Significant Influences On My Work Processes:
Written by Tiago Forte, this essay explains the benefit and necessity for creating a digital personal knowledge management system, or a “second brain” (and later a course, which I’ve written about). The result has been dramatically increased information retention and idea generation.
Buried in emails? Tiago Forte illustrates how to apply the concept of Inbox Zero, an inbox that sits at 0 emails, by managing your incoming streams and creating a system to action emails the first time you see them. As a result, I have gained a sense of control rather than the dread that used to load along with all those waiting emails.
Sebastian Marshall and crew have created a culture built around optimizing the knowledge work experience. Using a highly structured work process (work cycles) to create flow experiences, continuous improvement, and knowledge sharing, this group has significantly improved my work output.
Significant Influences on My Worldview:
Whether you are a Christian or not, the Bible provides timeless lessons and its themes are omnipresent throughout western literature. It’s best absorbed slowly with others. I spent several months going through the Book of Luke, verse by verse, with a weekly group and it was mind-blowing.
Drive by Daniel H. Pink
The catalyst that inspired me to finally leave my position in education, Drive explains the evolution of motivation. Our ancestors leveraged survival, the industrial revolution valued extrinsic motivation, but we’ve discovered something better. Intrinsic motivation. Pink provides examples of its superiority, including the monied Encarta being crushed by Wikipedia. Autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the three pillars that build intrinsic motivation.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” We need to make choices and do less, but better. He argues that only once you give your permission to stop trying to do it all can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter. Similar to the Minimalists and Marie Kondo — does that spark joy?
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly
Flow experiences are described as the optimal life experiences — those periods when we operate at peak performance and are left with genuine fulfillment. In a society increasing lacking meaning and connection, this book provides solutions to elevate performance and satisfaction in our personal, professional, and interpersonal lives.
Hans Rosling’s New Insights on Poverty TED Talk and Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–And Why Things Are Better Than You Think
When I originally saw this TED Talk in 2007, it blew my mind. Filled with powerful visuals, Rosling provides evidence of the positive societal developments around the world. The book, though not as concise, raises important questions to overcome media bias and attain an accurate, evidence-based worldview with significant global implications as we move forward in the 21st century.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
With significant implications for education, self-growth, and success, Dweck explains two different mental attitudes: fixed and growth mindsets. Someone with a fixed mindset believes individual abilities have limits, regardless of effort and are often self-defeating. However, research has proven those limits false and through effort, all abilities can be improved. Knowing that we can foster growth mindsets in ourselves and others creating better outcomes.
The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
Given to me by my former principal, this book is a must read for anyone new to leadership. A quick read, it highlights three important principles that will lead to managerial success: setting clear expectations, providing immediate praise to encourage positive behaviors, and providing immediate reprimands that focus on behaviors without being demeaning.