Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Books of March

It might be hard for me to get through these books since I would love to write a whole blog on each one. This month I read lots of books I wouldn't normally read as I am participating in some leadership courses. What a great stretch. For me, just looking at this list of books fires me up, how fun to learn all this great stuff and find ways to apply it!

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - Daniel H. Pink
This book addresses a fundamental flaw in the way we motivate people. It suggests that external rewards and punishments are limited in their ability to make us more productive. In fact, in certain circumstances they do damage. People are not necessarily motivated the way we might think. What else motives? Autonomy - the feeling that I have freedoms. Mastery - the feeling that I am learning, growing, getting better and great at something. Significance - the feeling that I am doing something meaningful. These motivations only work if our basic needs are met. I found the best application of this book in finding out how to best motivate myself more effectively.

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything - Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and A Switzler
This book is absolutely amazing. One in a thousand. The only problem for me was that I found it overwhelming. Too much great stuff! Not a Christian book but the findings in this book about how to influence are thoroughly Biblical. If you want to study change and influencing change in a deep way, this is an awesome study. Christians ha a fundamental call to be salt and light, to be influencers.

The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions - Jeff Manion
This is a classic book that addresses a critical need for every Christian. How to make the mot of the dessert seasons of our lives. The concept of "The Land Between" being the place between God giving us the promise and God fulfilling the promise is powerful.

The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance, - Tony Schwartz
I loved this. The concept is that we need to be energized and engaged as much as possible in life. In order to do this we need to ensure a rhythm between rest and engagement without overdoing or underdoing it. We also need to realize we are whole beings. We cannot ignore our physical rhythms, emotional rhythms, spiritual rhythms and mental rhythms. One of the things that really convicts me around this area is that the best gift I can give my family, workplace, church etc. is a healthy self. If I don't take care of myself in a way that I am thriving, I will be far less able to love and give in any of those environments.

Go Put Your Strengths to Work - Buckingham, Marcus
I think this book may change the course of my life in the next few months. I discovered things about myself by reading this book and doing the exercises that I did not know. Do you know what strengthens you? Do you know what weakens you? Did you know that you will make the best contributions in the areas that you are NOT only good at but ALSO that strengthen you!

What’s Your Career Type? - Dunning, Donna
This is a Myers-Briggs personality book that relates your personality to your career. This was my first time doing personality stuff of this sort. Very interesting and helpful. I think it would be best to do the Myers-Briggs with someone who knows a lot about it so that they can help you appreciate it. A book doesn't really do it justice, though this one is great.
Cure For The Common Life: Living In Your Sweet Spot? - Lucado, Max
Max Lucado is fun to read. He has a way with words that is absolutely wonderful. The really neat thing in this book for me was that Lucado ties our strengths to how we best can glorify God and how we can relate to our "common", everyday life. A book that gives hope and meaning to life when life seems dull and mundane.
Strengths Finder 2.0 - Rath, Tom
A very expensive and very fun self-discovery tool. This may be the best tool I have ever seen for finding out what you are good at. Rath and his colleagues have developed a whole new language for gifts. They discovered that we have tons of words for people's weaknesses, hang-ups and problems but not many for describing what we are good at. When you complete this tool you come out with 5 things you do well that is tremendously affirming. If you can find a friend to go through them with you and for you to hear theirs I think it would be ever better. The $35 is worth it! I wonder if this is really a spiritual gifts test with different terms.
Authentic Spiritual Mentoring - Larry Krieder
This book had awesome mentoring advice. The frame of reference was different than mine but the simple and straightforward instructions were very helpful. The kind of book that you could skim read and still get a ton out of it.