability.
  10. Hacking the Complexity Gap –Productivity has an enemy; it’s complexity. Mike suggests simplifying every process, initiative, and offering. Great companies thrive in the absence of complexity. Simplicity is critical to success.
  11. Hacking the Failure Gap – Failure is the best experiential learning tool available. Mike says, “Show me someone who fears nothing and I’ll show you someone who lacks judgment.”  He goes on to share that failing is the opportunity to grow, develop, stretch and push.

If you’re a leader, or if you’re a follower of a leader, this book is a valuable asset to your library and a resource to learn from throughout the year. Mikes closing statement “I wish you the best of luck on your leadership journey.”