There’s nothing better than reading a new book, so if you have one to recommend, feel free to reach out! Here are a few of my favorites this season.
Blitzscaling, by Reid Hoffman. When is scaling at a breakneck pace in an uncertain environment a good decision? In this book, Reid, cofounder of Linkedin and partner at Greylock, sets out to explain why and how to blitzscale in order to succeed in winner-take-all environments.
Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall Rosenburg. When Satya Nadella first took over Microsoft, he gave every member of his leadership team a copy of this book. His intention was to establish a compassionate culture to decrease conflict across the company (see Jeff Weiner’s thoughts). This wonderful book outlines an approach to compassionately communicate with others through the use of observations, emotions, and needs, as opposed to judgments or inferences of one’s intentions.
Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami. A friend gifted this book to me (without reading it first, mind you), knowing that I loved exploring Murakami’s surreal portrayals of lonesomeness in his other books Kafka and the Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Norwegian Wood forgoes the magical realism of Murakami’s previous works to focus instead on a very real story between two Tokyo college students entangled together in threads of love, loss, and mental wellness. This comparatively straightforward love story has become one of my absolute favorites from Murakami.
Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou. Currently reading.
South of the Border, West of the Sun, by Haruki Murakami. Currently reading.
Mindset, by Carol Dweck. In this book, Professor Dweck talks about how people with a “fixed mindset” – a tendency to believe that success is a result of innate, immutable ability – learn less and pursue fewer challenges than those with a “growth mindset”. By adopting a growth mindset, we can reframe failures into opportunities to become better students, teammates, leaders. As Dweck puts it, “Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?”
Deep Work, by Cal Newport. Cal argues that focusing deeply without interruptions on challenging tasks is a differentiating skill that allows you to produce work that most cannot, all the while providing maximal fulfillment in your life. “The more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish.” Cal – who also happens to be a professor of computer science at Dartmouth – outlines several strategies to practice deep work, including: minimizing attention residue, batching/minimizing shallow tasks, practicing attention, and quitting social media. He also emphasizes the role of downtime for creativity and recovery (see ego depletion). It’s a great read that fits well into the existing litany of psychology research on willpower and attention.