Books I’ve Loved Reading Dec 2023 Update

Always an avid reader, I’ve elevated my game this month and found the effort inspiring and affirming as I reflect on a topic near and dear to my heart — leadership qualities that matter the most to achieve positive outcomes and results.

Completed reading in last four weeks — All highly recommended for different reasons and insights. If you’ve read them, love to hear your thoughts. If you have other book recommendations for me, please share!

Multipliers, Liz Wiseman

Intelligent people all around, but the multipliers make a real difference and contribute exponentially more to success. (* More on this book below).

How did I miss this when it came out years ago!!

Founders vs. Investor, Elizabeth Joy Zalman, Jerry Neumann

It is an excellent book with perspectives on various business-building aspects from the founder and investor’s lens.

Must read for both (founder & investors), and thanks to Aneel Lakhani for bringing it to my attention!

Think Again, Adam Grant

Humility, doubt, and curiosity are vital to discovery (and leadership success).

There are so many more nuggets here; I will review it in the upcoming week with more detail!

How to Say Goodbye, Wendy Macnaughton

Beautiful visual poem of the meaning and journey of saying goodbye.

Thanks to Maria Popova @brainpicker for her beautifully written newsletter that called my attention to this book.

Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese

Beautifully written book that brought to life the power of landscape and accidents of birth and death and how they can lead to love and betrayal.

Thank you for the referral from B, whom I initially met as my mother’s best friend but who became my dear friend in the 20 years following my mother’s death.

Dinners with Ruth, A Memoir on the Power of Friendships, Nina Totenberg

I picked this book up because I respected these two women, but reading it heightened my awareness of the immense value of friendships and how a few amazing women in my own life have been the friends who helped me grow and tackle whatever life threw at me.

You know who you are. Thank you.

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A Deeper Dive: Multipliers, Liz Wiseman

Exec Summary: There are intelligent people everywhere, but significant differences exist in how individuals apply their intelligence as leaders. Genius Makers leverage the talent and the unique competencies of all individuals on their teams — fueling amazing cultures, inspiring delighted and engaged individuals, and delivering outstanding business results. We can achieve this powerful leverage with self-awareness, self-reflection, and close attention to when our most well-intended selves behave as Accidental Diminishers.

This book was published several years back, and I’m still wondering how I missed it! Liz masterfully describes why “Genius Makers” are more effective at leading teams for results than individual geniuses. While reading, I reflected on my own experiences. I realized that I’d never quite put my finger on it, but when I worked for or among Genius Makers or led teams applying the tenets of being a Genius Maker, the outcomes and the experiences were among the most satisfying and most effective at delivering results of my career. And, when I worked for those who prided themselves in their genius vs. scaling and leveraging the genius of their teams, the experience was sadly quite different.

However, the value of this book went well beyond the reflection of my past experiences. It provided powerful insights about how even those striving to live a self-aware and reflective life can fall into behaviors that limit or destroy our Genius Maker leverage. Liz describes with clear examples how we develop blindspots that detract from tapping into the full potential of ourselves and our teams — we become Accidental Diminishers. We accidentally lose some of our most potent leverage and detract from our best selves as leaders in these times. It is unintentional (aka “accidental) and often triggered by work stress, burn-out, toxic teams/leaders, or simply being overwhelmed with various elements beyond work in our complex lives. When this happens, no matter our IQ or experiences, we alone reduce the capacity of our teams and peers to thrive and contribute to our broader success enthusiastically. Whether in large corporations, seed-stage start-ups, or growth-stage companies — honing your self-awareness and competencies as a Genius Maker and knowing when to recognize any Accidental Diminisher behaviors will contribute to your success. The times I’ve been best at this personally have yielded outstanding results for my employers and given me great joy as I realized that I helped others identify and flourish by more confidently applying their superpowers. It is these connections that I value most in retrospect.

Thank you, Liz Wiseman, for a wonderfully written and valuable book!