book recommendations part 1

July 24, 2019

notes

Around these parts, we’re a family divided on self-help books. Dan is all about them, while Mal is pretty skeptical. Too many (especially in the entrepreneurial world) either say in 200 pages what could be said in 10 or are about the three things every business owner needs to be like Bill Gates. No offense, William but I don’t wanna be like you. And there is most definitely not ONE way to do things. Regardless, these books (if done well) can provide an oft-needed, little mental shake up so here are some we've been digging recently: 

1. Feck Perfunction - James Victore : SUPER short & not sweet. James Victore lays out his dictums for living a life in full color in the blunt way I so admire. James is so lovingly subversive and consistently stops the reader in our tracks with his words, designs, and ideas. His goal is to awaken more in you and thereby change the world, one infected reader at a time. Just full of fantastic one-liners.

Favorite Quote: It is not my intention to be inspirational or make you feel good -- but rather to challenge you. I want to ask difficult questions of you, to force introspection and possibly change. I want to tempt you with the possibility that your creativity is not a "weekend" thing, but an integral part of who you are and something that you should start getting paid for -- because inspiration without action is bullshit.

2. Leadership & Self-Deception - The Arbinger Institute : A guide to breaking down ego and defensiveness in relationships.and opening our hearts and minds to the idea that how we treat others is how we treat ourselves. If you've found yourself in a leadership role and you've wanted to question your motive behind every action and reaction you have, Leadership and Self-Deception is a good place to start. Every time we have contact with another human we are either in the box or out of the box in regards to them. Getting out of the box is about your higher-level of intent in terms of relating with others. Do you consider them as human with human needs, desires and motives with a reality exactly as correct as your own. Luckily the Arbinger Institute lays down this doozy as a fictional tale of Tom, a high powered manager at Zagrum Company so we can feel once removed from the insights being leveled.

Favorite Quote: “Self-betrayal 1. An act contrary to what I feel I should do for another is called an act of “self-betrayal.” 2. When I betray myself, I begin to see the world in a way that justifies my self-betrayal. 3. When I see the world in a self-justifying way, my view of reality becomes distorted. 4. So — when I betray myself, I enter the box.”

2.5 The Arbinger Institute has two follow up books. The Anatomy of Peace serves as a manual for building an outward mindset - for relaxing into a heart at peace and letting go of conflicts with others that we hold on to and therefore help reinforce. In my opinion the third book, The Outward Mindset, was not worth the time.

3. Reboot - Jerry Colonna : Jerry, an executive coach and Buddhist, blends mindfulness and a no-nonsense attitude (own your own bullshit, people) to direct people into radical self inquiry which I feel is sometimes missing in these types of books. Often it isn’t so much what you need to add to your life, but the things you need to take away. He addresses the underlying malaise that our culture creates through trumpeting a zero sum game of winners and losers, of achievers and not-havers. Driven by a childhood fraught with strife (and to be honest, some of Jerry's personal demons stem from growing up with a mom with mental disorder speak to my own experiences), Jerry found himself with all the financial and career 'success' any human could hope to achieve, and at the brink of suicide. Colonna let his own heart break wide open and realize the true broken beauty within his soul. In his early and mid career, pursuing his never enoughness with a frantic fervor Jerry mistakenly thought he would build the foundation he needed for a happy, full life. Instead he fell into the trap of being used by those around him as he bought into their demands on his time and energy. Only in setting boundaries and slowing the fck down was he able to stop striving to be something other than what he was - a flawed and fully human person.

Favorite Quote: Hello to humans who occupy the fullness -- the glory and the mess-- of their lives. Hello to broken-open-hearted warriors. Hello to the leaders this broken world needs most. Hello to being the leader you were born to be. Hello to warriors with broken-open hearts. There is no one way, but there is one requirement: to go inward. Sitting still, hanging out in the space between the frames of life speeding by: that is the path of radical self-inquiry

4. Fire Starter Sessions - Danielle LaPorte : Danielle is vibrant, a little cheesy, and so naturally alive. This tome can be read and re-read in whole or in part. It is useful when you need a little cheerleading and also a smack upside the head at the same time. She presents difficult questions as journaling worksheets and so what if we haven't done them all yet, the one's we've done have been chalk full of meaty self-inquiry and growth-sparking insight.

Favorite quote(s): "Balance doesn't exist, but proportion and harmony do." || "We know you're busy, now shut up about it."

5. Radical candor - Kim Scott : Okay, you've progressed as a leader, you've learned to care about your team as individual humans with needs and desires, but if you've ever fallen into the trap of being more friend than boss, check out Kim Scott's book and bring a little Radical Candor into your life. Kim breaks down why we've typically been given the choice between working for assholes who exhibit manipulative insincerity and incompetents who exhibit ruinous empathy. It turns out, it's much more challenging and fiscally rewarding to work for assholes who manipulate workers than for someone so worried about being your friend that they'll avoid conflict. The key is to care so much that you do not shy away from the pain of truth when it is needed. Becoming a radically candid leader is about being competent and caring, being empathetic and truth telling. And of course, to dish our criticism effectively, you must invite it wholeheartedly

Favorite Quotes: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

And before you say it, yes we are very aware and self-conscious of how these are from all white people (and mostly white men). Learning how to approach life and business from these people is like being taught to dunk by someone who is 7'2." Yes, you're going to learn some things but also think of the 4 foot leg up they have. We welcome and enthusiastically invite any recommendations for things to read from different and diverse perspectives.

pictures courtesy of @sullivanandsullivanstudios

learn more about taking a class

book recommendations part 1

July 24, 2019

notes

Around these parts, we’re a family divided on self-help books. Dan is all about them, while Mal is pretty skeptical. Too many (especially in the entrepreneurial world) either say in 200 pages what could be said in 10 or are about the three things every business owner needs to be like Bill Gates. No offense, William but I don’t wanna be like you. And there is most definitely not ONE way to do things. Regardless, these books (if done well) can provide an oft-needed, little mental shake up so here are some we've been digging recently: 

1. Feck Perfunction - James Victore : SUPER short & not sweet. James Victore lays out his dictums for living a life in full color in the blunt way I so admire. James is so lovingly subversive and consistently stops the reader in our tracks with his words, designs, and ideas. His goal is to awaken more in you and thereby change the world, one infected reader at a time. Just full of fantastic one-liners.

Favorite Quote: It is not my intention to be inspirational or make you feel good -- but rather to challenge you. I want to ask difficult questions of you, to force introspection and possibly change. I want to tempt you with the possibility that your creativity is not a "weekend" thing, but an integral part of who you are and something that you should start getting paid for -- because inspiration without action is bullshit.

2. Leadership & Self-Deception - The Arbinger Institute : A guide to breaking down ego and defensiveness in relationships.and opening our hearts and minds to the idea that how we treat others is how we treat ourselves. If you've found yourself in a leadership role and you've wanted to question your motive behind every action and reaction you have, Leadership and Self-Deception is a good place to start. Every time we have contact with another human we are either in the box or out of the box in regards to them. Getting out of the box is about your higher-level of intent in terms of relating with others. Do you consider them as human with human needs, desires and motives with a reality exactly as correct as your own. Luckily the Arbinger Institute lays down this doozy as a fictional tale of Tom, a high powered manager at Zagrum Company so we can feel once removed from the insights being leveled.

Favorite Quote: “Self-betrayal 1. An act contrary to what I feel I should do for another is called an act of “self-betrayal.” 2. When I betray myself, I begin to see the world in a way that justifies my self-betrayal. 3. When I see the world in a self-justifying way, my view of reality becomes distorted. 4. So — when I betray myself, I enter the box.”

2.5 The Arbinger Institute has two follow up books. The Anatomy of Peace serves as a manual for building an outward mindset - for relaxing into a heart at peace and letting go of conflicts with others that we hold on to and therefore help reinforce. In my opinion the third book, The Outward Mindset, was not worth the time.

3. Reboot - Jerry Colonna : Jerry, an executive coach and Buddhist, blends mindfulness and a no-nonsense attitude (own your own bullshit, people) to direct people into radical self inquiry which I feel is sometimes missing in these types of books. Often it isn’t so much what you need to add to your life, but the things you need to take away. He addresses the underlying malaise that our culture creates through trumpeting a zero sum game of winners and losers, of achievers and not-havers. Driven by a childhood fraught with strife (and to be honest, some of Jerry's personal demons stem from growing up with a mom with mental disorder speak to my own experiences), Jerry found himself with all the financial and career 'success' any human could hope to achieve, and at the brink of suicide. Colonna let his own heart break wide open and realize the true broken beauty within his soul. In his early and mid career, pursuing his never enoughness with a frantic fervor Jerry mistakenly thought he would build the foundation he needed for a happy, full life. Instead he fell into the trap of being used by those around him as he bought into their demands on his time and energy. Only in setting boundaries and slowing the fck down was he able to stop striving to be something other than what he was - a flawed and fully human person.

Favorite Quote: Hello to humans who occupy the fullness -- the glory and the mess-- of their lives. Hello to broken-open-hearted warriors. Hello to the leaders this broken world needs most. Hello to being the leader you were born to be. Hello to warriors with broken-open hearts. There is no one way, but there is one requirement: to go inward. Sitting still, hanging out in the space between the frames of life speeding by: that is the path of radical self-inquiry

4. Fire Starter Sessions - Danielle LaPorte : Danielle is vibrant, a little cheesy, and so naturally alive. This tome can be read and re-read in whole or in part. It is useful when you need a little cheerleading and also a smack upside the head at the same time. She presents difficult questions as journaling worksheets and so what if we haven't done them all yet, the one's we've done have been chalk full of meaty self-inquiry and growth-sparking insight.

Favorite quote(s): "Balance doesn't exist, but proportion and harmony do." || "We know you're busy, now shut up about it."

5. Radical candor - Kim Scott : Okay, you've progressed as a leader, you've learned to care about your team as individual humans with needs and desires, but if you've ever fallen into the trap of being more friend than boss, check out Kim Scott's book and bring a little Radical Candor into your life. Kim breaks down why we've typically been given the choice between working for assholes who exhibit manipulative insincerity and incompetents who exhibit ruinous empathy. It turns out, it's much more challenging and fiscally rewarding to work for assholes who manipulate workers than for someone so worried about being your friend that they'll avoid conflict. The key is to care so much that you do not shy away from the pain of truth when it is needed. Becoming a radically candid leader is about being competent and caring, being empathetic and truth telling. And of course, to dish our criticism effectively, you must invite it wholeheartedly

Favorite Quotes: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

And before you say it, yes we are very aware and self-conscious of how these are from all white people (and mostly white men). Learning how to approach life and business from these people is like being taught to dunk by someone who is 7'2." Yes, you're going to learn some things but also think of the 4 foot leg up they have. We welcome and enthusiastically invite any recommendations for things to read from different and diverse perspectives.

pictures courtesy of @sullivanandsullivanstudios

4. Fire Starter Sessions - Danielle LaPorte : Danielle is vibrant, a little cheesy, and so naturally alive. This tome can be read and re-read in whole or in part. It is useful when you need a little cheerleading and also a smack upside the head at the same time. She presents difficult questions as journaling worksheets and so what if we haven't done them all yet, the one's we've done have been chalk full of meaty self-inquiry and growth-sparking insight.

Favorite quote(s): "Balance doesn't exist, but proportion and harmony do." || "We know you're busy, now shut up about it."

5. Radical candor - Kim Scott : Okay, you've progressed as a leader, you've learned to care about your team as individual humans with needs and desires, but if you've ever fallen into the trap of being more friend than boss, check out Kim Scott's book and bring a little Radical Candor into your life. Kim breaks down why we've typically been given the choice between working for assholes who exhibit manipulative insincerity and incompetents who exhibit ruinous empathy. It turns out, it's much more challenging and fiscally rewarding to work for assholes who manipulate workers than for someone so worried about being your friend that they'll avoid conflict. The key is to care so much that you do not shy away from the pain of truth when it is needed. Becoming a radically candid leader is about being competent and caring, being empathetic and truth telling. And of course, to dish our criticism effectively, you must invite it wholeheartedly

Favorite Quotes: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

And before you say it, yes we are very aware and self-conscious of how these are from all white people (and mostly white men). Learning how to approach life and business from these people is like being taught to dunk by someone who is 7'2." Yes, you're going to learn some things but also think of the 4 foot leg up they have. We welcome and enthusiastically invite any recommendations for things to read from different and diverse perspectives.

pictures courtesy of @sullivanandsullivanstudios

learn more about taking a class