As we wrap up the month of August, it’s safe to assume a lot of summer reading has been chewed up and spat out, so to speak. While you might’ve finally plowed through the last volume of Game of Thrones (like you promised you would in 2014), what of your summer reading will have a real, lasting impact on your life?
Sure, too soon to say, maybe, but while there’s a time and place for flipping through a juicy fiction or diving into a spare-no-details memoir; the books that really change our lives tend to be the ones that open us to a completely new way of thinking about life, our purpose, the world.
And in case you needed it - here are some suggestions from the HeroX crew:
Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World: Brian J. Robertson
Want to know how a remote company like HeroX actually operates? Read this book. Seriously. It lays out the ultimate management philosophy for the future, and contains the very formulas for operation that HeroX is always striving to utilize internally and, ultimately, embody. The driving principle behind holocracy is that true co-operation, rather than coercion, is the most effective way to function as an organization. That includes a high level of autonomy, strong integrity within teams, and a holistic understanding of how the organization functions like a complete organism, as opposed to fractured, competing special-interest groups.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World: Adam Grant, Sheryl Sandberg
With his book Originals, Adam Grant conveys a lot of lessons: how to generate new ideas; how to present your ideas to other people; the value of intuition; the definition of real power versus perceived -- and that’s just the beginning! Did you know that successful entrepreneurs don’t get there just from wild risk-taking? Surprised to find out that creative types can solve problems outside of their field? Can procrastination work FOR you? He busts these and other interesting myths using academic studies, vetted statistics, and stories from unexpected places to punctuate a really engaging read that will get you to question a lot of what you thought you knew.
Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work: Jamie Wheal
The so-called “human condition” in the form of that pesky existential angst takes its toll on all of us. While these feelings can be comfortably ignored, Stealing Fire offers a completely different approach: mastery of flow. It’s the “secret” that religious mystics, extreme sport athletes, and -- sure -- “hippies” all share: an ability to experience alternate states of consciousness that allow access to levels of performance previously unattainable. The book explains the rest. If you’re interested in taking life to the next level, this one can’t be missed.
How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie
The book that needs no introduction, but what the hay, we’ll do one anyway. Often called “the grandfather of all people-skills books,” Carnegie first published How to Win Friends in 1937. An instant success at its release, this book is every bit as powerful as it was exactly 80 years ago (now that’s longevity.) The main formula to financial success, Carnegie believed, was 15% hard skills in the field, and 85% communication, leadership, and the ability to gain emotional enrollment from others. This book provides a “master” guide to achieving those skills with whomever you happen to be working with, without coming off as fake, manipulative, or over-wrought. How to Win Friends & Influence People is an indispensable read for anyone looking to live an audacious, outrageous, fulfilling life of achievement and change-making. And may I be so bold as to say -- you’re reading this, that’s probably you.
Psycho Cybernetics: Maxwell MaltzThere you have it: the first five tomes of the HeroX Required Reading List. Are they the top five? Well, we’re not ones to pick favorites, but these books lay the foundation and open the mind to some of the more advanced concepts we embrace as a company. And what might those advanced concepts be about, you ask? STAY TUNED! Next week, we’ll release the HeroX Reading List Deep Cuts, and then we’ll really be cooking with gas.
Yet another timeless (though less well-known) classic, Psycho Cybernetics is said to have established thought leadership in self-help that would stand the test of the next century. Famed self-improvement expert and motivational speaker Tony Robbins is no exception to Maltz’s followers, and he probably described the essence of Psycho Cybernetics best: “Before the mind can work efficiently, we must develop our perception of the outcomes we expect to reach. Maxwell Maltz calls this Psycho-Cybernetics; when the mind has a defined target it can focus and direct and refocus and redirect until it reaches its intended goal.” Maltz more or less coined the term “self-image” and uses the book to instruct readers how that image is not only malleable but the key to actualizing inside of one’s true potential -- which is, ultimately, limitless. Sound a little pie in the sky? Give it a read anyway. Maxwell Maltz's influence is far-reaching, timeless, and multidisciplinary for a reason.