Recently, a potential client asked me that question. For a moment I thought, Oh My, I better answer this one correctly, and then I took a deep breath and thought to myself – relax! I love to read, and so as he asked me, I turned my chair around to look at my bookshelves (I have several in my office – they bring me great comfort!). As he was a business client, I assumed he meant business related texts, so I looked on that shelf. Hhmm…do I have a favourite? – I’m not really sure I do, as so many of the books offer different perspectives, ideas and applications. The first thing that came to mind though was a model, from a book, rather than the whole book, and it’s Stephen Covey’s framework from the 7 Habits about Being Pro-Active. This is truly a model that I keep in my head, always, and it’s an approach to work and to life that I find extremely powerful (if you’re not familiar with it, check it out – and if you’ve been a client of mine, you’ve likely heard about it from me).
There are others though, Peter Senge’s work in the Fifth Discipline: Fieldbook; the concepts from the Zander’s in the The Art of Possibility; the new book by Duhigg about The Power of Habit; Block’s Flawless Consulting; Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow; William Bridge’s Managing Transitions; and a new one by Shirzad Chamine about Positive Intelligence: which I’m just about to start….books about teams by Katzenback, Parker, and Lencioni…. so many!!
What I notice about the books that I’m drawn to, is that they share a balanced approach: there’s practicality and humanity; there’s the part that appeals to our “rational” selves – the “doing” part of us, and there’s the part that appeals to our “emotional/spiritual” selves – our inner selves – the “being” part of us. As an individual who cherishes and lives “balance”, these authors speak to my need for integrating the best of who we are from all of our dimensions.
And then of course there’s the fiction… another whole set – again each providing different perspectives and insights, told to us through the world of imagination and creativity and allowing us to consider and reflect on life from a completely different vantage point! Pride and Prejudice is a classic and one of my all time favourites; I love anything written by Jane Urquart; and the The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which I just finished was an absolutely compelling read – I’d highly recommend it. Again, books that challenge my thinking, both on a rational and an emotional level, as protagonists share their stories about the choices and decisions they make through their various journey’s. I really do love to read – did I mention that
so… What is your favourite book – what are you reading – what do you want to read – and what would you recommend!
Have a great day! and PS – take some time to read