Scientists agree that reading benefits the brain. Yet, according to a recent YouGov poll of a cross-section of 1,000 American adults about their reading habits, 42 percent had not read a nonfiction book and 41 percent had not read a fiction book within the previous year.
Reading has been linked with developing cognitive skills and with delaying the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Results from a six-month daily reading study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers, for example, revealed that the volume of white matter in the language area of study participants’ brains increased over the study period.
New Spring Book Releases
Successful entrepreneurs keep reading and learning. Why not take advantage of the longer daylight hours and the warmer temperatures to spend some time outside reading this spring. Here are a few spring book releases to inspire you.
Spring book releases – The Real-Life MBA by Jack Welsh and Suzy Welch
The authors of the 2005 best-seller Winning, Jack and Suzy Welch are back with a readable guide for anyone who wants to learn more about running a successful business. The writers use their interviews with entrepreneurs from all over the word to tell compelling stories of how companies address common business concerns.
The former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch uses many of the book’s strategies and concepts in the online educational program, Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, he founded in 2009.
Favorite Quote: “Business is not a ‘me’ thing. It’s a ‘we’ thing. It’s an ‘I’ll take all the advice and ideas and help I can get’ thing…When it comes to business, you can never stop learning. Business is just too vast, too multifaceted, too unpredictable, too tech-driven, too human-driven, too global, too local, too everything to ever be able to say, ‘Been there, done that.’”
Spring book releases – Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock
Google consistently ranks as one of the world’s best places to work. This new book, written by the head of Google’s “People Operations,” takes us behind the scenes to find out what Google really does to attract and retain its top employees.
Throughout the book, Bock stresses that the non-traditional HR aspects of Google can work for any company. “Not every company will be able to duplicate perks like free meals, but everyone can duplicate what makes Google great,” he writes. You’re bound to get a few ideas you can implement for your team with this compelling book.
Favorite quote: “Building an exceptional team or institution starts with a founder, but being a founder doesn’t mean starting a new company. It is within anyone’s grasp to be the founder and culture-creator of their own team, whether you are the first employee or joining a company that has existed for decades.”
Spring book releases – No One Understands You and What to Do About It by Heidi Halvorson
Admit it. In both your work and personal life, you often think, “They just don’t understand me!” We all think that sometimes. In this new book, social psychologist Heidi Halvorson explains why we are so often misunderstood and what we can do about it.
This is not your typical self-help book. The author provides academic research on how we perceive others and how other perceive us, and some of the results are surprising. Probably the most helpful advice comes in the chapter on how to overcome making a bad first impression. Halvorson has a knack for taking a complex subject and, without dumbing it down, making it personal and enjoyable to read.
Favorite quote: “Without the ability to consistently and accurately telegraph our thoughts and intentions to others, none of us can succeed – no individual, no team and no organization. Communication is vital, but the great irony is that human beings have a surprisingly difficult time when it comes to knowing what exactly they are communicating… communication is so very, very hard to get right.”
Spring book releases – Strategy Rules by David Yoffie and Michael Cusumano
This book’s cover shows a photo of Steve Jobs, Andy Grove and Bill Gates standing together at a black-tie event in 1998. It is the only known photograph of the three men together. Wouldn’t you have liked to have heard the conversation they shared that night? This book does the next best thing.
Authors David Yoffie and Michael Cusumano compare and contrast the innovative founders of Apple, Intel and Microsoft, and, by doing so, teach us five strategic business skills they share. They are:
- Look forward, reason back
- Make big bets without betting the company
- Build platforms and ecosystems
- Exploit leverage and power
- Shape the company around your personal anchor
Favorite Quote: After observing Gates, Grove and Jobs – for more than two decades – it is clear to us that mastery of strategy is not an innate skill. Most great CEOs learn how to become better strategic thinkers and organization leaders.”
Spring book releases – Return on Character by Fred Kiel
In a world in which good guys often seem to come in last, does character really matter? In other words, do organizations led by people with moral integrity do better than those that are not?
Over the course of seven years, Fred Kiel studied 121 CEOs and 8,000 of their employees. His research reveals that leaders of strong character realized up to five times the ROA for their companies than did leaders with weaker character. Score a few points for the good guys!
Kiel asserts we all can and should demand more from our leaders in terms of integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion, and that these “soft” skills translate into solid business skills. He also explains how we can assess our own character strengths and weaknesses and even improve the strength of our organizations with character leadership.
Favorite Quote: “The work involved in exploring your own nature, identifying weaknesses in your character, and then working to overcome them can be difficult and even painful. But as with all transformative change, the outcomes can more than compensate for the work of achieving them. You may be the only person in your life who is unaware of the shortcomings in your character.”