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.
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition by David Bornstein
What business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are, writes David Bornstein, the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give up–and remake the world for the better. How to Change the World tells the fascinating stories of these remarkable individuals – many in the United States, others in countries from Brazil to Hungary – providing an In Search of Excellence for the nonprofit sector. These extraordinary stories highlight a massive transformation that is going largely unreported by the media: Around the world, the fastest-growing segment of society is the nonprofit sector, as millions of ordinary people – social entrepreneurs – are increasingly stepping in to solve the problems where governments and bureaucracies have failed. How to Change the World shows, as its title suggests, that with determination and innovation, even a single person can make a surprising difference.
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.
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.
Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner
Gardner has put together a thought-provoking, visionary attempt to delineate the kinds of mental abilities (“minds”) that will be critical to success in a 21st-century landscape of accelerating change and information overload. Gardner’s five minds – disciplined, synthesizing, creating, respectful and ethical – are not personality types, but ways of thinking available to anyone who invests the time and effort to cultivate them: “how we should use our minds.” In presenting his “values enterprise,” Gardner uses a variety of explanatory models, from developmental psychology to group dynamics, demonstrating their utility not just for individual development, but for tangible success in a full range of human endeavors, including education, business, science, art, politics and engineering.