Influences June 2021

One of my colleagues mentioned a new Adam Grant book, Think Again, is on his to-read list. I snapped it up via my library’s Libby app. It reads as Adam Grant speaks. The book reminded me of some other books I read between 2018 and 2019 that I mostly forgot. I like to find ways to apply concepts from podcasts and books I consume. The slip box/second brain concept was not on my radar at that time. I forgot many of the ideas and concepts from some of these books. Think Again reminded me of Thank You for Arguing. This book stands out by sharing the techniques of public speaking and group persuasion techniques. As of late, I started using the rhetorical technique, “One the one hand, and on the other hand” in conversations to air the plusses and minuses of some of our strategic choices. I vaguely remember using this after reading the book. It is fun to employ it again.

Another book I am revisiting is Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets. Grant’s book touches on decision strategy. The big takeaway I share with others is the idea of disconnecting decisions from outcomes.

I am skimming Invent & Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos. Amazon stands apart in its usage of writing clear memos to invest in great opportunities. Concise approaches to decision-making. Bezo repeats the fact that many products that became hits were never asked for by customers. Bezos writes in his 2017 shareholder letter the importance of high standards.

[High Standards] are teachable, they are domain specific, you must recognize them, and you must explicitly coach realistic scope.

Are you using humor in your company and day-to-day? No? You are missing out. Humor, Seriously is a book that explains how simple humor is a powerful tool. It is funny to boot.

A book I am looking forward to summarizing is Leading Without Authority by Keith Ferrazzi. The big takeaway from it so far is to excel in today’s environment of matrixed highly-cross functional collaborative teams requires planning what relationships you need to nurture to co-elevate each other to achieve your mutual goals. You need to reach out first and start coaching.