These are the books that have influenced my m.o. in the past year.
The Tipping Point
by Malcolm Gladwell
Why I liked the book: There’s a part of me that’s a snob; I read and love “The New Yorker” and am a Gladwell fan. Also, The Tipping Point is a non-fiction classic, much like Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner’s Freakanomics (by classic, I mean, if you go to a cocktail party where most people are college grads, you should know these books). But more importantly, I really enjoyed concepts discussed in the book about The Law of the Few (connectors, mavens, and salesmen), The Stickiness Factor, and The Power of Context ideas very much present not only in trends but in organizational leadership.
The Heart and The Fist
by Eric Greitens
Why I liked the book: The first time I heard about the book was when the author was a guest on “The Colbert Report.” The author was a Navy SEAL, an Oxford grad, humanitarian, eloquent, and hot. Of course I had to get on my computer and research (Google) the book and the author. Once I was over the superficial stuff, I downloaded the book. I became immersed in the story and finished the book in less than 48 hours.
The Heart and The Fist is a captivating story about the author’s experience as a college student, photographer, humanitarian worker, scholar, and soldier. Greitens is thoughtful and shows the real meaning of leadership– without being preachy. In one instance, he discussed how buying an orange from a local market is as (or more) important in building relationships than diplomacy talks. Cultural competency and bridge-building?! Woot woot!
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement
by David Brooks
Why I like this book: I read an excerpt in “The New Yorker” and couldn’t put it down. As you may know, articles in “The New Yorker” have a lot of words and a coffee break is sometimes required in between pages. The Social Animal is the companion piece to Brooks’ earlier book Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. Bobos are basically the new yuppies– BOhemian BOurgeois. Bobos are the ones who pay $10 for soap made out of cocoa beans from a farming co-op in Colombia or go to bakeries where they serve spinach feta loaf for $7.00 that needs to be cut in a herringbone pattern. Bobos are the highly educated people who have travelled the world, done with their first career, and probably now work as consultants and sitting next to you at Urth Cafe in Santa Monica or in the Arts District. They are the triathletes who are also beer pong champs who use their vacation days building a hut in some Third World Country– in between starting up a small social entrepreneur business as a hobby. The Social Animal describes the studies that demonstrate what motivates Bobos. If you are reading this blog, you are probably a Bobo.