“Show me your calendar, your bookshelf and the pics on your phone and I will know EXACTLY what you value, what is important to you and what your true priorities are.”
– Alan Stein, Jr.

Well, I’m not going to show you my camera reel or my calendar, but I will show you my bookshelf.


As for what I’ve been reading lately, here are four books that have made the biggest impression on me.

Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact

by Liz Wiseman

Who it’s for
Early and mid-career professionals who want to stand out at work. There’s also a section for senior leaders who want to help their team members become Impact Players. Frankly, everyone should read this book!

What it’s about
Some talented, smart, driven people do exceptional work and make an outsized contribution (“Impact Players”) while other equally talented, smart, driven people do solid or even great work but don’t have the stellar careers they could have had (“Contributors”).

Wiseman explains why this happens and identifies practical, research-based steps you can take to become an Impact Player and put yourself on a fundamentally higher trajectory of performance and career success.

My biggest takeaway
This book is packed with actionable strategies to help you develop the mindset and practices that will help you become an Impact Player – it’s impossible to pick just one. It’s a book I wish I’d had when coming up through the ranks in my career. This sure would have saved time, energy and mental anguish!

Competing in the New World of Work: How Radical Adaptability Separates the Best from the Rest

By Keith Ferrazzi, Kian Gohard and Noel Weyrich

Who it’s for
Leaders who want to help their organizations win in an environment characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity and change.

What it’s about
In a post-pandemic world where things aren’t going back to “normal”, you can’t cling to the old ways of working and expect to succeed as a team or organization. Instead, it’s about adopting a new way of working which Ferrazzi and his team call “Radical Adaptability”.

Discover the four practices leaders must adopt to master Radical Adaptability, including actionable steps and insights from their research with more than 2,000 leaders during the pandemic.

My biggest takeaway
The common belief that “virtual is suboptimal and in-person is the best way to create connection and innovation” is a misconception. We can achieve greater innovation and include more diversity of thought by adopting the right practices around virtual work. (Check out chapter two for the details!)

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

by Patrick Lencioni

Who it’s for
Leaders and managers who want to make their organizations better and reduce unnecessary politics, confusion, turnover and unproductive behavior. It’s also useful for aspiring leaders who want to gain insight into what senior management should be thinking about.

What it’s about
Most leaders focus on getting the classic fundamentals right, like strategy, marketing, finance, technology – what Lencioni refers to as the “smart” side of organizations.

But the key to the success of an organization is what Lencioni calls being “healthy” – having minimal politics, minimal confusion, high morale, high productivity, low turnover. He shares his Four Disciplines Model for creating a healthy organization and actionable ways to build it.

My biggest takeaway
What impressed me most was the six questions leaders must be able to answer to give employees the clarity they need, gain alignment and therefore develop Organizational Health. And the answers need to be in plain English, with no jargon, buzzwords or corporate-speak.

The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win

By Maria Konnikova

Who it’s for
Anyone interested in a story about an “underdog” who takes on a big challenge and wins against the odds. You don’t have to know anything about poker, although poker players will probably enjoy it too. And it helps if you like to “connect the dots” to your own situation.

What it’s about
This New York Times bestseller is not a classic business book, but more of a “can’t wait to see what happens next” story of Konnikova’s real life experience of transforming herself from journalist to champion poker player.

It’s on my list because it turns out the world of poker has some interesting parallels to the world of work and careers: experiencing imposter syndrome, being a woman in a male-dominated field, the importance of mentors, and dealing with failure, to name a few.

My biggest takeaway
Pay attention. It sounds ridiculously simple, but so much of success and learning how to succeed is simply noticing, observing and, well, paying attention. And attention is an exceptionally rare commodity in these times of distraction.

What’s on your bookshelf?

These books are part of the new reading habit I adopted at the start of the year. While my original commitment was to read 50 pages a day, reality has fallen a bit short of that pace. But the main thing is, I am reading regularly still!

What’s helped me stick to my reading habit is knowing that I need to read enough to be able to make recommendations to others (thank you for helping me stay accountable!).

I’ve also given myself permission to buy whatever books I want to read.

Whether your source is the bookstore, the library or borrowing from someone else, give yourself the gift of knowledge and make time to nourish your mind.

How about you? What have you been reading lately and what will you read next?

Leave a comment and let me know.