Do you have your summer books stacked and ready for the beach? I do. I typically go into the summer with an ambitious pile of books that usually slide into the fall and the end of the year. For my entire adult life, I have kept a three-subject stack going at the same time: business related, theologically relevant (faith based), and a mindless fiction suspense novel. I often travel with all three and have one book in each category going at the same time.
Like last year at this same time, I asked a couple dozen friends to share what they have been reading or planning to read this summer. The list of friends included: CEOs, doctors, pastors, an artist, entrepreneurs, NFP leaders, university professors, and a few fellow fishermen.
It is a noisy, busy, crowded globe we live in and filtering (i.e., discerning) has become one of the greatest attributes any leader can possess. Time and attention are among our most prized resources. Be wise with those expenditures. We will become what we love and give our attention to. Without exception.
Back to the books.
I recognize that reading is not everyone’s primary learning style. It actually isn’t mine. Some people learn best by listening (we’re fortunate to be living in a podcast-crazy world) and others learn by doing. Your primary learning style is the one you default to and have the best cognition and recall. But regardless of your hard-wired style, make sure you are learning and implementing fresh thinking and insights every year of your life. Otherwise, life just repeats itself until the end.
Back to the books.
Here are some considerations for your summer stack:
- A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
- A Third Testament: A Modern Pilgrim Explores the Spiritual Wanderings of Heroes of the Faith by Malcom Muggeridge
- The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by Chris Zook and James Allen
- The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
- The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity by Marty Neumeier
- The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
- The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand
- The Fix by David Baldacci
- One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams by Chris Fussel
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
- Edge Strategy: A New Mindset for Profitable Growth by Alan Lewis and Dan McKone
- The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher
- Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit by Charles Swindoll
- The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni
Some of the books I have already read, and some I haven’t. Some are books that I need to read but they’re not thrilling page turners—just more hard work. Some of them I don’t fully agree with, but they help sharpen my thinking with an alternative view. Some are just fun and don’t require a lot of in-the-moment thinking but later creep back into my thinking with surprising deep reflection.
Perhaps you have a better list that fits your taste. Again, go for it, and if you have a minute send your list to me. I would love to see it.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” –Oscar Wilde
Steve is an organizational strategist, social innovator, pragmatic theologian, executive coach, and mentor. Over the past 25 years Steve has helped hundreds of organizations launch and scale, while authoring over 15 books aimed at showing business people how to flourish in their life and work.