What can I read to become better at my work?

Mar 22

On the job, has the boss or the management of the company ever recommended a book?  Its usually short, an “easy read” they say.  It reeks with simple lessons about customer service, collaboration, values or good leadership.  Often including fables with fairly simple characters who’ve overcome some drama at work or some personal ordeal.  If they can survive a horrible event, you should be able to answer the phone with a smile.

Reading is presented as a quick road to better work.  I disagree with the idea of quick and particularly bought in bulk, offered as a bible.  Reading is fundamental and sadly absent in the work place.  My answer to what’s the best thing to read is “Yes!”  As Tom Peters once said, “read wide, read long, read deep” to gain a better perspective.  It can be anything, most important, what lights you up.  Peters on Reading

Any form, fiction, non, poetry, history, drama is perfectly acceptable.   Reading helps us understand people and situations, perhaps teaching us how not to behave.  What we absorb from books can improve the style and substance of our communication with others.  We can adopt tone and structure that grip us and help us tell stories and demonstrate our passion and will inspire other people.  Common reading experiences can draw us together and create greater understanding.  The more we read, the better we can distinguish what’s true vs. simply a cleaver story.

We develop as people and do better in our jobs when our deeply held values are challenged.  Books explode myths or offer new areas for thought.  Variety can help us think differently.  My niece was assigned Lord of the Flies for school. Her essay inspired me to read the book.  It was a great break from non-fiction, but relevant in any study of human behavior.  Most important, it was a chance for us to connect which blows away the notion that reading is a solitary endeavor.

Leadership BS

Here’s a book that turned me around.  Its title and message are provocative, one of the best in the last few years.





My favorite book:  the one that will surprise me next.


performance management empowering good work choices

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