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On this page, I will share some of the books I have recently read and some offer some insights into their takeaway points.

Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay & Mark Bawden

“Pig Wrestling is a simple story with a powerful message. Read it in under an hour, and you’ll be ready to tackle any type of sticky situation in work or life.” – Mind Flick

I came across Pig Wrestling on social media, when it was being promoted by numerous sporting athletes. I shared it with staff on a Talent Development programme and got all to read it to help them with their cultural change projects. Pig Wrestling offers a simple story in the form of a fable, that can be read in a short space of time. It follows the journey of a young manager who is directed to different individuals to help him view an interpersonal problem from different perspectives. The book provides some applicable models that can be utilised in both personal and work circumstances. I found Pig Wrestling incredibly helpful to review how I perceived a problem and have utilised the recommended techniques to explore solutions that were not initially available from my usual perspective.

Buy the book here:

Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has become the world’s most definitive source on practical information for building teams. The book’s impact extends beyond business schools, churches, non-profit organizations, professional sports teams and the military. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has sold over two million copies and continues to be a fixture on national best-seller lists week after week.” – The Table group

Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a team was given to all managers in our organisation to examine the characteristics of high performing teams. The book was used to establish where we were on our journey as a team of managers and look at how we could work together to achieve key results. Like Pig Wrestling, the Five Dysfunctions of a team is a Leadership Fable, however, based on a female CEO working in Silicon Valley. The book walks through the CEO’s attempts to develop trust, conflict, commitment, accountability in her senior team in order to achieve results. As with any good fable, the process isn’t straight forward and the characters offer a likeness to managers we work alongside, so the model offers application in our own settings. I have used the Five Dysfunctions of a team model to establish a Trust and healthy Conflict within my own team/s as we look to develop commitment and accountability towards achieving key results.

Buy the book here:

TED Talks by Chris Anderson

“This book explains how the miracle of powerful public speaking is achieved, and equips you to give it your best shot. There is no set formula; no two talks should be the same. The goal is for you to give the talk that only you can give. But don’t be intimidated. You may find it more natural than you think.” – TED

Keen to develop my own presentation skills I was recommended this book by a colleague. Chris Anderson draws upon his knowledge of thousands of TED talks to develop his guide to Public speaking. Although the book does not offer a magic formula for the ‘perfect’ talk, it walks through the key steps to make your talk the best it can be. Starting with exploring why you plan to take to the stage (Foundations) and building upon the Tools and Processes required to make it a success. The book then goes on to share insight in owning the stage and delivering a memorable talk, before suggesting methods of reflection and the importance of sharing your story. Whether you are a teacher or a public speaker the book offers many tips for holding your audiences attention and power of sharing a story.

Buy the book here:

OPEN by David Price

“A collection of hacktivists, hobbyists, forum-users and maverick leaders are leading a quiet but unstoppable revolution. They are sharing everything they know, and turning knowledge into action in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago.  Driven by technology, and shaped by common values, going ‘open’ has transformed the way we live.” – David Price

I came across OPEN on Twitter, when Scott Hayden shared his current reading list.

I was keen to try Amazon’s Audible on my commute to work, so was looking for my first book to use during the free trial. Working in Education Technology and Innovation it looked like the perfect read.

The Audible version of the book is 8 1/2 hours long, so something I could listen to in roughly a week on my drive to and from work. The print book is 233 pages long.

Published in November 2013, OPEN offers insight and suggestions on how we will “Work, Live and Learn” in the future, using education, industry and personal learning as examples. OPEN offers inspiration and call to order that we should be sharing our ideas and work for the good of one another and our businesses. Referencing the acronym S.O.F.T, OPEN hopes for Sharing, Openness, Free and Trusting environments that we live and learn in.

OPEN highlights many case studies in a multitude of environments that emphasise the benefits of working collaboratively in a fast-paced world. I took particular interest in the work of High Tech High, who has seemingly ripped up rulebook for the way a school/classroom is laid out in favour of collaborative and open space learning.

The book is a must-read for any organisation leader to support the building of a collaborative and innovative culture.

For more information, beyond the book, check out: goingopen.co.uk/

Buy the book here:

Make Time by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky

“Make Time is not about crushing your to-do list, optimizing every hour, or maximizing personal productivity. It’s about creating time for your priorities by rethinking the defaults of constant busyness and distraction.” – Jake Knapp & John Zaratsky

Make Time is designed to support you with do-it-yourself tips for making habits that stick. To support this, the book offers 87 different ‘tactics’ to help you regain focus, have more energy for the things you love and make the most of your day.

I was particularly intrigued by: 05. The Might to do List, 09. Block your Calendar and 35. Schedule email time.

The book is structured around 4 key steps, with each step having associated tactics:

four-steps
MakeTime blog

Highlight: MakeTime recommends that each day you strive for one key focus or objective, that above all else you ensure you achieve.

Laser: To achieve your highlight you will require a laser focus, look for methods/tactics to overcome your distractions e.g. 32. Watch out for Time Craters.

Energize: To achieve your highlight you will also need to ensure that your mind and body are optimised, consider 70. Wake up before you caffeinate or 77. Get Woodsy.

Reflect: To establish what works for you, keep a log or take notes, this will allow you to establish patterns or track progress.

Published in September 2018, the print book is 304 pages long and the Audible version of the book is 5 hours long,

For more information, beyond the book, check out: maketime.blog/

Buy the book here: