Friday, January 19, 2007

What's in My Reading Room?

Covey said "sharpen the saw." Sounds simple. but for the solopreneur and the entrepreneurial executive the choice may seem "development myself"...."get this project off the ground." Pitting growth against survival is a less-than-zero sum game. The real game is "grow or die:" Standing still is really moving backwards. I remember hearing a talk from Susan Taylor, then editor in chief of Essence magazine, who extolled the virtues on reading -- she plowed through 5 or 6 newspapers before heading off the her office every morning. That message stuck. Her breadth of knowledge about the world and the things and people in it was stunning. Essence, by the way, is a women's fashion mag.

My business associates and friends, particularly those who have ventured into my home office (where I keep the good stuff stashed) have remarked about the variety of stuff I'm reading at any particular time. One of the best gifts I was given (in addition to my life -- thanks, Mom) is a deep and abiding love of reading. Its opened up a world to me as a child that I got to explore as an adult. I remember the Grollier Encyclopedia we had as children. Momma would hand us a letter and tell us to read when we proclaimed boredom. And read, we did. I'd gotten to letter "T" by the time I'd moved away for school -- skimming the stuff that didn't light me up and reading deeply the stuff that did. I learned that there were people who could "talk" with their hands or in different languages from mine. I learned about a country called North West Africa (now called Namibia). Years later, standing on the tarmac in that country, I said a silent "Thank you" to Momma for those encyclopedia from years ago.

Reading has opening my mind and my heart and showed me that I live on an incredible planet populated with people who leave me gobsmacked every day. Its given me new ways to look at business issues -- my clients' and my own -- that have allowed me to grow my company and my insides.

Here it is:
The Management and Control of Quality (trying to understand the role of quality in service and information-based businesses)
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't (always a good one to read and re-read)
Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends (seems that "The Donald" is good TV, but not-so-good business)
Wired (love the innovations they discover)
Asimovs Science Fiction (helps me keep in mind that there's something new coming around the corner...if it's not already here)
O, The Oprah Magazine (love the cool stuff her staff finds)
Indianapolis Business Journal (for a local perspective on business)
New York Times - National Edition (for a non-Midwest perspective on the nation and the world)



Anonymous said...

Asimov?! Glad to know that about you!