2020 Reading Challenge (January)

- 5 mins

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

Image by Patrick Tomasso

GoodReads Reading Challenge

I joined “GoodReads’ 2020 Reading Challenge”. My goal is reading 24 books this year, and I started quite well… reading ten books so far! Here I share a brief review about them.

  1. “The Art of Happiness” by The Dalai Lama XIV & Howard C. Cutler. It was the third time I had read this book. It was an excellent reading to start the year! The Dalai Lama suggests that the purpose of our existence is to seek happiness. And happiness is determined more by our state of mind than by external events. Hence, for our life to be of value, he recommends to develop essential good human qualities (warmth, kindness, compassion), then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful (happier).

The Art of Happiness

  1. “The Connector Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent, and Others Don’t” by Jaime Roca & Sari Wilde. I was amazed by this book. It is so good and has a lot of recommendations to build a high-performance team. Right now, I’m working on to use them with my teams! Jaime and Sari argue that they found four types of management: teacher, always-on, connector, and cheerleader; and the connector manager has better results. So they give a lot of next action to become a better leader.

The Connector Manager

  1. “The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness” by Dalai Lama XIV & Jeffrey Hopkins. Over the years, I’ve found that meditation helps me to handle my anxiety and hyperhidrosis. So I decided to read an advance book about meditation, but it was quite hard to follow. The Dalai Lama shares a lot of profound concepts and recommendations that I will like to apply in the future, and maybe, I will have to reread it.

The Heart of Meditation

  1. “The Three-Box Solution: A Strategy for Leading Innovation” by Vijay Govindarajan. It was the second time that I had read this book. I loved the simplicity of the strategy, but there are so many organizations having trouble using it. In summary, Vijay recommends to manage everything (budget, people, resources and projects) in three boxes: Box 1 (the present, how you generate value today?), Box 2 (the past, what you should forget?), and Box 3 (the future, what new business models are you creating?). The challenge is to manage the balance between the three boxes. From my point of view, “The Three-Box Solution” could help a lot with the Digital Transformation.

The Three-Box Solution

  1. “The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups” by Daniel Coyle. This book motivated me because it answers quite common questions like What kind of organizational culture we need? & How to build that culture?. It is not a simple answer, but Daniel shares three main topics to focus on: building safety, sharing vulnerability, and establishing purpose. I enjoyed reading all the real examples and tips to use at work and personal life.

The Culture Code

  1. “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries. It was the second time that I had read this book. Again, it is a simple idea, but so hard to apply in many organizations. I’m so convinced that following a scientific approach to validate a business hypothesis is the best approach.

The Lean Startup

  1. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. It was the third time that I had read this book. Viktor is the father of Logotherapy that suggests that lack of meaning in life is the cause of a lot of problems (mental and physical) and he attempts to help people to find meaning in their lives. His story in concentration camps is touching and inspiring.

Man's Search for Meaning

  1. “Work Reimagined: Uncover Your Calling” by Richard Leider & David Shapiro. It was the second book I had read from Richard, and it has a lot of exciting ideas about how important it is to find a calling in your life. He shares an interesting framework with cards to help to find your calling.

Work Reimagined

  1. “All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World” by Seth Godin. I enjoy reading Seth’s books, and this was not an exception. He argues that stories are what matter to create a successful product or service. As usual, he uses a lot of real examples that motivate you.

All Marketers Are Liars

  1. “Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow” by Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais. By far, this was the best book I have read this year. It shares a simple framework to structure teams to get the best results. I was amazed by how they take a lot of ideas from people, technology, and agile; and merge those ideas to build a framework around them. That’s why I had a lot of a-ha moments! Matthew and Manuel understand the big problems that we have in the software industry and share, in my opinion, the best way to address them.

Team Topologies

February has fewer days, but I hope to keep the same speed and share other ten books the next month.

Abner Ballardo

Abner Ballardo

In permanent beta: learning, adapting and evolving

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