Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (Masterminds Series) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Part psychological study, part self-help book, Finding Flow is a prescriptive guide that helps us reclaim ownership of our lives. The author argues that the quality of our lives is determined not so much what we experience but by how we experience it.
The Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking by Roger Martin
Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to understand and emulate how they think. Successful business people engage in what Martin calls integrative thinking creatively resolving the tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones. Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by asking probing questions including: What are the causal relationships at work here? and What are the implied trade-offs?
Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge including conceptual and experiential knowledge. Integrative thinking can be learned, and The Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge
This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices.
In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz
The secret to success, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered early in life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships – so that everyone wins. In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps – and inner mindset – he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates in his network, people he has helped and who have helped him.
Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner
Gardner has put together a thought-provoking, visionary attempt to delineate the kinds of mental abilities (“minds”) that will be critical to success in a 21st-century landscape of accelerating change and information overload. Gardner’s five minds – disciplined, synthesizing, creating, respectful and ethical – are not personality types, but ways of thinking available to anyone who invests the time and effort to cultivate them: “how we should use our minds.” In presenting his “values enterprise,” Gardner uses a variety of explanatory models, from developmental psychology to group dynamics, demonstrating their utility not just for individual development, but for tangible success in a full range of human endeavors, including education, business, science, art, politics and engineering.