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8 CEOs on books they read in a crisis

The sirens of Titan

The sirens of Titan

Kurt Vonnegut, well-known for his black comedy, debates over existential questions in regards to free will, destiny, and the meaning of life. 

 This is exactly the kind of lecture one needs in order to get his mind off what is happening around.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

8 CEOs on books they read in a crisis

8 CEOs on books they read in a crisis

https://www.fastcompany.com/90496885/8-ceos-on-books-they-read-in-a-crisis

fastcompany.com

8

Key Ideas

Superbetter

In her book, 'Superbetter', the author Jane McGonigal, teaches us all a valuable lesson on how to overcome obstacles while having a gamer's mindset, as she is herself a game designer.

The black swan

In his book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb provides an insight into how crisis events occur, enabling the reader to reach a better understanding of the topic while empathizing and communicating more efficiently with the others.

The sirens of Titan

Kurt Vonnegut, well-known for his black comedy, debates over existential questions in regards to free will, destiny, and the meaning of life. 

 This is exactly the kind of lecture one needs in order to get his mind off what is happening around.

The end is always near

In his book, Dan Carlin takes us back in time, reminding us of why history must be cherished, in order to better understand the present. 

Although the current times are extremely challenging, the world has already seen worse days.

The secrets of highly successful groups

Daniel Coyle presents, within the pages of his book, the influence of culture on the different types of organizations, from companies to sports teams. 

The company culture is maybe the most significant element when it comes to identifying the culture.

Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim: Blue ocean strategy

When reading this captivating book, you are bound to improve your self-confidence, as it teaches you how to handle competition, instead of fearing it. 

The main idea is that you can actually create new space within current markets and, therefore, make that competition irrelevant.

Ben Horowitz: The hard thing about hard things

This amazing story teaches company founders everything from leading their company at different times to changing the workforce. 

It is known to be a 'brilliant story of resilience and determination', as CEO Kirill Bigai, once said.

Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less

In his book, Greg McKeown draws everybody's attention to the process of reexamining the notion of what is most essential to each of our lives. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Questions for the Important Traits

Grit- ask on how determined a person in pursuing his dreams.

Rigor- ask if there was a time he considered a data to make a decision.

Impact- ask for what he have co...

When asking questions on the candidate's unique contribution..

Probe: give me an example…

Dig: who, what, where, when, why and how on every accomplishment or project

Differentiate: we vs. I, good vs. great, exposure vs. expertise, participant vs. owner/leader, 20 yard line vs. 80 yard line

Applying STAR questions

SituationWhat's the background of what you were working on?

TaskWhat tasks were you given?

ActionWhat actions did you take?

Results- What results did you measure?

5 more ideas

Corporate Speak
Corporate Speak

Corporations have a language that they use while talking in meetings or communicating in email. It’s called Corporate Jargon.

Corporate jargon is a forced and complicated way to exp...

Language With No Substance
  • The corporate jargon is often described as fluffy, without any real substance and aimed towards the speaker’s self-inflated ego.
  • Words are substituted for analogies and references that take longer to process, and have the intention of wrapping, hiding or impeding actual, effective communication.
The Emporer's New Clothes

Corporate speak may not mean anything of value to anyone in a meeting, but like the Emperor's New Clothes, no one wants to point out the inefficiency and mind-numbing nature of the constant use of the jargon. Everyone pretends that they are on the same page as everyone else.

4 more ideas

Have a focus

Don't try to be everything to everyone. Decide what your key message is and stick to it.

Keeping your message focused for your target demographic will make it that much easier to ...

Be authentic

It's the easy way to have an original personal brand. Pople can see right through a dishonest act and will call you out for it.

It will also make it much easier to manage your personal brand on a daily basis.

Tell a story

If your personal brand isn’t telling a story, you’ve already lost half of your potential audience.

The most effective personal branding strategy these days is to build a true narrative, a story around your brand that your audience can engage with.

8 more ideas

The Forgetting Curve

Our memories have a 'forgetting curve', and unless we review what we see or learn, most of the content is forgotten in 24 hours, and the rest in the following days.

Due to the Interne...

Memories Are Associations

The more information that is available to us, the more we are unable to retain it. Memory means association and most information we consume may be simply buried inside, lurking deep in, and surfacing when the right cue pops up.

Binge-watching or binge-reading serves no useful purpose as we are only holding the content in our working memories. That's why schools space out the chapters and review them, helping us retain the material.

Memories Get Interwoven

The art and culture we engage our brains in turn into memories which can be unpredictable and fickle.

The books we read, the songs we hear and the movies we watch become interwoven and entangled with everything else in our lives.

Mindsets in the workplace

We spend half of our day at work (and even more) and both our mindset and the mindset of those around us will have a significant impact on our life, especially the mindset of our leaders.

The fixed mindset in the workplace
  • It doesn’t easily allow you to change course.
  • It doesn't  believe in growth,  but in right and wrong and any suggestion of change or adaptation is considered a criticism.
  • Challenges or obstacles tend activate defensive mechanisms.
  • When something goes wrong, it doesn't take responsibility- it blame others because that would be akin to accepting inferiority.
  • Believes in a world of hierarchy: where some people are superior and some are inferior. 
Creating a growth-mindset environment
  • Presenting skills as learnable
  • Conveying that the environment values learning and perseverance, not just ready-made genius or talent
  • Giving feedback in a way that promotes learning and future success.
Tsundoku
Tsundoku

Many of us have a desire to read. We buy books, but then the demands of work and family catch up with us, and we never get round to reading the books. The Japanese calls it tsundoku

Finding the time for books

To give books the attention and time it deserves in your life, you need to make it a higher priority. It means you have to change your habits and routines to allow more reading.

Sometimes, your reading needs only a little encouragement to displace something that should be lower down on your list. For example, to forgo watching television and reading a book instead.

The reading habit: Succeeding long-term
  • First consider why you want to read more books. Reading should be enjoyable for you because you find them entertaining, calming, stimulating, and fascinating. Once the habit is set, you can also read other things you "should" read.
  • Change your surroundings to make it easier for you to grab a book. Reading apps can be prominent on your phone. Physical books should be in places that you most often frequent.
  • Create modest reading goals. Permit yourself to start with reading one page a day. Once the habit is established, you can increase it.
  • Once you have laid the foundation for your new reading habit, create an action association, such as reading on the train to work or with your mid-morning coffee or dinner.

one more idea

Slow down

Try not to react immediately, but be patient and gather as much information as possible.

If the problem will not matter a year from now, distance yourself somewhat from the situation to gain ...

Stay positive

When you are in a stressful situation, do not allow your mind to imagine the worst-case scenario. 

Focus your mind on something positive.

Never ask “what if?”

The "what if" line of questioning induces panic and lets you focus on imagined situations that escalate the problem.

Focus on the facts and work on a solution.

5 more ideas

Take on more responsibility
Command the tasks and responsibilities in your current role, then start solving the problems that your soon-to-be self would be working on.
The only way to eff...
Proactively communicate wins

Consistently exceed expectations in terms of your current role and job responsibilities. Take on more than expected, and manage these projects as well as your more senior colleagues.

Share your accomplishments early and often.

Demonstrate your accomplishments
  • Demonstrate that you have taken on additional responsibilities and provide specific details about your accomplishments. 
  • Share examples of projects you have completed and how they’ve positively impacted the business. Was there an increase in revenue? Did you save a customer? 
  • If you’ve received positive feedback from colleagues or other leaders regarding your work, be prepared to share that with your manager as well. 
  • Identify ways you’ve earned money for the company, for example through sales, upsells or creating efficiencies.

5 more ideas

The future workforce
The future workforce

In the future, change is the only certainty.

Workers, employers, and education providers need to be agile, flexible and prepared to adapt as technology continues to interrupt industrie...

Education vs training

Until two decades ago, the general goal of colleges was for academic pursuits and teaching individuals to become more well-rounded. The general thought was that colleges were not vocational institutions.

Now, and possibly in the future, colleges will have to focus more on training and change their curriculum to meet the demands of employers.

Alternatives 

A four-year college education remains the best choice for those who can get admitted to a selective university. But for everyone else, an alternative path might be the best way to go.

In the future, one training path will be company-sponsored apprenticeship programs to cover the skills missing between the secondary system and what employers are looking for.

4 more ideas