Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (Masterminds Series) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Part psychological study, part self-help book, Finding Flow is a prescriptive guide that helps us reclaim ownership of our lives. The author argues that the quality of our lives is determined not so much what we experience but by how we experience it.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge
This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices.
In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire.
Paid to Think: A Leader’s Toolkit for Redefining Your Future by David Goldsmith
Have you ever thought about the fact that a craftsman has more and better tools to solve challenges on the job than the leader of a business or organization does? Leadership “tools” are usually defined as computers, spreadsheets, data, and even experience, but in reality, leaders need thinking tools that are hard to come by, so they find themselves hunting and pecking for answers in books, at seminars, through on-the-job training programs, from mentors, and at business schools, and still, they’re left with gaps. Surely, most leaders are good at what they do, but the daily challenges of their jobs, like accelerating growth, increasing productivity, driving innovation, doing more with less, and balancing work with life don’t come with some sort of leadership toolkit…until now.
In Paid to Think, international consultant David Goldsmith presents his groundbreaking approach to leadership and management based on research revealing the twelve specific activities that all leaders perform on a daily basis, and he provides you with each activity’s accompanying tools and instructions proven to boost your performance and that of your entire organization.
Take the uncertainty out of everyday leading, convert ideas to realities, and maximize your intellectual value. Learn how decision makers at some of the world’s most successful organizations have already used Paid to Think’s universal and easily transferable tools—regardless of their industries, sectors, geographic locations, or management levels—as their greatest advantages in achieving more, earning more, and living more.
On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz
Alexandra Horowitz’s brilliant On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes shows us how to see the spectacle of the ordinary—to practice, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it, “the observation of trifles.” On Looking is structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, with experts on a diverse range of subjects, including an urban sociologist, the well-known artist Maira Kalman, a geologist, a physician, and a sound designer. She also walks with a child and a dog to see the world as they perceive it. What they see, how they see it, and why most of us do not see the same things reveal the startling power of human attention and the cognitive aspects of what it means to be an expert observer.
As the million-plus readers of Inside of a Dog have discovered, Alexandra Horowitz is charmingly adept at explaining the mysteries of human perception. Trained as a cognitive scientist, she discovers a feast of fascinating detail, all explained with her generous humor and self-deprecating tone. On Looking presents the same engaging combination, this time in service to understanding how human beings encounter their daily worlds and each other.
Page by page, Horowitz shows how much more there is to see—if only we would really look. On Looking is nutrition for the considered life, serving as a provocative response to our relentlessly virtual consciousness. So turn off the phone and other electronic devices and be in the real world—where strangers communicate by geometry as they walk toward one another, where sounds reveal shadows, where posture can display humility, and the underside of a leaf unveils a Lilliputian universe—where, indeed, there are worlds within worlds within worlds.
The Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking by Roger Martin
Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to understand and emulate how they think. Successful business people engage in what Martin calls integrative thinking creatively resolving the tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones. Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by asking probing questions including: What are the causal relationships at work here? and What are the implied trade-offs?
Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge including conceptual and experiential knowledge. Integrative thinking can be learned, and The Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.