It’s no secret that I am a pretty active reader. I’ve been studying professional development and leadership since I was in high school.
There’s something about summer that gets me super excited to reread some of my favorites. I grab a chair outside with some coffee and the pups and somehow find new wisdom in pages that I’ve looked at many times.
I put together a list of the 4 books that I plan on tackling between now and Labor Day. I encourage you to read my summaries and pick one that speaks to you.
Here they are… in no particular order…
Tribe by Sebastian Junger
The main argument of Tribe is that humans are tribal animals and societies flurish under shared hardship. There’s a lot of psychology that’s described via storytelling and strongly resonated with me. I didn’t realize how far out of alignment I was living until I read this book. I was surrounded by people, had a success in my career, but some big piece (close human connection) was missing. Luckily, I found it and have been pursuing it, through both deep internal work and being more brave outwardly, ever since.
“Human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. These values are considered “intrinsic” to human happiness and far outweigh “extrinsic” values such as beauty, money and status.”
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This is a textbook allegory, and it’s so well written that I didn’t realize it until I finished reading it the first time. This book is a laundry list of deep universal truths dressed up as a wonderfully detailed story of a shepherd who embarks on his personal destiny. I could constantly reread this book and it would speak to me in different ways every time.
“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does not because it is evil, but so we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’”
12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
This book is a collection of essays written by Jordan B. Peterson. He put them together in this book to give a framework of how to balance life’s chaos and order. Jordan has vast and broad knowledge. He weaves all kinds of stories from all kinds of sources into psychology and sociology fundamentals, and is designed to build better humans to build better communities and ultimately a better world. I considered each chapter a separate book and that was a pretty great way to allow me to take my time. There’s a lot of information, and the stories are super compeling. It’s a great read, just be sure to take your time with it.
“Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping”
Team of Teams by Chris Fussell, David Silverman, Stanley A. McChrystal, and Tantum Collins
This book speaks to the deep organizational improvement nerd in me. It’s filled with stories from both a military and civilian application of the same tools. I found it at just the right time; I’d just spent time supporting the task force that GEN McChrystal had transformed and seeing how the changes were made was pretty amazing. The lessons in this book are universal in their application, and completely changed my perspective of what is possible.
“Without trust, SEAL teams would just be a collection of fit soldiers.”