Saturday, February 28, 2015

On my reading list: Winter/Spring 2015

Found myself reading more online articles and Wired magazine (the only subscription I have) lately, but found some time for books on flights to Malta.

The Alliance, by Hoffman. Just finished this good "common sense" book about making the employer-employee relationship more honest. In other words, the pendulum has swung from companies that would employ you for life to companies where you're lucky to do 18 months before they "reorg" and send you packing. The cofounder of LinkedIn authored this with some partners and I liked it a lot. In short, he recommends setting 2-3 year projects/goals for employees and then renewing; he calls them "tours of duty." This helps the employee accomplish something for his/her resume but the organization also knows something will be achieved to help their mission. Second, he said the alumni network should be intentionally developed; in today's world, we need ideas from all walks of life and staying in touch yields free advice from people who know your org.

Cross-Cultural Partnerships, by Lederleitner. A great book written a couple years ago which summarizes a bunch of great principles for financial accountability and general healthy relationships for partners. I've always loved "African Friends and Money Matters" and this is like an updated version which applies to all cultures.

All the Light We Cannot See, by Doerr. My wife bought me this beautifully crafted historical fiction. I've just started it, but the words are rich and convey the story in WW2 between a blind Jewish girl and a German army boy. I think this is one that is going to be worth having a hard copy to keep for posterity!

American Sniper, by Kyle. An easy, captivating read that doesn't glorify war and makes you feel the intensity and focus of those in uniform. Much better than the movie (of course!) and I particularly enjoyed the passages about a guy that I grew up with in Hood River who was killed in action; Marc Lee followed the teachings of Jesus and was a fierce warrior and loyal friend to his squad.

As an aside, I'm getting back into podcasts. I'm thoroughly enjoying the one by the authors of Freakanomics. Makes me want to get a Ph.D. in applied behavioral science!