I don’t know about you, but something about fall screams book weather. It’s time to curl up with a cozy blanket, a hot cup of coffee or tea, and a good book, so today let’s talk about what books have become career books for the ALV Team.
The Magnolia Story
There is something really special about a story that starts with a vision and ends with a borderline empire. Reading this story inspired me to hustle, take chances, and be a part of building something that I love.
Don’t Do Things You Hate
It’s really easy for young professionals especially to get caught up in the yes’s of obligation. Before we know it we’re 10 years into a career we can’t stand! Don’t do things you hate is a quick read about the bigger understanding of what you hate, why you hate it, and how to reframe it into a task you can enjoy!
The Creative Curve
If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with the creative process. The Creative Curve breaks the process down and debunks all of your favorite creative myths. I love Allen Gannett because he brings an element of humor to the crazy insightful process of how to develop and level up your creativity.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
If you are a founder of any kind, or a leader in a startup, this is a must-read. So many business books focus on the ideal world – how to operate when things are going right. But what about when all hell breaks loose as it often does in the startup world? Ben Horowitz provides extremely practical advice for everything from how to fire someone to how to prevent politics and red tape from forming in your business.
There are two facets to my love for this book: I loved reading Pixar’s origin story and hearing about the role Steve Jobs played in it (is tech history a genre?), and Pixar’s founder, Ed Catmull, shares an incredible wealth of advice on how to build a creative organization and then sustain it. Pixar literally never has a flop. This isn’t an accident. The organization has been built thoughtfully to cultivate the best ideas and shut down bureaucracy that may get in their way. There are great takeaways for how to run any kind of organization or team.
Written by Jason Fried, founder of popular software startup 37signals, Rework helps anyone reimagine the way we show up and operate at work. Do we need to schedule meetings like TV show time slots in 30 or 60-minute increments? What if we had a day of the week where we all operated in silence? This book gets you questioning the habits and customs of the modern workplace and dreaming up new practices that could make you happier, healthier and more productive at work.
Thinking Fast and Slow
Understanding ourselves and the way we work is complex. Daniel Kahneman breaks down the way we think and why we often make errors that could have been prevented. He explains the two ways we think: System 1 (our gut reactions) and System 2 (critical thinking). We spend most of our time in System 1 thinking and that serves us well in many situations but not all. This is a fascinating read for anyone who is looking to be more self-aware and intentional about their actions.
We all know that making decisions is hard. And the way we make decisions (especially important decisions) can be irrational and driven by emotion. Dan and Chip Heath provide practical advice on how to become better at making decisions in your everyday life – decisions that are small or decisions that have a lasting impact.
The Trusted Advisor
If you are client-facing, this is a must-read for you. The Trusted Advisor is engaging and practical. The book does a fantastic job of walking through what you need to be a partner and a confidant to your clients in a way that produces better results for you and the client. I find myself referencing this book not only professionally but personally.
The War Of Art
We all have dreams and desires that we want to pursue. However, most of us face an obstacle and just keep dreaming. Pressfield digs deep into how resistance, coupled with other factors, can be a huge hindrance in actually going for your goals. If you want to learn how to get out of that rut and kick resistance in the ass you need to read this book! It’s such a quick read that there is no excuse not to.
This one is for all the entrepreneurial minds in the world. So many people who want to become successful entrepreneurs but aren’t because they do not have the correct approach. Niche Down challenges you to think and observe the world differently so that your invention can stand out. One of my favorite parts of the book is where Lochhead mentions that “categories make brands.” It’s much easier to stand out when you create something unique instead of trying to create something that is “better.”
While this one isn’t directly career-related there are so many lessons that can be drawn from this book. The biggest one being – if you don’t fit into one category that’s okay! Working at a coaching company we have so many people say “I have so many interests and I don’t know which one to choose.” The good news is that you might not have to dismiss your different interests. Many times these interests can become one job or you can even create your own side hustle. Divergent shows us that the world may try to place us in one category but sometimes you have to defy this mindset and go your own way.